SAT Writing : Correcting Grammatical Errors in a Sentence Fragment

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #121 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

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 the underlined portion of Sentence 3 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

age, attending the University of Oxford from 1863 to 1867

age and attended the University of Oxford from 1863 to 1867 (no change)

age, and attended the University of Oxford, from 1863 to 1867

age, and attended the University of Oxford from 1863 to 1867

age and from 1863 to 1867 attended the University of Oxford 

Correct answer:

age and from 1863 to 1867 attended the University of Oxford 

Explanation:

The original sentence contains a misplaced modifier: Hopkins didn’t meet the other poets at 1867 but rather at Oxford, so the order should be switched.

Example Question #122 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

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 the underlined portion of Sentence 4 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

with many believing that this contributed to his writing.

and many believed that this contributed to his writing.

whereas, many believing that this contributed to his writing.

while many believed that this contributed to his writing.

many believing that this contributed to his writing. (no change)

Correct answer:

and many believed that this contributed to his writing.

Explanation:

To avoid a run-on, we should change the gerund to a past-tense verb and add a conjunction that signals addition.

Example Question #123 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

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.

Which sentence contains a hyphen error?

Possible Answers:

None of the sentences

Sentence 5

Sentence 4

Sentence 1

Sentence 6

Correct answer:

Sentence 6

Explanation:

In Sentence 6, a hyphen must be inserted into “13th century,” as these words are a compound adjective modifying a noun.

Example Question #124 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

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 the underlined portion of Sentence 7 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

hagiographies and as such, much is known about quotidian life there.

hagiographies and as such much is known about quotidian life there. (no change)

hagiographies, and, as such, much is known about quotidian life there.

hagiographies, and as such much is known about quotidian life there.

hagiographies and, as such much is known about quotidian life there.

Correct answer:

hagiographies, and, as such, much is known about quotidian life there.

Explanation:

We need a comma before the conjunction to separate the two independent clauses correctly, and we need commas on either side of “as such,” which serves as a parenthetical clause here.

Example Question #125 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

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 the underlined portion of Sentence 8 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

also changed focus over the years,

also changed focus over the years; (no change)

also, changing focus over the years,

also, changing focus over the years;

also changed focus over the years

Correct answer:

also changed focus over the years,

Explanation:

Since the next part of the sentence is a dependent clause that modifies an independent clause, the correct punctuation is a comma and not a semicolon. No other changes need to be made.

Example Question #126 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

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 the underlined portion of Sentence 8 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

shifting from heroic tales of holy warriors to

shifting: from heroic tales of holy warriors and

shifting with heroic tales of holy warriors and

shifting from heroic tales of holy warriors and (no change)

shifting: from heroic tales of holy warriors to

Correct answer:

shifting from heroic tales of holy warriors to

Explanation:

Objects shift from one thing to another; no other prepositions work. No colon is needed in this particular phrase.

Example Question #127 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

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 the underlined portion of Sentence 7 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

to continue depending on fossil fuel, rather, exploring renewable energy      

to continue depending on fossil fuel and rather explored renewable energy

to continue depending on fossil fuel and exploring renewable energy

to continue depending on fossil fuel rather than exploring renewable energy (no change)

to continue depending on fossil fuel rather than explore renewable energy

Correct answer:

to continue depending on fossil fuel rather than explore renewable energy

Explanation:

We need to create parallel structures here. Don’t be fooled by the “depending”; the main verb in the first part of the comparison is “to continue,” so “exploring” should be changed to match that tense.

Example Question #128 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

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 the underlined portion of Sentence 8 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

wind turbines, solar panels, and even hot springs, waterwheels.

even wind turbines, solar panels, hot springs, waterwheels.

wind turbines, solar panels, even hot springs, waterwheels.

wind turbines, solar panels, even hot springs and waterwheels. (no change)

wind turbines, solar panels, and even hot springs and waterwheels.

Correct answer:

wind turbines, solar panels, and even hot springs and waterwheels.

Explanation:

Although the last item in this list is a compound item (“even hot springs and waterwheels”), we have to be sure to include an “and” before this item. Otherwise, our list is incorrectly written.

Example Question #129 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

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.

In Sentence 8, where does a comma need to be added?

Possible Answers:

After “attempt”

After “such”

After “but”

No comma should be added

After “machinate”

Correct answer:

After “such”

Explanation:

“As such” is an introductory phrase that requires a comma after it. "As such" is outside of the fundamental grammatical structure of the sentence, and thus needs to be grammatically separated (with punctuation) from the main clause. All of the other options that suggested adding a comma would have interrupted a clause with a comma in a way that was incorrect.

Example Question #130 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

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 the underlined portion of Sentence 6 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

to be pseudoscientists but

to be pseudoscientists: but,

to be pseudoscientists; but, (no change)

to be pseudoscientists, but

to be pseudoscientists; but

Correct answer:

to be pseudoscientists, but

Explanation:

When “but” is used as a coordinating conjunction to link two independent clauses (when the second clause contains information contradictory to the statements of the first clause), a comma before the “but” and nothing after it is the correct punctuation. Note that commas should not interrupt main clauses, and that semicolons, while often used to connect independent clauses, cannot be followed by coordinating conjunctions.

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