SAT Writing : Correcting Other Verb Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #91 : 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.

Having eaten little food while lost at sea, the sailors attacking their meal upon arrival on dry land.

Possible Answers:

the sailors' attacking their meal

the sailor's attacking their meal

the sailors attacking their own meal

the sailors attacking their meal

the sailors attacked their meal

Correct answer:

the sailors attacked their meal

Explanation:

The use of the word "attacking" is actually not a verb in the sentence, but a gerund, that is a verb form that can be used as a noun. The word needs to be turned into the appropriate verb form. "The sailors attacked their meal" is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #567 : Correcting Word Usage 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 many problems accruing in the project seeming to get worse over time.

Possible Answers:

seemed to get worse over time.

have seeming to get worse over time.

seeming to get worse over time.

have been seemed to get worse over time.

seeming to getting worse over time.

Correct answer:

seemed to get worse over time.

Explanation:

The use of the verb "seeming" in the sentence makes the sentence incomplete. As "seeming" is a gerund, or a verb form that functions as a noun, there is actually no verb in the sentence. The correct answer is "seemed to get worse over time."

Example Question #571 : Correcting Word Usage 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.

Having seen many natural wonders in his life, the general was still astonishing at the massive waterfall.

Possible Answers:

still astonishing in the massive waterfall.

also astonishing at the massive waterfall.

still astonished at the massive waterfall.

still astonishing at the massive waterfall.

still astonishing to the massive waterfall.

Correct answer:

still astonished at the massive waterfall.

Explanation:

The "waterfall" makes the "general" have a feeling of astonishment. The sentence as written makes this quite confusing. To make it correct grammatically, the form of the word needs to be something the general does. "Still astonished at the massive waterfall" is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #572 : Correcting Word Usage 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.

Unlike his contemporaries, the painter sticking closely to shapes that could exist in reality.

Possible Answers:

the painter stuck closely

the painter sticking close

the painter sticking closer

the painter sticking closely

a painter sticking closely

Correct answer:

the painter stuck closely

Explanation:

The use of the verb form "sticking," a past participle," makes the action of the sentence unclear, as such forms usually need an extra verb to clarify the action. The verb form should be change to an active tense. Thus, "the painter stuck closely" is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #573 : Correcting Word Usage 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 girls having a party commemorating the end of the school year.

Possible Answers:

The girls having party 

The girls having some party 

The girls having the party 

The girls having a party 

The girls are having a party 

Correct answer:

The girls are having a party 

Explanation:

The sentence as constructed does not actually contain a verb. "Having" in this sentence is the present participle, which always needs a form of the verb "to be." In this sentence, the appropriate form is "are," the plural form, making "The girls are having a party" the correct answer.

Example Question #1501 : Improving Sentences

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 battalion marching towards the battlefield on their way to the conflict.

Possible Answers:

The battalion marching toward the battlefield on their way to the conflict.

The battalion marching towards the battlefield on there way to the conflict.

The battalion marching towards the battlefield on their way to the conflict.

The battalion marches towards the battlefield on their way to the conflict.

The battalion marching towards the battlefield on their way against the conflict.

Correct answer:

The battalion marches towards the battlefield on their way to the conflict.

Explanation:

The use of "marching" makes the sentence not have a verb, as the participle form always needs some form of the verb "to be" used immediately before it to make it a complete verb. (For example, it's not grammatically correct to say "The fish swimming across the lake." Anyone who heard this might ask, "The fish swimming across the lake did what?" since "swimming" is a participle—a verb acting like an adjective. Instead, the correct way to say this would be, "The fish was swimming across the lake," or, alternatively, use a different verb form altogether, such as "The fish swam across the lake." To correct the problem's sentence, either the participle "marching" needs to be preceded by some form of the verb "to be," or it should be changed to some other form than the present participle to avoid functioning as an adjective and instead clearly function as the sentence's verb. The only answer choice that uses either of these options is "The battalion marches towards the battlefield on their way to the conflict."

Example Question #61 : Correcting Other Verb Errors

Issues began cropping up as soon as the new software was introduced, having angering consumers who bought the initial run of the product.

Possible Answers:

angering consumers

have angering consumers

having angry consumers

having angering consumers

having anger consumers

Correct answer:

angering consumers

Explanation:

"Having angering" is a universally incorrect construction, and needs to be made appropriate grammatically. The -ing verb form following a comma that ends a complete thought is a participial modifier, which modifies the result of that clause. Here the result of "issues began cropping up" is that consumers became angry (at those issues). Using "angering" as the modifier, then, makes complete sense: the issues angered the consumers, so "angering consumers" properly uses a participial modifier to describe the effect of the action that takes place before the comma. "angering consumers" is correct.

Example Question #61 : Correcting Other Verb Errors

For a long time, the man having issues with his wife that they could not resolve.

Possible Answers:

the man having issues

the man having had issues

the man has issues

the man have issues

the man had issues

Correct answer:

the man had issues

Explanation:

The use of the patriciple form "having" is incorrect in the sentence, as the participle cannot stand on its own as the verb of the sentence. The word needs to be changed, and must match the later use of the past tense construction "that they could not." The correct answer, therefore, is "the man had issues."

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