SAT Writing : Identifying Other Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Identifying Other Errors

The United States has been a country of immigrants since its foundation. This is still true today. The United States allows more people to immigrate to it then any other country. This stream of immigration have resulted in an extremely diverse population with many different cultures and languages. As most public schools in the United States provide a monolingual education, immigrant parents are often unsure of whether or not they should teach their children their heritage language.  

There are many myths surrounding the idea of bilingual education that prevent its widespread implementation in public schools. However, bilingual education has actually been shown to produce higher achievements in both languages. As well as enhance problem solving and critical thinking skills. Because some public school systems have successfully implemented bilingual education, there are still enormous difficulties in terms of resources and support from the U.S. Board of Education.

Which of the following sentences contains an error in subject-verb agreement?

Possible Answers:

This stream of immigration have resulted in an extremely diverse population with many different cultures and languages.

As the United States School system provides a monolingual education, immigrant parents are often unsure of whether or not to teach their children their heritage language. 

As most public schools in the United States provide a monolingual education, immigrant parents are often unsure of whether or not they should teach their children their heritage language.

There are many myths surrounding the idea of bilingual education that prevent its widespread implementation in public schools.

However, bilingual education has actually been shown to produce higher acheivements in both languages.

Correct answer:

This stream of immigration have resulted in an extremely diverse population with many different cultures and languages.

Explanation:

The sentence which contains an error is "This stream of immigration have resulted in an extremely diverse population with many different cultures and languages." The verb used should be "has" rather than "have" because the subject of the sentence is the singular "stream."

Example Question #1 : Identifying Other 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 flock of geese that we saw yesterday as we were driving home from the swim meet is flying south for the winter. No error.

Possible Answers:

were driving

is flying

for the winter

that

No error.

Correct answer:

is flying

Explanation:

"That" is the correct relative pronoun to describe a flock of geese. "Were driving" is the correct verb tense. The choice "for the winter" is also correctly phrased. The incorrect answer in this sentence is the verb phrase "is flying. While it agrees in number with the singular subject "a flock of geese," it does not agree with the sentence's timeline. The speaker describes the flock of geese "that we saw yesterday," so this observation takes place in the past. We can't know for sure whether or not the geese are still flying south for the winter when the speaker says his or her statement the day after the observation, so to make the sentence consistent, the verb phrase "is flying" would need to be changed to the past tense: "was flying."

Example Question #2 : Identifying Other Errors

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

We could never understand why Lee and Polly had never been to California, as so many of there friends lived in the Los Angeles area. No error

Possible Answers:

as

there

had never

No error

could never

Correct answer:

there

Explanation:

The error in this sentence reflects a common misuse of the word "there" (which means a specific place at a specified distance away) in place of "their" (the possessive form of the pronoun "they"). As the phrase "Lee and Polly" is the antecedent of "they" in this sentence, the correct word to use is "their" rather than "there."

Example Question #3 : Identifying Other Errors

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

I always wondered how you could be so comfortable in your bedroom, since your always piling your laundry up in there. No error.

Possible Answers:

in there

always

could be

your

No error

Correct answer:

your

Explanation:

The given form of the sentence misuses the possessive pronoun "your" in place of the contraction "you're" ("you are"). To correct the sentence, "your" must be changed to "you're."

Example Question #4 : Identifying Other Errors

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

Michael could never understand why the children were so tired in the afternoon, since they always had there nap every day at noon. No error

Possible Answers:

were

could

there

why

No error

Correct answer:

there

Explanation:

The sentence contains an incorrect use of the word "there." "Their" should be used as the possessive form of "they." 

Example Question #5 : Identifying Other Errors

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

Daisy asked if she could use your black pen, since your going to lunch in a few minutes. No error

Possible Answers:

asked

few

your

No error

could

Correct answer:

your

Explanation:

The given form of the sentences uses the possessive pronoun form, "your," instead of the correct contraction form, "you're."

Example Question #6 : Identifying Other Errors

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

As we drove slowly away from the rickety, gray, termite-ridden house, a swarm of tiny animals explode from the bush to our left, blocking the path. No error

Possible Answers:

rickety, gray,

No error

slowly away

to

explode

Correct answer:

explode

Explanation:

Although the fact that "blocking" is correct might throw some readers off, the narration says that they "drove" away in the past. "Explode" should therefore be in the past tense as well ("exploded").

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