SAT Writing : Correcting Other Verb Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #87 : Correcting Verb Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

The allied movements are designed making their opponents uneasy.

Possible Answers:

make their opponents uneasy.

to make their opponents uneasy.

make opponents of theirs uneasy.

making opponents of theirs uneasy.

making their opponents uneasy.

Correct answer:

to make their opponents uneasy.

Explanation:

The issue in the sentence is with the verb "making." It is used not as the verb, but as a modifier of "designed;" therefore, it needs to take a form that can appropriately do so, such as an infinitive. "To make their opponents uneasy," is the best choice among the answers.

Example Question #51 : Correcting Other Verb Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

The guitar is an extremely difficult instrument learning as an adult.

Possible Answers:

learning that took place as an adult.

to learn as an adult.

to learn in an adult.

learned for an adult.

learning as an adult.

Correct answer:

to learn as an adult.

Explanation:

The use of the verb "learning" is incorrect in the sentence. The correct answer needs to feature an infinitive as the sentence describes a capacity of learning. "To learn as an adult" is the only grammatically correct answer choice.

Example Question #89 : Correcting Verb Errors

Since the foundation of the club, new members entering all the time.

Possible Answers:

new members enters

new member entering

new members entering

new members entered

new members enter

Correct answer:

new members entered

Explanation:

The use of the phrase "Since the foundation of the club," indicates that the verb used in the underlined portion should be in the past tense. Additionally, the phrase needs to become a complete sentence on its own. "New members entered" is the only answer choice that fits both criteria.

Example Question #90 : Correcting Verb Errors

Magicians use the fact people having trouble focusing on multiple things at once to fool their audiences.

Possible Answers:

had trouble focusing

having trouble focus

having troubles focused

having trouble focusing

have trouble focusing

Correct answer:

have trouble focusing

Explanation:

The underlined words are a compound verb, or multiple words that function as one verb in the sentence. These still need to follow a correct tense and form, which is not done with just "having" being placed after people. "Have trouble focusing" is the best way to improve the sentences among the answer choices.

Example Question #91 : Correcting Verb Errors

The young family was heavily reliance on the kindness of strangers.

Possible Answers:

was heavily relianced

was heavy reliant

was heavy reliance

was heavily reliance

was heavily reliant

Correct answer:

was heavily reliant

Explanation:

The word "reliance" is inappropriate in the context of this sentence as it indicates the relationship of relying. "Reliant," in contrast, Connors the state of being; therefore, the correct answer choice is "was heavily reliant."

Example Question #92 : Correcting Verb Errors

Rita began work on the project last year, but she has yet to reach completion.

Possible Answers:

she has yet to reach completion.

she has yet to complete it.

it has yet to reach completion.

it is not at completion yet.

she is still yet to be completed.

Correct answer:

she has yet to complete it.

Explanation:

The original sentence is wordy and awkward. The correct answer is concise, active, and clear.

Example Question #93 : Correcting Verb Errors

Being that he passed the driver’s test, Timothy was looking forward to getting his license.

Possible Answers:

If he had passed

For passing

Passing

Having passed

Being that he passed

Correct answer:

Having passed

Explanation:

Sentences rarely start with “being.” Furthermore, "having passed" conveys the timing and cause of events with more precision.

Example Question #94 : Correcting Verb Errors

For amateur swimmers, or those who are lacking experience swimming, swimming half a mile seems like an impossible task.

What correction should be made to this sentence?

Possible Answers:

For amateur swimmers, which are swimmers that are lacking in swimming experience, swimming half a mile seems like an impossible task.

For amateur swimmers, meaning those who are lacking experience swimming, swimming half a mile seems like an impossible task.

No improvement necessary.

For amateur swimmers, or those who have a lack of experience, which is in swimming, swimming half a mile seems like an impossible task.

For amateur swimmers, or those who lack swimming experience, swimming half a mile seems like an impossible task.

Correct answer:

For amateur swimmers, or those who lack swimming experience, swimming half a mile seems like an impossible task.

Explanation:

The improved sentence is better than the original because it cuts out unnecessary words, changing "or those who are lacking," to "or those who lack." This change also avoids having the same word next to itself, as was the case in "swimming, swimming." Although there was nothing grammatically wrong with this sentence, there was room for stylistic improvement, which was made. 

Example Question #95 : Correcting Verb Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

In no uncertain terms, the principal outlawing the use of live models for art classes.

Possible Answers:

outlawing using

outlawed the use

outlawed using

outlawing the use

outlaw using

Correct answer:

outlawed the use

Explanation:

The best clue to the correct answer is the fact "of" is  not underlined, indicating the form must stay as "the use." The only issue is the form of "outlawing," which cannot be used with the subject of "the principal" as a verb on its own. "Outlawed the use" is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #96 : Correcting Verb Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

The young girl was surprisingly involving in the decisions her parents made.

Possible Answers:

was surprising involving

was surprised involving

was surprisingly involved

was surprisingly involving

was surprising involved

Correct answer:

was surprisingly involved

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence has an odd verb usage in the word "involving." The sentence actually needs a past tense verb to make appropriate sense. "Was surprisingly involved" is the best choice among the answers.

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