SAT Writing : Correcting Punctuation Errors: Other Commas

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #4021 : 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.

The boy, whose parents were dermatologists and experts in their field, came down with a strange rash, that no one could identify.

Possible Answers:

The boy, whose parents were dermatologists, and experts in their field, came down with a strange rash that no one could identify.

The boy whose parents were dermatologists and experts in their field came down with a strange rash that no one could identify.

The boy, whose parents were dermatologists and experts in their field, came down with a strange rash that no one could identify.

The boy, whose parents were dermatologists and experts in their field, came down with a strange rash, that no one could identify.

The boy whose parents were dermatologists, and experts in their field, came down with a strange rash that no one could identify.

Correct answer:

The boy, whose parents were dermatologists and experts in their field, came down with a strange rash that no one could identify.

Explanation:

In this sentence, “whose parents were dermatologists and experts in their field” is a relative clause (non-essential information) that describes “the boy.” As with all relative clauses, this one can be removed and still leave a complete sentence, so it must be set apart with commas.

There is no comma between “rash” and “that” because the words “that no one could identify” are necessary to specify which rash the sentence is talking about. So, as with all necessary sentence information, these words aren’t set apart with commas. (Also, remember that commas never come immediately before or after the word “that.”)

Example Question #1851 : 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.

Despite the disagreement with the copy editor the book was published on the date that it was scheduled to be.

Possible Answers:

Despite the disagreement with the copy editor the book, was published on the date that it was scheduled to be. 

Despite the disagreement with the copy editor the book was published, on the date that it was scheduled to be. 

Despite the disagreement with the copy editor the book was published on the date, that it was scheduled to be. 

Despite the disagreement with the copy editor, the book was published on the date that it was scheduled to be. 

Despite the disagreement with the copy editor the book was published on the date that it was scheduled to be. 

Correct answer:

Despite the disagreement with the copy editor, the book was published on the date that it was scheduled to be. 

Explanation:

In this sentence, there only needs to be a comma at the end of the introductory phrase, "Despite the disagreement with the copy editor."

Example Question #4021 : 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.

Sarah and I saw Amanda, Steven's girlfriend at the mall.

Possible Answers:

Sarah and I saw Amanda, Steven's girlfriend at the mall.

Sarah and I, saw Amanda Steven's girlfriend at the mall.

Sarah and I saw, Amanda Steven's girlfriend, at the mall.

Sarah and I saw Amanda Steven's girlfriend, at the mall.

 

Sarah and I saw Amanda, Steven's girlfriend, at the mall.

Correct answer:

Sarah and I saw Amanda, Steven's girlfriend, at the mall.

Explanation:

Commas must be used at the beginning and end of an interrupting phrase so that, if the phrase were to be deleted, the remaining sentence would still be grammatically correct. Therefore, the correct answer is "Sarah and I saw Amanda, Steven's girlfriend, at the mall."

Interrupting phrases are phrases that interrupt the flow of the grammatical sentence (usually to provide details, opinion, or contextual information).

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