SAT Writing : Identifying Other Verb Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Question #83 : Identifying Verb Errors

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

If you had booked a hotel like I asked, we wouldn’t have have to sleep at the airport. No error

Possible Answers:

have to sleep

No error

had booked

wouldn't have

asked,

Correct answer:

have to sleep

Explanation:

Here, the correct form of the present perfect is “wouldn’t have had to sleep,” not “wouldn’t have have to sleep.”

Example Question #1 : Identifying Other Verb Errors

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

I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a wide array of neglected animals before I began volunteering at the shelter. No error

Possible Answers:

I've ever seen

No error

I began volunteering

a wide array

I don't think

Correct answer:

I've ever seen

Explanation:

The form of the sentence requires that we use the past perfect (e.g. "I had done something") instead of the present perfect (e.g. "I have done something") since the speaker is discussing the time "before [he or she] began volunteering at the shelter." The correct form of the past perfect is “I’d,” a contraction of “I had," instead of "I've," a contraction of "I have."

Example Question #2 : Identifying Other Verb Errors

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

According to our boss, we are suppose to lock the register, clean the restrooms, and restock the shelves before we finish our shifts. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

suppose to

restrooms, and

before we finish our shifts.

According to our boss,

Correct answer:

suppose to

Explanation:

Here, we have a simple verb error. The correct form is always “supposed to,” never “suppose to.”

Example Question #3 : Identifying Other Verb Errors

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

If he hadn’t read the book on midwifery, he wouldn’t of known that birthing practices in modern hospitals are sometimes deleterious to women. No error

Possible Answers:

in modern hospitals

midwifery,

deleterious

No error

wouldn’t of known

Correct answer:

wouldn’t of known

Explanation:

We have another simple verb error here. Despite how it sounds in spoken dialogue, the correct form is always “wouldn’t have” and never “wouldn’t of.”

Example Question #4 : Identifying Other Verb Errors

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

I can’t hardly see the road; the frost, while beautiful and sparkly, has completely obscured my windshield. No error

Possible Answers:

while beautiful and sparkly,

I can't hardly see

obscured

road;

No error

Correct answer:

I can't hardly see

Explanation:

The phrase “can’t hardly” works as a double negative and is grammatically incorrect. If you can’t hardly see something, you can actually see it pretty well, which is clearly not the meaning that the speaker of this sentence intends. The correct form would be “I can hardly see the road.” Elsewhere in the sentence, the semicolon is the correct punctuation, since it’s separating two independent clauses.

Example Question #5 : Identifying Other Verb 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 triplets didn’t rest until they had drove the babysitter insane with their bickering, tantrums, and juvenile games. No error

Possible Answers:

juvenile

The triplets didn't rest

No error

they had drove

their bickering,

Correct answer:

they had drove

Explanation:

Here we have another error with the present perfect. The correct conjugation is “they had driven,” not “they had drove.”

Example Question #6 : Identifying Other Verb Errors

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

Before meeting my best friend, Ana, I had never eaten sushi, climbed a mountain, or went on a roller coaster. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

Ana,

never eaten sushi,

went

friend,

Correct answer:

went

Explanation:

In order to maintain a parallel structure, each verb in the list should be in the present perfect form. Therefore, the correct conjugation for the final verb is “gone,” as in “I had never gone,” not “went.”

Example Question #7 : Identifying Other Verb Errors

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

If you want my opinion, the team was doing well with its current coach and shouldn’t of hired the new, inexperienced manager. No error

Possible Answers:

shouldn't of hired

was doing well with its

new, inexperienced

No error

opinion,

Correct answer:

shouldn't of hired

Explanation:

We have a simple verb error here. Despite how it sounds in spoken dialogue, the correct form is always “shouldn’t have” and never “shouldn’t of.”

Example Question #8 : Identifying Other Verb Errors

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

Without Jeff’s encouragement, guidance, and support, I couldn’t have graduated with high honors. No error

Possible Answers:

encouragement,

No error

guidance,

I couldn't have

and

Correct answer:

No error

Explanation:

This sentence is correctly punctuated and contains no errors. “I couldn’t have” is the proper form of the past perfect. Each item in the list is correctly separated by a comma, and the dependent clause is correctly separated from the main clause by a comma.

Example Question #9 : Identifying Other Verb Errors

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

Ever since the fifth grade, when I beat all my classmates in the spelling bee, I been the best student in my English class. No error

Possible Answers:

in the spelling bee,

I been

No error

Ever since the fifth grade,

my English class

Correct answer:

I been

Explanation:

Here we have an error with the present perfect tense. The correct conjugation is “I have been,” not “I been.”

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