SAT Writing : Correcting Ambiguity and Redundancy Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Correcting Ambiguity And Redundancy Errors

Having been seen as what is the thing to be judged against, the book was read by every student entering the field.

Possible Answers:

Having been seen as what is the thing to be judged against,

Being seen as the thing to judge against,

Having being seen as what is the thing to be judged against,

Being what is seen as being judged against,

Having seen as the thing to be judged against,

Correct answer:

Being seen as the thing to judge against,

Explanation:

The sentence as it is written is overly wordy and confusing, and desperately needs to be simplified. Key to simplification is keeping the meaning of the sentence and clarifying the word choice. The only answer choice that appropriately does both is "Being seen as the thing to judge against," making it the correct answer.

Example Question #11 : Correcting Ambiguity And Redundancy Errors

The young lieutenant, having seen heavy fighting at previous battles, knew that the task which was ahead of his troops was a difficult one.

Possible Answers:

The young lieutenant knew the task ahead of his soldiers was difficult because he had seen heavy fighting at previous battles.

The young lieutenant had seen heavy fighting at previous battles, knew that the task  ahead of his troops was difficult.

The young lieutenant knowing the task ahead of his soldiers was difficult because he had seen heavy fighting at previous battles.

The young lieutenant, having seen heavy fighting at previous battles, knew that the task which was ahead of his troops was a difficult one.

The young lieutenant having seen heavy fighting at previous battles, knew that the task which was ahead of his troops was a difficult one.

Correct answer:

The young lieutenant knew the task ahead of his soldiers was difficult because he had seen heavy fighting at previous battles.

Explanation:

The sentence as it is written is overwrought and complicated, and would be best served by being simplified. The only answer choice that simplifies the sentence, remains grammatically correct, and does not distort the meaning is "The young lieutenant knew the task ahead of his soldiers was difficult because he had seen heavy fighting at previous battles."

Example Question #491 : Improving Sentences

River currents become stronger as a river grows wider, danger becoming more likely.

Possible Answers:

becoming more dangerous.

danger being more likely.

likelihood of danger being more.

danger becoming more likely.

danger more likely.

Correct answer:

becoming more dangerous.

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence is a referential phrase that does not clearly fit into the sentence's meaning. The same meaning to the sentence can be given with a more cohesive word choice. "Becoming more dangerous" is the only answer choice that appropriately refers to the preceding part of the sentence and is grammatically correct.

Example Question #312 : Correcting Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

To have been that which once was held precious, the figurines were kept by the young woman through all of her moves.

Possible Answers:

To have been that which once was held precious,

Having once been holding precious,

To have been which was held precious,

Having been that which once was held precious,

Being once held precious,

Correct answer:

Being once held precious,

Explanation:

The underlined phrase is extremely awkward and confusingly worded, and must be simplified. While being simplified, the intended meaning must be kept, and the new form must remain grammatically correct. The only answer choice that appropriately does all of this is "Being once held precious."

Example Question #321 : Correcting Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

The school teacher was desperately seeking the student that was the one who had done the damage to the room.

Possible Answers:

that was the one who had done the damage to the room.

that had doing the damage to the room.

that was the one that had done the damage to the room.

that was done damage to the room.

that did the damage to the room.

Correct answer:

that did the damage to the room.

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence has too many words and becomes confusing. The underlined section needs to be simplified, but also has to be grammatically correct and keep the intended meaning of the sentence. "That did the damage to the room" is the choice that best does this among the answers.

Example Question #11 : Correcting Ambiguity And Redundancy Errors

Having been one of the ones that had received the medal, the athlete quickly became a national hero.

Possible Answers:

Having been the ones that had received the medal

Having been one to receive the medal

Having been one of the ones that had received the medal

Having received one of the ones of the medal.

Having received the medal

Correct answer:

Having received the medal

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence is extremely wordy, bordering on confusing. The phrase desperately needs to be simplified in order to make it clearer. The best answer choice that both simplifies and retains the intended meaning is "Having received the medal."

Example Question #11 : Correcting Ambiguity And Redundancy Errors

That topic being one of the ones which had been discussed, the entire group thought about it all weekend.

Possible Answers:

Being a topic that was one having been discussed

That topic being one of the ones which having been discussed

That topic being one of the ones which had been discussed

Being one topic that was discussed

That topic being one which had been discussed

Correct answer:

Being one topic that was discussed

Explanation:

The underlined phrase is extremely wordy and confusingly complex, and needs to be greatly simplified. While it should be simplified, it also needs to retain the sentence's intended meaning and be grammatically correct. The answer choice that best does both of these tasks is "Being one topic that was discussed."

Example Question #1171 : Psat Writing Skills

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.

Everyone was shocked to see that the crowd's favorite horse in the race was the least fast out of all of the horses.

Possible Answers:

were the slowest one.

was the slowest one.

was the slowest out of all of the horses.

was the least fast one.

was the slowest one of everyone.

Correct answer:

was the slowest one.

Explanation:

The best way to say something like "least fast" is to simply say "slowest." It is more concise and more direct, and so although "least fast" may be gramatically correct, it is not the most effective form. "Out of all of the horses" is also unnecessarily wordy and can be shortened to be more effective at getting the point across.

Example Question #11 : Correcting Ambiguity And Redundancy Errors

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 the one that had been the one that negotiated the treaty, the diplomat was highly familiar with the details of the agreement.

Possible Answers:

Having been one that had negotiated the treaty

Having negotiated the treaty

Having been the one that had been the one that negotiated the treaty

Having been the one that negotiated the treaty

Having had been the one that negotiated the treaty

Correct answer:

Having negotiated the treaty

Explanation:

The underlined portion is extremely awkward, confusing, and repetitive, so it needs to be simplified. Not only should the repetition be done away with, but the phrase that is repeated. "been the one that," is unnecessary. The answer choice that best simplifies the sentence is "Having negotiated the treaty."

Example Question #20 : Correcting Ambiguity And Redundancy Errors

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.

The day's events made many people question the things with which they had previously held quite dear.

Possible Answers:

 the things with which they had previously held quite dear.

the things they previously held quite dear.

 the things they having had previously held quite dear.

 the things with they previously held quite dear.

 the things which they had previously held quite dear.

Correct answer:

the things they previously held quite dear.

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence is extremely overwrought and fairly unclear. Specifically, "had" and "held" make two verbs in the dependent clause, and a sense of repetition permeates the phrase. The best simplification that also keeps the intended meaning of the sentence is "the things they previously held quite dear."

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