SAT Writing : Correcting Punctuation Errors: Commas for Introductory or Interrupting Phrases

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #3960 : Sat Writing

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.

Magnus Nilsson my favorite chef has a restaurant in an isolated part of Sweden.

Possible Answers:

Magnus Nilsson my favorite chef has a restaurant, in an isolated part of Sweden.

Magnus Nilsson, my favorite chef, has a restaurant in an isolated part of Sweden.

Magnus Nilsson, my favorite chef has a restaurant in an isolated part of Sweden.

Magnus Nilsson my favorite chef, has a restaurant in an isolated part of Sweden.

Magnus Nilsson my favorite chef has a restaurant in an isolated part of Sweden.

Correct answer:

Magnus Nilsson, my favorite chef, has a restaurant in an isolated part of Sweden.

Explanation:

Interrupting phrases are subordinate and add information to a sentence, but are not necessary to the sentence being complete. Because they come in the middle of a clause, such phrases must be separated from the rest of the sentence by commas. The best way to correct the underlined portion above is, "Magnus Nilsson, my favorite chef, has a restaurant in an isolated part of Sweden."

Example Question #1781 : 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.

Daniel Day-Lewis one of the finest actors of his generation gave the performance of his life in the film Lincoln.

Possible Answers:

Daniel Day-Lewis one of the finest actors of his generation gave the performance of his life in the film Lincoln.

Daniel Day-Lewis, one of the finest actors of his generation gives, the performance of his life in the film Lincoln.

Daniel Day-Lewis, one of the finest actors of his generation gave the performance of his life in the film Lincoln.

Daniel Day-Lewis one of the finest actors of his generation, gave the performance of his life in the film Lincoln.

Daniel Day-Lewis, one of the finest actors of his generation, gave the performance of his life in the film Lincoln.

Correct answer:

Daniel Day-Lewis, one of the finest actors of his generation, gave the performance of his life in the film Lincoln.

Explanation:

Interrupting phrases are subordinate and add information to a sentence, but are not necessary to the sentence being grammatically complete, and must be separated from the rest of the sentence by commas. Such sentences generally add describe or add context to a noun. Since "one of the finest actors of his generation" is a phrase that adds information while interrupting a clause, the best way to correct the underlined portion above is, "Daniel Day-Lewis, one of the finest actors of his generation, gave the performance of his life in the film Lincoln."

 

Example Question #131 : Correcting Punctuation Errors: Commas For Introductory Or Interrupting Phrases

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 great general once feared by all of his enemies had become weak in his old age.

Possible Answers:

The great general once feared by all of his enemies, had become weak in his old age.

The great general, once feared by all of his enemies, and had become weak in his old age.

The great general, once feared by all of his enemies had become weak in his old age.

The great general, once feared by all of his enemies, had become weak in his old age.

The great general once feared by all of his enemies had become weak in his old age.

Correct answer:

The great general, once feared by all of his enemies, had become weak in his old age.

Explanation:

This sentence includes an interrupting phrase (a phrase that is not grammatically relevant to the clause in which it appears) that adds information to the sentence. This phrase needs to be included within commas, as such the best way to correct the underlined portion above is, "The great general, once feared by all of his enemies, had become weak in his old age."

Example Question #132 : Correcting Punctuation Errors: Commas For Introductory Or Interrupting Phrases

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.

Still my favorite student Paul never fails to impress with his magnificent essay writing.

Possible Answers:

Still my favorite student, Paul never fails to impress with his magnificent essay writing.

Still my favorite student and Paul never fails to impress with his magnificent essay writing.

Still my favorite student Paul never fails to impress with his magnificent essay writing.

Still my favorite student; Paul never fails to impress with his magnificent essay writing.

Still my favorite student: Paul never fails to impress with his magnificent essay writing.

Correct answer:

Still my favorite student, Paul never fails to impress with his magnificent essay writing.

Explanation:

Introductory phrases precede and are subordinate to a sentence's main clause. Introductory phrases add information to a sentence, but are not necessary to the sentence being grammatically complete, and such clauses must be separated from the rest of the sentence with a comma. In the example sentence, "still my favorite student" is an introductory phrase. The best way to correct the underlined portion above is, "Still my favorite student, Paul never fails to impress with his magnificent essay writing."

Example Question #133 : Correcting Punctuation Errors: Commas For Introductory Or Interrupting Phrases

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.

While I find it difficult to concentrate when Sheila sings I wouldn't want to trade hearing her voice for the world.

Possible Answers:

While I find it difficult to concentrate when Sheila sings I wouldn't want to trade hearing her voice for the world.

While I find it difficult to concentrate when Sheila sings, I wouldn't want to trade hearing her voice for the world.

While, I find it difficult to concentrate when Sheila sings, I wouldn't want to trade hearing her voice for the world.

While I find it difficult to concentrate when Sheila sings; I wouldn't want to trade hearing her voice for the world.

While I find it difficult to concentrate when Sheila sings: I wouldn't want to trade hearing her voice for the world.

Correct answer:

While I find it difficult to concentrate when Sheila sings, I wouldn't want to trade hearing her voice for the world.

Explanation:

Introductory phrases precede and are subordinate to a sentence's main clause. Introductory phrases add information to a sentence, but are not necessary to the sentence being grammatically complete, and such clauses must be separated from the rest of the sentence with a single comma. In the sentence above, "While I find it difficult to concentrate when Sheila sings" is acting as such an introductory phrase, so a comma needs to be added after "sings" in order for the sentence to be grammatically correct. Note that a semicolon must follow and precede an independent clause, and can never be used to punctuate a dependent clause.

Example Question #134 : Correcting Punctuation Errors: Commas For Introductory Or Interrupting Phrases

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.

Jesus Christ one of the most influential figures of the last millennium is a central figure in Christianity.

Possible Answers:

Jesus Christ, one of the most influential figures of the last millennium, is a central figures in Christianity.

Jesus Christ one of the most influential figures of the last millennium, is a central figure in Christianity.

Jesus Christ, one of the most influential figures of the last millennium is a central figure in Christianity.

Jesus Christ, one of the most influential figures of the last millennium, is a central figure in Christianity.

Jesus Christ one of the most influential figures of the last millennium is a central figure in Christianity.

Correct answer:

Jesus Christ, one of the most influential figures of the last millennium, is a central figure in Christianity.

Explanation:

Interrupting phrases are subordinate and add information to a sentence, but are not necessary to the sentence being complete. Such phrases must be separated from the rest of the sentence by commas. The example sentence is missing both of these necessary commas. The best way to correct the underlined portion above is, "Jesus Christ, one of the most influential figures of the last millennium, is a central figure in Christianity."

Example Question #135 : Correcting Punctuation Errors: Commas For Introductory Or Interrupting Phrases

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.

Jerry, one of the richest comedians in the world is really not very funny at all.

Possible Answers:

Jerry: one of the richest comedians in the world is really not very funny at all.

Jerry, one of the richest comedians in the world is really not very funny at all.

Jerry one of the richest comedians in the world is really not very funny at all.

Jerry, one of the richest comedians in the world, is really not very funny at all.

Jerry: one of the richest comedians in the world, is really not very funny at all.

Correct answer:

Jerry, one of the richest comedians in the world, is really not very funny at all.

Explanation:

Interrupting phrases are subordinate and add information to a sentence, but are not necessary to the sentence being complete. Such phrases must be separated from the rest of the sentence by commas. In the example sentence a comma correctly precedes the interrupting phrase, but does a second comma does not correctly close it off. The corrected version reads, "Jerry, one of the richest comedians in the world, is really not very funny at all."

Example Question #136 : Correcting Punctuation Errors: Commas For Introductory Or Interrupting Phrases

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.

Larry, one of my all time favorite comedians has an incredibly funny show in development.

Possible Answers:

Larry, one of my all time favorite comedians has an incredibly funny show in development.

Larry; one of my all time favorite comedians; has an incredibly funny show in development.

Larry, one of my all time favorite comedians, has an incredibly funny show in development.

Larry, one of my all time favorite comedians, has an incredibly funny show in development.

Larry one of my all time favorite comedians has an incredibly funny show in development.

Correct answer:

Larry, one of my all time favorite comedians, has an incredibly funny show in development.

Explanation:

Interrupting phrases provide information or context about an element of a sentence, but are not necessary to the sentence being complete. Because they come in the middle of a clause such phrases must be separated from the rest of the sentence by commas. The example sentence places the first comma at the beginning of this interrupting phrase, but fails to place the necessary comma the end. The best way to correct the underlined portion above is, "Larry, one of my all time favorite comedians, has an incredibly funny show in development."

Example Question #137 : Correcting Punctuation Errors: Commas For Introductory Or Interrupting Phrases

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.

If you don't stop interrupting my class; I will be forced to eject you and send you to the principal.

Possible Answers:

If you don't stop interrupting my class; I will be forced to eject you and send you to the principal.

If you don't stop interrupting my class, I will be forced to eject you and send you to the principal.

If you don't stop interrupting my class: I will be forced to eject you and send you to the principal.

If you don't stop interrupting my class... I will be forced to eject you and send you to the principal.

If you don't stop interrupting my class I will be forced to eject you and send you to the principle.

Correct answer:

If you don't stop interrupting my class, I will be forced to eject you and send you to the principal.

Explanation:

Introductory phrases precede and are subordinate to a sentence's main clause. Introductory phrases add information to a sentence, but are not necessary to the sentence being grammatically complete, and such clauses must be separated from the rest of the sentence with a comma. In this case "If you don't stop interrupting my class," is a dependent, introductory clause, and as such should not be punctuated with a semicolon.

Example Question #138 : Correcting Punctuation Errors: Commas For Introductory Or Interrupting Phrases

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.

Paul my old yellow lab is in good health in spite of his advanced years.

Possible Answers:

Paul my old yellow lab, is in good health in spite of his advanced years.

Paul, my old yellow lab is in good health in spite of his advanced years.

Paul, my old yellow lab, is in good health in spite of his advanced years.

Paul my old yellow lab is in good health in spite of his advanced years.

Paul; my old yellow lab, is in good health in spite of his advanced years.

Correct answer:

Paul, my old yellow lab, is in good health in spite of his advanced years.

Explanation:

Interrupting phrases add information to a sentence but are not necessary to the sentence being complete, must be separated from the rest of the sentence by commas. The example sentence is missing two commas. The best way to correct the underlined portion above is, "Paul, my old yellow lab, is in good health in spite of his advanced years."

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