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SAT Grammar: Improving Sentences

Improving Sentences

Select the choice that results in the best sentence – the sentence that follows the requirements of standard written English and communicates effectively.

20140213 SAT Grammar.png

A.  finalists, the selected  
B.  finalists; and the selected 
C.  finalists; but the selected  
D.  finalists and the selected  
E.  finalists; the selected 

Knowsys Method

Read the sentence carefully, listening for errors. If you do not find the error immediately, then check the underlined portion against the Big 8 Grammar rules. 

This question tests your understanding of sentence structure.  When you see the comma you should ask yourself, "Is that comma used correctly?"  In this instance, the answer is NO!  It creates a comma splice:  a grammar error in which the writer incorrectly joins two independent clauses (= clauses that could each stand alone as a sentence) with just a comma.  

Choice A:  We know Choice A, which always matches the original, is wrong.  Let's check the other choices.  

Choice B:  This creates a new error because it incorrectly uses a semi-colon instead of a comma.

Choice C:  This makes the same error as Choice B.

Choice D:  This creates a run-on sentence since there are now two independent clauses with no punctuation at all to join them. 

Choice E:  Adding the semi-colon corrects the original comma-splice and does not introduce any new errors.  

 

The correct answer is E.

Level = Easy 

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ACT English: Sentence Structure

Choose the alternative you consider best.  

20140212 ACT English.png

          A.  NO CHANGE
          B.  students, he or she is invited to
          C.  students who
          D.  students they 

Knowsys Method

Check the underlined portion against the Big 8 Grammar Rules. 

In this case, you have a comma.  You should ask yourself one key question:

What does the comma do here?  Right now, it incorrectly separates 2 independent clauses.  It could be fixed by replacing it with a semicolon or with a comma plus a conjunction or by rewriting the sentence.  None of these options are present in the answer choices, so let's evaluate each one. 

A.  Same as the original.  Eliminate it.

B.  This choice has the same issue as the original ( a comma splice), just with different words.  Eliminate it.

C.  This fixes the problem by making "who . . . honor" a dependent clause.

D.  This replaces a comma splice with a run-on sentence.  Both are errors. 

 

The correct answer is C.

Level = Easy
 

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