SAT Writing : Identifying Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Identifying Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

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

The small children on the plane found that there ears were in extreme pain due to its rapid descent from a high altitude. No error

Possible Answers:

in extreme

on

there

its

No error

Correct answer:

there

Explanation:

“There” is an adverb that means a specified place, while "their" is the possessive form of the pronoun "they." So, “their” should be used in this sentence in order to show possession, and "there" is the part of the sentence that contains the error.

Example Question #2 : Identifying Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

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

The grandmother was very proud for her daughter, who had just won a very competitive statewide cross-country race. No error

Possible Answers:

for

No error

statewide

was 

who

Correct answer:

for

Explanation:

Idiomatically, when the word "proud" is used, it may be accompanied by the preposition “of,” but not “for.” Therefore, the phrase “proud for” should actually be “proud of," and "for" is the part of the sentence that contains an error.

Example Question #3 : Identifying Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

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

If under a lot of stress, your much more likely to make mistakes that you otherwise would not make if operating under normal circumstances. No error

Possible Answers:

operating under

under

your

No error

otherwise

Correct answer:

your

Explanation:

“Your” is the possessive form of the pronoun "you," which doesn't make sense in the sentence. The word “you’re,” the contracted form of “you are," should be used instead.

Example Question #4 : Identifying Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

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

My cousin insists on eating hole wheat bread because it is supposed to contain more fiber than the white bread that the rest of our family eats. No error

Possible Answers:

than 

on 

hole

No error

it is 

Correct answer:

hole

Explanation:

The "whole" in "whole wheat" refers to the use of whole grains. "Hole" is a noun, and conveys a physical hole. In this context, the underlined word should be spelled "whole," not "hole."

Example Question #5 : Identifying Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

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

Like a mussel, patience can be strengthened with exercise, time, practice, and persistence. No error

Possible Answers:

and

mussel

can be

with

No error

Correct answer:

mussel

Explanation:

A "mussel" is a type of shellfish and is not appropriate for this sentence. The word that the sentence needs to use is "muscle."

Example Question #6 : Identifying Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

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

Even though the teacher told the student, "You have to remove you're shoes," the advice made no impact. No error

Possible Answers:

student,

No error

made

though 

you're 

Correct answer:

you're 

Explanation:

The underlined word, "you're" should be "your," as it is reflecting the student's possession of his or her shoes. "You're" is used when intending to communicate "you are," which would not be appropriate for this sentence.

Example Question #1 : Identifying Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

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

It doesn’t matter weather it is rainy or sunny tomorrow, because the volleyball team is sure to hold practice. No error

Possible Answers:

because

No error

or

sure to

weather

Correct answer:

weather

Explanation:

When describing two possibilities, the appropriate word is “whether,” not “weather,” which refers to the climate

Example Question #8 : Identifying Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

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

Bill, who was not looking forward to seeing his mean cousins, told his mother, “There going to make fun of me.”  No error

Possible Answers:

There

forward to

his

who 

No error

Correct answer:

There

Explanation:

"They’re" is a contraction that means “they are," whereas "there" refers to a specified location. “They’re” is the appropriate word to use in this sentence, not “there.”

Example Question #9 : Identifying Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

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

Mario yelled,You’re not the only one whose tired; it’s been a long day, and practice was truly exhausting.” No error

Possible Answers:

it's

you're

yelled,

whose

No error 

Correct answer:

whose

Explanation:

The contraction “who’s," which is a shortened form of "who is," should replace “whose,” which is a possessive pronoun and doesn't make sense in the sentence.

Example Question #10 : Identifying Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

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

Many people are not aware of the duel function of honey; it’s both a natural sweetener and an antiseptic for lesions and other wounds. No error

Possible Answers:

honey;

it's

Many people are

duel

No error

Correct answer:

duel

Explanation:

A "duel” is a fight that adheres to a specific set of rules, while “dual” means having the quality of two. So, "duel" is being incorrectly used in this sentence, and to correct the sentence's error, you would need to replace "duel" with "dual."

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