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 #21 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

1 E.J. Bellocq, who was he? 2 Those outside the photography coterie may not have heard of him, but his life’s work inspired innumerable films and works of literature. 3 Born into a rich family in the French Quarter of New Orleans Bellocq made a living, taking official photographs of ships, machinery, and other commercial items for local companies. 4 As a result, he became known for his portraits of Chinatown opium dens, and prostitutes in Storyville, one of the seediest districts of early 20th century New Orleans.

5 Bellocq’s work is categorized by its attention to detail and its rich aesthetic sensibility. 6 In his personal life, he was known for being eccentric, unfriendly, partially crippled, and possibly insane. 7 In his veritable Storyville portraits, the women are nude or clothed, looking at or away from the camera, and posed reclining or standing up, revealing great versatility on Bellocq’s part. 8 Tragically many of his negatives and prints were destroyed or damaged by an uncertain hand (mostly likely his or his Jesuit brother).

How should the underlined portion of Sentence 4 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

of Chinatown opium dens and prostitutes in Storyville, one

of Chinatown opium dens, and prostitutes in Storyville, one (no change)

of Chinatown opium dens; and prostitutes in Storyville, one

of Chinatown opium dens; and prostitutes in Storyville one

of Chinatown opium dens, and prostitutes in Storyville one

Correct answer:

of Chinatown opium dens and prostitutes in Storyville, one

Explanation:

A comma is only needed before a conjunction word if that conjunction is separating two independent clauses, which it is not in this sentence. A comma is, however, necessary, to offset a dependent clause from an independent clause, hence the comma after the word “Storyville.”

Example Question #22 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

1 E.J. Bellocq, who was he? 2 Those outside the photography coterie may not have heard of him, but his life’s work inspired innumerable films and works of literature. 3 Born into a rich family in the French Quarter of New Orleans Bellocq made a living, taking official photographs of ships, machinery, and other commercial items for local companies. 4 As a result, he became known for his portraits of Chinatown opium dens, and prostitutes in Storyville, one of the seediest districts of early 20th century New Orleans.

5 Bellocq’s work is categorized by its attention to detail and its rich aesthetic sensibility. 6 In his personal life, he was known for being eccentric, unfriendly, partially crippled, and possibly insane. 7 In his veritable Storyville portraits, the women are nude or clothed, looking at or away from the camera, and posed reclining or standing up, revealing great versatility on Bellocq’s part. 8 Tragically many of his negatives and prints were destroyed or damaged by an uncertain hand (mostly likely his or his Jesuit brother).

How should the underlined portion of Sentence 8 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

(mostly likely his or his Jesuit brother’s).

(mostly likely his or the Jesuit brother).

(mostly likely his or Jesuit brother’s).

(mostly likely by his or his Jesuit brother).

(mostly likely his or his Jesuit brother). (no change)

Correct answer:

(mostly likely his or his Jesuit brother’s).

Explanation:

We must make sure that our comparisons are between like items. “His” is a possessive pronoun and “Jesuit brother” is an object, so they cannot be compared. Since the parentheses is explaining whose hand may have tampered with the photographs, it makes sense to make “Jesuit brother” into a possessive to match “his.” Correctly written, the underlined portion would read (mostly likely his or his Jesuit brother’s).

Example Question #23 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

1 Unlike most languages, Esperanto was created artificially and not arrived naturally from other language’s evolution. 2 If you’ve ever traveled in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language, you’ll be familiar with the motives of the creators of Esperanto; a universal language constructed in 1887. 3 It was invented by the linguist L.L. Zamenhof, its name translating roughly to “the hopeful one,” and it was intended as a simple, neutral language that could transfer national differences and promote international harmony.

4 Implementing Esperanto, although, was more difficult than anticipated. 5 Yet more than two million people world-wide are fluent in Esperanto, far more are fluent in so-called global languages, such as English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Hindi. 6 Linguistically, Esperanto relies within a Latin alphabet and a grammar and vocabulary based primarily on Indo-European languages. 7 Luckily, free online resources, local clubs, and interminable school-sponsored instruction have kept this valuable linguistic experiment from dying out altogether.

How should the underlined portion of Sentence 5 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

far more are fluent in so-called global languages, such as English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Hindi. (no change)

far more are fluent: in so-called global languages such as English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Hindi.

far more are fluent in so-called global languages, such as: English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Hindi.

far more are fluent: in so-called global languages, such as English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Hindi.

far more are fluent in so-called global languages such as English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Hindi.

Correct answer:

far more are fluent in so-called global languages such as English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Hindi.

Explanation:

The phrase “such as” only requires a comma before it if the subsequent phrase is part of a non-restrictive clause. No colon is required to introduce the list; the phrase “such as” already serves that role.

Example Question #24 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

1 Unlike most languages, Esperanto was created artificially and not arrived naturally from other language’s evolution. 2 If you’ve ever traveled in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language, you’ll be familiar with the motives of the creators of Esperanto; a universal language constructed in 1887. 3 It was invented by the linguist L.L. Zamenhof, its name translating roughly to “the hopeful one,” and it was intended as a simple, neutral language that could transfer national differences and promote international harmony.

4 Implementing Esperanto, although, was more difficult than anticipated. 5 Yet more than two million people world-wide are fluent in Esperanto, far more are fluent in so-called global languages, such as English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Hindi. 6 Linguistically, Esperanto relies within a Latin alphabet and a grammar and vocabulary based primarily on Indo-European languages. 7 Luckily, free online resources, local clubs, and interminable school-sponsored instruction have kept this valuable linguistic experiment from dying out altogether.

How should the underlined portion of Sentence 5 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

two million people worldwide

two-million people world wide

two million people world wide

two million people world-wide (no change)

two-million people worldwide

Correct answer:

two million people worldwide

Explanation:

“Worldwide” is one word, not two hyphenated or separate words. The number “two million” is never hyphenated, even when it’s modifying a noun (as in this sentence).

Example Question #25 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

1 Unlike most languages, Esperanto was created artificially and not arrived naturally from other language’s evolution. 2 If you’ve ever traveled in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language, you’ll be familiar with the motives of the creators of Esperanto; a universal language constructed in 1887. 3 It was invented by the linguist L.L. Zamenhof, its name translating roughly to “the hopeful one,” and it was intended as a simple, neutral language that could transfer national differences and promote international harmony.

4 Implementing Esperanto, although, was more difficult than anticipated. 5 Yet more than two million people world-wide are fluent in Esperanto, far more are fluent in so-called global languages, such as English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Hindi. 6 Linguistically, Esperanto relies within a Latin alphabet and a grammar and vocabulary based primarily on Indo-European languages. 7 Luckily, free online resources, local clubs, and interminable school-sponsored instruction have kept this valuable linguistic experiment from dying out altogether.

How should the beginning of Sentence 6 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Linguistically, Esperanto relies within (no change)

Linguistically, Esperanto is relying with

Linguistically Esperanto relies within

Linguistically Esperanto relies upon

Linguistically, Esperanto relies upon

Correct answer:

Linguistically, Esperanto relies upon

Explanation:

As an introductory word, “Linguistically” requires a comma after it. Things always rely “upon” other things, not “within” or “with” them.

Example Question #26 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

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? 

How should the underlined portion of Sentence 4 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

everything from jewelry making and sculpture, to automobile and gun manufacturing.

everything from jewelry making and sculpture to automobile and gun manufacturing.

everything from jewelry making and sculpture, automobile, and gun manufacturing.

everything from jewelry making and sculpture, automobile and gun manufacturing. (no change)

everything from jewelry making to sculpture, and automobile and gun manufacturing.

Correct answer:

everything from jewelry making and sculpture to automobile and gun manufacturing.

Explanation:

The correct grammatical construction is always “everything from __________ to ___________.” No commas are used in this phrase.

Example Question #27 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

1 E.J. Bellocq, who was he? 2 Those outside the photography coterie may not have heard of him, but his life’s work inspired innumerable films and works of literature. 3 Born into a rich family in the French Quarter of New Orleans Bellocq made a living, taking official photographs of ships, machinery, and other commercial items for local companies. 4 As a result, he became known for his portraits of Chinatown opium dens, and prostitutes in Storyville, one of the seediest districts of early 20th century New Orleans.

5 Bellocq’s work is categorized by its attention to detail and its rich aesthetic sensibility. 6 In his personal life, he was known for being eccentric, unfriendly, partially crippled, and possibly insane. 7 In his veritable Storyville portraits, the women are nude or clothed, looking at or away from the camera, and posed reclining or standing up, revealing great versatility on Bellocq’s part. 8 Tragically many of his negatives and prints were destroyed or damaged by an uncertain hand (mostly likely his or his Jesuit brother).

How should the underlined portion of Sentence 8 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Tragically many of his negatives and prints were destroyed (no change)

Tragically, many of his negatives and prints were destroyed

Tragically many of his negatives and prints having been destroyed,

Tragically, many of his negatives and prints were destroyed,

Tragically, with many of his negatives and prints were destroyed

Correct answer:

Tragically, many of his negatives and prints were destroyed

Explanation:

"Tragically" is an introductory word that must be set off from the rest of the sentence with a comma. No other changes are necessary.

Example Question #28 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

1 E.J. Bellocq, who was he? 2 Those outside the photography coterie may not have heard of him, but his life’s work inspired innumerable films and works of literature. 3 Born into a rich family in the French Quarter of New Orleans Bellocq made a living, taking official photographs of ships, machinery, and other commercial items for local companies. 4 As a result, he became known for his portraits of Chinatown opium dens, and prostitutes in Storyville, one of the seediest districts of early 20th century New Orleans.

5 Bellocq’s work is categorized by its attention to detail and its rich aesthetic sensibility. 6 In his personal life, he was known for being eccentric, unfriendly, partially crippled, and possibly insane. 7 In his veritable Storyville portraits, the women are nude or clothed, looking at or away from the camera, and posed reclining or standing up, revealing great versatility on Bellocq’s part. 8 Tragically many of his negatives and prints were destroyed or damaged by an uncertain hand (mostly likely his or his Jesuit brother).

In Sentence 1, what punctuation mark should replace the comma?

Possible Answers:

Colon

Comma (no change)

Semicolon

Question mark

Exclamation point

Correct answer:

Colon

Explanation:

Although colons are most frequently used to introduce lists, they can also occasionally introduce a full clause, as in this case. None of the other punctuation marks would be correct. A semicolon is inapropriate here since a name, by itself, is not an independent clause.

Example Question #29 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

1 Unlike most languages, Esperanto was created artificially and not arrived naturally from other language’s evolution. 2 If you’ve ever traveled in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language, you’ll be familiar with the motives of the creators of Esperanto; a universal language constructed in 1887. 3 It was invented by the linguist L.L. Zamenhof, its name translating roughly to “the hopeful one,” and it was intended as a simple, neutral language that could transfer national differences and promote international harmony.

4 Implementing Esperanto, although, was more difficult than anticipated. 5 Yet more than two million people world-wide are fluent in Esperanto, far more are fluent in so-called global languages, such as English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Hindi. 6 Linguistically, Esperanto relies within a Latin alphabet and a grammar and vocabulary based primarily on Indo-European languages. 7 Luckily, free online resources, local clubs, and interminable school-sponsored instruction have kept this valuable linguistic experiment from dying out altogether.

In Sentence 2, what punctuation change needs to be made?

Possible Answers:

replace the comma with a semicolon

replace the comma with a colon

delete the semicolon

delete the comma

replace the semicolon with a comma

Correct answer:

replace the semicolon with a comma

Explanation:

Here we have (in order) a dependent clause, an independent clause, and a dependent clause. Independent and dependent clauses are always separated by commas.

Example Question #30 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

1 The legend of Billy the Kid, one of the most famous outlaws of the Wild West. 2 Allied Henry McCarty and William H. Bonney, Billy the Kid was a gunfighter who was rumored to have killed nearly two dozen men in 19th century America. 3 Friendly and charming, his status was relatively unknown until a price was put on his head in 1881 by the governor of New Mexico, than a territory. 4 He lived in New York City, Indiana, Kansas, and Arizona at various points within his life. 5 Billy the Kid’s various crimes include: murder, horse thievery, stealing firearms, and escaping from jail. 6 Many of these various crimes were committed as part of his membership in Old West gangs. 7 He was finally, captured and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett in New Mexico in 1881.

How should the underlined portion of Sentence 2 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

nearly-two-dozen men

nearly, two dozen men

nearly two dozen men (no change)

nearly two-dozen men

nearly, two-dozen men

Correct answer:

nearly two dozen men (no change)

Explanation:

“Two dozen” is an adjective that does not require hyphenation (most plain numbers do not, although there are exceptions), and “nearly” is an adverb. Generally speaking, neither commas nor hyphens are needed to connect an adverb and an adjective preceding a noun.

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