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 #81 : Improving Paragraphs

1 You may not know Gerard Manley Hopkins was a famous English poet. 2 Hopkins led a complicated life as a Jesuit priest, converting to Roman Catholicism in 1866. 3 Born in 1844 the poet was excellent at sketching from an early age and attended the University of Oxford from 1863 to 1867, where he met poets Christina Rossetti, Robert Bridges, and others. 4 According to his personal diaries, Hopkins frequently struggled to repress homoerotic urges, adopting an ascetic lifestyle, many believing that this contributed to his writing. 5 His work itself is characterized by an escarpment of conventional poetic meter, the use of sprung rhythm, frequent vivid imagery, and a careful and creative use of language.6 Sprung rhythm is a particular poetic rhythm that is intended to mimic natural speech and is distinguished by its irregular patterns although it is distinct from free verse.

7 Hopkins died when he was only in his forties, but his contributions to poetry – particularly his experimentation and his use of sprung rhythm – continue to obscure today.

How should Sentence 6 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Sprung rhythm, a particular poetic rhythm that is intended to mimic natural speech, is distinguished by its irregular patterns but is distinct from free verse.

Sprung rhythm is a particular poetic rhythm, which, intended to mimic natural speech, is distinguished by its irregular patterns, because it is distinct from free verse.

Sprung rhythm is a particular poetic rhythm, it is intended to mimic natural speech, and is distinguished by its irregular patterns, while it is distinct from free verse.

Sprung rhythm: a particular poetic rhythm that is intended to mimic natural speech, is distinguished by its irregular patterns although it is distinct from free verse.

Sprung rhythm is a particular poetic rhythm that is intended to mimic natural speech and is distinguished by its irregular patterns although it is distinct from free verse. (no change)

Correct answer:

Sprung rhythm, a particular poetic rhythm that is intended to mimic natural speech, is distinguished by its irregular patterns but is distinct from free verse.

Explanation:

The most concise sentence makes several small grammatical changes.

Example Question #82 : Improving Paragraphs

1 By now it’s common knowledge that a food may be considered unctuous in one culture may be gleaned repulsive in another. 2 Octopus is one such food. 3 It valorizes its audiences, with some gourmands claiming its rubbery texture is unpalatable, others enjoying the unusual taste. 4 It’s cousin, squid, is known as “calamari,” and is also popular in many countries.5 Octopus can be fried in batter, roasted with herbs, steamed and sprinkled with paprika, serve it raw in sushi, or even eat it alive. 6 But be careful: The head of the octopus’ can be poisonous!

How should Sentence 1 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

By now it’s common knowledge that a food, maybe considered unctuous in one culture, maybe gleaned repulsive in another.

By now it’s common knowledge that a food, being considered unctuous in one culture, maybe gleaned repulsive in another.

By now it’s common knowledge that a food may be considered unctuous in one culture, gleaned repulsive in another.

By now it’s common knowledge that a food may be considered unctuous in one culture may be gleaned repulsive in another. (no change)

By now it’s common knowledge that a food may be considered unctuous in one culture but gleaned repulsive in another.

Correct answer:

By now it’s common knowledge that a food may be considered unctuous in one culture but gleaned repulsive in another.

Explanation:

The second “may be” in the original sentence must be changed to “but” for grammatical correctness and semantic efficiency. No additional punctuation is necessary.

Example Question #83 : Improving Paragraphs

1 By now it’s common knowledge that a food may be considered unctuous in one culture may be gleaned repulsive in another. 2 Octopus is one such food. 3 It valorizes its audiences, with some gourmands claiming its rubbery texture is unpalatable, others enjoying the unusual taste. 4 It’s cousin, squid, is known as “calamari,” and is also popular in many countries.5 Octopus can be fried in batter, roasted with herbs, steamed and sprinkled with paprika, serve it raw in sushi, or even eat it alive. 6 But be careful: The head of the octopus’ can be poisonous!

How should Sentence 5 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Octopus, which can be fried in batter, roasted with herbs, steamed and sprinkled with paprika, served raw in sushi, or even eat it alive.

Octopus can be fried in batter, roasted with herbs, steamed and sprinkled with paprika, served raw in sushi, or even eaten alive.

Octopus can be fried in batter, roasted with herbs, steamed and sprinkled with paprika, serve it raw in sushi, or even eat it alive. (no change)

Octopus: it is fried in batter, roasted with herbs, steamed and sprinkled with paprika, served raw in sushi, or even eaten alive.

Octopus can be fried in batter; roast it with herbs, steam and sprinkle with paprika, serve it raw in sushi, or even eat it alive.

Correct answer:

Octopus can be fried in batter, roasted with herbs, steamed and sprinkled with paprika, served raw in sushi, or even eaten alive.

Explanation:

Be careful to avoid faulty parallelism, which is the problem with the original sentence.

Example Question #84 : Improving Paragraphs

1 By now it’s common knowledge that a food may be considered unctuous in one culture may be gleaned repulsive in another. 2 Octopus is one such food. 3 It valorizes its audiences, with some gourmands claiming its rubbery texture is unpalatable, others enjoying the unusual taste. 4 It’s cousin, squid, is known as “calamari,” and is also popular in many countries.5 Octopus can be fried in batter, roasted with herbs, steamed and sprinkled with paprika, serve it raw in sushi, or even eat it alive. 6 But be careful: The head of the octopus’ can be poisonous!

How should Sentence 3 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

It valorizes its audiences; some gourmands claiming its rubbery texture is unpalatable, others enjoying the unusual taste.

It valorizes its audiences, with some gourmands claiming its rubbery texture is unpalatable and others enjoying the unusual taste.

It valorizes its audiences; some gourmands claiming its rubbery texture is unpalatable and others enjoying the unusual taste.

It valorizes its audiences, with some gourmands claiming its rubbery texture is unpalatable; and others enjoying the unusual taste.

It valorizes its audiences, with some gourmands claiming its rubbery texture is unpalatable, others enjoying the unusual taste.

Correct answer:

It valorizes its audiences, with some gourmands claiming its rubbery texture is unpalatable and others enjoying the unusual taste.

Explanation:

Simply changing the comma to a conjunction will make this into a flawless sentence. No semicolons are necessary here, since there is only one independent clause.

Example Question #85 : Improving Paragraphs

1 By now it’s common knowledge that a food may be considered unctuous in one culture may be gleaned repulsive in another. 2 Octopus is one such food. 3 It valorizes its audiences, with some gourmands claiming its rubbery texture is unpalatable, others enjoying the unusual taste. 4 It’s cousin, squid, is known as “calamari,” and is also popular in many countries.5 Octopus can be fried in batter, roasted with herbs, steamed and sprinkled with paprika, serve it raw in sushi, or even eat it alive. 6 But be careful: The head of the octopus’ can be poisonous!

How should Sentence 6 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

But be careful: The head of the octopus’ can be poisonous! (no change)

But be careful, the head of the octopus’ can be poisonous!

But be careful: The head of the octopus can be poisonous!

But be careful; the head of the octopus’ can be poisonous!

But be careful; the head of the octopus can be poisonous!

Correct answer:

But be careful: The head of the octopus can be poisonous!

Explanation:

Everything is fine here except for the apostrophe, which is needlessly and incorrectly turning the noun into a possessive. The colon is the correct punctuation mark in this case.

Example Question #85 : Improving Paragraphs

1 Biographies exist in various specialized forms. 2 A hagiography is a biography that discusses a saint or other church leader. 3 Many hagiographies focus on a saint’s miracles, martyrdom, and divine connection. 4 They were especially common in the Middle Ages, often appearing as part of a larger collection or calendar of saints.

5 Historians today value these accounts not because the hagiographer is often too worshipful to be critical but also they include good insight into local history. 6 For example, the bestselling Golden Legend was a 13th century compensation of saint stories from more than a hundred different sources. 7 England, Ireland, and the Byzantine Empire were all fertile ground for medieval hagiographies and as such much is known about carnelian life there. 8 These hagiographies also changed focus over the years; shifting from heroic tales of holy warriors and sanctimonious moralistic lessons designed to instruct churchgoers. 9 And gradually fading in popularity.

How should Sentence 5 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Historians today value these accounts not because the hagiographer is often too worshipful to be critical but also they include good insight into local history. (no change)

Historians today do not value these accounts because the hagiographer is often too worshipful to be critical but also they include good insight into local history.

Historians today value these accounts not only because the hagiographer is often too worshipful to be critical but also because they include good insight into local history.

Historians today do not value these accounts because the hagiographer is often too worshipful to be critical, but also are including good insight into local history.

Historians today value these accounts not because the hagiographer is often too worshipful to be critical but because they include good insight into local history.

Correct answer:

Historians today value these accounts not because the hagiographer is often too worshipful to be critical but because they include good insight into local history.

Explanation:

The meaning conveyed in the original sentence doesn’t fit the grammatical construction, so we need to change the construction to the “not because __________ but because ___________” form.

Example Question #86 : Improving Paragraphs

1 Punk rock developed in the mid-1970s. 2 It was a musical movement that arose out of antiauthoritarian garage bands.3 It was characterized by fast-paced songs, sedimentary lyrics, and a raw loud sound. 4 And often its lyrics were also political. 5 Some of the most famous punk rock bands came from England and the United States and including the Clash, the Sex Pistols, and the Ramones.

6 Punk bands tending to convince a liberal, anti-establishment, sensibility,and they were proponents of individualism, freedom, and nonconformity.7 (Later in the 1990s “riot grrrl” bands like Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney used their punk music to draw attention on feminist concerns.)8 Now you can find, punk bands in cities all around the world.9 By the 1980s, the public was beginning to accept punk music, slowly becoming mainstream. 

How should Sentence 8 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Now you can find, punk bands in cities all around the world. (no change)

Now, you can find, punk bands in cities all around the world.

Now, you can find: punk bands in cities all around the world.

Now you can find: punk bands in cities all around the world.

Now you can find punk bands in cities all around the world.

Correct answer:

Now you can find punk bands in cities all around the world.

Explanation:

No comma or colon is necessary in the sentence; in fact, adding punctuation would impede the reader’s progress through this single, unified thought and break up the sentence unnecessarily.

Example Question #87 : Improving Paragraphs

1 Leprosy: used to be a dreaded illness both in biblical times as well as more recently. 2 People endured its disfiguring effects until the invention of antibiotics in the 1950s. 3 Also known as Hansen’s disease, antibiotics will fictitiously cure leprosy today. 4 In the old days there exacted leprosy colonies to quarantine infected people, as the disease was then considered highly contagious. 5 Symptoms include skin lesions, nerve damage, numbness, tissue damage, and, in severe cases, deformation of fingers and toes. 6 Thanks to modern medicine, leprosy no longer needs to be a source of social skirmish. 7 In reality, it is transmitted through fluids, usually in the form of airborne particles.

How should Sentence 7 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

In reality, it is transmitted through fluids usually in the form of airborne particles.

In reality, transmitting through fluids and usually in the form of airborne particles.

In reality it is transmitted through fluids, and usually in the form of airborne particles.

In reality, it is transmitted through fluids, usually in the form of airborne particles. (no change)

In reality it is transmitted through fluids usually in the form of airborne particles.

Correct answer:

In reality, it is transmitted through fluids, usually in the form of airborne particles. (no change)

Explanation:

This sentence correctly uses a comma to set off two dependent clauses from the main independent clause: “it is transmitted through fluids.”

Example Question #81 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Full Sentence

1 If you’ve watched any environmental news reports in the last few years, it’s likely you’ve stumbled among the idea of fracking. 2 The word is short for “hydraulic fracturing” and involves injecting liquid into rock to create fractures and fractals, there allowing natural gas to be extracted more querulously.3 Proponents say the method facilitates oil drilling and allows countries, like the United States, to cut back on their foreign oil dependence. 4 Amateurs say that fracking, causes significant and sometimes irresponsible environmental damage.

5 Fracking can require sonorous quantities of water, and leach dangerous carcinogenic chemicals into the groundwater. 6 Some people have even inquired minor earthquakes to fracking: as the process thought to spurn tremors.7 Perhaps most worrisome, fracking allows governments to continue depending on fossil fuel rather than exploring renewable energy. 8 These sources could include wind turbines, solar panels, even hot springs and waterwheels.

How should Sentence 3 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Proponents say the method facilitates oil drilling and allows countries like the United States to cut back on their foreign oil dependence.

Proponents say the method facilitates oil drilling and allows countries, like the United States, to cut back on their foreign oil dependence. (no change)

Proponents say the method facilitates oil drilling and allows countries like the United States, to cut back on their foreign oil dependence.

Proponents say the method facilitates oil drilling and allows countries, like the United States to cut back on their foreign oil dependence.

Proponents say the method facilitates oil drilling and allows countries: like the United States, to cut back on their foreign oil dependence.

Correct answer:

Proponents say the method facilitates oil drilling and allows countries like the United States to cut back on their foreign oil dependence.

Explanation:

No commas are needed in this sentence, as the entire thing is needed to convey the sense of the sentence. (There are no parenthetical elements, in other words.) Note also that colons must follow independent clauses, and can never interrupt a main clause to introduce a list.

Example Question #89 : Improving Paragraphs

1 If you’ve watched any environmental news reports in the last few years, it’s likely you’ve stumbled among the idea of fracking. 2 The word is short for “hydraulic fracturing” and involves injecting liquid into rock to create fractures and fractals, there allowing natural gas to be extracted more querulously.3 Proponents say the method facilitates oil drilling and allows countries, like the United States, to cut back on their foreign oil dependence. 4 Amateurs say that fracking, causes significant and sometimes irresponsible environmental damage.

5 Fracking can require sonorous quantities of water, and leach dangerous carcinogenic chemicals into the groundwater. 6 Some people have even inquired minor earthquakes to fracking: as the process thought to spurn tremors.7 Perhaps most worrisome, fracking allows governments to continue depending on fossil fuel rather than exploring renewable energy. 8 These sources could include wind turbines, solar panels, even hot springs and waterwheels.

How should Sentence 5 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Fracking can require sonorous quantities of water; and leach dangerous carcinogenic chemicals into the groundwater.

Fracking can require sonorous quantities of water, leach dangerous carcinogenic chemicals into the groundwater.

Fracking can require sonorous quantities of water; leach dangerous carcinogenic chemicals into the groundwater.

Fracking can require sonorous quantities of water, leaching dangerous carcinogenic chemicals into the groundwater.

Fracking can require sonorous quantities of water, and leach dangerous carcinogenic chemicals into the groundwater. (no change)

Correct answer:

Fracking can require sonorous quantities of water, leaching dangerous carcinogenic chemicals into the groundwater.

Explanation:

A comma should only be used before the coordinating conjunction "and" if it separates two independent clauses. Changing the verb tense in the second (dependent) clause and deleting the conjunction allows us to keep the comma. Note also that semicolons cannot be used to connect a dependent clause to a main clause and that coordinating conjunctions cannot follow semicolons.

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