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 #51 : Correcting Punctuation Errors: Commas For Introductory Or Interrupting Phrases

Each year thousands of animals contract the rare virus despite vaccination efforts.

Possible Answers:

Each year thousands of animals 

Every year thousands of animals 

Each year thousands of animals' 

Each year a thousand animals 

Each year, thousands of animals 

Correct answer:

Each year, thousands of animals 

Explanation:

The phrase "Each year" in the sentence is an introductory phrase, a phrase that conditions the main part of the sentence but is not a necessary part of its structure. All introductory phrases must be set apart by a comma. As this is the only issue with the sentence as it is written, the correct answer choice is "Each year, thousands of animals."

Example Question #3881 : Sat Writing

Under great stress the president of the company was forced to take a leave of absence.

Possible Answers:

Under great stress, the president, of the company

Under great stress, the president of the company

Under great stress the company's president

Under great stress the president of the company

Under, great stress the president of the company

Correct answer:

Under great stress, the president of the company

Explanation:

The phrase "Under great stress" is an introductory phrase, one that conditions the meaning of the sentence but is separate from the main sentence structure. All such phrases need to be set apart from the rest of the sentence by a comma. The only answer choice to appropriately do this is "Under great stress, the president of the company."

Example Question #3882 : Sat Writing

Incidentally the boy was never at the site of the crime he was accused of committing.

Possible Answers:

Incidentally the boy was never at the site of the crime he was accused of committing.

Incidentally, the boy was never at the site of the crime he was accused of committing.

Incidentally the boy was never at the site of the crime he was accusing to be committing.

Incidentally the boy never being at the site of the crime he was accused of committing.

Incidentally the boy was never at a site of crime he was accused of committing.

Correct answer:

Incidentally, the boy was never at the site of the crime he was accused of committing.

Explanation:

The issue with the sentence is that its single word introductory clause, "Incidentally," is not appropriately set off from the rest of the sentence with a comma. The only answer choice that does that is "Incidentally, the boy was never at the site of the crime he was accused of committing." All other answer choices are grammatically incorrect.

Example Question #52 : Correcting Punctuation Errors: Commas For Introductory Or Interrupting Phrases

Unlike his classmates the boy preferred staying in and reading books.

Possible Answers:

Unlike, his classmates the boy

Unlike his classmates, the boy

Unlike his classmates the boy

Unlike, his classmates, the boy

Unlike his classmates' the boy

Correct answer:

Unlike his classmates, the boy

Explanation:

The phrase "Unlike his classmates" functions as an introductory phrase, one that conditions the meaning of the rest of the sentence. All introductory phrases must be set apart from the rest of the sentence by a comma; therefore, "Unlike his classmates, the boy" is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #1441 : Psat Writing Skills

Keeping his promises the father took his sons to the store on the way home.

Possible Answers:

Keeping, his promises the father

Keeping his promises, the father

Keeping his promises that father

Keeping his promises a father

Keeping his promises the father

Correct answer:

Keeping his promises, the father

Explanation:

The phrase "Keeping his promises" is an introductory phrase that conditions the action of the sentence, but is not crucial to the structure of the sentence. All such phrases need to be set apart by a comma from the main portion of the sentence. The only answer choice that does this is "Keeping his promises, the father," which is the correct answer.

Example Question #1442 : Psat Writing Skills

Per the guidelines everyone at the meeting was allowed to speak uninterrupted for five minutes.

Possible Answers:

Per the guidelines, everyone

Per, the guidelines everyone

Per the guidelines everybody

Per the guidelines for everyone

Per the guidelines everyone

Correct answer:

Per the guidelines, everyone

Explanation:

The phrase "Per the guidelines" is an introductory phrase, a clause that conditions the meaning of the sentence, but is not part of the construction of the sentence. All such clauses must be separated by a comma from the rest of the sentence, making "Per the guidelines, everyone" the correct answer choice.

Example Question #3886 : Sat Writing

More than most singers her life story has always been read into her song lyrics by fans.

Possible Answers:

More than most singers her life story has always been read, into her song lyrics by fans.

More than most singers her life story has always been read into her song lyrics, by fans.

More than most singers, her life story has always been read into her song lyrics by fans.

More, than most singers, her life story has always been read into her song lyrics by fans.

More than most singers her life story has always been read into her song lyrics by fans.

Correct answer:

More than most singers, her life story has always been read into her song lyrics by fans.

Explanation:

The phrase "More than most singers" is an introductory phrase that explains the conditions of the sentence's body. All introductory phrases need to be set off by a comma, and no other spots in the sentence need a comma. "More than most singers her life story has always been read into her song lyrics by fans," is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #53 : Correcting Punctuation Errors: Commas For Introductory Or Interrupting Phrases

Just like his sister he was a very good student in school and a hard worker.

Possible Answers:

Just like his sister, he was

Just like his sister he were

Just, like his sister, he was

Just like his sister he was

Just like his sister he is

Correct answer:

Just like his sister, he was

Explanation:

The phrase "Just like his sister" is an introductory phrase, or a phrase that conditions the meaning of the sentence without being a crucial part of its structure. All introductory phrases need to be set apart from the rest of the sentence by a comma. Therefore, the correct answer choice is "Just like his sister, he was."

Example Question #54 : Correcting Punctuation Errors: Commas For Introductory Or Interrupting Phrases

Unlike his counterparts in the army the sailor was used to being on the open seas.

Possible Answers:

Unlike his counterparts in the army the sailor

Unlike, his counterparts in the army, the sailor

Unlike his counterparts, in the army the sailor

Unlike his counterparts in the army, the sailor

Unlike, his counterparts in the army the sailor

Correct answer:

Unlike his counterparts in the army, the sailor

Explanation:

The phrase "Unlike his counterparts in the army" is an introductory phrase that conditions the action of the sentence. All such phrases must be set apart from the rest of the sentence by a comma. "Unlike his counterparts in the army, the sailor" is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #3889 : Sat Writing

For eight straight weeks the area saw heavy rains that contributed to the massive flooding.

Possible Answers:

For eight straight weeks the area saw heavy rain that contributed to the massive flooding.

For eight straight weeks the area saw heavy rains that contributed to the massive flooding.

For eight straight weeks, the area saw heavy rains that contributed to the massive flooding.

For eight straight weeks the area saw heavy rains that contributed in the massive flooding.

For eight straight weeks the area sees heavy rains that contributed to the massive flooding.

Correct answer:

For eight straight weeks, the area saw heavy rains that contributed to the massive flooding.

Explanation:

The phrase "For eight straight weeks" is an introductory phrase, or one that conditions the meaning of the sentence but is not a crucial element of its structure. All such phrases need to be set off from the rest of the sentence by a comma. The only answer choice that appropriately does this is "For eight straight weeks, the area saw heavy rains that contributed to the massive flooding."

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