SAT Writing : Correcting Preposition Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #475 : 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.

I always have a great time in the summer, because school is out and it's nice outside.

Possible Answers:

with

on

in

for

while

Correct answer:

in

Explanation:

For specific dates or times, you typically want to use the prepositions "for" or "on." For general measurements of times, such as parts of the year or seasons, you use "in" instead. The preposition in the sentence above is correct as written, so the right answer is the one which reproduces the example sentence.

Example Question #476 : 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.

The senator's speech, aimed to her colleagues, was a harsh criticism of recent voting patterns.

Possible Answers:

aimed to

The senator's speech, aimed with her colleagues, was a harsh criticism of recent voting patterns.

aiming her

aimed on

aimed at

Correct answer:

aimed at

Explanation:

"Aim to" is a synonym for "try" or "attempt." This meaning doesn't make sense in this instance; "aim at" is the appropriate verb-preposition pairing here, the one that properly conveys the message of the sentence.

Example Question #477 : 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.

My favorite restaurant in all of Chicago is in State Street.

Possible Answers:

upon

for

on

in

with

Correct answer:

on

Explanation:

When discussing a location that is on a particular street, the correct preposition to use is always, "on." In the sentence above, "in" should be changed out for "on."

Example Question #478 : 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 construction workers were digging holes by steam shovels.

Possible Answers:

with

by

under

on 

in

Correct answer:

with

Explanation:

When describing an instrument that is used to accomplish a particular task, the correct preposition is "with." In the sentence above, "by" should be replaced by "with."

Example Question #479 : Correcting Word Usage 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:

The ants marched along the picnic blanket one for one.  

Possible Answers:

to

in

on

no error

by

Correct answer:

by

Explanation:

In the sentence above, the author is clearly trying to convey that the ants are moving along the picnic blanket one at a time.  The correct phrase to indicate this meaning is "one by one."  Therefore, "by" is the best choice to correct the underlined section above. 

Example Question #480 : 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.

I went to Minnesota last month for see my grandmother.

Possible Answers:

with

for

but

to

or

Correct answer:

to

Explanation:

In the sentence above, the preposition "for" is clearly being incorrectly used. When one is doing something in order to perform another task, "to" is the right word. "To" is the best correction in the sentence as a whole: "I went to Minnesota last month to see my Grandmother."

Example Question #21 : Correcting Other 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 very old man rested his cane in his legs.

Possible Answers:

with

inside

in

on

for

Correct answer:

on

Explanation:

The preposition "in" in the sentence above is erroneous—there is no way for a man to rest a cane inside his legs (barring some very unfortunate circumstances). The best choice of the other answers is "on," a preposition that indicates that the old man is reting his cane on top of his legs: "The very old man rested his cane on his legs."

Example Question #22 : Correcting Other Usage 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.

Over every opportunity, I try to eat with my parents, because they are my favorite people.

Possible Answers:

At every opportunity

Over every opportunity

With every opportunity

Per every opportunity

Under every opportunity

Correct answer:

At every opportunity

Explanation:

The phrase "every opportunity" is often preceded by the preposition "at." The use of "over" is clearly incorrect because it doesn't make sense. The best way to correct the sentence above is, "At every opportunity, I try to eat with my parents, because they are my favorite people."

Example Question #23 : Correcting Other Usage 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.

When you go to the market for onions, will you also buy some lettuce as well?

Possible Answers:

you also buy some lettuce as well?

you also buy some lettuce as well please?

you also buy some lettuce?

you as well buy some lettuce?

you also buy some lettuce!

Correct answer:

you also buy some lettuce?

Explanation:

"Also" and "as well" mean the same thing—in addition to. Only one is necessary to convey the meaning of the sentence above, and having both of them is redundant. The best way to rewrite the sentence is to delete either "also" or "as well."

Example Question #24 : Correcting Other Usage 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.

The Congressman is opposed with the new trade deal: he will never support it.

Possible Answers:

opposed at the new trade deal:

opposed with the new trade deal,

opposed to the new trade deal:

opposed with the new trade deal

opposed with the new trade deal:

Correct answer:

opposed to the new trade deal:

Explanation:

The correct preposition to use after the phrase "is opposed" is "to," not "with." This should be corrected in the sentence above, the best way to correct the underlined portion is "opposed to the new trade deal:"

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