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Interested in technology?  On March 10, 1876, the first words were communicated by phone.  Check out this article to find out who said them and find more information about this famous inventor here.  The invention of the telephone would make an excellent historical example for an SAT essay.  Think about how telephones have changed over time and write down themes from the articles that will help you relate this historical event to an essay topic, as well as the details that will make you stand out as a prepared and informed writer.

Writing: Identifying Sentence Errors

The following sentence contains either a single error or no error at all. If the sentence contains an error, select the one underlined part that must be changed to make the sentence correct. If the sentence contains no error, select choice E. 

Read the entire sentence to get a sense of its structure and meaning before focusing in on the underlined portions.  Then valuate each underlined portion using the Big 8 Grammar Rules, being careful to look at all the answer choices before selecting one. 

The introduction of elevators in hotels meant that previously undesirable rooms on the top floors, away from the bustle and noise of the street, became sought after and more expensive than the lower floorsNo error

(A)  The word “of” is idiomatically correct after the word “introduction.”  If you want to use a preposition after the word “introduction,” the most commonly used words are “of” or “to.”  There is no error here.

(B)  The word “previously” is an adverb modifying “undesirable.”  It is placed as close as possible to the word it describes, so there is no error here.

(C)  The words “away from” are idiomatically correct and clearly indicate that the location of the rooms on the top floor.  They are far from or distant from the noisy streets.

(D)  There is nothing wrong with the phrase “the lower floors.”  However, it comes right after the word “than.”  The word “than” sets up a comparison, so you should check to make sure that the two things that are being compared are logical.  You cannot compare “rooms on the top floors” with “the lower floors,” because there may be aspects of the lower floors that are not confined within the rooms.  You must compare “rooms on the top floors” with “rooms on the lower floors.”  Mark this error.

(E)  This answer cannot be correct because you have already marked an error.

The correct answer is (D).


On sat.collegeboard.org, 34% of the responses were correct.

For more help with SAT writing, visit www.myknowsys.com!

Parallelism

Writing : Identifying Sentence Errors

The following sentence contains either a single error or no error at all. If the sentence contains an error, select the one underlined part that must be changed to make the sentence correct. If the sentence contains no error, select choice E. 

Read the entire sentence to yourself, listening for errors.  Then quickly check the underlined portions of the sentence against the Big 8 Grammar Rules.  Mark any error that you find.

From its modest beginnings as a series of brief vignettes to its establishment as the longest-running prime-time animated series on television, The Simpsons transformed the way both the audiences and television programmers view the animated sitcom. No error

(A) The word “as” can be used to introduce how something once was or how something once was thought to be.  That is the way this sentence uses “as,” so there is no error here.

(B) Start by checking that the correct “its” is used.  “Its” is possessive and matches the previous “its” that is not underlined, so it must be correct.  Notice that the sentence uses the idiomatic phrase “from x to y.”  Whenever you see this format, you should check to make sure that the words that replace the variables x and y are parallel.  “Its modest beginnings as…” matches the format of “its establishment as…,” so there is no error here.

(C) Whenever a verb is underlined, check to make sure that it matches the subject and that it is in the correct tense.  The show transformed (past tense) the way people view (present tense) the show.  The change in tense is okay here because the change had to take place in the past in order for you to see an effect of the change in the present.  There is no error here.

(D) When you see the word “both,” you should immediately look for the idiomatic format “both x and y.”  An “and” follows this “both,” but the x and y are not parallel.  Only one has an article: “the.”  “The audiences” does not match “television programmers” in format.  Eliminate the extra article, "the."

(E) This answer cannot be correct because you already marked an error.

The correct answer is (D).


On sat.collegeboard.org, 47% of the responses were correct.

For more help with SAT vocabulary, visit www.myknowsys.com!