SAT Writing : Correcting Apostrophe Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #31 : 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.

Say what you want about legends, but I have a hard time believing any lion let a mouse get that close to it's paw.

Possible Answers:

but I have a hard time believing the lion let a mouse get that close to it's paw.

and I have a hard time believing any lion let a mouse get that close to it's paw.

but I have a hard time believing any lion let a mouse get that close to its paw.

but I have a hard time believing any lion let a mouse get that close to it's paw.

but I have a hardly time believing any lion let a mouse get that close to it's paw.

Correct answer:

but I have a hard time believing any lion let a mouse get that close to its paw.

Explanation:

“It’s” is a contraction meaning it is. “Its” indicates possession when using the third person pronoun it. The best way to correct the underlined portion of the sentence above is: "but I have a hard time believing any lion let a mouse get that close to its paw."

Example Question #32 : 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 wounded lion needed some creature to help remove the thorn from it's paw.

Possible Answers:

from it's paw.

with it's paw.

from its' paw.

for it's paw.

from its paw.

Correct answer:

from its paw.

Explanation:

“It’s” is a contraction meaning it is. “Its” indicates possession when using the third person pronoun it. The best way to correct the underlined portion of the sentence above is: "from its paw."

Example Question #33 : 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.

Theres a lot that won't happen for you if you refuse to take charge over your own life.

Possible Answers:

Theres a lot that won't happens for you

Theres a lot that won't happen for you

Theres a lot that won't happen for one

There's a lot that won't happen for you

Theres a lot that wont happen for you

Correct answer:

There's a lot that won't happen for you

Explanation:

The word "theres" is not correct, and is something entirely different from the word "there's," which is a contraction of the words "there" and "is." The latter is clearly what should be in the sentence above, and as such, the best way to correct the underlined portion is: "There's a lot that won't happen for you."

Example Question #34 : 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.

Its extremely difficult to own and operate a restaurant; there are a number of massive logistical problems to contend with on a daily basis.

Possible Answers:

Its extremely difficult to own and operate a restaurants

Its extremely difficult to own and operate a restaurant

It's extremely difficult to own and operate a restaurant

It's extreme difficult to own and operate a restaurant

Its extremely difficult to own and operates a restaurant

Correct answer:

It's extremely difficult to own and operate a restaurant

Explanation:

“It’s” is a contraction meaning it is. “Its” indicates possession when using the third person pronoun it. The best way to correct the underlined portion of the sentence above is: "It's extremely difficult to own and operate a restaurant."

Example Question #35 : 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 guys cars had all broken down at the same time: they were all out of luck.

Possible Answers:

The guys' cars had all broken down

The guys cars had all been broken down

The guys car had all broken down

The guy's cars had all broken down

The guys' cars had all broke down

Correct answer:

The guys' cars had all broken down

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. The word in the sentence above is clearly meant to be "guys," due to the pronoun in the second half of the sentence. The best way to correct the underlined portion above is: "The guys' cars had all broken down."

Example Question #36 : 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.

Its incredibly difficult to find adequate help these days: workers are largely shiftless and lazy.

Possible Answers:

It's incredibly difficult to find adequate help these days,

Its incredibly difficult to find adequate help these days:

It's incredibly difficult to find adequate help these days:

Its incredibly, difficult to find adequate help these days:

Its incredibly difficult to find adequate help these days,

Correct answer:

It's incredibly difficult to find adequate help these days:

Explanation:

“It’s” is a contraction meaning it is. “Its” indicates possession when using the third person pronoun it. The best way to correct the underlined portion of the sentence above is: "It's incredibly difficult to find adequate help these days:"

Example Question #37 : 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 King wont bow before the Emperor, and it very well may be his undoing.

Possible Answers:

The King wont bow before the Emperor;

The King won't bow before the Emperor,

The king won't bow before the emperor,

The King wont bow before the Emperor:

The King wont bow before the Emperor,

Correct answer:

The King won't bow before the Emperor,

Explanation:

The word "wont" means something entirely different from the word "won't," which is a contraction of the words "will" and "not." The latter is clearly what should be in the sentence above, and as such, the best way to correct the underlined portion is: "The King won't bow before the Emperor,"

Example Question #38 : 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.

It's brain irrevocably damaged by the blow, the crocodile had to give up the fight against the shark.

Possible Answers:

It's brain irrevocably damaged by the blow:

Its brain irrevocably damaged by the blow:

It's brain irrevocably damaged by the blow,

It's brain irrevocably damaged by the blow;

Its brain irrevocably damaged by the blow,

Correct answer:

Its brain irrevocably damaged by the blow,

Explanation:

“It’s” is a contraction meaning it is. “Its” indicates possession when using the third person pronoun it. The best way to correct the underlined portion of the sentence above is: "Its brain irrevocably damaged by the blow,"

Example Question #39 : 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 thieves cant possibly make payment to their pugnacious overlord in time: they are in big trouble. 

Possible Answers:

The thieves cant possible make payment to their pugnacious overlord in time

The thieves can't possibly make payment to their pugnacious overlord in time

The thieves cant possibly make payment to their pugnaciously overlord in time

The thieves can't possibly make payment, to their pugnacious overlord in time

The thieves cant possibly make payment to their pugnacious overlord in time

Correct answer:

The thieves can't possibly make payment to their pugnacious overlord in time

Explanation:

The word "cant" means something entirely different from the word "can't," which is a contraction of the words "can" and "not." The latter is clearly what should be in the sentence above, and as such, the best way to correct the underlined portion is: "The thieves can't possibly make payment to their pugnacious overlord in time."

Example Question #40 : 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 young mens' skills were improving constantly, basic training was a boon to all of them. 

Possible Answers:

The young mens' skills were improving constantly,

The young mens' skills was improving constantly,

The young mens skills were improving constantly,

The young men's' skills were improving constantly,

The young men's skills were improving constantly,

Correct answer:

The young men's skills were improving constantly,

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. The best way to correct the underlined portion above is: "The young men's skills were improving constantly,"

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