SAT Writing : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, and Sentence Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices repeats the underlined portion as it is written.

However many people attend a music festival, promoters will always want to attend more people.

Possible Answers:

want attend more people

want to attend more people

want more people to attend

people want to attend more

want to attend people more

Correct answer:

want more people to attend

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence is awkwardly and confusingly worded, especially as concerns verb transitivity. The way the sentence is written makes it seem as if the promoters want to attend more people instead of them wanting more people to attend any given music festival. To make the sentence clear and sensible, the words can be rearranged to make it more understandable. "Want more people to attend" is the best choice among the answers.

Example Question #2 : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

That card game is Brad's favorite, but none of his friends like the game either.

Possible Answers:

his friends don't like it.

his friends do not like it either.

none of his friends like the game either.

none of his friends like the game too.

he doesn't have any friends who like it.

Correct answer:

his friends don't like it.

Explanation:

The correct answer choice is concise, fluid and unambiguous. 

Example Question #3 : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Until showing a video of his guitar playing, only Eric's closest friends knew he had such a strong passion for music.

Possible Answers:

Being that he showed a video of his guitar playing

Having shown a video of his guitar playing

Until showing a video about his guitar playing

Until he showed a video of his guitar playing

Until showing a video of his guitar playing

Correct answer:

Until he showed a video of his guitar playing

Explanation:

In the question sentence, the word, showing, is out of order, and is not in the correct tense.

Example Question #4 : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Thoughts and feelings about faith during the holidays change over time as one grows older and sometimes wiser.

Possible Answers:

Thoughts on faith sometimes change as we grow different and find ourselves changed. 

Our thoughts and feelings on faith sometimes change as we grow older and wiser and find ourselves changed. 

During the holidays, our thoughts and feelings on faith sometimes change as we grow older and wiser and find ourselves changed. 

As we grow older, our thoughts and feelings on faith sometimes change during the holidays.

Faith during the holidays change over time as one grows older and rarely wiser. 

Correct answer:

As we grow older, our thoughts and feelings on faith sometimes change during the holidays.

Explanation:

The option to rewrite this sentence should clarify, but not change, its meaning. The correct answer: "As we grow older, our thoughts and feelings on faith sometimes change during the holidays," allows the ideas to flow more smoothly without altering the content: each fact is still relayed (the time of year; things that are changing, etc.), but the tone is much clearer. 

Example Question #5 : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Many people have trouble understanding the complexing elements of policy decisions made by elected officials.

Possible Answers:

the more complex elements

the complexly elements

the complexing elements

a complex elements

a complexing elements

Correct answer:

the more complex elements

Explanation:

The main issue with the underlined portion of the sentence is that "complexing" is not actually a word. The correct answer will appropriately change the word into the best form of "complex" to fit the sentence. To describe the elements best involves making the word into the phrase "more complex."

Example Question #1 : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Coffee can be expensive, however, I need it to stay awake.

Possible Answers:

Coffee can be expensive, but also needing it to stay awake.

Coffee can be expensive; however, I need it to stay awake.

Coffee can be expensive; to stay awake.

Being expensive, I need coffee to stay awake.

Coffee can be expensive, however, the reason I need it is to stay awake.

Correct answer:

Coffee can be expensive; however, I need it to stay awake.

Explanation:

This sentence demonstrates a comma splice, in which a comma connects two complete sentences. Comma splices are incorrect, as the independent clauses should either remain separate and be treated as complete sentences or be linked by a semicolon or a conjunction. "Coffee can be expensive, but also needing it to stay awake" lacks a subject in the second clause. "Coffee can be expensive; to stay awake" illustrates an incorrect use of a semicolon, as the second clause is not a complete sentence. "Coffee can be expensive, however, the reason I need it is to stay awake" repeats the comma splice of the original sentence. "Being expensive, I need coffee to stay awake" is an example of a dangling modifier, where "being expensive" incorrectly modifies "I" instead of "coffee." Therefore, the correct answer must be "Coffee can be expensive; however, I need it to stay awake," which displays the correct use of a semicolon to connect two complete sentences.

Example Question #2 : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Historians of the colonial Caribbean, who focus on the issue of slavery, being a major theme in the region.

Possible Answers:

Historians of the colonial Caribbean often focus on the issue of slavery, as its legacy continues to be a major theme in the region.

The legacy of slavery, being focused on by historians of the colonial Caribbean, because it is a major theme in the region.

Historians of the colonial Caribbean, who focus on the issue of slavery, the legacy of which continues to be a major theme in the region.

Historians of the colonial Caribbean, who focus on the issue of slavery, which continues to be a major theme in the region.

Focusing on the issue of slavery, which continues to be a major theme in the region, historians of the colonial Caribbean.

Correct answer:

Historians of the colonial Caribbean often focus on the issue of slavery, as its legacy continues to be a major theme in the region.

Explanation:

A complete sentence must include a subject and a main verb. Because the original sentence contains two modifying clauses but no main verb, it is actually a sentence fragment. The incorrect answers all contain modifying clauses but lack a main subject-verb relationship. The correct answer therefore must be, "Historians of the colonial Caribbean often focus on the issue of slavery, as its legacy continues to be a major theme in the region." This sentence contains the subject "Historians" and the main verb "focus," and it is therefore a grammatically complete sentence.

Example Question #3 : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

During his vacation, Jim spent his time fishing, hiking, and went to the beach.

Possible Answers:

fishing, hiking, and going to the beach. 

fishing, hiking, and went to the beach. 

fishing, hiked, and go to the beach.

fishing, hiking, and is at the beach.

fishing, hiking, and to go to the beach.

Correct answer:

fishing, hiking, and going to the beach. 

Explanation:

In this sentence, the verbs "to fish," "to hike," and "to go" must use parallel structures (the verbs must be in the same tense). The option "fishing, hiking, and going to the beach" is the only one in which all three verbs are in parallel structures, making it the correct choice.

Example Question #4 : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Having already completed the necessary training, the instructor felt ready to begin her first class.

Possible Answers:

Having already completed the necessary training

Already completed the necessary training,

Having already completed the necessary training,

Being done with the completed necessary training,

Despite that the necessary trying has been completed,

Correct answer:

Having already completed the necessary training,

Explanation:

Because the underlined portion of the sentence is an introductory phrase it must be followed by a comma. The incorrect answer choices omit the comma, change the meaning of the sentence, don't agree with the sentence, or are excessively wordy. Thus, because the given sentence separates the introductory phrase with a comma and is grammatically correct, no change is necessary.

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