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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.  Whenever you see a preposition underlined, determine whether its usage is idiomatic.  The phrase “anywhere from x to y,” as in “the cost may be anywhere from $5 to $20” or “children grow anywhere from a couple of centimeters to a few inches a year,” is a common idiomatic expression.  Choice A is not the error in the sentence.

B.  This choice constitutes the second part of the idiomatic expression “anywhere from x to y.”  Choice B is not the error in the sentence.  

C.  Once you hit this part of the sentence, you will probably sense that something sounds wrong.  What did Rockwell spend weeks or months doing?  Painting.  There should be no “and” before “painting” because Rockwell spent time painting, he did not spend time and paint.  This is most likely the error in the sentence, but check the remaining choice to be sure.

D.  If you see an adverb underlined on an SAT grammar question, be sure that it clearly modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.  The adverb “meticulously” modifies “painting” because it tells you how Rockwell painted.  Choice D does not contain an error.  

E.  Since you found an error, E cannot be the answer.

The correct answer is C.

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. 

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Knowsys Method

Read the sentence carefully, listening for errors.  Then quickly check the underlined portions against the Big 8 grammar concepts.  Mark the error when you find it, and quickly check any remaining choices.

What makes this question difficult is that the original sentence is complex and hard to understand.  Before you consider any errors, read through this sentence a couple of times to get a feel for how it is structured.  Once you have gotten past the convoluted nature of the sentence itself, the error should be easy to spot.  

A.  This underlined portion contains a verb, “has been raising.”  Always check to make sure verbs are in the correct tense and that they agree with the subject.  This particular verb is singular, so it agrees with the subject “the Miller Group.”  The verb is in the present perfect tense, which works because the action began in the past and continues into the present.  Eliminate this choice.

B.  It is idiomatically correct to say that something has been happening “since” some year in the past.  Eliminate this choice.

C.  There is nothing wrong with this choice at first glance.  “Annually” is an adverb that tells you when the organization donates money to schools.  It is not until you read to the end of the sentence that you realize what is wrong with choice C.  “Each year” means the same thing as “annually,” so “annually” is redundant and should be eliminated.  Keep this choice and quickly check the remaining options.

D.  It is idiomatically correct to say that money is donated “to” a group.  Eliminate this choice.  

E. You have already found an error, so E cannot be your choice.

The correct answer is (C).

This is a hard level question.

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