SAT Writing : Identifying Apostrophe Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store varsity tutors amazon store varsity tutors ibooks store

Example Questions

← Previous 1 3 4 5

Example Question #1 : Identifying Apostrophe Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The boy's teacher had forgotten to correct their homework; she had spent the entire night planning the new geography lesson. No error

Possible Answers:

planning

The boy's

homework; she

No error

had forgotten

Correct answer:

The boy's

Explanation:

Be watchful of possessive plural nouns: here, the correct apostrophe will be at the end of the word: "boys'" is correct because the subject is plural.

Example Question #2 : Identifying Apostrophe Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

Alyssa collected hundreds of childrens' hats, scarves, gloves, and coats for the local shelter's winter clothing drive. No error

Possible Answers:

gloves and,

shelter's

No error

childrens'

hundreds of

Correct answer:

childrens'

Explanation:

The correct possessive form for "children" is "children's," not "childrens." "Children" is a noun that changes form in plural, from "child" to "children" instead of "childs." In irregular plural nouns that do not end in "s," you need to add an apostrophe followed by an "s" to form the possessive form of the word. For plural nouns ending in "s" such as "girls," you need to add the apostrophe at the end, but not an "s." For example, the possessive of "girls" is "girls'."

Example Question #3 : Identifying Apostrophe Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all. 

More often than not, we could expect to find Larry with the Davis's family in their new swimming pool. No error.  

Possible Answers:

the Davis's 

More often than not

could expect

their

No error

Correct answer:

the Davis's 

Explanation:

The above sentence's error is "the Davis's," as "Davis" is not a possessive noun in this case and therefore does not need an apostrophe.

Example Question #4 : Identifying Apostrophe Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all. 

The girl's swim coach was always at least 30 minutes early for practice; they could always count on her to be ready as soon as they walked in. No error.  

Possible Answers:

girl's

No error

as soon as 

practice; they

at least 

Correct answer:

girl's

Explanation:

The sentence indicates that there is more than one girl on the team by using the word "they;" therefore, "the girl's" needs to be changed to "the girls'" in order to reflect the correct possessive plural form.  

Example Question #5 : Identifying Apostrophe Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all. 

The teachers made it a point every day to address the childrens' behavior appropriately; they gave rewards to the students who followed expectations and demerits to those who did not. No error

Possible Answers:

No error 

childrens' 

who followed expectations

they

those who 

Correct answer:

childrens' 

Explanation:

The correct possessive form for "children" is always "children's" and never "childrens'."

Example Question #6 : Identifying Apostrophe Errors

Select the underlined word or words that need to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences may not contain an error.

Scientists have been tracking the Canadian geeses’ migratory patterns for the better part of thirty years, and they have begun to notice some unusual habits. No error.

Possible Answers:

No error.

have begun

the better

geeses'

have been tracking

Correct answer:

geeses'

Explanation:

The plural of goose is “geese,” not “geeses,” so the correct possessive form would be “geese’s.” "The better part of" is a commonly used phrase, and "have been tracking" and "have begun" are both the correct forms of the present perfect.

Example Question #7 : Identifying Apostrophe Errors

Select the underlined word or words that need to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences may not contain an error.

Everyone at the hospital was complaining bitterly about the new overtime policy; the nurse’s station in particular was a hotbed of dissent. No error.

Possible Answers:

nurse's station

about

policy;

No error.

dissent.

Correct answer:

nurse's station

Explanation:

Because multiple nurses work at the hospital, we need a plural possessive: “nurses’ station” is the correct form. Elsewhere in the sentence, “about” is the correct preposition to use with “complaining,” “dissent” is a word that means strong disagreement, and the semicolon is used correctly to separate two independent clauses.

Example Question #8 : Identifying Apostrophe Errors

Select the underlined word or words that need to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences may not contain an error.

The fervency of the congregation’s prayers was felt by everyone at the service as Our Father’s rang out left and right. No error.

Possible Answers:

congregation's

fervency

Our Father's

No error.

as

Correct answer:

Our Father's

Explanation:

The correct plural of “Our Father” is “Our Fathers.” No apostrophe is used to form the plural. Because there’s only one congregation at the service, “congregation’s” is the correct possessive.

Example Question #9 : Identifying Apostrophe Errors

Select the underlined word or words that need to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences may not contain an error.

Journalists and animal enthusiasts alike flocked to the wolf's enclosure to gawk at the pack’s newest litter. No error.

Possible Answers:

No error.

gawk at

wolf's

alike

pack's

Correct answer:

wolf's

Explanation:

Because there’s an entire pack of wolves (and some new pups!), the singular possessive “wolf’s enclosure” should actually be “wolves’ enclosure.” “Pack’s” has the correct apostrophe form.

Example Question #10 : Identifying Apostrophe Errors

Select the underlined word or words that need to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences may not contain an error.

With Phil being so new and inexperienced at the bakery job, the supervisor was constantly forced to check on things like the pastries’ consistency and the loafs’ quality. No error.

Possible Answers:

being

to check on things like

pastries'

loafs'

No error.

Correct answer:

loafs'

Explanation:

The correct plural of loaf is loaves, not loafs, so the possessive should be loaves’, not loafs’.

← Previous 1 3 4 5
Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors

Incompatible Browser

Please upgrade or download one of the following browsers to use Instant Tutoring: