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

The scholarship allowed Mickey to travel all the way to France and staying in a five-star hotel.

Possible Answers:

The scholarship allowed Mickey to travel all the way to France and also staying in a five-star hotel.

The scholarship allowed Mickey to travel all the way to France and to stay in a five-star hotel.

The scholarship allowed Mickey to travel all the way to France and he could also stay in a five-star hotel.

The scholarship allowed Mickey traveling all the way to France and staying in a five-star hotel.

The scholarship allowed Mickey to travel all the way to France and staying in a five-star hotel.

Correct answer:

The scholarship allowed Mickey to travel all the way to France and to stay in a five-star hotel.

Explanation:

This sentence contains an error in parallelism. The verbs "travel" and "stay" must be in the same form. In the sentence as it is presented, "to travel" and "staying" do not match. The correct answer makes both of these terms infinitives: "to travel" and "to stay."

Example Question #88 : 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Younger employees often struggle with time management, balancing workloads, and file organization.

Possible Answers:

with time management, balancing workloads, and file organization.

for time management, balancing workloads, and file organization.

with time management balancing workloads and file organization.

with things like time management, balancing workloads, and file organization.

with time management, workload balancing, and file organization.

Correct answer:

with time management, workload balancing, and file organization.

Explanation:

The list in the underlined portion of the sentence, "time management, balancing workloads, and file organization," contains three items which do not describe similar actions with their structure. The three items should match in any list structured like the one in the sentence. The only answer choice that features such a parallel structure is "with time management, workload balancing, and file organization."

Example Question #89 : 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

The President's speech avoided both the recent scandal and how women were disenfranchised in politics.

Possible Answers:

both the recent scandal and how women were disenfranchised in politics.

the recent scandal: how women were disenfranchised in politics.

both the recent scandal and the disenfranchisement of women in politics.

the recent scandal, as well as how women were disenfranchised in politics.

the recent scandal of how women were disenfranchised in politics.

Correct answer:

both the recent scandal and the disenfranchisement of women in politics.

Explanation:

All elements in a list should be parallel: they should be of the same structure. Choose the answer that keeps elements parallel: "the recent scandal and the disenfranchisement . . ."

Example Question #90 : 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

The new manager came in like a house on fire, changing schedules, switching assignments, and broke old rules.

Possible Answers:

changing schedules, switching assignments, and breaking old rules.

change schedules, switch assignments, and broke old rules.

changing schedule, switching assignment, and broke old rule.

changing schedules, switching assignments, and broke old rules.

changing schedules, switching assignments, and break old rules.

Correct answer:

changing schedules, switching assignments, and breaking old rules.

Explanation:

In any list like the one in the underlined portion of the sentence, all the verbs in the dependent clause need to be in the same form to show the subject is doing similar actions. The only answer choice that appropriately features such parallel structure is "changing schedules, switching assignments, and breaking old rules."

Example Question #113 : 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Horses, once trained, take quite well to being harnessed, saddled, and riding.

Possible Answers:

being harnessed, saddled, and riding.

been harnessed, saddled, and riding.

being harnessed, saddled, and ridden.

be harnessed, saddled, and riding.

being harnesing, saddling, and riding.

Correct answer:

being harnessed, saddled, and ridden.

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence is incorrect, as any series needs to have a parallel structure, where all elements of the series are written in the same form. "Being harnessed, saddled, and ridden" is the only answer choice that is both correct grammatically and parallel in structure.

Example Question #114 : 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 success of the one-handed touchdown catch was more a result of good luck than by skillful play.

Possible Answers:

luck being good than because of play being skillful

luck being good than by play being skillful

good luck than by skillful play

good luck than of skillful play

good luck than because of skillful play

Correct answer:

good luck than of skillful play

Explanation:

This sentence contains an error in parallelism. Specifically, it compares "of good luck" to "by skillful play." The prepositions used in these phrases should match because they are being compared—"more a result of X than by Y" doesn't treat format each item in a consistent manner. The only answer choice that fixes this issue is "good luck than of skillful play," making the corrected sentence "The success of the one-handed touchdown catch was more a result of good luck than of skillful play."

Example Question #115 : 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.

Most people, even highly skilled craftsman, are not excellent at designing, building, and maintenance of a house.

Possible Answers:

designing building and maintenance of a house.

designing, building, and maintaining a house.

designing building and maintaining a house.

designing, building, and maintenance of a house.

designing, build, and maintenance of a house.

Correct answer:

designing, building, and maintaining a house.

Explanation:

Any list like the one in the underlined portion of the sentence needs to have a parallel structure in their word forms, which the sentence does not have as written. Each item in such a list also needs to be separated by commas; therefore, the correct answer choice is "designing, building, and maintaining a house."

Example Question #85 : 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

The finer points of military strategy were lost on the general, who much preferred just fighting, charging, and to fire.

Possible Answers:

only fighting, charging, and to fire.

just fighting charging and to fire.

just fighting charging and firing.

just fighting, charging, and to fire.

just fighting, charging, and firing.

Correct answer:

just fighting, charging, and firing.

Explanation:

In any list of verbs, such as the one in the underlined portion, all the verbs need to be in the same form. Additionally, all such lists need to have each item separated by commas. The correct answer, therefore, is "just fighting, charging, and firing."

Example Question #9 : Sentence Fragment And Sentence Combination Errors

She liked the finer things in life she always had to have nice clothes and fine food.

Possible Answers:

She liked the finer things in life she always had to have nice clothes and fine food.

She liked the finer things in life, and she always had to have nice clothes and fine food.

She liked the finer things in life and she always had to have nice clothes and fine food.

She liked the finer things in life, she always had to have nice clothes and fine food.

She liked the finer things in life, always had to have nice clothes and fine food.

Correct answer:

She liked the finer things in life, and she always had to have nice clothes and fine food.

Explanation:

The sentence is a compound sentence, or one sentence that contains two complete thoughts joined together to highlight their relationship to each other. All compound sentences must be joined either by a semicolon or a comma and a conjunction. The only answer choice that appropriately does this is "She liked the finer things in life, and she always had to have nice clothes and fine food."

Example Question #10 : Sentence Fragment And Sentence Combination 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.

Patients were not allowed in many different parts of the clinic they were restricted to staff only.

Possible Answers:

Patients were not allowed in many different parts of the clinic were restricted to staff only.

Patients not allowed in many different parts of the clinic were restricted to staff only.

Patients were not allowed in many different parts of the clinic they were restricted to staff only.

Patients were not allowed in many different parts of the clinic was restricted to staff only.

Patients were not allowed in many different parts of the clinic; they were restricted to staff only.

Correct answer:

Patients were not allowed in many different parts of the clinic; they were restricted to staff only.

Explanation:

The sentence as written is a compound sentence, or two complete sentences joined into one sentence to show the relationship between the two thoughts. All compound sentences need to be joined by either a semicolon or a comma and a conjunction. The only answer choice that appropriately does this is "Patients were not allowed in many different parts of the clinic; they were restricted to staff only."

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