SAT Writing : Correcting Parallel Structure Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store varsity tutors amazon store varsity tutors ibooks store

Example Questions

Example Question #31 : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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.

From a young age, she enjoyed outdoor activities like hiking, climbing, and her kayak.

Possible Answers:

like hiking climbing and her kayak.

like hiking, climbing, and her kayak.

such as hiking, climbing, and her kayak.

like hiking, to climb, and her kayak.

like hiking, climbing, and kayaking.

Correct answer:

like hiking, climbing, and kayaking.

Explanation:

The list featured in the underlined portion of the sentence contains unlike items (two gerunds and one straightforward noun) as its objects. A list that forms the objects of the sentence must feature a parallel structure, so that the verb is describing similar objects. The only answer choice with the correct parallel structure is "like hiking, climbing, and kayaking."

Example Question #31 : Correcting Parallel Structure 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.

The veteran favored his left leg because of an old war injury in his right leg that never healed properly or settling well.

Possible Answers:

that never healed properly nor settling well.

that ever healed properly or settling well.

that never healed properly or settling well.

that never healing properly or settled well.

that never healed properly or settled well.

Correct answer:

that never healed properly or settled well.

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence features an "or" phrase with two different kind of verb phrases as the final elements of a dependent clause. The phrase actually needs to feature a parallel structure among its two parts. The only answer choice with a proper parallel structure is "that never healed properly or settled well."

Example Question #31 : Correcting Parallel Structure 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.

As a ballplayer, he was creative, imaginative, and worked hard.

Possible Answers:

creatively, imaginatively, and worked hard.

creative, imaginative, and he worked hard.

creatively, imaginative, and worked hard.

creative, imaginative, and worked hard.

creative, imaginative, and hard working.

Correct answer:

creative, imaginative, and hard working.

Explanation:

The list contained in the underlined portion of the sentence has three items with three different forms: two adjectives and a verbal phrase. Any such list needs to have a parallel structure, where all three items are similar. The only answer choice to feature such a parallel structure is "creative, imaginative, and hard working," in which "hard working" is a participle.

Example Question #61 : Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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.

The obstacle course was fun for the new recruit, as he enjoyed running, crouching, and to find new paths.

Possible Answers:

as he enjoying running, crouching, and to find new paths.

as he had enjoyed running, crouching, and to find new paths.

as he enjoyed running, crouching, and finding new paths.

as he enjoyed running, crouching, and to find new paths.

because he enjoyed running, crouching, and to find new paths.

Correct answer:

as he enjoyed running, crouching, and finding new paths.

Explanation:

The list that forms the objects of the second independent clause contains objects that have different forms. Any such list needs to feature all three items as similar things that can be compared. The only answer choice with such a parallel structure is "as he enjoyed running, crouching, and finding new paths."

Example Question #31 : Correcting Parallel Structure Errors

Under the guidance of the new manager, the salesman saw an improvement in his hours worked, deals made, and earning wages.

Possible Answers:

the salesman saw improvements in his hours worked, deals made, and earning wages.

the salesman sees an improvement in his hours worked, deals made, and earning wages.

the salesman saw an improvement in his hours worked, deals made, and earning wages.

the salesman saw an improvement in his hours worked, making deals, and earning wages.

the salesman saw an improvement in his hours worked, deals made, and wages earned.

Correct answer:

the salesman saw an improvement in his hours worked, deals made, and wages earned.

Explanation:

The three items making up the list at the end of the sentence are different kinds of descriptions. Any list needs to have the same types of words among the elements. The only answer choice to feature a correct parallel structure is "the salesman saw an improvement in his hours worked, deals made, and wages earned."

Example Question #32 : Correcting Parallel Structure 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.

 

Neither professional sports nor acting in film are as lucrative as most people think they are.

Possible Answers:

Neither professional sports nor acting in film

Neither professional sports or acting in film

Either professional sports nor acting in film

Neither professional sports nor acting for film

Neither playing professional sports nor acting in film

Correct answer:

Neither playing professional sports nor acting in film

Explanation:

In any "neither . . . nor" phrase, the two elements mentioned in the phrase must be the same kind of word, but they are not the same kind of word in the above sentence. "Professional sports" is a simple noun, while "acting" is a gerund, or a verb form that functions as a noun. "Neither playing professional sports nor acting in film," featuring two gerunds, features a correct parallel structure in the "neither . . . nor" phrase.

Example Question #41 : Correcting Parallel Structure 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.

Neither football nor playing tag were allowed at recess under the school's new ruled.

Possible Answers:

Neither football nor playing tag was allowed at recess

Neither football nor tag were allowed at recess

Neither football nor playing tag were allowing at recess

Neither football nor playing tag were allowed on recess

Neither football nor playing tag were allowed at recess

Correct answer:

Neither football nor tag were allowed at recess

Explanation:

The two items in the "Neither . . . nor" phrase describe different things: a noun, "football," and a gerund phrase, "playing tag." Any such phrase needs to have the same kinds of items described in its parts. "Neither football nor tag were allowed at recess" is the only answer choice that features a correct parallel structure.

Example Question #41 : Correcting Parallel Structure 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.

The differences between the two groups were quite small, and mostly had to do with severance pay, unemployment benefits, and searching for employment.

Possible Answers:

and mostly having to do with severance pay, unemployment benefits, and searching for employment.

and mostly had to do with severance pay, unemployment benefits, and employment searches.

and mostly has to do with severance pay, unemployment benefits, and searching for employment.

and mostly had to do with severance pay, unemployment benefits, and searching for employment.

and mostly had to do with severance pay unemployment benefits and searching for employment.

Correct answer:

and mostly had to do with severance pay, unemployment benefits, and employment searches.

Explanation:

The list featured at the end of the sentence contains unlike items, with two nouns ("pay" and "benefits") and a participle verb ("searching"). Any such list needs to have three similar items in order to appropriately complete the phrase in which it is the object. The only answer choice with a correct parallel structure is "and mostly had to do with severance pay, unemployment benefits, and employment searches."

Example Question #82 : Correcting Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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.

The new curriculum sought to expand what was taught in the classroom, developing students' passions for painting, acting, and to play a musical instrument.

Possible Answers:

students' passions to painting, acting, and to play a musical instrument.

students' passions for painting, acting, and playing a musical instrument.

students' passions from painting, acting, and to play a musical instrument.

student's passions for painting, acting, and to play a musical instrument.

students' passions for painting, acting, and to play a musical instrument.

Correct answer:

students' passions for painting, acting, and playing a musical instrument.

Explanation:

Any list like the one in the underlined portion of the sentence needs to feature three similar items, which the list in the sentence does not have. The three items need to have a parallel structure so that they can appropriately be linked together. The only answer choice that features a correct parallel structure is "students' passions for painting, acting, and playing a musical instrument."

Example Question #33 : Correcting Parallel Structure 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.

The coach always wanted athletes with skills and have awareness on the field.

Possible Answers:

The coach always wanting athletes with skills and have awareness on the field.

The coach had always wanted athletes with skills and have awareness on the field.

The coach always wanted athletes with skills and have awareness on the field.

The coach always wants athletes with skills and have awareness on the field.

The coach always wanted athletes with skills and awareness on the field.

Correct answer:

The coach always wanted athletes with skills and awareness on the field.

Explanation:

The compound object of the sentence features two unlike elements, "with skills" and "have awareness." The phrase needs to feature a parallel structure with like elements that describe a similar process. The only answer choice with an appropriate parallel structure is "The coach always wanted athletes with skills and awareness on the field."

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors