SAT Writing : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, and Sentence Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #55 : Correcting Ambiguity And Redundancy 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 boy having been the one who found the letter, received the reward.

Possible Answers:

The boy who found the letter

The boy having been the one who found the letter,

The boy having found the letter

The boy had been the one who found the letter

The boy was one who found the letter,

Correct answer:

The boy who found the letter

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence is convoluted and awkward, which makes its meaning difficult to understand. The same idea can be found in a much simpler form. "The boy who found the letter" is the best choice among the answers.

Example Question #56 : Correcting Ambiguity And Redundancy 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 museum specialized in the art which was the style which was most popular in the part of the century that was earliest.

Possible Answers:

the art which was the style most popular in the century that was earliest.

the art which was the style which was most popular in the earliest part of the century.

the art that was the style which was most popular in the part of the century that was earliest.

the art style that was most popular in the early part of the century.

the art style which was most popular in the part of the century that was earliest.

Correct answer:

the art style that was most popular in the early part of the century.

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence is extremely convoluted and too wordy, meaning it desperately needs to be simplified. The goal of such a simplification, though, must be to keep the intended meaning of the sentence and be gramatically incorrect. The only answer choice that appropriately does both tasks is "the art style that was most popular in the early part of the century."

Example Question #57 : Correcting Ambiguity And Redundancy 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.

He hung all of the data, maps, and photos of the key suspects on the wall with the purpose of being able to visualize any potential patterns.

Possible Answers:

with the purpose of being able to visualize

with the purpose of visualizing

purposefully being able to visualize

so he could visualize

so being able to visualize

Correct answer:

so he could visualize

Explanation:

The best answer is the simplest and most concise.

Example Question #58 : Correcting Ambiguity And Redundancy 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 earliest known evidence for fermented drinks pre-dates the inventing by people of writing.

Possible Answers:

the inventing by people of writing.

the invention by people of writing.

people's invention of writing.

the inventing of people by writing.

the inventing of writing by people.

Correct answer:

people's invention of writing.

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence is written in a lengthy and confusing manner. The sentence can be greatly improved by simplifying the word choices. The best answer choice is "people's invention of writing."

Example Question #59 : Correcting Ambiguity And Redundancy 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.

Petting a friendly animal, such as like a pet dog or cat, has been shown to reduce blood pressure.

Possible Answers:

Petting a friendly animal, such as like a pet dog or perhaps a cat,

Petting a friendly animal, such as like a pet dog or cat,

Petting an animal that is friendly such as like a pet dog or cat

Petting a friendly animal, such as a pet dog or cat,

To pet a friendly animal, such as like a pet dog or cat,

Correct answer:

Petting a friendly animal, such as a pet dog or cat,

Explanation:

As written, the sentence uses both "such as" and "like" to introduce "a pet dog or cat" as representing examples of "a friendly animal." Using both "such as" and "like" in this context is redundant, so omitting one of these fixes the sentence's error. This means that the correct answer is "Petting a friendly animal, such as a pet dog or cat, has been shown to reduce blood pressure."

Example Question #60 : Correcting Ambiguity And Redundancy 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.

Sometimes, we think we know too little, other times, we think we know too much.

Possible Answers:

Sometimes, we think we know too little somtimes we think we know too much.

Sometimes, we think we know too little other times we think we know too much.

Sometimes, we think we know too little other times we think we know too much.

Sometimes, we think we know too; little other times we think we know too much.

Sometimes, we think we know too little; other times, we think we know too much.

Correct answer:

Sometimes, we think we know too little; other times, we think we know too much.

Explanation:

The use of a semicolon is necessary when separating two closely connected indepedent clauses. 

Example Question #61 : Correcting Ambiguity And Redundancy 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.

Each year, fewer and fewer people contract disease due to increased awareness of its specific symptoms.

Possible Answers:

fewer people contract disease

fewer and fewer people are contracting disease

fewer and fewer people contract disease

fewer and fewer persons contract disease

fewer and fewer people contract the disease

Correct answer:

fewer and fewer people contract the disease

Explanation:

The use of the phrase "its specific symptoms" indicates that the sentence is talking about one specific disease rather than the generalized "disease" without an article. Adding the definite article "the" before "disease" is the best way to clear up this confusion, making "fewer and fewer people contract the disease" the correct answer choice.

Example Question #62 : Correcting Ambiguity And Redundancy Errors

Select the best answer from the choices given.

The law that was recently passed allows the officer to determine about which actions qualify as assault.

Possible Answers:

which actions qualify as assault.

for those actions that qualify as assault

whether assault qualifies as certain actions or not

regarding the qualifications of actions as assault.

about which actions qualify as assault.

Correct answer:

which actions qualify as assault.

Explanation:

The sentence is most effective if the needless preposition is eliminated, ultimately leaving "which actions qualify as assault" as the best answer.

Example Question #63 : Correcting Ambiguity And Redundancy Errors

Select the best answer from the choices given.

Many detectives were dispatched to Nevada for the purpose of investigating a lead that could provide a break in the case.

Possible Answers:

to investigate

for the investigation of

for the purpose of investigating

to investigate on

to investigate after

Correct answer:

to investigate

Explanation:

"For the purpose of investigating" is wordy and could be shortened. "To investigate" is more concise and conveys the same idea.

Example Question #64 : Correcting Ambiguity And Redundancy 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.

Although the experiment was designed to advance students' knowledge of feline anatomy, Frank felt although the act of dissecting a cat was barbaric.

Possible Answers:

Frank felt although the act of dissecting a cat was barbaric.

Frank felt that the act of dissecting a cat was barbaric.

Frank felt that the act of dissecting a cat was barbarically.

Frank felt that the acting of dissecting a cat was barbaric.

Frank felt that the act of dissecting a cats was barbaric.

Correct answer:

Frank felt that the act of dissecting a cat was barbaric.

Explanation:

Incorrect options:

"Frank felt that the act of dissecting a cat was barbarically.": "Barbarically" is an adverb, but since the choice should be an adjective modifying the noun “act," this is incorrect. "Barbaric" is the appropriate adjective form.

"Frank felt that the acting of dissecting a cat was barbaric.": “Act” here is a noun, so it should not be modified into a gerund. This is incorrect.

"Frank felt although the act of dissecting a cat was barbaric.": The usage of the conjunction “although” makes this an unnecessary and incorrect choice.

"Frank felt that the act of dissecting a cats was barbaric.": “A cats” does not agree because "a" is a singular article and "cats" is a plural noun, so this is incorrect. If this option had been “cats” or “a cat,” it would be acceptable. 

"Frank felt that the act of dissecting a cat was barbaric" is left as the correct option.

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