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 #241 : Sat Writing

1 It may be hard to believe. 2 But light was once a rare and inviolate commodity. 3 Our ancestors invented willful ways to harness natural light; burning lumps of tallow or animal fat, capturing fireflies in glass jars, and even threading wicks down the throats of a bird called the storm petrel.4 Most of these methods were messy, inconvenient, and costly. 5 So it was fortunate when kerosene became popular. 6 Whale oil was another way to get light, but whaling was a dangerous and deadly occupation. 7 The innovation of the electric light bulb represented another huge leap in convenience and cost-effectiveness. 8 While light is not scarce today; in fact, we often have the opposite problem. 9 Light pollution, or excessive artificial light, which can keep city denizens from ever seeing the stars or appreciating true darkness.

How should Sentence 8 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Light is not scarce today; in fact, we often have the opposite problem.

While light is not scarce today: in fact, we often have the opposite problem.

While light is not scarce today, in fact, we often have the opposite problem.

While light is not scarce today, in fact; we often have the opposite problem.

While light is not scarce today; in fact, we often have the opposite problem. (no change)

Correct answer:

Light is not scarce today; in fact, we often have the opposite problem.

Explanation:

In the original sentence, there is a dependent clause incorrectly separated from an independent clause with a semicolon. The correct answer choice fixes this error by changing the dependent clause into an independent clause, allowing us to keep the semicolon.

Example Question #242 : Sat Writing

1 It may be hard to believe. 2 But light was once a rare and inviolate commodity. 3 Our ancestors invented willful ways to harness natural light; burning lumps of tallow or animal fat, capturing fireflies in glass jars, and even threading wicks down the throats of a bird called the storm petrel.4 Most of these methods were messy, inconvenient, and costly. 5 So it was fortunate when kerosene became popular. 6 Whale oil was another way to get light, but whaling was a dangerous and deadly occupation. 7 The innovation of the electric light bulb represented another huge leap in convenience and cost-effectiveness. 8 While light is not scarce today; in fact, we often have the opposite problem. 9 Light pollution, or excessive artificial light, which can keep city denizens from ever seeing the stars or appreciating true darkness.

In Sentence 3, what punctuation mark should replace the semicolon?

Possible Answers:

/ (slash)

- (hyphen)

; (semicolon)

: (colon)

, (comma)

Correct answer:

: (colon)

Explanation:

Here, we have an independent clause introducing a list, so the best punctuation is a colon. Note that semicolons must be both preceded and followed by an independent clause, and "burning lumps of tallow or animal fat, capturing fireflies, and even threading wicks..." does not have a specified subject, and therefore could not be its own sentence, and thus, by definition, is not a independent clause.

Example Question #43 : Improving Paragraphs

1 The word wig itself comes from the English word periwig and can demote a variety of styles, materials, and colors. 2 Have you ever wondered what goes into making a wig? 3 Historically wigs have served a variety of functions and took a number of forms. 4 Wigs have been used as fashion accessories, costume components, and to disguise baldness. 5 These days, wigs are most commonly made from synthetic materials, real human hair, or hair from animals, such as goats and yaks.

How should Sentence 4 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Wigs have been used as fashion accessories, and costume components; and to disguise baldness.

Wigs have been used as fashion accessories, costume components, and as disguises for baldness.

Wigs have been used as fashion accessories and costume components; and to disguise baldness.

Wigs have been used as fashion accessories, costume components, and to disguise baldness. (no change)

Wigs have been used as fashion accessories, costume components, and disguises for baldness.

Correct answer:

Wigs have been used as fashion accessories, costume components, and disguises for baldness.

Explanation:

The original sentence has faulty parallelism. We need to make sure that every item in the list is the same part of speech and is separated with commas.

Example Question #44 : Improving Paragraphs

1 The word wig itself comes from the English word periwig and can demote a variety of styles, materials, and colors. 2 Have you ever wondered what goes into making a wig? 3 Historically wigs have served a variety of functions and took a number of forms. 4 Wigs have been used as fashion accessories, costume components, and to disguise baldness. 5 These days, wigs are most commonly made from synthetic materials, real human hair, or hair from animals, such as goats and yaks.

How should Sentence 3 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Historically, wigs have served a variety of functions and been taking a number of forms.

Historically, wigs served a variety of functions and taken a number of forms.

Historically, wigs have served a variety of functions and took a number of forms. (no change)

Historically, wigs have served a variety of functions and taken a number of forms.

Historically, wigs have served various functions and took a number of forms.

Correct answer:

Historically, wigs have served a variety of functions and taken a number of forms.

Explanation:

Here, we have a problem with faulty parallelism. The verb tenses should match, and the correct answer effectively changes the second verb to present perfect.

Example Question #243 : Sat Writing

1 Today, different methods are adopted to strive off these threats to biological diversity. 2 By now, the occurrence of invasive species is a common place problem. 3 It occurs when a non native species of plant or animal is introduced into a new environment. 4 Invasive species cause problems, such as kudzu, Asian carp, and zebra mussels. 5 Habitats can be destroyed and human economies can be damaged by the invidious effects of species that are inoculated or even charming pets in other ecosystems. 6 For example, rabbits in Australia. 7 They were introduced in the 1780s by British penal colony ships and became widespread after an 1859 outbreak, destroying millions of dollars worth of crops. 8 Pheromone traps can lure in insect pests and genetic modification can cause invasive carp to produce only male offspring, limiting their reproduction. 9 Given our widespread global commerce and travel, however, it may be impossible to foresight all damage done by species that end up somewhere they don’t belong.

How should Sentence 4 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Invasive species, such as kudzu, Asian carp, and zebra mussels, cause problems.

Invasive species cause problems such as kudzu, Asian carp, and zebra mussels.

Invasive species cause problems: such as kudzu, Asian carp, and zebra mussels.

Invasive species cause problems, such as kudzu, Asian carp, and zebra mussels. (no change)

Invasive species such as kudzu, Asian carp, and zebra mussels cause problems.

Correct answer:

Invasive species such as kudzu, Asian carp, and zebra mussels cause problems.

Explanation:

The original sentence contains a misplaced modifier, with the list of species incorrectly modifying the word “problems” and not “species.” Generally, no comma is needed before the phrase “such as.”

Example Question #44 : Rewriting A Full Sentence

1 As anyone who has tried it can tell you, Filipino food is an exciting intriguing blend of flavors. 2 Due to interaction with various nations and cultures, it’s cuisine is marked by influences from Austronesia, Spain, China, Malaysia, and the United States. 3 Some typical dishes including pancit, longganisa, lumpia, kare-kare, pinakbet, sinigang, and adobo. 4 For example, one could find everything from Spanish paella and Chinese spring rolls (locally called lumpia) if you walked into a Filipino restaurant.

5 Another important compound of Filipino cuisine is street food. 6 These street foods include many fried foods, such as bananas, plantains, dumplings, squid balls, battered quail eggs, and fruit or vegetable spring rolls.7 Taho, a warm street food, is composed of bean curd, a caramel syrup or arnibal, and tapioca pearls.8 Don’t forget dessert! 9 With such a variety of flavors, textures, and cooking styles, there’s certainly to be something for every gourmand.

How should Sentence 3 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Some typical dishes; including pancit, longganisa, lumpia, kare-kare, pinakbet, sinigang, and adobo.

Some typical dishes including pancit, longganisa, lumpia, kare-kare, pinakbet, sinigang, and adobo. (no change)

Some typical dishes include pancit, longganisa, lumpia, kare-kare, pinakbet, sinigang, and adobo.

Some typical dishes, including: pancit, longganisa, lumpia, kare-kare, pinakbet, sinigang, and adobo.

Some typical dishes include: pancit, longganisa, lumpia, kare-kare, pinakbet, sinigang, and adobo.

Correct answer:

Some typical dishes include pancit, longganisa, lumpia, kare-kare, pinakbet, sinigang, and adobo.

Explanation:

The original sentence is a fragment, so we must simply alter the verb to make it a complete sentence. No additional punctuation is required.

Example Question #45 : Rewriting A Full Sentence

1 While many people feel strongly about the genetic modification of foods. 2 Most do not understand the full nature of genetically modified (GM) plants and animals. 3 For example, did you even know that GM was the abbreviation for genetically modified? 4 Genetic modification is defined as the artificial manipulation of a specie’s DNA usually for the purpose of improving crop yield, resistance to disease, or nutritive value. 5 And did you know it has been going on for millennia, because ancient farmers were selectively breeding foods to provide better flavor, produce smaller seeds, or withstand drought and flooding?

6 Today, however, having more sophisticated tools allow scientists to transfer genes from one organism with another, this purposely provokes better pest resistance and other desirable characteristics. 7 Opponents of genetic modification argue that the DNA modifications are unstable, undesirable, and unhealthy for the environment. 8 Additionally, some are also arguing that consuming GM foods is unsafe for humans, despite much scientific evidence to the contrary.

How should Sentence 5 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

This practice has been going on for millennia, with ancient farmers selectively breeding foods to provide better flavor, produce smaller seeds, or withstand drought and flooding.

Knowing this practice has been going on for millennia, is it clear that ancient farmers were selectively breeding foods to provide better flavor, produce smaller seeds, or withstand drought and flooding?

This practice going on for millennia, because ancient farmers were selectively breeding foods to provide better flavor, produce smaller seeds, or withstand drought and flooding?

And did you know it has been going on for millennia, because ancient farmers were selectively breeding foods to provide better flavor, produce smaller seeds, or withstand drought and flooding? (no change)

This practice has been going on for millennia, because ancient farmers were selectively breeding foods to provide better flavor, produce smaller seeds, or withstand drought and flooding?

Correct answer:

This practice has been going on for millennia, with ancient farmers selectively breeding foods to provide better flavor, produce smaller seeds, or withstand drought and flooding.

Explanation:

In this sentence, there is no need for the “did you know” construction or the cause and effect relationship indicated by the word “because.” Luckily, we can easily rewrite the sentence to make it informative rather than interrogative.

Example Question #251 : Sat Writing

1 While many people feel strongly about the genetic modification of foods. 2 Most do not understand the full nature of genetically modified (GM) plants and animals. 3 For example, did you even know that GM was the abbreviation for genetically modified? 4 Genetic modification is defined as the artificial manipulation of a specie’s DNA usually for the purpose of improving crop yield, resistance to disease, or nutritive value. 5 And did you know it has been going on for millennia, because ancient farmers were selectively breeding foods to provide better flavor, produce smaller seeds, or withstand drought and flooding?

6 Today, however, having more sophisticated tools allow scientists to transfer genes from one organism with another, this purposely provokes better pest resistance and other desirable characteristics. 7 Opponents of genetic modification argue that the DNA modifications are unstable, undesirable, and unhealthy for the environment. 8 Additionally, some are also arguing that consuming GM foods is unsafe for humans, despite much scientific evidence to the contrary.

Which sentence contains a comma splice?

Possible Answers:

There are no comma splices in this passage.

Sentence 4

Sentence 6

Sentence 8

Sentence 2

Correct answer:

Sentence 6

Explanation:

Sentence 6 contains two independent clauses incorrectly separated with a comma. The two options to correct this error are to add a conjunction after the comma or to replace the comma with a semicolon.

Example Question #47 : Rewriting A Full Sentence

1 While many people feel strongly about the genetic modification of foods. 2 Most do not understand the full nature of genetically modified (GM) plants and animals. 3 For example, did you even know that GM was the abbreviation for genetically modified? 4 Genetic modification is defined as the artificial manipulation of a specie’s DNA usually for the purpose of improving crop yield, resistance to disease, or nutritive value. 5 And did you know it has been going on for millennia, because ancient farmers were selectively breeding foods to provide better flavor, produce smaller seeds, or withstand drought and flooding?

6 Today, however, having more sophisticated tools allow scientists to transfer genes from one organism with another, this purposely provokes better pest resistance and other desirable characteristics. 7 Opponents of genetic modification argue that the DNA modifications are unstable, undesirable, and unhealthy for the environment. 8 Additionally, some are also arguing that consuming GM foods is unsafe for humans, despite much scientific evidence to the contrary.

How should Sentence 4 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Genetic modification is defined as the artificial manipulation of a species' DNA; usually for the purpose of improving crop yield, resistance to disease, or nutritive value.

Genetic modification is defined as the artificial manipulation of a species' DNA usually for the purpose of improving crop yield, resistance to disease, or nutritive value. (no change)

Genetic modification is defined as the artificial manipulation of a species' DNA, usually for the purpose, of improving crop yield, resistance to disease, or nutritive value.

Genetic modification is defined as the artificial manipulation of a species' DNA, usually for the purpose of improving crop yield, resistance to disease, or nutritive value.

Genetic modification is defined as the artificial manipulation of a species' DNA, usually for the purpose of: improving crop yield, resistance to disease, or nutritive value.

Correct answer:

Genetic modification is defined as the artificial manipulation of a species' DNA, usually for the purpose of improving crop yield, resistance to disease, or nutritive value.

Explanation:

Here, we have an independent clause (“Genetic modification is defined as the artificial manipulation of a species' DNA”) and a dependent clause (“usually for the purpose of improving crop yield, resistance to disease, or nutritive value”) that must be separated with a comma.

Example Question #252 : Sat Writing

1 The lost-wax casting method may sound cryptic, but its really a fairly simple and comprehendible process. 2 It is also known as investment or precision casting. 3 It involves twelve steps in that an artist makes an original wax model; creates rubber and plaster molds from the model; fills the molds with wax; coats the new wax models with a ceramic material; and fires the wax-ceramic mixture into a kiln so that the outer layer becomes a reusable mold and the inner wax melts away. 4 Despite involves technical jingo such as spruing, metal-chasing, and burnout, it is a very versant process that can be applied to everything from jewelry making and sculpture, automobile and gun manufacturing.

5 Lost-wax has been used by sculptors from ancient Greece all the way to modern day Germany. 6 Lost-wax has even been applied to dentistry, it is most frequently used to make gold crowns and inlays.7 Why not give it a try? 

Which sentence contains a comma splice?

Possible Answers:

None of the sentences contains a comma splice.

Sentence 1

Sentence 4

Sentence 2

Sentence 6

Correct answer:

Sentence 6

Explanation:

In Sentence 6, we have two independent clauses being incorrectly separated by a comma. Fix this problem by substituting a semicolon for the comma: “Lost-wax has even been applied to dentistry; it is most frequently used to make gold crowns and inlays.”

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