PSAT Writing : Correcting Punctuation Errors: Commas

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #3881 : Sat Writing

Unlike his counterparts in the army the sailor was used to being on the open seas.

Possible Answers:

Unlike his counterparts, in the army the sailor

Unlike, his counterparts in the army the sailor

Unlike his counterparts in the army, the sailor

Unlike his counterparts in the army the sailor

Unlike, his counterparts in the army, the sailor

Correct answer:

Unlike his counterparts in the army, the sailor

Explanation:

The phrase "Unlike his counterparts in the army" is an introductory phrase that conditions the action of the sentence. All such phrases must be set apart from the rest of the sentence by a comma. "Unlike his counterparts in the army, the sailor" is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #82 : Correcting Punctuation Errors: Commas

For eight straight weeks the area saw heavy rains that contributed to the massive flooding.

Possible Answers:

For eight straight weeks the area saw heavy rains that contributed to the massive flooding.

For eight straight weeks, the area saw heavy rains that contributed to the massive flooding.

For eight straight weeks the area saw heavy rains that contributed in the massive flooding.

For eight straight weeks the area saw heavy rain that contributed to the massive flooding.

For eight straight weeks the area sees heavy rains that contributed to the massive flooding.

Correct answer:

For eight straight weeks, the area saw heavy rains that contributed to the massive flooding.

Explanation:

The phrase "For eight straight weeks" is an introductory phrase, or one that conditions the meaning of the sentence but is not a crucial element of its structure. All such phrases need to be set off from the rest of the sentence by a comma. The only answer choice that appropriately does this is "For eight straight weeks, the area saw heavy rains that contributed to the massive flooding."

Example Question #61 : Correcting Punctuation Errors: Commas For Introductory Or Interrupting Phrases

For the absolute diehard fans the loss was a crushing blow to their spirit.

Possible Answers:

For the absolute diehard fans, the loss was a crushing blow to their spirit.

For the absolute diehard fans the loss was a crushing blow on their spirit.

For the absolute diehard fans the loss was a crushing blow to their spirit.

For the absolute diehard fans the loss, was a crushing blow to their spirit.

For the absolute diehard fans the loss was a crushing blow, to their spirit.

Correct answer:

For the absolute diehard fans, the loss was a crushing blow to their spirit.

Explanation:

The phrase "For the absolute diehard fans" is an introductory phrase, a phrase that conditions the action of the sentence, but is not a necessary part of its structure. All introductory phrases must be set apart from the rest of the sentence by a comma. The only answer choice that does this is "For the absolute diehard fans, the loss was a crushing blow to their spirit."

Example Question #61 : Correcting Punctuation Errors: Commas For Introductory Or Interrupting Phrases

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.

For the rest of his career he regretted never completing that specific sale.

Possible Answers:

For the rest of his career, he regretted never completing that specific sale.

For the rest of his career he regretted never completing that specific sale.

For the rest of his career he regretted never completion of that specific sale.

For the rest of his career he regretted never completing that specific sale.

For the rest, of his career, he regretted never completing that specific sale.

Correct answer:

For the rest of his career, he regretted never completing that specific sale.

Explanation:

The phrase "For the rest of his career" is an introductory phrase, a phrase that conditions the meaning of the rest of the sentence but is not crucial to the sentence's structure. All introductory phrases must be set apart from the rest of the sentence by a comma. Therefore, the correct answer choice is "For the rest of his career, he regretted never completing that specific sale."

Example Question #3891 : Sat Writing

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.

More than any other sport soccer requires immense amounts of stamina from its players.

Possible Answers:

More than any other sport soccer requires immense amounts of stamina from the players.

More than any other sport soccer requires immense amounts of stamina from its players.

More than any other sport, soccer requires immense amounts of stamina from its players.

More than any other sport soccer requires immense amounts of stamina, from its players.

More than any other sport soccer requiring immense amounts of stamina from its players.

Correct answer:

More than any other sport, soccer requires immense amounts of stamina from its players.

Explanation:

The phrase "More than any other sport" is an introductory phrase, a phrase that conditions the meaning of the sentence, but is separate from the structure of the sentence. All introductory phrases must be set off from the rest of the sentence by a comma, making the correct answer "More than any other sport, soccer requires immense amounts of stamina from its players."

Example Question #3892 : Sat Writing

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.

Unlike his predecessor the new CEO created a climate of openness and camaraderie.

Possible Answers:

Unlike his predecessor the new CEO created a climate of openness, and camaraderie.

Unlike his predecessor, the new CEO, created a climate of openness and camaraderie.

Unlike his predecessor the new CEO, created a climate of openness and camaraderie.

Unlike his predecessor the new CEO created a climate of openness and camaraderie.

Unlike his predecessor, the new CEO created a climate of openness and camaraderie.

Correct answer:

Unlike his predecessor, the new CEO created a climate of openness and camaraderie.

Explanation:

The phrase "unlike his predecessor" is an introductory phrase, one that conditions the meaning of the sentence, but remains apart from the sentence's structure. All introductory phrases must be set off from the rest of the sentence by a comma. The only answer choice that appropriately does this is "Unlike his predecessor, the new CEO created a climate of openness and camaraderie."

Example Question #81 : Correcting Punctuation Errors: Commas

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.

To placate his father the teenager signed up to take Latin courses in college.

Possible Answers:

To placate his father, the teenager signed up to take Latin courses in college.

To placate his father the teenager signed up, to take Latin courses in college.

To placate his father the teenager signed up to take Latin courses, in college. 

To placate his father, the teenager, signed up to take Latin courses in college.

To placate his father the teenager signed up to take Latin courses in college.

Correct answer:

To placate his father, the teenager signed up to take Latin courses in college.

Explanation:

The phrase "To placate his father" is an introductory phrase, one that conditions and explains the main action of the sentence. All introductory phrases need to be set apart from the rest of the sentence by a comma. The only answer choice that does this is "To placate his father, the teenager signed up to take Latin courses in college."

Example Question #61 : Correcting Punctuation Errors: Commas For Introductory Or Interrupting Phrases

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.

Having been running around the same area the boy was thoroughly familiar with all the landmarks.

Possible Answers:

Having been running around that same area the boy

Having been running around the same area the boy

Having been running around the same area as the boy

Having run around the same area the boy

Having been running around the same area, the boy

Correct answer:

Having been running around the same area, the boy

Explanation:

The phrase "Having been running around the same area" is an introductory phrase, one that conditions the action of the sentence. All introductory phrases need to be set off from the rest of the sentence by a comma. The only answer choice that does this is "Having been running around the same area, the boy."

Example Question #3893 : Sat Writing

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.

To be better prepared the debate club was required to follow all current events and political news.

Possible Answers:

To being better prepared the debate club

To be better prepared the debate club

To be better prepared as the debate club

To be, better prepared, the debate club

To be better prepared, the debate club

Correct answer:

To be better prepared, the debate club

Explanation:

The phrase "To be better prepared" is an introductory phrase, one that conditions the main action of the sentence, but remains apart from the sentence's main structure. Any introductory phrase needs to be set apart from the rest of the sentence by a comma. Therefore, the correct answer choice is "To be better prepared, the debate club."

Example Question #3894 : Sat Writing

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.

Seen from the outside the board's selection process appeared to be a massive case of nepotism and favoritism.

Possible Answers:

Seen from the outside the board's selection process appeared to be a massive case of nepotism and favoritism.

Seen from the outside the board's selection process appeared to be a massive case, of nepotism and favoritism.

Seen from the outside the board's selection process appeared to be, a massive case, of nepotism and favoritism.

Seen from the outside the board's selection process appeared, to be a massive case of nepotism and favoritism.

Seen from the outside, the board's selection process appeared to be a massive case of nepotism and favoritism.

Correct answer:

Seen from the outside, the board's selection process appeared to be a massive case of nepotism and favoritism.

Explanation:

The phrase "Seen from the outside" is an introductory phrase, one that conditions the main part of the sentence but is not a crucial element of its structure. All introductory phrases must be set off from the rest of the sentence by a comma. As this is the only place a comma should be inserted, the correct answer is "Seen from the outside, the board's selection process appeared to be a massive case of nepotism and favoritism."

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