SAT Writing : Correcting Conjunction Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Neither the teachers or the students were pleased with the way the assembly was conducted.

Possible Answers:

Neither the teachers, nor, the students

Neither the teachers also the students

Neither the teachers or the students

Neither the teachers nor the students

Neither, the teachers nor the students

Correct answer:

Neither the teachers nor the students

Explanation:

When using "neither" at the beginning of a sentence, it must be followed with the correlative conjunction "nor." Therefore, "Neither the teachers nor the students" is the best way to write the underlined portion of the sentence. "Or" is the correct correlative conjunction to use with "either." "Neither the teachers nor the students were pleased with the way the assembly was conducted" is the only version of the sentence that corrects the correlative conjunction error while creating no additional errors.

Example Question #12 : 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Either you work for the crown, nor you are against the crown.

Possible Answers:

Either you work for the crown, or you are against the crown.

Either you work for the crown, you are against the crown.

Either you work for the crown, nor you are against the crown.

Either you work for the crown, nor are you against the crown.

Either you work for the crown, sometimes you are against the crown.

Correct answer:

Either you work for the crown, or you are against the crown.

Explanation:

When "either" is used at the beginning of a sentence, it must be followed with the correlative conjunction "or." "Either you work for the crown, or you are against the crown" is the best way to write the underlined portion of the sentence. When "neither" is used "nor" is the necessary correlative conjunction.

Example Question #13 : 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Gregory went to the grocery store not only for eggs, but for lettuce and potato chips.

Possible Answers:

but, also, for lettuce and potato chips

but lettuce and potato chips.

but also for lettuce and potato chips

but for lettuce, and potato chips

but for lettuce and potato chips

Correct answer:

but also for lettuce and potato chips

Explanation:

When "not only" is used, it should be followed by the correlative conjunction "but also." "But for" is used to signal exceptions, and can be synonymous with "were it not for", as in the example: "He would have been the best basketball player in the world, but for his height." "But also" is appropriate in this case, signaling the inclusion of additional items to the groceries.

Example Question #23 : 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.

In the future, not Ellen and not Marcia are allowed to go outside without asking the teacher for permission.

Possible Answers:

neither Ellen nor Marcia is allowed 

neither Ellen nor Marcia are allowed

not Ellen and not Marcia is allowed

neither Ellen and Marcia are allowed

not Ellen and not Marcia are allowed

Correct answer:

neither Ellen nor Marcia is allowed 

Explanation:

The correct form for this sentence is "neither . . . nor." In addition, "neither . . .nor" leads to use of the singular form "is" rather than "are."

Example Question #11 : Correcting Conjunction 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.

Wendy was given the option to choose between tofu or chicken for dinner; she is not a fan of either and struggled to decide.

Possible Answers:

Wendy, given the option to choose between tofu or chicken for dinner; she is not a fan of either and struggled to pick.

Wendy was given the option to choose between tofu or chicken for dinner, she is not a fan of either and struggled to pick.

Wendy was given the option to choose between tofu or chicken for dinner; she is not a fan of either and struggled to decide.

Wendy was given the option to choose between tofu and chicken for dinner; she is not a fan of either and struggled to decide.

Wendy was given the option to choose between tofu or chicken for dinner, she likes both so she deferred to her sister.

Correct answer:

Wendy was given the option to choose between tofu and chicken for dinner; she is not a fan of either and struggled to decide.

Explanation:

The semicolon use is correct already. The issue lies in the conjunction following "between." It should be "and" not "or." She had to pick between tofu AND chicken, not between tofu OR chicken.

Example Question #931 : 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.

Either Mark nor Steve left this water ring on the fancy table.

Possible Answers:

and

with

or

nor

but

Correct answer:

or

Explanation:

Whenever you see the conjunction "either," it must always be followed by the correlative conjunction "or." As such, the "nor" in the sentence should be changed to "or."

Example Question #16 : 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Either my favorite team nor your favorite team played particularly well this year.

Possible Answers:

But

Neither

Either

For

And

Correct answer:

Neither

Explanation:

The presence of the word "nor" in the sentence above indicates that the first word of the sentence should be "Neither."  Neither and nor are correlative conjunctions, and should be used together.

Example Question #17 : 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Please grab me not that jar by your head, but also the jar by your feet instead.

Possible Answers:

or

but also

and

with

but

Correct answer:

but

Explanation:

The proper correlative conjunction to use with the conjunction "not" at the beginning of the sentence is "but." "But also" is a correlative conjunction that is used with "not only," and is erroneous in the sentence above.

Example Question #11 : 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

When selecting her classes for the next semester, Emmie knew she would have to take either Introduction to Literary Analysis nor Neuroscience, but not both.

Possible Answers:

either Introduction to Literary Analysis nor Neuroscience, and not both.

either Introduction to Literary Analysis or Neuroscience, but not both.

neither Introduction to Literary Analysis or Neuroscience, but not both.

either Introduction to Literary Analysis nor Neuroscience, but not both.

neither Introduction to Literary Analysis nor Neuroscience, but not both.

Correct answer:

either Introduction to Literary Analysis or Neuroscience, but not both.

Explanation:

This question requires you to correct a correlative conjunction error. Since the end of the sentence—"but not both"—indicates that Emmie will have to take one or the other, we know that the correlative conjunction "neither . . . nor" will not be used here, as it is used in situations when both options are rejected. Therefore, the correlative conjunction "either . . . or" has to be used, making the corrected sentence "When selecting her classes for the next semester, Emmie knew she would have to take either Introduction to Literary Analysis or Neuroscience, but not both." 

Example Question #11 : Correcting Conjunction Errors

Choose the answer below which best replaces the underlined section of the following sentence. This should result in a sentence that meets all of the rules of standard written English.

Either you take out that trash, nor you will have to find a new roommate.  

Possible Answers:

but

nor

for

and

or

Correct answer:

or

Explanation:

When either is used in any sentence, it must be followed by it's coordinate conjunction, "or."  The best way to correctly write the sentence above is "Either you take out that trash, or you will have to find a new roommate."

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