SAT Writing : Correcting Subordinate Conjunction Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Correcting Subordinate Conjunction 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.

Because the giant squid is an elusive creature rarely seen by humans, scientists are beginning to gain a better understanding of the creature by studying it using remote cameras. 

Possible Answers:

Considering

Since

As

Because

Although 

Correct answer:

Although 

Explanation:

The sentence is trying to explain that in spite of the giant squid's elusiveness, scientists are finding new ways of studying it. The sentence therefore is trying to contrast two ideas, as opposed to showing causation with the word "because." The only answer choice that uses a contrasting conjunction is "Although," so it is the correct answer.

Example Question #7 : Correcting Subordinating Conjunction 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.

Because my father was afraid of fish, so he would never take us to the aquarium.

Possible Answers:

Because my father was afraid of fish, he would never take us to the aquarium.

Because my father was afraid of fish, so he would never take us to the aquarium.

Although my father was afraid of fish, he would never take us to the aquarium.

Because my father was afraid of fish the aquarium he would never take us to.

He would never take us to the aquarium because my father was afraid of fish.

Correct answer:

Because my father was afraid of fish, he would never take us to the aquarium.

Explanation:

Subordination problems happen when there are two subordinate clauses and no main clause. The "because" and "so" in the original sentence clash with each other. We only need one. That way, the clause from which a subordinating conjunction is omitted becomes an independent clause, and we need at least one independent clause in the sentence for it to be complete.

Example Question #1 : Correcting Subordinating Conjunction 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.

Prisons are a relatively recent phenomenon in world history, because exorbitant costs.

Possible Answers:

because exorbitant cost.

because exorbitant costs.

exorbitant costs.

because they have exorbitant costs.

because exorbitant costs of prisons.

Correct answer:

because they have exorbitant costs.

Explanation:

The underlined phrase, a separate clause further explaining the first half of the sentence, does not work as a complet sentence. In order to appropriately fit after "because," the phrase needs to be turned into a complete thought. "Because they had exorbitant costs" is the best choice among the answers.

Example Question #1 : Correcting Subordinate Conjunction 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.

Larry blew up at Diane since she was so rude to him.

Possible Answers:

since

for

where

because

and

Correct answer:

because

Explanation:

When indicating causation, the proper subordinate conjunction to use is, "because." In this sentence, the best construction is "Larry blew up at Diane because she was so rude to him." "Since" is typically used to convey that something has occurred after some other event. 

Example Question #1 : Correcting Subordinate Conjunction 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.

If you fix the sink, you're going to continue having problems with water on the bathroom floor.

Possible Answers:

Unless you fix the sink, you're going to continue having problems with water on the bathroom floor.

After you fix the sink, you're going to continue to having problems with water on the bathroom floor.

Because you fix the sink, you're going to continue having problems with water on the bathroom floor.

Unless you fix the sink you're going to continue having problems with water on the bathroom floor.

If you fix the sink, you're going to continue having problems with water on the bathroom floor.

Correct answer:

Unless you fix the sink, you're going to continue having problems with water on the bathroom floor.

Explanation:

From the context of the sentence, it is clear that the person being addressed must fix their sink, or continue to deal with water leaking on their floor. "Unless" is an appropriate subordinating conjunction to use in such a case. It is clear in the example that the speaker is seeking to express a condition that must be met in order to stop the result the speaker predicts. Therefore, the best construction of the sentence above is "Unless you fix the sink, you're going to continue having problems with water on the bathroom floor."

Example Question #3 : Correcting Subordinate Conjunction 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.

He would work outside for lower pay and stay stuck in an office all day, even if the pay was significantly higher.

Possible Answers:

because

rather than

since

in order to

and

Correct answer:

rather than

Explanation:

It is clear from the context of the sentence that the person in question is choosing to work outside, in spite of the pay cut. "Rather than" is an appropriate subordinate conjunction to use for such a choice. The best possible construction of the potential answers for the sentence above is "He would work outside for lower pay rather than stay stuck in an office all day, even if the pay was significantly higher."

Example Question #2 : Correcting Subordinate Conjunction 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.

The principal's office requires that these pamplets should be distribute before the end of the financial year.

 

Possible Answers:

that these pamplets should distribute

that these pamplets be distribute

that these pamplets be distributed

for the pamplets to be distributing

that these pamplets distribution 

Correct answer:

that these pamplets be distributed

Explanation:

"The principal's office requires that these pamplets should be distribute before the end of the financial year." - This sentence contains one error. The verb tense of "distribute" is incorrect; it should be in the past tense to complete the past participle phrase. 

"The principal's office requires that these pamplets distribution before the end of the financial year." - This sentence contains a diction error. "These pamplets distribution" is improper diction.

"The principal's office requires for the pamplets to be distributing before the end of the financial year." - This sentence contains two error. "Requires" cannot be paired with "for." Also, "distributing" incorrectly uses the present perfect tense.

"The principal's office requires that these pamplets should distribute before the end of the financial year." - This sentence contains two errors. "Should distribute" is both a Verb Tense and a diction error.

"The principal's office requires that these pamplets be distributed before the end of the financial year." - This sentence has no errors. 

Example Question #11 : Correcting Subordinating Conjunction 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.

Some prescription drugs can produce dangerous interactions when combined with other chemicals, and you should always tell your physician about any medications you take at home.

Possible Answers:

and you should always tell your physician about any medications you take at home.

so you should always tell your physician about any medications you take at home.

but you should always tell your physician about any medications you take at home.

although you should always tell your physician about any medications you take at home.

and you should always be telling your physician about any medications you take at home.

Correct answer:

so you should always tell your physician about any medications you take at home.

Explanation:

This sentence contains an error in its logic of cause and effect. The first part of the sentence is the reason for the advice offered in the second part. So, you should change "and" to a word that demonstrates the cause-and-effect relationship. Do not add a contrast word like "but" or "although" unless the sentence includes some sort of contradiction or opposition.

Example Question #1 : Correcting Subordinate Conjunction 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.

The highway, which is notorious for its terrible potholes, was closed on Monday, and I had to take an alternate route to work.

Possible Answers:

The highway, which is notorious for its terrible potholes, was closed on Monday, and I had to take an alternate route to work.

The highway, which is notorious for its terrible potholes, was closed on Monday, so I had to take an alternate route to work.

The highway, which is notorious for its terrible potholes, was closed on Monday, or I had to take an alternate route to work.

The highway, which is notorious for its terrible potholes and was closed on Monday, I had to take an alternate route to work.

The highway, which is notorious for its terrible potholes, was closed on Monday, although I had to take an alternate route to work.

Correct answer:

The highway, which is notorious for its terrible potholes, was closed on Monday, so I had to take an alternate route to work.

Explanation:

Based on the information in this sentence, we can infer that there is a cause-and-effect relationship: as a result of the highway being closed, the speaker had to take a different route to work. “So” is the only conjunction here that indicates cause and effect.

Example Question #6 : Correcting Subordinate Conjunction 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.

Even though I was afraid of heights, so I didn't go on the roller coaster.

Possible Answers:

Even though I was afraid of heights, I didn't go on the roller coaster.

So I didn't go on the roller coaster, even though I was afraid of heights.

The roller coaster I didn't go on, I was afraid of heights.

I was afraid of heights, didn't go on the roller coaster.

I was afraid of heights, so I didn't go on the roller coaster.

Correct answer:

I was afraid of heights, so I didn't go on the roller coaster.

Explanation:

This choice eliminates the incorrect and unnececessary use of "Even though," which would suggest a contradiction rather than a cause or reason.

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