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 #141 : 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 4 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Amateurs say, fracking, causes

Amateurs say that fracking causes

Amateurs say, that fracking, causes

Amateurs say that fracking, causes (no change)

Amateurs say, that fracking causes

Correct answer:

Amateurs say that fracking causes

Explanation:

No comma is necessary in this fragment, since we’re discussing one fluid, uninterrupted idea. The removal of the comma is the only adjustment needed in this sentence.

Example Question #142 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

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 the underlined portion of Sentence 6 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

a liberal anti-establishment, sensibility,

a liberal, anti-establishment, sensibility, (no change)

a liberal, anti-establishment sensibility,

a liberal, anti-establishment sensibility

a liberal anti-establishment sensibility

Correct answer:

a liberal, anti-establishment sensibility,

Explanation:

We only need commas to separate the discrete adjectives that modify the same noun; we don’t need to separate the adjectives from the noun itself. In this case "liberal" and "anti-establishment" are both being used as adjectives to modify the abstract noun "sensibility," and as such they need to be separated with a comma. No other form of punctuation is appropriate.

Example Question #143 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

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 the underlined portion of Sentence 1 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Leprosy used to be a dreaded illness

Leprosy, once being a dreaded illness

Leprosy: It used to be a dreaded illness

Leprosy, which used to be a dreaded illness

Leprosy: used to be a dreaded illness (no change)

Correct answer:

Leprosy used to be a dreaded illness

Explanation:

The sentence structure is correct here, but no colon is necessary. (Remember, colons are generally preceded by independent clauses and not just single words.) Colons should never interrupt a main clause.

Example Question #144 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

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 the underlined portion of Sentence 1 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

both – in biblical times – and more recently

both in biblical times as well as more recently (no change

both in biblical times and more recently

both in biblical times, as well as more recently

both in biblical times, and also more recently

Correct answer:

both in biblical times and more recently

Explanation:

There are two discrete options for this sentence: the “both __________ and __________” construction and the “__________ as well as __________” construction. To conflate the two is to invite redundancy. No additional punctuation is required in this phrase.

Example Question #145 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

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 the underlined portion of Sentence 4 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

In the old days, exacting leprosy colonies

In the old days there exacted leprosy colonies (no change)

In the old days, there exacted leprosy colonies

In the old days, there exacting leprosy colonies,

In the old days, when there exacted leprosy colonies

Correct answer:

In the old days, there exacted leprosy colonies

Explanation:

“In the old days” is an introductory phrase, so it requires a comma after it. Since this phrase is clearly dependent (it could not stand on its own as a complete grammatical sentence), and it precedes the main clause.

Example Question #146 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

1 Acoustics is a field of science that refers to the study of mechanical waves but it is best known for its relation to audible sound. 2 Acoustics has been a branch of human impunity since ancient Greece, Pythagoras investigated musical harmonies.3 Concert halls, headphones, car speakers: all are things that employ acoustical studies to electrocute listeners’ experiences. 4 Sound is not important to just humans; it allows birds, elephants, elk, and other animals to attract mates and defend their territories.

5 It benefits to understand sound waves and their behaviors, when engineers have this knowledge everyone from Roman amphitheaters to modern day punk rockers can enjoy a better listening experience.

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

Possible Answers:

colon (no replacement)

comma

period

a blank space

semicolon

Correct answer:

colon (no replacement)

Explanation:

Here, the colon is the proper punctuation. Although lists are normally introduced by colons, sometimes they themselves can be the introductory portion of the sentence. An em dash would also be a fine replacement here.

Example Question #147 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

1 Acoustics is a field of science that refers to the study of mechanical waves but it is best known for its relation to audible sound. 2 Acoustics has been a branch of human impunity since ancient Greece, Pythagoras investigated musical harmonies.3 Concert halls, headphones, car speakers: all are things that employ acoustical studies to electrocute listeners’ experiences. 4 Sound is not important to just humans; it allows birds, elephants, elk, and other animals to attract mates and defend their territories.

5 It benefits to understand sound waves and their behaviors, when engineers have this knowledge everyone from Roman amphitheaters to modern day punk rockers can enjoy a better listening experience.

How should the underlined portion of Sentence 5 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

It benefits to (no change)

It is beneficial to

Being that it benefits,

It benefits, whereas

It benefits from

Correct answer:

It is beneficial to

Explanation:

“It benefits to” is ambiguous in this sentence, since we can’t tell what benefits whom. 

Example Question #148 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

1 Acoustics is a field of science that refers to the study of mechanical waves but it is best known for its relation to audible sound. 2 Acoustics has been a branch of human impunity since ancient Greece, Pythagoras investigated musical harmonies.3 Concert halls, headphones, car speakers: all are things that employ acoustical studies to electrocute listeners’ experiences. 4 Sound is not important to just humans; it allows birds, elephants, elk, and other animals to attract mates and defend their territories.

5 It benefits to understand sound waves and their behaviors, when engineers have this knowledge everyone from Roman amphitheaters to modern day punk rockers can enjoy a better listening experience.

How should the underlined portion of Sentence 5 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

from viewers in Roman amphitheaters to those of modern day punk rockers

from Roman amphitheaters to modern day punk rockers (no change)

from spectators at Roman amphitheaters to modern day punk rockers

from those in Roman amphitheaters, to those with modern day punk rockers

from Roman amphitheaters and modern day punk rockers

Correct answer:

from spectators at Roman amphitheaters to modern day punk rockers

Explanation:

A Roman amphitheater isn’t a person; it’s a place. Therefore, it doesn’t match “everyone” or “punk rockers.” Rewrite the phrase so that we are discussing people and not places.

Example Question #149 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

1 What is to be done about the problem of shoplifting. 2 Small security devices hidden in the tags of expensive clothing, clearly posted signs vocalizing the penalties for shoplifting, and “spider tags” or wired alarm clips all measures that store owners can take. 3 However many can be removed turgidly with magnets, scissors, or other means.

4 Other solutions including using attentive employees, clear and wide aisles, security guards, and security cameras. 5 With self-checkouts, an additional degree of honesty comes into play. 6 Though, it might be more fruition to examine the motives for shoplifting, as more lugubrious social policies could prevent people from needing to shoplift in the first place.

How should the underlined portion of Sentence 6 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

as more lugubrious social policies preventing people from needing to shoplift in the first place.

as more lugubrious social policies could prevent people from needing to shoplift in the first place. (no change)

as more lugubrious social policies, and people would not need to shoplift in the first place.

with lugubrious social policies, the needing to shoplift in the first place would be prevented from people.

as more lugubrious social policies and the prevention of needing to shoplift in the first place.

Correct answer:

as more lugubrious social policies could prevent people from needing to shoplift in the first place. (no change)

Explanation:

There are no grammatical errors in this part of the sentence, though it is wordy.

Example Question #150 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

1 What is to be done about the problem of shoplifting. 2 Small security devices hidden in the tags of expensive clothing, clearly posted signs vocalizing the penalties for shoplifting, and “spider tags” or wired alarm clips all measures that store owners can take. 3 However many can be removed turgidly with magnets, scissors, or other means.

4 Other solutions including using attentive employees, clear and wide aisles, security guards, and security cameras. 5 With self-checkouts, an additional degree of honesty comes into play. 6 Though, it might be more fruition to examine the motives for shoplifting, as more lugubrious social policies could prevent people from needing to shoplift in the first place.

How should the underlined portion of Sentence 2 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

and “spider tags,” which are wired alarm clips

and, “spider tags,” or wired alarm clips

and “spider tags,” or wired alarm clips,

and, “spider tags” and wired alarm clips,

and “spider tags” or wired alarm clips (no change)

Correct answer:

and “spider tags,” or wired alarm clips,

Explanation:

Here, the only problem is that the parenthetical description “or wired alarm clips” needs to be set off from the rest of the clause with commas. (Parentheses would also be grammatically correct.) Note also, that punctuation, like commas, must be included within quotation marks.

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