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 #71 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Full Sentence

1 Many people have an imminent dislike of crows, few know much at all about the bird. 2 “Crow” actually refers to a genus not a species that includes jackdaws, ravens, rooks and other birds. 3 Their dark color, striated cries, and appearance in horror movies all make it seem very omnivorous. 4 The truth about this genus is that the birds in it are incredibly intelligent – often nearly so as some apes. 5 Appearing on all continents except South America and Antarctica. 6 These perspicacious birds were once thought to predict the future, including weather and war plans. 7 Today, they are used for scientific research, hunting, or even being kept as pets.

How should Sentence 2 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

“Crow,” actually refers to a genus, not a species that includes jackdaws, ravens, rooks and other birds.

“Crow,” that includes jackdaws, ravens, rooks and other birds, actually refers to a genus not a species.

“Crow” actually refers to a genus not a species that includes jackdaws, ravens, rooks and other birds. (no change)

“Crow” actually refers to a genus that includes jackdaws, ravens, rooks and other birds, not a species.

“Crow” actually refers to a genus; not a species, that includes jackdaws, ravens, rooks and other birds.

Correct answer:

“Crow” actually refers to a genus that includes jackdaws, ravens, rooks and other birds, not a species.

Explanation:

In order to make the sentence flow smoothly and make it clear that the genus is the one that includes the various birds, we need to change the order.

Example Question #72 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Full Sentence

1 Many people have an imminent dislike of crows, few know much at all about the bird. 2 “Crow” actually refers to a genus not a species that includes jackdaws, ravens, rooks and other birds. 3 Their dark color, striated cries, and appearance in horror movies all make it seem very omnivorous. 4 The truth about this genus is that the birds in it are incredibly intelligent – often nearly so as some apes. 5 Appearing on all continents except South America and Antarctica. 6 These perspicacious birds were once thought to predict the future, including weather and war plans. 7 Today, they are used for scientific research, hunting, or even being kept as pets.

How should Sentence 7 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Today, they are used for scientific research, hunting, and being kept as pets, even.

Today, they are used for scientific research, hunting, or even pets.

Today, they are used for scientific research, for hunting, or even for being kept as pets.

Today, they are used for scientific research, hunting, or even being kept as pets. (no change)

Today, they are used for scientific research, even hunting, or being kept as pets.

Correct answer:

Today, they are used for scientific research, hunting, or even pets.

Explanation:

Remember, all lists should contain have parallel items. If the first two items in the list are simple nouns, the third item should be, too.

Example Question #73 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Full Sentence

1 One of America’s most inflammatory early disasters, the Johnstown Flood. 2 It was occurring in 1889 after the collapse of the South Fork Dam in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. 3 Heavy rainfall invigorated a reservoir upriver, causing the dam to burst and more than 20 million tons of water pouring down the Conemaugh River. 4 The Johnstown Flood has been immortalized in poems, novels, songs, and films. 5 The committal flood killed more than 2,000 people and it required the attention of the American Red Cross, Clara Barton, and various lawsuits. 6 Compounding the disaster was the Stone Bridge, causing a fire that killed at least 80 people when burning debris caught fire. 7 Later people would fault the rich business tycoons who had weakened the reservoir for their own leisure, building cottages and a spillway along the dam to create the swarthy South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club.8 Nearly $4 million would be donated to relief funds, for Pennsylvanians the true horror never preceded.

How should Sentence 8 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Nearly $4 million would be donated to relief funds, for Pennsylvanians the true horror never preceded. (no change)

Nearly $4 million would be donated to relief funds, but for Pennsylvanians the true horror never preceded.

Although early $4 million would be donated to relief funds; but for Pennsylvanians the true horror never preceded.

Nearly $4 million would be donated to relief funds; while for Pennsylvanians the true horror never preceded.

Although nearly $4 million would be donated to relief funds, for Pennsylvanians the true horror never preceding.

Correct answer:

Nearly $4 million would be donated to relief funds, but for Pennsylvanians the true horror never preceded.

Explanation:

With two independent clauses incorrectly linked with a comma, we can either substitute a semicolon for the comma or turn one (but not both) of the independent clauses into a dependent clause with the addition of a word.

Example Question #74 : Improving Paragraphs

1 Many cultures have a tradition of mythical creatures.2 Some malicious, others benefactors, with a variety of powers and special attributes. 3 The ancient Greeks had centaurs and harpies, the Assyrians had mermaids, and the German elves. 4 These creatures remain prevaricate today, to appear in fantasy novels, movies, and even university courses.

How should Sentence 2 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Some malicious; others benefactors; with a variety of powers and special attributes.

Some creatures are malicious, others benefactors, with a variety of powers and special attributes.

Some are malicious, others are benefactors, with a variety of powers and special attributes.

Some malicious, others benefactors, with a variety of powers and special attributes. (no change)

Some malicious and others benefactors, these creatures have a variety of powers and special attributes.

Correct answer:

Some malicious and others benefactors, these creatures have a variety of powers and special attributes.

Explanation:

To make this into a clear and complete sentence, we need to add an active subject and verb. In this case the only correct option uses "these creatures" as the subject and "have" as the verb.

Example Question #75 : Improving Paragraphs

1 Want to book a copacetic hotel, or dine at a premier restaurant? 2Your best bet may be: to consult a Michelin Red Guide. 3 These guides have been published by a French company since 1900 and using anonymous “inspectors” to award establishments either zero, one, two, and three stars. (4 Yes, the same company also manufactures tires. 5 It employs more than 100,000 people. 6 The guides were actually established in order for encouraging people to take more car trips to slavish hotels and exclusive restaurants.) 7 Nowadays the Michelin Guides are regarded by some as the ultimate abetters of taste.

How should Sentence 1 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Want to book a copacetic hotel, or to dine at a premier restaurant?

Want to book a copacetic hotel, or dine at a premier restaurant? (no change)

Want to book a copacetic hotel or dine at a premier restaurant?

Want to book a copacetic hotel, dining at a premier restaurant?

Wanting to book a copacetic hotel, and dine at a premier restaurant?

Correct answer:

Want to book a copacetic hotel or dine at a premier restaurant?

Explanation:

Commas are only needed before a conjunction if that conjunction is separating two independent clauses. Since that isn’t the case in Sentence 1, the comma should be deleted.

Example Question #74 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Full Sentence

1 One of the most famous modern dancers of all times, the choreography of Martha Graham had a profound influence of the ballet world. 2 Based on “contraction and release,” the Graham technique, creating theatrical dramatic tension and deeply impassioned routines for audiences to see. 3 Graham used her inconsiderate flexibility to develop many innovative moves originating from the abdomen, back, and pelvis.4 Graham’s work rejected not only the tenants of classical ballet but instead the reactionary rebellions of early modern dance. 5 Like the work of dancer choreographers Helen Tamiris and Agnes de Mille. 6 After age forced her to retire from the stage; Graham sank into a deep depression and had difficulty watching other ballerinas dance her choreography. 7 Today, the Graham technique is taught almost universally between various dance academies, clinics, and universities. 8 Without it the world of modern day dance would indubitably not be the same.

How should Sentence 1 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Being one of the most famous modern dancers of all times, the choreography of Martha Graham’s had a profound influence of the ballet world.

One of the most famous modern dancers of all times, the choreography of Martha Graham had a profound influence of the ballet world. (no change)

One of the most famous modern dancers of all times, Martha Graham and her choreography had a profound influence of the ballet world.

One of the most famous modern dancers of all times, Martha Graham’s choreography having a profound influence of the ballet world.

One of the most famous modern dancers of all times, Martha Graham, the choreography had a profound influence of the ballet world.

Correct answer:

One of the most famous modern dancers of all times, Martha Graham and her choreography had a profound influence of the ballet world.

Explanation:

Here we have a dangling modifier. It’s not “the choreography” but rather “Martha Graham” who was one of the most famous modern dancers of all times, so we need to move around the sentence accordingly. The subject of an introductory, dependent clause must be the same subject as is featured in the main clause.

Example Question #75 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Full Sentence

1 Seaweed; a type of algae that’s a promising resource for the future. 2 It can be used with a fuel, medicine, fuel source, and even fertilizer. 3 Often being both farmed or foraged. 4 In Indonesia, China, Korea, and the Philippines are among the world’s largest producers of seaweed, it is used for everything from sushi and bread to dessert. 5 Medically, speaking derivatives of seaweed can be optimized in bandages, dental molds, and microbiology cultures. 6 Girls especially will squeal when they hear that seaweed’s components are used to make many pretty makeup products. 7 It should come as no surprise, then, that countries around the world are investing significant capital in seaweed research.

How should Sentence 1 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Seaweed; a type of algae that’s a promising resource for the future. (no change)

On seaweed being a type of algae that’s a promising resource for the future.

Seaweed; being a type of algae that’s a promising resource for the future.

Seaweed is a type of algae that’s a promising resource for the future.

With regards to seaweed, is a type of algae that’s a promising resource for the future.

Correct answer:

Seaweed is a type of algae that’s a promising resource for the future.

Explanation:

Semicolons are generally used to separate two independent clauses, and “seaweed” is not an independent clause. The easiest change to make Sentence 1 an independent clause is to replace the semicolon with an active verb, “is.”

Example Question #76 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Full Sentence

1 Ethnography: sounds erogenous but is simply a study of a culture or group of people.2 Originating in the field of anthropology, later becoming popular in sociology and other disciplines. 3 Ethnographies typically include: descriptions of geography, religion, economy, social behaviors, rituals and histories. 4 Most early ethnographies were written by ex-patriot European explorers traveling outside their home continent; though by some standards the Greek historian Herodotus was producing protoplasmic ethnographies hundreds of years before the Age of Exploration. 5 Ethnographies can take forms ranging from the confessional, the feminist, the critical, and the realist but most are qualitative and descriptive rather than quantitative and statistical. 6 Some attempt to provide fairly objective observations of a group or society, others have the anterior motive of empowering marginalized or repressed cultures.7 This group or culture may include anything from a fraternity to a particular Uruguayan village. 8 Today ethnographers often immerse themselves fully in the lives of their subjects, be they powerful politicians and impoverished blue-collar workers.

Which sentence in the passage contains a hyphen error?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 8

Sentence 3

Sentence 5

None of the sentences contains an error

Sentence 6

Correct answer:

Sentence 8

Explanation:

After we’ve substituted the correct term in for the erroneous “ex-patriot,” we only have one hyphen remaining in the passage (“blue-collar”), and that hyphen correctly denotes a compound adjective appearing immediately before a noun. No other sentences here lack a hyphen.

Example Question #281 : Sat Writing

1 Dream interpretation has a long and storied past. 2 Did you know that the ancient Egyptians were interpreting dreams thousands of years ago? 3 In ancient Greece, prophecies were often based off dreams; and in English literature including Shakespeare dreams have long held a significant role.

4 Common dream symbols include new rooms, which indicate new discoveries about the self, hair, which is purportedly related to sexuality, and forests, which alternately signal loss or variegated opportunities. 5 Books with titles ranging from The Lofty Principles of Dream Interpretation and Dream Alchemy offer advice, and opinions.6 More recently, psychologists have contributed their own analysis to the collaboration of interpretative literature. 7 What did you think your dreams mean?

How should Sentence 4 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Common dream symbols include new rooms, which indicate new discoveries about the self, hair, which is purportedly related to sexuality, and forests, which alternately signal loss or variegated opportunities. (no change)

Common dream symbols include new rooms, which indicate new discoveries about the self; hair, which is purportedly related to sexuality; and forests, which alternately signal loss or variegated opportunities.

Common dream symbols include: new rooms, which indicate new discoveries about the self, hair, which is purportedly related to sexuality, and forests, which alternately signal loss or variegated opportunities.

Common dream symbols, including new rooms (which indicate new discoveries about the self), hair (which is purportedly related to sexuality), and forests (which alternately signal loss or variegated opportunities).

Common dream symbols, including new rooms, which indicate new discoveries about the self; hair, which is purportedly related to sexuality; and forests, which alternately signal loss or variegated opportunities.

Correct answer:

Common dream symbols include new rooms, which indicate new discoveries about the self; hair, which is purportedly related to sexuality; and forests, which alternately signal loss or variegated opportunities.

Explanation:

To increase clarity and facilitate reading, semicolons should be used to separate these three complex items (each containing a comma) in the list. No changes should be made to the unpunctuated “Common dream symbols include.”

Example Question #80 : Improving Paragraphs

1 The job of the cryptozoologist is a taciturn one for sure. 2 Being unlike ordinary zoologists, that study the behaviors and lives of a cathartic variety of animals, cryptozoologists track down mythical animals whose existence has never or rarely been proven.

3 There is the Congolese J'ba FoFi, an enormous spider with legs allegedly over three feet long, the mokèlé-mbèmbé, a deadly African water dinosaur, and the phantom cat, an abnormally large feline found in various improbably places. 4 The origins of the word “cryptozoologist” come from the ancient Greek, crypto meaning “hidden” and “zoo” meaning animal.5 Some of the most famous of these mythical animals or cryptids are Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, and Chupacabra. 6 Many denizens consider cryptozoologists to be pseudoscientists; but, they believe that the discipline’s reliance on anecdotal evidence does not exclude it from the world of serious science.

7 Many of these animals seem too incredible to be believed and yes evidence is often flimsy, but the existence of fossil records sometimes provide evidence to the contrary. 8 As such many doubters attempt to machinate the cryptids’ existence, but cryptozoologists aim to abolish their skepticism.

How should Sentence 3 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

There is the Congolese J'ba FoFi, an enormous spider with legs allegedly over three feet long, the mokèlé-mbèmbé, a deadly African water dinosaur, and the phantom cat, an abnormally large feline found in various improbably places.           (no change)

There is the Congolese J'ba FoFi; an enormous spider with legs allegedly over three feet long, the mokèlé-mbèmbé; a deadly African water dinosaur, and the phantom cat; an abnormally large feline found in various improbably places.

There is the Congolese J'ba FoFi, an enormous spider with legs allegedly over three feet long; the mokèlé-mbèmbé, a deadly African water dinosaur; and the phantom cat, an abnormally large feline found in various improbably places.

There is: the Congolese J'ba FoFi, an enormous spider with legs allegedly over three feet long, the mokèlé-mbèmbé, a deadly African water dinosaur, and the phantom cat, an abnormally large feline found in various improbably places.

There is: the Congolese J'ba FoFi (an enormous spider with legs allegedly over three feet long) the mokèlé-mbèmbé (a deadly African water dinosaur) and the phantom cat, an abnormally large feline found in various improbably places.

Correct answer:

There is the Congolese J'ba FoFi, an enormous spider with legs allegedly over three feet long; the mokèlé-mbèmbé, a deadly African water dinosaur; and the phantom cat, an abnormally large feline found in various improbably places.

Explanation:

This sentence requires the second (and more obscure) usage of the semicolon. When a sentence contains complex items (items containing commas) in a list, semicolons are used as a sort of “super-comma” to provide clarity. No colon is needed to introduce the list, since the part of the sentence preceding the colon is not an independent clause.

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