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 #31 : Improving Paragraphs

1 Visitors to Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, or other United States are often astounded when they encounter an Amish person. 2 To someone who is not familiar with this religious community, the lifestyle seems to harp back to a bygone era. 3 In particular the Amish are known for their plain garments, their eschewal of modern technology, their use of horses and buggies, and their exquisite handicrafts, including: wooden furniture, intricate quilts, and fruit pies. 4 Contact with the outside world is limited, and communities are often as insolent now as when they emigrated from Switzerland in the 1700s.

5 The people are governed strictly in their auspicious behavior, dress, and lifestyle by a set of rules known as Ordnung, and most speak both Pennsylvania Dutch and English. 6 Their religious beliefs are most closely related to Mennonites, and they observe many common Christian practices: baptism, marriage, and Sunday church services, for example. 7 Whereas, the Amish also practice rumspringa, a period of adolescent exploration, as well as excommunication and shunning to exclude those who do not conform to the community’s beliefs and practices. 8 What does life look like inside an Amish community? 9 Wherewithal, there seem to be both positive and negative aspects to this emphasis on family ties, manual labor, and religious belief.

How should Sentence 1 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Visitors to Pennsylvania, Indiana, or Ohio, or the other United States are often astounded when they encounter an Amish person.

Visitors to Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, or the other United States are often astounded when they encounter an Amish person.

Visitors to Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, or other states are often astounded when they encounter an Amish person.

Visitors to Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, or other United States are often astounded when they encounter an Amish person. (no change)

Visitors to Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, or other United States are often astounded when they encounter an Amish person.

Correct answer:

Visitors to Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, or other states are often astounded when they encounter an Amish person.

Explanation:

Even though it contains 50 states, “the United States” is a singular noun (there’s only one United States, after all), so “other United States” is incorrect. The reader can infer that the passage is talking about other states in the United States if we simply write “other states,” so that’s the best, most concise option.

Example Question #32 : Improving Paragraphs

1 Dehydration is a potentially serious medical condition that arrives when a patients’ metabolic processes are disrupted by a lack of water in the body. 2 What can cause dehydration? 3 Dehydration can be caused by overexertion, sickness (vomiting or diarrhea), or sun exposure; among other factors. 4 Treatments for dehydration include: drinking small quantities of clear fluid and intravenous hydration. 5 Symptoms of dehydration vary by the severance of water loss, but the most common signs are increased thirst, a swollen tongue, dizziness, weakness, and fainting. 6 If treatment is not sanctioned quickly dehydration can result in delirium, seizures, and even death. 7 Dehydration is most often a problem in the developing world, where insect- and water-borne disease and a lack of accessible medical care causing many preventable infant fatalities.

How should Sentence 4 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Treatments for dehydration include: drinking small quantities of clear fluid and intravenous hydration. (no change)

Treatments for dehydration include, drinking small quantities of clear fluid and intravenous hydration.

Treatments for dehydration include drinking small quantities of clear fluid and intravenous hydration.

Treatments for dehydration, including drinking small quantities of clear fluid and intravenous hydration.

Treatments for dehydration: including drinking small quantities of clear fluid and intravenous hydration. 

Correct answer:

Treatments for dehydration include drinking small quantities of clear fluid and intravenous hydration.

Explanation:

The original colon is incorrect, since it should only be used if the part of the sentence preceding the colon is an independent clause. No comma is necessary, either.

Example Question #33 : Improving Paragraphs

1 Dehydration is a potentially serious medical condition that arrives when a patients’ metabolic processes are disrupted by a lack of water in the body. 2 What can cause dehydration? 3 Dehydration can be caused by overexertion, sickness (vomiting or diarrhea), or sun exposure; among other factors. 4 Treatments for dehydration include: drinking small quantities of clear fluid and intravenous hydration. 5 Symptoms of dehydration vary by the severance of water loss, but the most common signs are increased thirst, a swollen tongue, dizziness, weakness, and fainting. 6 If treatment is not sanctioned quickly dehydration can result in delirium, seizures, and even death. 7 Dehydration is most often a problem in the developing world, where insect- and water-borne disease and a lack of accessible medical care causing many preventable infant fatalities.

How should Sentence 7 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Dehydration is most often a problem in the developing world, where insect- and water-borne disease and a lack of accessible medical care causing many preventable infant fatalities. (no change)

Dehydration is most often a problem in the developing world, where insect- and water-borne disease and a lack of accessible medical care cause many preventable infant fatalities.

Dehydration is most often a problem in the developing world; where insect- and water-borne disease and a lack of accessible medical care cause many preventable infant fatalities.

Dehydration is most often a problem in the developing world; where insect- and water-borne disease and a lack of accessible medical care causing many preventable infant fatalities.

Dehydration is most often a problem in the developing world where insect- and water-borne disease, and a lack of accessible medical care, cause many preventable infant fatalities.

Correct answer:

Dehydration is most often a problem in the developing world, where insect- and water-borne disease and a lack of accessible medical care cause many preventable infant fatalities.

Explanation:

Sentence 7 is a mixed construction. To fix it, we must change the tense of “causing” to “cause.” No semicolon is necessary, since we don’t have two independent clauses here.

Example Question #34 : Improving Paragraphs

1 The Moluccas is a chain, or archetype, of islands belonging to Indonesia. 2 Historically, these islands were known as the Spice Islands for their abundance of nutmeg, cloves, mace, and pepper, this profundity of spices eventually drew colonial attention. 3 Spices such as cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, anise, and pepper were particularly popular during the medieval times. 4 In the 1600s, the Spice Wars arose as a result of competing Portuguese and Dutch interest’s in the Spice Islands. 5 The bloody conflict ended in the deaths of many native Moluccans as well as European traders, wherefore both Portugal and the Netherlands gained and lost territories ranging from Africa and South America. 6 For this day, strife occasionally breaks out on the islands although it is now motivated by religious and not colonial disagreements.7 It is located just west of New Guinea in the Pacific Ocean, and its more than 1,000 islands are home to more than 2 million people today.

How should Sentence 6 be rewritten? 

Possible Answers:

For this day, strife occasionally breaks out on the islands, although it is now motivated by religious and not colonial disagreements.

For this day strife occasionally breaks out on the islands although it is now motivated by religious and not colonial disagreements.

For this day, strife occasionally breaks out on the islands; although it is now motivated by religious and not colonial disagreements.

For this day strife occasionally breaks out on the islands, although it is now motivated by religious and not colonial disagreements.

For this day, strife occasionally breaks out on the islands although it is now motivated by religious and not colonial disagreements. (no change)

Correct answer:

For this day, strife occasionally breaks out on the islands, although it is now motivated by religious and not colonial disagreements.

Explanation:

Sentence 6 contains an independent clause (“For this day, strife occasionally breaks out on the islands”) and a dependent clause (“although it is now motivated by religious and not colonial disagreements”), so a comma must be used to separate them. A comma is also needed after introductory phrases such as “For this day.”

Example Question #35 : Improving Paragraphs

1 One such example of regional cooking could be found in the American South. 2 Wherefore foods such as gumbo, barbecue, fried chicken, and watermelons can now be found all across the country, it was once specific to states south of the Mason-Dixon line. 3 And while Southern cuisine has been influenced by Native American tribes, Scottish immigrants, and Cajun settlers, one of the most significant culinary inspirations came from the South’s black population. 4 Dishes such as cornbread, succotash, collard or turnip greens, pimento cheese, crawfish, and sweet tea all hale from the South, as well. 5 For example, okra, black-eyed peas, and sorghum are all foods brought to America and cultivated by African slaves. 6 Soon, soul food (a sometimes contentious term among black chefs) began to be served in black-owned restaurants in the South. 7 Borne out of competing cultural influences and not-infrequent strife, it should be no surprise that Southern food remains a complex delicious cuisine to this day.

Which sentence needs a comma added to it?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 4

Sentence 3

Sentence 7

Sentence 5

Sentence 6

Correct answer:

Sentence 7

Explanation:

Sentence 7 lacks a comma between “complex” and “delicious,” as these are two separate adjectives both appearing immediately before the same noun. (A good way to test whether a comma is needed between two adjectives is to see if the word “and” makes sense between those adjectives. If it does, then a comma is usually necessary.)

Example Question #31 : Improving Paragraphs

1 One such example of regional cooking could be found in the American South. 2 Wherefore foods such as gumbo, barbecue, fried chicken, and watermelons can now be found all across the country, it was once specific to states south of the Mason-Dixon line. 3 And while Southern cuisine has been influenced by Native American tribes, Scottish immigrants, and Cajun settlers, one of the most significant culinary inspirations came from the South’s black population. 4 Dishes such as cornbread, succotash, collard or turnip greens, pimento cheese, crawfish, and sweet tea all hale from the South, as well. 5 For example, okra, black-eyed peas, and sorghum are all foods brought to America and cultivated by African slaves. 6 Soon, soul food (a sometimes contentious term among black chefs) began to be served in black-owned restaurants in the South. 7 Borne out of competing cultural influences and not-infrequent strife, it should be no surprise that Southern food remains a complex delicious cuisine to this day.

Which sentence contains a misplaced modifier and needs to be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 6

Sentence 4

Sentence 7

Sentence 5

Sentence 3

Correct answer:

Sentence 7

Explanation:

In Sentence 7, we have a modifier (“Borne out of competing cultural influences and not-infrequent strife”) that should be describing Southern cuisine, but it appears in the wrong part of the sentence and instead ends up describing “it.” To fix this error, the sentence could be rewritten as follows: “Borne out of competing cultural influences and not-infrequent strife, Southern food unsurprisingly remains a complex delicious cuisine to this day.”

Example Question #242 : Sat Writing

1 Glass; a material most people take for granted, is an essential constitute of modern life. 2 Most glass throughout history have been made of silicon dioxide; which is found in sand. 3 Typically glass is made by melting down and refining raw materials in processes that remove bubbles, improve strength, and augur durability. 4 This process can be tailored to create the desired end product, be that stained glass windows for a church and glass fibers for thermal insulation. 5 Because glass blowing can be used to create fanciful shapes and delicate figurines, most glass today is made more quickly and cheaply in factories. 6 These factories can produce everything. 7 From windshields and sterile medical equipment.

How should Sentence 1 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Glass: a material most people take for granted, is an essential constitute of modern life.

Glass, a material most people take for granted, is an essential constitute of modern life.

Glass, a material most people take for granted: is an essential constitute of modern life.

Glass, a material most people take for granted; is an essential constitute of modern life.

Glass; a material most people take for granted, is an essential constitute of modern life. (no change)

Correct answer:

Glass, a material most people take for granted, is an essential constitute of modern life.

Explanation:

Here, we have a parenthetical clause (“a material most people take for granted”) splitting up an independent clause (“Glass is an essential constitute of modern life”). Commas or parentheses must be used to set off parenthetical clauses; other punctuation marks are incorrect.

Example Question #38 : Improving Paragraphs

1 Glass; a material most people take for granted, is an essential constitute of modern life. 2 Most glass throughout history have been made of silicon dioxide; which is found in sand. 3 Typically glass is made by melting down and refining raw materials in processes that remove bubbles, improve strength, and augur durability. 4 This process can be tailored to create the desired end product, be that stained glass windows for a church and glass fibers for thermal insulation. 5 Because glass blowing can be used to create fanciful shapes and delicate figurines, most glass today is made more quickly and cheaply in factories. 6 These factories can produce everything. 7 From windshields and sterile medical equipment.

How should Sentence 2 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

No rewriting is necessary

Replace the semicolon with a comma

Remove the semicolon 

Insert a comma after “history”

Insert a comma after “history” and replace the semicolon with a comma.

Correct answer:

Replace the semicolon with a comma

Explanation:

Here, a semicolon is incorrectly separating a dependent and an independent clause. A comma must replace this semicolon for the sentence to be accurately punctuated.

Example Question #243 : Sat Writing

1 Glass; a material most people take for granted, is an essential constitute of modern life. 2 Most glass throughout history have been made of silicon dioxide; which is found in sand. 3 Typically glass is made by melting down and refining raw materials in processes that remove bubbles, improve strength, and augur durability. 4 This process can be tailored to create the desired end product, be that stained glass windows for a church and glass fibers for thermal insulation. 5 Because glass blowing can be used to create fanciful shapes and delicate figurines, most glass today is made more quickly and cheaply in factories. 6 These factories can produce everything. 7 From windshields and sterile medical equipment.

How should Sentence 4 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

This process can be tailored to create the desired end product; be that stained glass windows for a church or glass fibers for thermal insulation.

This process can be tailored to create the desired end product; be they stained glass windows for a church and glass fibers for thermal insulation.

This process can be tailored to create the desired end product, be that stained glass windows for a church and glass fibers for thermal insulation. (no change)

This process can be tailored to create the desired end product, be they stained glass windows for a church and glass fibers for thermal insulation.

This process can be tailored to create the desired end product, be that stained glass windows for a church or glass fibers for thermal insulation.

Correct answer:

This process can be tailored to create the desired end product, be that stained glass windows for a church or glass fibers for thermal insulation.

Explanation:

The correct grammatical construction is “be that __________ or __________.” Since the second part of the sentence is a dependent clause, a comma and not a semicolon should precede “be.”

Example Question #244 : Sat Writing

1 The purpose of this agricultural practice is to produce large amounts of meat, milk, eggs, and textiles, such as wool and leather, at low costs. 2 It has many negative consequences; however, and many activists have raised concerns about sustainability, environmental risks, and ethics. 3 Factory farming, sometimes known euphonically as intensive animal farming, or industrial farming, is the practice of raising livestock at very high densities in order to decrease the costs of production. 4 On most factory farms, animals are reduced to commodities: bred unnaturally, confined in uncomfortably small cages, and dosed with high strength antibiotics to reduce concomitant infections. 5 Although, the livestock suffers considerately, drug-resistant bacteria become more common, and significant environmental hazards arise from the high quantities of animal waste. 6 Does the phrase manure lagoons sound familiar? 7 As a light of this issue, many people choose to become vegetarian or join anti-factory farming campaigns. 8 What will you do?

How should Sentence 2 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

It has many negative consequences, however; and many activists have raised concerns about sustainability, environmental risks, and ethics.

It has many negative consequences, however and many activists have raised concerns about sustainability, environmental risks, and ethics.

It has many negative consequences, however, and many activists have raised concerns about sustainability, environmental risks, and ethics.

It has many negative consequences; however, and many activists have raised concerns about sustainability, environmental risks, and ethics. (no change)

It has many negative consequences however and many activists have raised concerns about sustainability, environmental risks, and ethics.

Correct answer:

It has many negative consequences, however, and many activists have raised concerns about sustainability, environmental risks, and ethics.

Explanation:

In Sentence 2, we have two independent clauses (“It has many negative consequences” and “many activists have raised concerns about sustainability, environmental risks, and ethics”) being separated by a conjunction (“however” serves as an introductory clause to the second independent clause). Following general punctuation rules, we need a comma and not a semicolon before the conjunction that separates these two independent clauses. Moreover, as a general rule of thumb, “however” needs a comma after it.

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