SAT Writing : Correcting Comparative and Superlative Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #31 : Correcting Comparative And Superlative 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.

Do you think the party will be most fun with or without firecrackers?

Possible Answers:

Do you think the party will be most fun with or without firecrackers?

Do you think the party will be more fun with or without firecrackers?

Do you think the party will be funnest with or without firecrackers?

Do you think the party will be funner with or without firecrackers?

Do you think the party will be most funner with or without firecrackers?

Correct answer:

Do you think the party will be more fun with or without firecrackers?

Explanation:

When you are comparing only two things, you must use the comparative construction of the adjective or adverb in question. When you are comparing three or more things, you must use the superlative construction instead. The best way to correct the underlined portion above is: "Do you think the party will be more fun with or without firecrackers?"

Example Question #32 : Correcting Comparative And Superlative 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.

Which mountain do you think is the most bigger in the whole world?

Possible Answers:

the biggest in the whole world?

the most bigger in the whole world?

the bigger in the whole world?

the most big in the whole world?

the most bigger in the whole wide world?

Correct answer:

the biggest in the whole world?

Explanation:

When you are comparing only two things, you must use the comparative construction of the adjective or adverb in question. When you are comparing three or more things, you must use the superlative construction instead. The best way to correct the underlined portion above is: "the biggest in the whole world?"

Example Question #33 : Correcting Comparative And Superlative 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.

All three of those girls are pure of heart, but Myrtle is by far the kinder. 

Possible Answers:

and Myrtle is by far the kinder.

but Myrtle is the kinder.

but Myrtle is kinder.

but Myrtle is by far the kindest.

but Myrtle is by far the kinder.

Correct answer:

but Myrtle is by far the kindest.

Explanation:

When you are comparing only two things, you must use the comparative construction of the adjective or adverb in question. When you are comparing three or more things, you must use the superlative construction instead. The best way to correct the underlined portion above is: "but Myrtle is by far the kindest."

Example Question #34 : Correcting Comparative And Superlative 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.

Marcus and Paula are excellent workers, but Paula works hardest.

Possible Answers:

but Paula works more harder.

but Paula works the hardest.

but Paula works hardest.

but Paula works harder.

but Paula works more hardest.

Correct answer:

but Paula works harder.

Explanation:

When you are comparing only two things, you must use the comparative construction of the adjective or adverb in question. When you are comparing three or more things, you must use the superlative construction instead. The best way to correct the underlined portion above is: "but Paula works harder."

Example Question #35 : Correcting Comparative And Superlative 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 class has seventeen students in it; Marina is clearly the better.

Possible Answers:

Marina is clearly good.

Marina is clearly the best.

Marina is clearly the bestest.

Marina is clearly the more good.

Marina is clearly the better.

Correct answer:

Marina is clearly the best.

Explanation:

When you are comparing only two things, you must use the comparative construction of the adjective or adverb in question. When you are comparing three or more things, you must use the superlative construction instead. In the example sentence, we are specifically told that there are "seventeen students" in the class, so the superlative is required to distinguish her from that group. The best way to correct the underlined portion above is, "Marina is clearly the best."

 

Example Question #36 : Correcting Comparative And Superlative 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 hard to know whether it is most difficult to be a teacher, or to be a student.

Possible Answers:

It's hard to know whether it is difficulter to be a teacher,

It's hard to know whether it is most difficult to be a teacher,

Its hard to know whether it is most difficult to be a teacher,

It's hard to know whether it is most difficultest to be a teacher,

It's hard to know whether it is more difficult to be a teacher,

Correct answer:

It's hard to know whether it is more difficult to be a teacher,

Explanation:

When you are comparing only two things, you must use the comparative construction of the adjective or adverb in question. When you are comparing three or more things, you must use the superlative construction instead. Since the example sentence only gives "student" and "teacher" as options the comparative construction must be used in this case. The best way to correct the underlined portion above is: "It's hard to know whether it is more difficult to be a teacher,"

Example Question #37 : Correcting Comparative And Superlative 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.

Johnny is the more charismatic member of the band; he is more exciting to watch than his other bandmates.

Possible Answers:

Johnny is the more charismaticer member of the band;

Johnny is the most charismatic member of the band;

Johnny is the more charismatic member of the band;

Johnny is the charismaticer member of the band;

Johnny is the more charismatic members of the band,

Correct answer:

Johnny is the most charismatic member of the band;

Explanation:

When you are comparing only two things, you must use the comparative construction of the adjective or adverb in question. When you are comparing three or more things, you must use the superlative construction instead. Since there are usually at least three "members of [a] band," and musical partnerships are referred to as duos rather than band's, it is correct to use the superlative construction in this instance. The best way to correct the underlined portion above is: "Johnny is the most charismatic member of the band;"

Note that a semicolon correctly separates these two independent clauses.

Example Question #38 : Correcting Comparative And Superlative 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.

Which of the heroes do you think is greatest, my favorite one or Sam's?

Possible Answers:

That of the heroes do you think is greatest

Which of the heroes do you think is greatest

Which of the heroes does one think is greatest

Which of the heroes do you think is greater

Which of the heroes do you thinks is greatest

Correct answer:

Which of the heroes do you think is greater

Explanation:

When you are comparing only two things, you must use the comparative construction of the adjective or adverb in question. When you are comparing three or more things, you must use the superlative construction instead. The best way to correct the underlined portion above is: "Which of the heroes do you think is greater"

Example Question #39 : Correcting Comparative And Superlative 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.

Of all the soldiers present, Gunter is the stronger by far.

Possible Answers:

Gunter is the stronger with far.

Gunter is the stronger by far.

Gunter is the strongest by far.

Gunter is the strongest as far.

Gunter is the stronger as far.

Correct answer:

Gunter is the strongest by far.

Explanation:

When you are comparing only two things, you must use the comparative construction of the adjective or adverb in question. When you are comparing three or more things (or an indefinite number of things), you must use the superlative construction instead. The best way to correct the underlined portion above is: "Gunter is the strongest by far."

"Of all" is a reliable indicator that the superlative construction will be needed.

Example Question #40 : Correcting Comparative And Superlative 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.

Ada is nicer in general than Francisca, but Francisca treats children kinder.

Possible Answers:

Ada is nicer in general than Francisca, but Francisca treats children more kindly.

Ada is nicer, in general than Francisca, but Francisca treats children kinder.

Ada is nicer in general than Francisca, but Francisca treats children more kind.

Ada is nicer in general than Francisca, but, Francisca treats children kinder.

Ada is nicer in general than Francisca, but Francisca treats children kinder.

Correct answer:

Ada is nicer in general than Francisca, but Francisca treats children more kindly.

Explanation:

Adjectives describe nouns, and adverbs describe verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. Always ensure that you are using the correct one for describing a particular word. The best way to correct the underlined portion of the sentence above is: "Ada is nicer in general than Francisca, but Francisca treats children more kindly."

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