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 #92 : Rewriting A Sentence Fragment

1 No one wants to live in the swamp. 2 But swamps are an incredibly important part of the Earth’s ecosystem. 3 They are defined as forested wetlands and can be found from Africa and Asia and in Europe and the Americas. 4 In fact: the only continent to not contained swamps is Antarctica. 5 Because swamps are rarely arid, meaning able to be farmed, and because it usually is not conducive to hunting, they are undervalued by human society. 6 In swamps, a portion of dry land that protects from the water is known as a “hammock.” 7 Moreover, swamps are actually integrity to our world, providing clean water and oxygen for people as well as breeding grounds for animals big and small. 

In Sentence 4, what punctuation mark should replace the colon?

Possible Answers:

Comma

Semicolon

It should not be replaced

Hyphen

Question mark

Correct answer:

Comma

Explanation:

Generally, we only use a colon if the part of the sentence preceding it is an independent clause. A comma would correctly separate this introductory phrase from the rest of its sentence.

Example Question #93 : Rewriting A Sentence Fragment

1 No one wants to live in the swamp. 2 But swamps are an incredibly important part of the Earth’s ecosystem. 3 They are defined as forested wetlands and can be found from Africa and Asia and in Europe and the Americas. 4 In fact: the only continent to not contained swamps is Antarctica. 5 Because swamps are rarely arid, meaning able to be farmed, and because it usually is not conducive to hunting, they are undervalued by human society. 6 In swamps, a portion of dry land that protects from the water is known as a “hammock.” 7 Moreover, swamps are actually integrity to our world, providing clean water and oxygen for people as well as breeding grounds for animals big and small. 

How should the underlined portion of Sentence 3 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

found from Africa and Asia to Europe and the Americas.

found from Africa and Asia and in Europe and the Americas. (no change)

found from Africa and Asia, and into Europe and the Americas.

found from Africa and Asia, to Europe and the Americas.

found in Africa and Asia, to Europe and the Americas.

Correct answer:

found from Africa and Asia to Europe and the Americas.

Explanation:

We could rewrite this kind of phrase in two ways: either “found from __________ to __________” or “found in __________ and in __________.” Combining the two, however, will not work.

Example Question #94 : Rewriting A Sentence Fragment

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 the underlined portion of Sentence 4 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

often nearly so as some apes. (no change)

often nearly as intelligent as some apes.

often, nearly so intelligent as much apes.

often nearly so much so as some apes.

often much so as intelligent apes.

Correct answer:

often nearly as intelligent as some apes.

Explanation:

To improve the flow and clarity of the sentence, we need to add the adjective (“intelligent”) back into the comparison.

Example Question #95 : Rewriting A Sentence Fragment

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 the underlined portion of Sentence 3 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

all makes them seem, very omnivorous

all makes it seem very omnivorous

all make them seem very omnivorous

all make it seem, very omnivorous

all make it seem very omnivorous

Correct answer:

all make them seem very omnivorous

Explanation:

In order to be grammatically correct, we need to make sure all our pronouns agree. Since the beginning of the sentence uses the plural pronoun “they,” we should use the corresponding pronoun “them” here.

Example Question #96 : Rewriting A Sentence Fragment

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 the underlined portion of Sentence 5 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

and, requiring the attention of the

and required the attention of the

and requiring the attention of the

and it required the attention of the (no change)

and, required the attention of the

Correct answer:

and required the attention of the

Explanation:

Because there is no comma before this conjunction (“and”), we know that the part of the sentence following the conjunction must not be an independent clause. We must remove the subject (“it”) in order to keep it from being an independent clause. No comma is necessary after the conjunction.

Example Question #97 : Rewriting A Sentence Fragment

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 the underlined portion of Sentence 3 be rewritten? 

Possible Answers:

causing the dam to burst and more than 20 million tons of water pouring down the Conemaugh River (no change)

causing the dam to burst and more than 20 million tons of water came pouring down the Conemaugh River

causing the dam to burst, more than 20 million tons of water poured down the Conemaugh River

causing the dam to burst and more than 20 million tons of water to pour down the Conemaugh River

causing the dam to burst and more than 20 million tons of water poured down the Conemaugh River

Correct answer:

causing the dam to burst and more than 20 million tons of water to pour down the Conemaugh River

Explanation:

In order to create proper parallelism, we must change “pouring” to “to pour” so that it matches the form of “to burst.”

Example Question #98 : Rewriting A Sentence Fragment

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 the underlined portion of Sentence 3 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

the Assyrians had mermaids; the Germans, elves.

the Assyrians had mermaids, and the German elves. (no change)

the Assyrians had mermaids, and the Germans had elves.

the Assyrians had mermaids, and the German’s elves.

the Assyrians had mermaids; and the German elves.

Correct answer:

the Assyrians had mermaids, and the Germans had elves.

Explanation:

In order to maintain parallelism in this list, we need to add a verb to “the German elves.”

Example Question #99 : Rewriting A Sentence Fragment

1 Old fashioned candy also known as penny candy or pick ‘n’ mix was once sold in bulk at soda fountains and five-and-dime stores across the United States and England. 2 Penny candy includes many varieties of convections. 3 These varieties, such as lollipops, string licorice, ribbon candy, jelly beans, chocolate coins, taffy, wax lips, sour balls, and candy cigarettes and necklaces. 4 Many people think fondly on their childhood candy stores with wistfulness.

How should the underlined portion of Sentence 1 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Old fashioned candy also known as penny candy or,

Old fashioned candy also known as penny candy or (no change)

Old fashioned candy, also known as penny candy, or

Old fashioned candy, also known as penny candy, or,

Old fashioned candy also known as penny candy, or

Correct answer:

Old fashioned candy, also known as penny candy, or

Explanation:

The phrase “also known as penny candy” is a parenthetical clause that must be separated from the rest of the sentence with a comma on each side. Grammatically speaking the sentence could read: "Old fashioned candy or pick 'n' mix was once sold..."

Example Question #100 : Rewriting A Sentence Fragment

1 Old fashioned candy also known as penny candy or pick ‘n’ mix was once sold in bulk at soda fountains and five-and-dime stores across the United States and England. 2 Penny candy includes many varieties of convections. 3 These varieties, such as lollipops, string licorice, ribbon candy, jelly beans, chocolate coins, taffy, wax lips, sour balls, and candy cigarettes and necklaces. 4 Many people think fondly on their childhood candy stores with wistfulness.

How should the underlined portion of Sentence 1 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

was once sold in bulk, at soda fountains and five-and-dime stores across the United States and England.

was once sold in bulk, at soda fountains, and five-and-dime stores across the United States and England.

was once sold in bulk at soda fountains and five-and-dime stores across the United States and England. (no change)

was once sold in bulk at soda fountains, and five-and-dime stores, across the United States and England.

was once sold in bulk at soda fountains and five-and-dime stores, across the United States and England.

Correct answer:

was once sold in bulk at soda fountains and five-and-dime stores across the United States and England. (no change)

Explanation:

While long, this portion of the sentence contains no grammatical errors and requires no additional punctuation. All of the other answer options create, rather than resolve errors in this sentence.

Example Question #71 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In A Sentence Fragment

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 the underlined portion of Sentence 1 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

a profound influence with the ballet world.

a profound influence of the ballet world. (no change)

profound influences of the ballet world.

profoundly influenced of the ballet world.

a profound influence on the ballet world.

Correct answer:

a profound influence on the ballet world.

Explanation:

Something always has an influence “on” something else; no other preposition works with the word.

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