SAT Writing : Correcting Apostrophe Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #177 : Correcting Punctuation Errors

The young mans' life had utterly fallen apart in the wake of his terrible crimes. 

Possible Answers:

The young mans' life had utter

The young mans life had utterly

The young man's life have utterly

The young mans' life had utterly

The young man's life had utterly

Correct answer:

The young man's life had utterly

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 sentence best way to correct the underlined portion above is "The young man's life had utterly"

Example Question #178 : Correcting Punctuation 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 very hard for me to understand why a person would treat his or her dog like that. 

Possible Answers:

Its really hard for me to understand

Its very hard for me too understand,

It's very hard for me to understand

Its real hard for me to understand

Its very hard for me to understand

Correct answer:

It's very hard for me to understand

Explanation:

“It’s” is a contraction meaning it is. “Its” indicates possession when using the third person pronoun it. The sentence is correct as written.

Example Question #179 : Correcting Punctuation 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 soccer team was unsuccessful at their tournament, but they did play their best.

Possible Answers:

The young mans' soccer team was unsuccessful at their tournament;

The mens soccer team was unsuccessful at their tournament,

The men's soccer team was unsuccessful at their tournament,

The man's soccer team was unsuccessful at their tournament;

The mens's soccer team was unsuccessful at their tournament,

Correct answer:

The men's soccer team was unsuccessful at their tournament,

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 of the sentence above is: "The mens' soccer team was unsuccessful at their tournament,"

Example Question #180 : Correcting Punctuation 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.

A single flocks' survival very often depends on its lead goose.   

Possible Answers:

A single flock's survival

A single flocks's survival

A single flocks survival

A single flocks surviving

A single flocks' survival

Correct answer:

A single flock's survival

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. "Flock," although it refers to a group of many birds, is a singular noun. The best way to correct the sentence above is: "A single flock's survival"

Example Question #181 : Correcting Punctuation 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 was all over for Mr. Fisk: the jury had rendered it's verdict and he was going to go to jail.

Possible Answers:

had rendered it's verdict and he was going to jail.

have rendered it's verdict and he was going to go to jail.

had rendered its verdict and he was going to go to jail.

had rendered it's verdict and he was gonna go to jail.

have rendered its verdict and he was going to go to jail.

Correct answer:

had rendered its verdict and he was going to go to jail.

Explanation:

“It’s” is a contraction meaning it is. “Its” indicates possession when using the third person pronoun it. Although a jury is composed of many people, in this case they are acting as a unit. The best way to correct the underlined portion of the sentence above is: "had rendered its verdict and he was going to go to jail."

Example Question #182 : Correcting Punctuation 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.

That game is always a bit of a challenge, but it's especially difficult for new players.

Possible Answers:

it are

its

it's

it isn't

Correct answer:

it's

Explanation:

"It's" is a conjunction that stands in for the phrase it is. Anytime you intend to use the phrase, "it is" you may use the conjunction "it's" instead.

Example Question #183 : Correcting Punctuation 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.

Pauls family was shocked by his confession in open court: things would never be the same again.  

Possible Answers:

Pauls family was shocked by his confession in open court,

Pauls' family was shocked by his confession in open court:

Pauls family was shocked by his confession in open court:

Paul's family was shocked by his confession in open court:

Pauls family was shocked by his confession in open court;

Correct answer:

Paul's family was shocked by his confession in open court:

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: "Paul's family was shocked by his confession in open court:"

 

Example Question #184 : Correcting Punctuation 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.

I am won't to be late to work on Mondays: I love my beauty sleep. 

Possible Answers:

I am won't to be late to work on Mondays: 

I am wont to be late to work on Mondays:

I am won't to be late to work on Mondays;

I'm won't to be late to work on Mondays:

I am won't to be late to work on Mondays,

Correct answer:

I am wont to be late to work on Mondays:

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: I am wont to be late to work on Mondays:"

"Wont" is a somewhat antiquated word, but it is still within the English language. 

Example Question #185 : Correcting Punctuation 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 robot, deprived of it's courtesy protocols, was unable to carry a conversation. 

Possible Answers:

deprived of its courtesy protocols

deprived of it is courtesy protocols

having been deprived of its' courtesy protocols

deprived of it's courtesy protocols

deprived of its' courtesy protocols

Correct answer:

deprived of its courtesy protocols

Explanation:

“It’s” is a contraction meaning it is. “Its” indicates possession when using the third person pronoun it. The two are very often confused. The best way to correct the underlined portion of the sentence above is: "deprived of its courtesy protocols"

Example Question #186 : Correcting Punctuation 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 unfortunate that you can't seem to behave yourself in class; I have to ask you to leave.

Possible Answers:

It's unfortunate that you can't seem to behave yourself in class,

Its unfortunate that you can't seem to behave yourself in class,

Its unfortunate that you can't seem to behave yourself in class:

It's unfortunate that you can't seem to behave yourself in class;

Its unfortunate that you can't seem to behave yourself in class;

Correct answer:

It's unfortunate that you can't seem to behave yourself in class;

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 unfortunate that you can't seem to behave yourself in class;"

Note that semicolon correctly joins these two independent clauses into a compound sentence. Another correct option would have been to add a comma and a coordinating conjunction (and, but, or, nor, for, yet, so) after class.

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