SAT Writing : Correcting Apostrophe Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #91 : Correcting Apostrophe 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Bill went on a long South American vacation; hes' still not the least bit tanned.

Possible Answers:

and he's still not the least bit tanned.

hes still not the least bit tanned.

he still not the least bit tanned.

he's still not the least bit tanned.

hes' still not the least bit tanned.

Correct answer:

he's still not the least bit tanned.

Explanation:

In this sentence, clearly the intention of the underlined clause is to communicate that Bill "is still not the least bit tanned." So, the correct contraction here will be "he's." The apostrophe replaces the space and the "i" in the phrase "he is still..."

Note also, that a coordinating conjunction, like "and," should never follow a semicolon.

Example Question #92 : Correcting Apostrophe 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

The investors stock depreciated rapidly.

Possible Answers:

The investors' stock depreciated rapidly.

The investors stock depreciated rapidly.

The investors stock's depreciated rapidly.

The investor is stock depreciated rapidly.

The investors's stock depreciated rapidly.

Correct answer:

The investors' stock depreciated rapidly.

Explanation:

The example sentence is clearly intending to communicate that the stock owned by "the investors" (plural) lost value. Since the stock is being possessed by the plural noun subject of the sentence, an apostrophe is required after the "s" in "investors." The correct plural possessive form of the word is "investors'," not "investors's." Note also that it is the stock that is being possessed, not possessing anything (grammatically speaking) in this sentence.

Example Question #93 : Correcting Apostrophe 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

The mens coats were soaked from the torrential downpour.

Possible Answers:

The mens' coats were soaked from the torrential downpour.

The mens coats were soaked from the torrential downpour.

The mens coats' were soaked from the torrential downpour.

The men's coat's were soaked from the torrential downpour.

The men's coats were soaked from the torrential downpour.

Correct answer:

The men's coats were soaked from the torrential downpour.

Explanation:

Use an apostrophe to indicate possession, if the noun ends in "s" then the apostrophe should follow the "s."  If the noun does not end in "s" then add an "s" after the apostrophe. Since the coats belong to the men, a possessive formulation is required. The best way to correct the underlined portion above is, "The men's coats were soaked from the torrential downpour."

 

Example Question #94 : Correcting Apostrophe 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Franklins' hat was sopping wet with rain; it was not doing a very good job of protecting him from the elements.

Possible Answers:

Franklins' hat was sopping wet with rain; it was not doing a very good job of protecting him from the elements.

Franklins' hat was sopping wet with rain, it was not doing a very good job of protecting him from the elements.

Franklins hat was sopping wet with rain, it was not doing a very good job of protecting him from the elements.

Franklins hat was sopping wet with rain; it was not doing a very good job of protecting him from the elements.

Franklin's hat was sopping wet with rain; it was not doing a very good job of protecting him from the elements.

Correct answer:

Franklin's hat was sopping wet with rain; it was not doing a very good job of protecting him from the elements.

Explanation:

Use an apostrophe to indicate possession, if the noun ends in "s" then the apostrophe should follow the "s."  If the noun does not end in "s" then add an "s" after the apostrophe. There is only one "Franklin" and he owns "a hat", so the best way to correct the underlined portion is, "Franklin's hat was sopping wet with rain; it was not doing a very good job of protecting him from the elements."

Example Question #95 : Correcting Apostrophe 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

The geeses leader was battered by the storm, and unable to fly effectively.

Possible Answers:

The geese's leader was battered by the storm, and unable to fly effectively.

The geeses' leader was battered by the storm, and unable to fly effectively.

The geeses leader was battered by the storm, and unable to fly effectively.

The geeses' leader was battered by the storm and unable to fly effectively.

The geeses leader was battered by the storm and unable to fly effectively.

Correct answer:

The geese's leader was battered by the storm, and unable to fly effectively.

Explanation:

Use an apostrophe to indicate possession, if the noun ends in "s" then the apostrophe should follow the "s."  If the noun does not end in "s" then add an "s" after the apostrophe. Note that while "geese" is the plural formation of "goose" it does not end in "s." The best way to correct the sentence above is, "The geese's leader was battered by the storm, and unable to fly effectively."

Example Question #94 : Apostrophe 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 most horrifying element of the procedure has proved to be it's lengthy recovery time.

Possible Answers:

it's lengthy recovery times.

its lengthy recovery time.

that's lengthy recovery time.

it's lengthy recovery time.

in lengthy recovery time.

Correct answer:

its lengthy recovery time.

Explanation:

The use of "it's" in the underlined sentence is incorrect. "It's" represents only "it is," while the use in the sentence is the possessive, which can only be "its;" therefore, the correct answer is "its lengthy recovery time."

Example Question #31 : New Sat Writing And Language

The Moluccas is a chain, or archetype, of islands belonging to Indonesia. Historically, these islands were known as the Spice Islands for their abundance of nutmeg, cloves, mace, and pepper, this profundity of spices eventually drew colonial attention. Spices such as cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, anise, and pepper were particularly popular during the medieval times. In the 1600s, the Spice Wars arose as a result of competing Portuguese and Dutch interest’s in the Spice Islands. The bloody conflict ended in the deaths of many native Moluccans as well as European traders, wherefore both Portugal and the Netherlands gained and lost territories ranging from Africa and South America. For this day, strife occasionally breaks out on the islands although it is now motivated by religious and not colonial disagreements. It is located just west of New Guinea in the Pacific Ocean, and its more than 1,000 islands are home to more than 2 million people today.

Which of the following sentences needs an apostrophe added to or deleted from it?

Possible Answers:

In the 1600s, the Spice Wars arose as a result of competing Portuguese and Dutch interest’s in the Spice Islands.

The bloody conflict ended in the deaths of many native Moluccans as well as European traders, wherefore both Portugal and the Netherlands gained and lost territories ranging from Africa and South America.

Historically, these islands were known as the Spice Islands for their abundance of nutmeg, cloves, mace, and pepper, this profundity of spices eventually drew colonial attention.

The Moluccas is a chain, or archetype, of islands belonging to Indonesia.

Spices such as cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, anise, and pepper were particularly popular during the medieval times.

Correct answer:

In the 1600s, the Spice Wars arose as a result of competing Portuguese and Dutch interest’s in the Spice Islands.

Explanation:

In the fourth sentence, "In the 1600s, the Spice Wars arose as a result of competing Portuguese and Dutch interest’s in the Spice Islands," the “interests” aren’t possessing anything, so there is no need for an apostrophe. Plurals never require an apostrophe, any noun that is said to possess something else will require an apostrophe.

None of the other sentences need possession to be denoted, and thus cannot take the addition of an apostrophe.

Example Question #91 : Correcting Apostrophe Errors

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

Amys' favorite TV show is on Tuesday night but she doesn't have time to watch it until Wednesday. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

Amys'

Tuesday night

Wednesday.

doesn't

Correct answer:

Amys'

Explanation:

"Amy" is a singular subject who possesses the favorite show, so the apostrophe should be before the "s," as in "Amy's." It would only make sense to have the apostrophe after the "s" if there were multiple Amys and they all had the same favorite show, which is not the case in this sentence.

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