SAT Writing : Correcting Apostrophe Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #207 : 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 the most annoying thing I've ever had to do.

Possible Answers:

Its' the most annoying thing I've ever had to do.

Its the most annoying thing I've ever had to do.

Its is the most annoying thing I've ever had to do.

It's the most annoying thing I've ever had to do.

Its's the most annoying thing I've ever had to do.

Correct answer:

It's the most annoying thing I've ever had to do.

Explanation:

“It’s” is a contraction meaning it is. “Its” indicates possession when using the third person pronoun it. Since we can see that a "be" verb is required in this sentence, we know that the best way to correct the underlined portion of the sentence above is, "It's been a very long day: I need to go home and get to sleep or I will be a wreck tomorrow."

Example Question #208 : 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 army was about to betray it's general, but he caught wind of what was going on and put a stop to it.

Possible Answers:

The army was about to betray its general, but he caught wind of what was going on and put a stop to it.

The army was about to betray it's general, but he caught wind of what was going on and put a stop to it.

The army was about to betray it's general: but he caught wind of what was going on and put a stop to it.

The army was about to betray it's general; but he caught wind of what was going on and put a stop to it.

The army was about to betray its general; but he caught wind of what was going on and put a stop to it.

Correct answer:

The army was about to betray its general, but he caught wind of what was going on and put a stop to it.

Explanation:

“It’s” is a contraction meaning it is. “Its” indicates possession when using the third person pronoun it. In the example sentence, we can see that the "its" should not be acting as a verb, so the best way to correct the underlined portion of the sentence above is, "The army was about to betray its general, but he caught wind of what was going on and put a stop to it."

Note also that a coordinating conjunction should not follow a semicolon.

Example Question #209 : 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 problem has grown exponentially in the last few weeks; I don't believe its going to end anytime soon.

Possible Answers:

The problem has grown exponentially in the last few week; I don't believe its going to end anytime soon.

The problem has grown exponentially in the last few weeks; and I don't believe its going to end anytime soon.

The problem has grown exponentially in the last few weeks; but I don't believe it's going to end anytime soon.

The problem has grown exponentially in the last few weeks; I don't believe its' going to end anytime soon.

The problem has grown exponentially in the last few weeks; I don't believe it's going to end anytime soon.

Correct answer:

The problem has grown exponentially in the last few weeks; I don't believe it's going to end anytime soon.

Explanation:

“It’s” is a contraction meaning it is. “Its” indicates possession when using the third person pronoun it. Since the word in question should be acting as a verb in this sentence, the best way to correct the underlined portion of the sentence above is, "The problem has grown exponentially in the last few weeks; I don't believe it's going to end anytime soon."

Note also that a coordinating conjunction should not follow a semicolon.

Example Question #210 : 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 difficult to understand Larry's behavior; it's almost like he doesn't know how to talk to people.

Possible Answers:

It's difficult to understand Larry's behavior; its almost like he doesn't know how to talk to people.

It's difficult to understand Larry's behavior; it's almost like he doesn't know how to talk to people.

Its difficult to understand Larry's behavior; it's almost like he doesn't know how to talk to people.

Its difficult to understand Larry's behavior; its almost like he doesn't know how to talk to people.

Its difficult to understand Larry's behavior, it's almost like he doesn't know how to talk to people.

Correct answer:

It's difficult to understand Larry's behavior; it's almost like he doesn't know how to talk to people.

Explanation:

“It’s” is a contraction meaning it is. “Its” indicates possession when using the third person pronoun it. Clearly in this sentence, we need a "be" verb, so the best way to correct the underlined portion of the sentence above is, "It's difficult to understand Larry's behavior; it's almost like he doesn't know how to talk to people."

Example Question #211 : 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's brain had been badly damaged; it was unable to follow it's protocols.

Possible Answers:

The robot's brain had been badly damaged, it was unable to follow it's protocols.

The robot's brain had been badly damaged; it was unable to follow its protocols.

The robot's brain had been badly damaged; it was unable to follow it's protocols.

The robots brain had been badly damaged; it was unable to follow its protocols.

The robots brain had been badly damaged, it was unable to follow its protocols.

Correct answer:

The robot's brain had been badly damaged; it was unable to follow its protocols.

Explanation:

“It’s” is a contraction meaning it is. “Its” indicates possession when using the third person pronoun it. In this case, the "protocols" are the robot's, so the best way to correct the underlined portion of the sentence above is, "The robot's brain had been badly damaged; it was unable to follow its protocols."

Example Question #212 : 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 cant understand why he continues to be so rude to me; I've been exceedingly kind to him.

Possible Answers:

I cant understand why he continues to be so rude to me, I've been exceedingly kind to him.

I cant understand why he continues to be so rude to me, when I've been exceedingly kind to him.

I cant understand why he continues to be so rude to me; Ive been exceedingly kind to him.

I cant understand why he continues to be so rude to me; I've been exceedingly kind to him.

I can't understand why he continues to be so rude to me; I've been exceedingly kind to him.

Correct answer:

I can't understand why he continues to be so rude to me; I've been exceedingly kind to him.

Explanation:

The word "cant" means something entirely different from the word "can't," which is a contraction of the words "can" and "not." " Cant," on the other hand, means insincere talk. "Can't" is clearly what should be in the sentence above, and as such, the best way to correct the underlined portion is, "I can't understand why he continues to be so rude to me; I've been exceedingly kind to him."

Example Question #213 : 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 get fed up easily if people are rude to me; dealing with difficult people is not a strength of mine.

Possible Answers:

I am won't to get fed up easily if people are rude to me; dealing with difficult people isn't a strength of mine.

I am won't to get fed up easily if people are rude to me, dealing with difficult people is not a strength of mine.

I am won't to get fed up easily if people are rude to me; dealing with difficult people is not a strength of mine.

I am wont to get fed up easily if people are rude to me; dealing with difficult people is not a strength of mine.

I am wont to get fed up easily if people are rude to me, dealing with difficult people is not a strength of mine.

Correct answer:

I am wont to get fed up easily if people are rude to me; dealing with difficult people is not a strength of mine.

Explanation:

The word "wont" means something entirely different from the word "won't," which is a contraction of the words "will" and "not." "Wont" refers to a habitual action or desire. The former 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 get fed up easily if people are rude to me; dealing with difficult people is not a strength of mine."

 

Example Question #214 : 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.

This is my good friend Amandas hat; I would be remiss not to return it to her.

Possible Answers:

This is my good friend Amanda's hat I would be remiss not to return it to her.

This is my good friend Amanda's hat; I would be remiss not to return it to her.

This is my good friend Amanda's hat, I would be remiss not to return it to her.

This is my good friend Amandas hat I would be remiss not to return it to her.

This is my good friend Amandas hat; I would be remiss not to return it to her.

Correct answer:

This is my good friend Amanda's hat; I would be remiss not to return it to her.

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 there is only one "Amanda" and the hat belongs to her, the best way to correct the error above is, "This is my good friend Amanda's hat; I would be remiss not to return it to her."

Example Question #215 : 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.

My good friends presents warmed my heart on my birthday; it was nice of all of them to give me such great gifts.

Possible Answers:

My good friends presence warmed my heart on my birthday; it was nice of all of them to give me such great gifts.

My good friend's presents warmed my heart on my birthday; it was nice of all of them to give me such great gifts.

My good friends' presents warmed my heart on my birthday; it was nice of all of them to give me such great gifts.

My good friends presents warmed my heart on my birthday, it was nice of all of them to give me such great gifts.

My good friends presents warmed my heart on my birthday; it was nice of all of them to give me such great gifts.

Correct answer:

My good friends' presents warmed my heart on my birthday; it was nice of all of them to give me such great gifts.

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. It would not make sense for this sentence to be talking about many "good friends" not possessing anything, the best way to correct the error above is, "My good friends' presents warmed my heart on my birthday; it was nice of all of them to give me such great gifts."

Example Question #216 : 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 a wonderful cruise ship, but I believe that I am ready to go home and sleep in my own bed.

Possible Answers:

Its a wonderful cruise ship but I believe that I am ready to go home and sleep in my own bed.

Its a wonderful cruise ship, but I believe that I am ready to go home and sleep in my own bed.

It's a wonderful cruise ship, but I believe that I am ready to go home and sleep in my own bed.

It's a wonderful cruise ship I believe that I am ready to go home and sleep in my own bed.

It's a wonderful cruise ship but I believe that I am ready to go home and sleep in my own bed.

Correct answer:

It's a wonderful cruise ship, but I believe that I am ready to go home and sleep in my own bed.

Explanation:

“It’s” is a contraction meaning it is or it has. “Its” indicates possession when using the third person pronoun it. Since a verb is obviously needed in this sentence, the best way to correct the underlined portion of the sentence above is, "It's a wonderful cruise ship, but I believe that I am ready to go home and sleep in my own bed."

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