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SAT Writing: Identifying Sentence Errors

Identifying Sentence Errors

Read the sentence and select the portion of the sentence that contains an error.  If there is no error, select E.

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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. 

A. "Neither" must always be paired with "nor."  This choice is not an error, so eliminate it.  

B. Anytime you see a verb underlined, check to make sure that it agrees with its subject.  Nouns used with either/or or neither/not are called "compound pairs."  In compound pairs, the subject always agrees with the second subject in the pair.  The verb "know" agrees with "I," so this is not an error.  Eliminate this choice.

C. When you see "which" underlined, you should ask yourself whether it should be "that" instead.  The word "which" must always be preceded by a comma, and since the comma in this sentence cannot be eliminated, "which" must be correct. Eliminate this choice.

D. This choice tests parallelism.  Both verbs ("making" and "giving") must match with each other.  They do match, so this choice is not an error.  Eliminate this choice. 

E.  There is no error in the sentence, so E is correct. 

The correct answer is E.

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SAT Writing: 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.

Elaine's decision to attend State College was influenced by the college's reasonable tuition rates and because of its convenient location

A.  because of its convenient location
B.  because it is conveniently located
C.  it is conveniently located
D.  by its convenient location
E.  due to its convenient location

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. 

This sentence completion tests your understanding of parallelism.  Whenever two or more elements are listed in a sentence, they should be in the same format (parallel).

For instance, these two constructions are parallel:

        Alisha likes to ski, to rock climb, and to swim.

        Alisha likes to ski, rock climb, and swim. 

These two constructions are incorrect because the elements in the list are not parallel:

        Alisha likes to ski, rock climb, and to swim.

        Alisha likes skiing, to rock climb, and swimming. 

So, what is wrong with the parallel construction in the sentence above?  "Elaine's decision . . . was influenced BY the college's reasonable tuition rates and BECAUSE OF its convenient location."  The phrase "because of" must be eliminated or replaced to make the construction parallel.  You could rewrite the sentence as either:

1.  "Elaine's decision . . . was influenced BY the college's reasonable tuition rates and BY its convenient location."  (both elements begin with "by")

OR

2.  "Elaine's decision . . . was influenced by THE COLLEGE'S reasonable tuition rates and ITS convenient location." (both elements begin with a possessive noun/pronoun)

If you scan the answer choices, you will see that the only choice that works is D. 

The correct answer is D.

This is a medium level problem.

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SAT Writing: Identifying Sentence Errors

Identifying Sentence Errors

Read the sentence and select the portion of the sentence that contains an error.  If there is no error, select E.

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Knowsys Method

Read the sentence carefully, listening for errors. If you do not find the error immediately, then check the underlined portions against the Big 8 grammar concepts.

A.  When you see a verb underlined, check to see whether it agrees with its subject.  In this case, the verb “gave” agrees with its subject, “orientation.”  Eliminate this choice.

B.  The phrase “chance + to + verb” is idiomatically correct.  You would say “I had the chance to win a prize,” not “I had the chance winning a prize,” or “I had the chance win a prize.”  Eliminate this choice.  

C.  You might notice once you reach this point in the sentence that a list has begun.  The freshmen have the chance “to tour” campus, and they also have the chance “to learn” about school rules.  Verbs in a list should be parallel, as these two are.  This is not the error, so eliminate this choice.  

D.  The first two items in the list are “to tour” and “to learn,” so the last item should be “to meet,” not “they met.”  This choice is not parallel, so it must be the error in the sentence.

E.  The sentence includes an error, so E cannot be correct.  

The correct answer is D.

This is a medium level problem.

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SAT Writing: Identifying Sentence Errors

Identifying Sentence Errors

Read the sentence and select the portion of the sentence that contains an error if there is an error.  If there is no error, select E.

The Knowsys Method

Read the entire sentence carefully, listening for errors.  Then quickly check each underlined part against the Big 8 Grammar Rules. 

The grammar rule that is tested here is parallelism.  Start by looking at the first underlined portion of the sentence.

A.  The phrase "performers in the" may raise a red flag for you.  "Performers in (group)" is much more common than "performers of (group)," and there is nothing grammatically wrong with this phrase.  There is no error here. 

B. Check this verb to see whether it agrees with the noun of the sentence.  The noun (performers) is plural, and the verb (have) is plural as well.  There is no error here.

C. Any time you see the word "being" underlined in an Identifying Sentence Errors question, you have probably found the error.  Does this phrase match up with the other item in this list?  No.  "Immortal words" is an adjective plus a noun, and "being a skilled actor" is a verb plus a noun.  "Being a skilled actor" should be changed to "skilled acting" to create the proper parallel structure.  This is an error!

D.  "To create" is grammatically correct.  Two things can come together to create something else.  There is no error here. 

E.  You know this cannot be the answer because you already marked an error.

 

The correct answer is (D).

This is a medium level question. 

 

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