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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.  Anytime you see the pronoun "I" after a preposition (between), think:  preposition + me.  The correct answer will never be "preposition + I" since prepositions require objective case pronouns.  "I" is a subject pronoun since it can be the subject of the sentence.  "Me" is the objective case pronoun.  Quickly check the other choices before marking A.  

B. Anytime you see a verb underlined, check to make sure that it agrees with its subject.  In this case, the subject is "differences" and the verb is "are."  This agrees.  One of the common tricks on the SAT is to separate the subject "differences" from the verb "are" by an intervening prepositional phrase that might confuse you about the actual subject of the sentence.  Always remember that prepositional phrases NEVER control the verb.  Choice B is correct.  Eliminate this choice.

C. The semi-colon is underlined.  Verify that this is the correct sentence structure.  A semi-colon is used to introduce an explanatory statement, in this case the description of the personality differences.  Choice C is correct.  Eliminate it.

D. Here, the issue is also sentence structure.  Should this be a comma or something else?  The comma is correct because it separates two independent and equal clauses (just as "and" does).  This choice is not an error.  Eliminate this choice. 

E.  We found the error in A.   

The correct answer is A.

Level = Medium

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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.

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 10.17.17 PM.jpg

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: 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.

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 10.04.03 AM.jpg

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. Chances are, the phrase "almost all of the board members" does not strike you as incorrect.  "Almost" is an adverb, and it modifies "all," which in this case is functioning as an adjective.  This is not the error, so eliminate this choice.

B. Whenever you see a verb underlined, check to make sure that it agrees with its subject and with the tense of the sentence.  The verb "agreed" agrees with the subject "board members," and it is in past tense like the rest of the sentence.  This is not an error, so eliminate this choice.

C. Here's another verb, so check to make sure that it agrees with its subject and with the tense of the sentence. The verb "was" agrees with the noun "John Smith," and it is in past tense like the rest of the sentence.  This is not an error, so you can eliminate this choice.

D.  The clause "John Smith was the more qualified" probably sounds strange to you, but it is grammatically correct!  When you are comparing two items, people, etc., the correct word is "more."  When you are comparing three items, people, etc., the correct word is "most."  If you rearrange the sentence, the use of "more" might sound a little more natural.  "Almost all of the board members agreed that John Smith was the more qualified of the two job candidates they had interviewed."  This is not an error, so eliminate this choice.

E.  We did not find an error, so the answer must be E, no error.

The correct answer is E.

This is a hard 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.

Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 4.29.30 PM.jpg

Knowsys Method

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

A.  When you see a verb underlined, check to see whether it agrees with its subject and whether it is in the correct tense.  The verb "began" agrees with "competition," and it matches up with the past tense in the sentence.  This is not the error.

B.  There are many pronoun rules that are tested on the SAT, but only one applies to "I."  When you see "I" underlined in an SAT grammar question, check to see whether that pronoun should be in the objective case or subjective case.  If the pronoun follows a preposition (about, between, by, down, etc.), that pronoun should be objective (me, you, us, him/her, them).  If the pronoun follows a "being" verb like am, is, are was, etc., that pronoun should be subjective (I, you, we, he/she, they).  In this case, the pronoun follows the preposition "between," so it should be in objective case ("between my brother and me").  We have found an error, but let's review the rest of the choices to be sure.

C.  Check to make sure that this verb agrees with its subject and the tense of the sentence.  The verb "suggested" agrees with the noun "mother," and it matches up with the past tense of the sentence.  This is not an error.

D.  When you see a pronoun like who, whom, whoever, or whomever underlined, check to see whether the pronoun should be in objective case (whom, whomever) or subjective case (who, whoever).  Use objective case after a preposition, and use subjective case before a verb.  A good rule of thumb is to use "who" when you can substitute "he" and "whom" when you can substitute "him."  In this choice, we need to take that rule one step further because the pronoun applies to more than one person.  Split up the statement into two parts, like so:  "Give twenty dollars to him.  He collected the most seashells."  After you have done that, follow this rule: him + he = whoever; him + him = whomever.  In this case, whoever is correct.  This is not an error.

E.  We already found an error, so E is not correct.

The correct answer is B.

This is a medium level problem.

For more information about who/whom, click here.

For more information about whoever/whomever, click here.

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SAT Writing: Identifying Sentence Errors

Identifying Sentence Errors

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

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Knowsys Method

Read the sentence carefully, listening for errors. If you do not “hear” the error immediately, then quickly check each of the underlined portions against the Big 8 grammar concepts.

A. This choice contains a prepositional phrase, which is a type of modifier.  According to Knowsys rules, when you see a modifier you should ask yourself:  “is the modifier clear, effective, and logical?”  This modifier clearly refers to the “skyscraper,” and it makes logical sense.  Eliminate this choice.  

B. The concept tested in this choice is idioms.  When you see a prepositional idiom underlined ask yourself, “is the expression or word choice correct?”  It is idiomatically correct to say that something is located “across the street from” something else.  Eliminate this choice.  

C.   This choice contains an adverb.  Knowsys rules stipulate that you should know what adverbs look like and how they function.  Many adverbs end in “ly,” and they modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.  This adverb is used correctly because it modifies the adverbial prepositional phrase “beside [the public square].”  Eliminate this choice.  

D.  Whenever you see a verb underlined, ask yourself whether it agrees with the subject of the sentence.  The subject in this sentence is a simple compound subject (two or more words linked with “and”).  The two parts of the subject are “the modern skyscraper” and “the massive glass aquarium.”  Simple compound subjects take a plural verb, so the singular verb “was” is incorrect.  Mark this error.  

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

The correct answer is (D).
This is a hard level question.

 

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