SAT Writing : Correcting Correlative Conjunction Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #13 : Correcting Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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.

Gregory went to the grocery store not only for eggs, but for lettuce and potato chips.

Possible Answers:

but, also, for lettuce and potato chips

but lettuce and potato chips.

but also for lettuce and potato chips

but for lettuce, and potato chips

but for lettuce and potato chips

Correct answer:

but also for lettuce and potato chips

Explanation:

When "not only" is used, it should be followed by the correlative conjunction "but also." "But for" is used to signal exceptions, and can be synonymous with "were it not for", as in the example: "He would have been the best basketball player in the world, but for his height." "But also" is appropriate in this case, signaling the inclusion of additional items to the groceries.

Example Question #23 : Correcting Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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.

In the future, not Ellen and not Marcia are allowed to go outside without asking the teacher for permission.

Possible Answers:

neither Ellen nor Marcia is allowed 

neither Ellen nor Marcia are allowed

not Ellen and not Marcia is allowed

neither Ellen and Marcia are allowed

not Ellen and not Marcia are allowed

Correct answer:

neither Ellen nor Marcia is allowed 

Explanation:

The correct form for this sentence is "neither . . . nor." In addition, "neither . . .nor" leads to use of the singular form "is" rather than "are."

Example Question #11 : Correcting Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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.

Wendy was given the option to choose between tofu or chicken for dinner; she is not a fan of either and struggled to decide.

Possible Answers:

Wendy was given the option to choose between tofu or chicken for dinner, she is not a fan of either and struggled to pick.

Wendy, given the option to choose between tofu or chicken for dinner; she is not a fan of either and struggled to pick.

Wendy was given the option to choose between tofu or chicken for dinner, she likes both so she deferred to her sister.

Wendy was given the option to choose between tofu and chicken for dinner; she is not a fan of either and struggled to decide.

Wendy was given the option to choose between tofu or chicken for dinner; she is not a fan of either and struggled to decide.

Correct answer:

Wendy was given the option to choose between tofu and chicken for dinner; she is not a fan of either and struggled to decide.

Explanation:

The semicolon use is correct already. The issue lies in the conjunction following "between." It should be "and" not "or." She had to pick between tofu AND chicken, not between tofu OR chicken.

Example Question #931 : Improving Sentences

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.

Either Mark nor Steve left this water ring on the fancy table.

Possible Answers:

and

with

or

nor

but

Correct answer:

or

Explanation:

Whenever you see the conjunction "either," it must always be followed by the correlative conjunction "or." As such, the "nor" in the sentence should be changed to "or."

Example Question #16 : Correcting Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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.

Either my favorite team nor your favorite team played particularly well this year.

Possible Answers:

But

Neither

Either

For

And

Correct answer:

Neither

Explanation:

The presence of the word "nor" in the sentence above indicates that the first word of the sentence should be "Neither."  Neither and nor are correlative conjunctions, and should be used together.

Example Question #17 : Correcting Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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.

Please grab me not that jar by your head, but also the jar by your feet instead.

Possible Answers:

or

but also

and

with

but

Correct answer:

but

Explanation:

The proper correlative conjunction to use with the conjunction "not" at the beginning of the sentence is "but." "But also" is a correlative conjunction that is used with "not only," and is erroneous in the sentence above.

Example Question #18 : Correcting Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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.

When selecting her classes for the next semester, Emmie knew she would have to take either Introduction to Literary Analysis nor Neuroscience, but not both.

Possible Answers:

either Introduction to Literary Analysis nor Neuroscience, but not both.

neither Introduction to Literary Analysis nor Neuroscience, but not both.

either Introduction to Literary Analysis or Neuroscience, but not both.

either Introduction to Literary Analysis nor Neuroscience, and not both.

neither Introduction to Literary Analysis or Neuroscience, but not both.

Correct answer:

either Introduction to Literary Analysis or Neuroscience, but not both.

Explanation:

This question requires you to correct a correlative conjunction error. Since the end of the sentence—"but not both"—indicates that Emmie will have to take one or the other, we know that the correlative conjunction "neither . . . nor" will not be used here, as it is used in situations when both options are rejected. Therefore, the correlative conjunction "either . . . or" has to be used, making the corrected sentence "When selecting her classes for the next semester, Emmie knew she would have to take either Introduction to Literary Analysis or Neuroscience, but not both." 

Example Question #12 : Correcting Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

Choose the answer below which best replaces the underlined section of the following sentence. This should result in a sentence that meets all of the rules of standard written English.

Either you take out that trash, nor you will have to find a new roommate.  

Possible Answers:

or

nor

but

for

and

Correct answer:

or

Explanation:

When either is used in any sentence, it must be followed by it's coordinate conjunction, "or."  The best way to correctly write the sentence above is "Either you take out that trash, or you will have to find a new roommate."

Example Question #11 : Correcting Correlative Conjunction Errors

Choose the answer below which best replaces the underlined section of the following sentence. This should result in a sentence that meets all of the rules of standard written English.

My mother told me to go to the store and pick up either ten apples, or ten bananas. 

Possible Answers:

either ten apples, or

either ten apples or

either ten apples, and

either ten apples nor

either ten apples, but

Correct answer:

either ten apples, or

Explanation:

When either is used in a sentence, it must be followed by it's coordinate conjunction, "or." The best way to correctly write the sentence above is "My mother told me to go to the store and pick up either ten apples, or ten banana."

Example Question #933 : Improving Sentences

Choose the answer below which best replaces the underlined section of the following sentence. This should result in a sentence that meets all of the rules of standard written English.

Neither beef or pork is particularly sustainable as a food source.

Possible Answers:

Neither beef and pork

Neither beef of pork

Neither beef nor pork

Neither beef, or pork

Neither beef or pork

Correct answer:

Neither beef nor pork

Explanation:

When neither is used in any sentence, it must be followed by it's coordinate conjunction, "nor." The best way to correctly write the sentence above is "Neither beef nor pork is particularly sustainable as a food source."

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