SAT Writing : Correcting Grammatical Errors in a Full Sentence

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Improving Paragraphs

1 The history of mathematics is a long and storied one. 2 Filled with many characters and enigmas. 3 Ancient Babylonian and Egyptian texts reveal some of the earliest mathematical concepts, most involving counting and record keeping. 4 At it’s heart, mathematics represents inquiries about the nature of number and magnitude as well as form and function, some people liken the subject to quantitative philosophy.

5 Modern day mathematics involves signified amounts of creativity. 6 Mathematicians must be not only well versed in old formulas and also they must be able to think daftly and imaginatively. 7 While some scholars see mathematics solely as a useful tool to aid scientific discoveries (in physics and chemistry), most recognize mathematics’ immanent importance and beauty. 8 Some of modern-day math’s areas of investigation are game theory, chaos theory, and economics.

Which of the following sentences contains a comma error?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 4

Sentence 5

Sentence 6

Sentence 2

Sentence 3

Correct answer:

Sentence 4

Explanation:

As it is written, Sentence 4 is a comma splice: a sentence that incorrectly uses a comma to separate two independent clauses. The correct punctuation would be a semicolon instead of a comma: “…mathematics represents inquiries about the nature of number and magnitude as well as form and function; some people liken the subject to quantitative philosophy.”

Example Question #12 : Improving Paragraphs

1 The history of mathematics is a long and storied one. 2 Filled with many characters and enigmas. 3 Ancient Babylonian and Egyptian texts reveal some of the earliest mathematical concepts, most involving counting and record keeping. 4 At it’s heart, mathematics represents inquiries about the nature of number and magnitude as well as form and function, some people liken the subject to quantitative philosophy.

5 Modern day mathematics involves signified amounts of creativity. 6 Mathematicians must be not only well versed in old formulas and also they must be able to think daftly and imaginatively. 7 While some scholars see mathematics solely as a useful tool to aid scientific discoveries (in physics and chemistry), most recognize mathematics’ immanent importance and beauty. 8 Some of modern-day math’s areas of investigation are game theory, chaos theory, and economics.

Which of the following sentences should be deleted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 6

Sentence 8

Sentence 7

Sentence 5

Sentence 4

Correct answer:

Sentence 8

Explanation:

Sentence 8 not only doesn’t fit where it currently appears in the passage, it’s also too specific for the rest of the content. Although the text is discussing modern-day mathematics, it doesn’t go into enough depth to validate giving examples of contemporary math fields. 

Example Question #13 : Improving Paragraphs

1 The history of mathematics is a long and storied one. 2 Filled with many characters and enigmas. 3 Ancient Babylonian and Egyptian texts reveal some of the earliest mathematical concepts, most involving counting and record keeping. 4 At it’s heart, mathematics represents inquiries about the nature of number and magnitude as well as form and function, some people liken the subject to quantitative philosophy.

5 Modern day mathematics involves signified amounts of creativity. 6 Mathematicians must be not only well versed in old formulas and also they must be able to think daftly and imaginatively. 7 While some scholars see mathematics solely as a useful tool to aid scientific discoveries (in physics and chemistry), most recognize mathematics’ immanent importance and beauty. 8 Some of modern-day math’s areas of investigation are game theory, chaos theory, and economics.

How should Sentence 5 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Modern-day mathematics was involving signified amounts of creativity.

Modern-day mathematics involves signified amounts of creativity.

Modern day mathematics involves signified amounts of creativity. (no change)

Modern day mathematics was involving signified amounts of creativity.

Modern day mathematics, involves signified amounts of creativity.

Correct answer:

Modern-day mathematics involves signified amounts of creativity.

Explanation:

“Modern day” should be hyphenated because it is a compound adjective appearing immediately before a noun.

Example Question #211 : Sat Writing

1 Tattoos have even been found on ancient Icelandic, Egyptian, and South American mummies.2 On their various voyages to the South Pacific, Captain Cook and other European explorers brought back accounts of colorfully inked natives, and their sailors soon began to adopt the practice. 3 Early medieval Northern European tribes such as the Picts and Visigoths were often heavily tattooed; particularly the warriors. 4 Over the centuries, various cultures have described various meanings to tattoos, with indelible ink signifying everything from royalty to gang membership to magical powers.

5 Interestingly modern-day tattooing’s popularity evolved out of its adoption by wealthy British nobility, and by American celebrities, musicians, and actors. 6 While tattoos do have a dark past, most notably at Auschwitz, where Nazi’s identified prisoners by tattooing numbers on their arms. 7 Tattoos can be signs of joy, belief, or even healing, such as the colorful tattoos that breast cancer survivors use to cover mastectomy scars.

8 Today, there are more options than ever before, tattoo artists often have fine arts training, lengthy apprenticeships, and can offer specialty inks that glow in the dark or are easier to remove. 9 The internet is full of design ideas, tattoo parlor rankings, and even horror stories about bad tattoo experiences. 10 Now more than ever, information about ink abounds. 11 Choose wisely!

Which of the following sentences is a comma splice (two independent clauses incorrectly separated by a comma)?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 4

Sentence 2

Sentence 8

Sentence 6

none of the other choices

Correct answer:

Sentence 8

Explanation:

“Today, there are more options than ever before” and “tattoo artists often have fine arts training, lengthy apprenticeships, and can offer specialty inks that glow in the dark or are easier to remove” are both independent clauses, so they must be combined using either a semicolon or a comma with a conjunction. Correctly punctuated, Sentence 8 would read “Today, there are more options than ever before, and tattoo artists often have fine arts training, lengthy apprenticeships, and can offer specialty inks that glow in the dark or are easier to remove” or “Today, there are more options than ever before; tattoo artists often have fine arts training, lengthy apprenticeships, and can offer specialty inks that glow in the dark or are easier to remove.”

Example Question #15 : Improving Paragraphs

1 Tattoos have even been found on ancient Icelandic, Egyptian, and South American mummies.2 On their various voyages to the South Pacific, Captain Cook and other European explorers brought back accounts of colorfully inked natives, and their sailors soon began to adopt the practice. 3 Early medieval Northern European tribes such as the Picts and Visigoths were often heavily tattooed; particularly the warriors. 4 Over the centuries, various cultures have described various meanings to tattoos, with indelible ink signifying everything from royalty to gang membership to magical powers.

5 Interestingly modern-day tattooing’s popularity evolved out of its adoption by wealthy British nobility, and by American celebrities, musicians, and actors. 6 While tattoos do have a dark past, most notably at Auschwitz, where Nazi’s identified prisoners by tattooing numbers on their arms. 7 Tattoos can be signs of joy, belief, or even healing, such as the colorful tattoos that breast cancer survivors use to cover mastectomy scars.

8 Today, there are more options than ever before, tattoo artists often have fine arts training, lengthy apprenticeships, and can offer specialty inks that glow in the dark or are easier to remove. 9 The internet is full of design ideas, tattoo parlor rankings, and even horror stories about bad tattoo experiences. 10 Now more than ever, information about ink abounds. 11 Choose wisely!

Which of the following sentences needs a comma added to it?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 7

Sentence 1

Sentence 3

Sentence 9

Sentence 5

Correct answer:

Sentence 5

Explanation:

“Interestingly” is an introductory word, so it needs a comma after it.

Example Question #11 : Improving And Correcting Sentences

1 Tattoos have even been found on ancient Icelandic, Egyptian, and South American mummies.2 On their various voyages to the South Pacific, Captain Cook and other European explorers brought back accounts of colorfully inked natives, and their sailors soon began to adopt the practice. 3 Early medieval Northern European tribes such as the Picts and Visigoths were often heavily tattooed; particularly the warriors. 4 Over the centuries, various cultures have described various meanings to tattoos, with indelible ink signifying everything from royalty to gang membership to magical powers.

5 Interestingly modern-day tattooing’s popularity evolved out of its adoption by wealthy British nobility, and by American celebrities, musicians, and actors. 6 While tattoos do have a dark past, most notably at Auschwitz, where Nazi’s identified prisoners by tattooing numbers on their arms. 7 Tattoos can be signs of joy, belief, or even healing, such as the colorful tattoos that breast cancer survivors use to cover mastectomy scars.

8 Today, there are more options than ever before, tattoo artists often have fine arts training, lengthy apprenticeships, and can offer specialty inks that glow in the dark or are easier to remove. 9 The internet is full of design ideas, tattoo parlor rankings, and even horror stories about bad tattoo experiences. 10 Now more than ever, information about ink abounds. 11 Choose wisely!

Which of the following sentences needs a comma deleted from it?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 5

Sentence 6

Sentence 4

Sentence 7

Sentence 3

Correct answer:

Sentence 5

Explanation:

A comma should only be used before a conjunction (“and”) if that conjunction is separating two independent clauses. In Sentence 5 “by American celebrities, musicians, and actors” is a dependent clause, so no comma should be used.

Example Question #11 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Full Sentence

1 Tattoos have even been found on ancient Icelandic, Egyptian, and South American mummies.2 On their various voyages to the South Pacific, Captain Cook and other European explorers brought back accounts of colorfully inked natives, and their sailors soon began to adopt the practice. 3 Early medieval Northern European tribes such as the Picts and Visigoths were often heavily tattooed; particularly the warriors. 4 Over the centuries, various cultures have described various meanings to tattoos, with indelible ink signifying everything from royalty to gang membership to magical powers.

5 Interestingly modern-day tattooing’s popularity evolved out of its adoption by wealthy British nobility, and by American celebrities, musicians, and actors. 6 While tattoos do have a dark past, most notably at Auschwitz, where Nazi’s identified prisoners by tattooing numbers on their arms. 7 Tattoos can be signs of joy, belief, or even healing, such as the colorful tattoos that breast cancer survivors use to cover mastectomy scars.

8 Today, there are more options than ever before, tattoo artists often have fine arts training, lengthy apprenticeships, and can offer specialty inks that glow in the dark or are easier to remove. 9 The internet is full of design ideas, tattoo parlor rankings, and even horror stories about bad tattoo experiences. 10 Now more than ever, information about ink abounds. 11 Choose wisely!

Which sentence contains a semicolon error?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 4

Sentence 6

Sentence 3

Sentence 5

Sentence 7

Correct answer:

Sentence 3

Explanation:

In Sentence 3, a semicolon is incorrectly separating an independent clause from a dependent clause. The correct punctuation mark would be a comma: “Early medieval Northern European tribes such as the Picts and Visigoths were often heavily tattooed, particularly the warriors.”

Example Question #12 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Full Sentence

1 Have you ever went hang gliding? 2 Sailing smoothly across the sky, hang gliders are a sight to behold and capture humans’ longstanding fascination with self propelled flight. 3 Whereas, it is also a dangerous pastime. 4 Personally, I know many people who are aware of the sport’s relative danger but still enjoy it on a regular basis. 5 With proper technical training and certification, it is possible to avoid some of the most common hang gliding catamounts, stalling near the ground, aerobatic stunts gone wrong, and failure to use helmets or parachutes.

7 In the United States, hang gliding is a relatively new sport and most hang gliders are wealthy and educated devotees. 8 Hang gliding actually originated in the 500s in China, with man-sized kites allowing people to sustain flight for short distances. 9 Continual advances in material technologies’ result in constantly improving hang glider equipment – specialized nylon parachutes and lightweight aluminum alloy frames, for example. 10 Popular hang gliding destinations in the United States include Salt Lake City, Utah, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. 11 The most ardent affiliates say there’s absolutely nothing like the joy of soaring miles above the ground for hours.

How should the tense error in Sentence 1 be corrected?

Possible Answers:

Would you ever have gone hang gliding?

Have you ever gone hang gliding?

Have you ever went hang gliding? (no change)

Would you ever have went hang gliding?

Will you ever have gone hang gliding?

Correct answer:

Have you ever gone hang gliding?

Explanation:

While several of these options are grammatically correct, the version that best preserves the original meaning of the sentence is “Have you ever gone hang-gliding?”

Example Question #221 : Sat Writing

1 Have you ever went hang gliding? 2 Sailing smoothly across the sky, hang gliders are a sight to behold and capture humans’ longstanding fascination with self propelled flight. 3 Whereas, it is also a dangerous pastime. 4 Personally, I know many people who are aware of the sport’s relative danger but still enjoy it on a regular basis. 5 With proper technical training and certification, it is possible to avoid some of the most common hang gliding catamounts, stalling near the ground, aerobatic stunts gone wrong, and failure to use helmets or parachutes.

7 In the United States, hang gliding is a relatively new sport and most hang gliders are wealthy and educated devotees. 8 Hang gliding actually originated in the 500s in China, with man-sized kites allowing people to sustain flight for short distances. 9 Continual advances in material technologies’ result in constantly improving hang glider equipment – specialized nylon parachutes and lightweight aluminum alloy frames, for example. 10 Popular hang gliding destinations in the United States include Salt Lake City, Utah, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. 11 The most ardent affiliates say there’s absolutely nothing like the joy of soaring miles above the ground for hours.

What is the best way to revise the punctuation of Sentence 5?

Possible Answers:

With proper technical training and certification, it is possible to avoid some of the most common hang gliding catamounts. Stalling near the ground, aerobatic stunts gone wrong, and failure to use helmets or parachutes.

With proper technical training and certification, it is possible to avoid some of the most common hang gliding catamounts; stalling near the ground, aerobatic stunts gone wrong, and failure to use helmets or parachutes.

With proper technical training and certification, it is possible to avoid some of the most common hang gliding catamounts, stalling near the ground, aerobatic stunts gone wrong, and failure to use helmets or parachutes. (no change)

With proper technical training and certification; it is possible to avoid some of the most common hang gliding catamounts, stalling near the ground, aerobatic stunts gone wrong, and failure to use helmets or parachutes.

With proper technical training and certification, it is possible to avoid some of the most common hang gliding catamounts: stalling near the ground, aerobatic stunts gone wrong, and failure to use helmets or parachutes.

Correct answer:

With proper technical training and certification, it is possible to avoid some of the most common hang gliding catamounts: stalling near the ground, aerobatic stunts gone wrong, and failure to use helmets or parachutes.

Explanation:

Here, a colon is the optimal punctuation to introduce a list after an independent clause.

Example Question #222 : Sat Writing

1 Have you ever went hang gliding? 2 Sailing smoothly across the sky, hang gliders are a sight to behold and capture humans’ longstanding fascination with self propelled flight. 3 Whereas, it is also a dangerous pastime. 4 Personally, I know many people who are aware of the sport’s relative danger but still enjoy it on a regular basis. 5 With proper technical training and certification, it is possible to avoid some of the most common hang gliding catamounts, stalling near the ground, aerobatic stunts gone wrong, and failure to use helmets or parachutes.

7 In the United States, hang gliding is a relatively new sport and most hang gliders are wealthy and educated devotees. 8 Hang gliding actually originated in the 500s in China, with man-sized kites allowing people to sustain flight for short distances. 9 Continual advances in material technologies’ result in constantly improving hang glider equipment – specialized nylon parachutes and lightweight aluminum alloy frames, for example. 10 Popular hang gliding destinations in the United States include Salt Lake City, Utah, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. 11 The most ardent affiliates say there’s absolutely nothing like the joy of soaring miles above the ground for hours.

What is the best way to revise Sentence 2?

Possible Answers:

Sailing smoothly across the sky, hang gliders are a sight to behold and capture humans’ long-standing fascination with self propelled flight.

Sailing smoothly across the sky, hang-gliders are a sight to behold and capture humans’ longstanding fascination with self-propelled flight.

Sailing smoothly across the sky, hang gliders are a sight to behold and capture humans’ longstanding fascination with self-propelled flight.

Sailing smoothly across the sky, hang gliders are a sight to behold and capture humans’ longstanding fascination with self propelled flight. (no change)

Sailing smoothly across the sky, hang-gliders are a sight to behold and capture humans’ longstanding fascination with self propelled flight.

Correct answer:

Sailing smoothly across the sky, hang gliders are a sight to behold and capture humans’ longstanding fascination with self-propelled flight.

Explanation:

Here, “hang gliders” should not be hyphenated (it’s simply a two-word noun), “longstanding” is one word, not two, and “self propelled” should be hyphenated, as with most words that have a “self-” prefix.

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