SAT Writing : Correcting Single-Word Grammatical Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #3361 : Sat Writing

1 As anyone who has tried it can tell you, Filipino food is an exciting intriguing blend of flavors. 2 Due to interaction with various nations and cultures, it’s cuisine is marked by influences from Austronesia, Spain, China, Malaysia, and the United States. 3 Some typical dishes including pancit, longganisa, lumpia, kare-kare, pinakbet, sinigang, and adobo. 4 For example, one could find everything from Spanish paella and Chinese spring rolls (locally called lumpia) if you walked into a Filipino restaurant.

5 Another important compound of Filipino cuisine is street food. 6 These street foods include many fried foods, such as bananas, plantains, dumplings, squid balls, battered quail eggs, and fruit or vegetable spring rolls.7 Taho, a warm street food, is composed of bean curd, a caramel syrup or arnibal, and tapioca pearls.8 Don’t forget dessert! 9 With such a variety of flavors, textures, and cooking styles, there’s certainly to be something for every gourmand.

Which word or phrase in Sentence 4 needs to be changed?

Possible Answers:

example

walked into

could find

locally called

one

Correct answer:

one

Explanation:

Here, we have pronouns (“you” and “one”) that don’t match. For the sake of consistency and concision, both pronouns in this sentence should be “you.”

Example Question #821 : Improving Paragraphs

1 While many people feel strongly about the genetic modification of foods. 2 Most do not understand the full nature of genetically modified (GM) plants and animals. 3 For example, did you even know that GM was the abbreviation for genetically modified? 4 Genetic modification is defined as the artificial manipulation of a specie’s DNA usually for the purpose of improving crop yield, resistance to disease, or nutritive value. 5 And did you know it has been going on for millennia, because ancient farmers were selectively breeding foods to provide better flavor, produce smaller seeds, or withstand drought and flooding?

6 Today, however, having more sophisticated tools allow scientists to transfer genes from one organism with another, this purposely provokes better pest resistance and other desirable characteristics. 7 Opponents of genetic modification argue that the DNA modifications are unstable, undesirable, and unhealthy for the environment. 8 Additionally, some are also arguing that consuming GM foods is unsafe for humans, despite much scientific evidence to the contrary.

Which of the following sentences contains an apostrophe error?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 3

Sentence 4

None of these sentences contains an apostrophe error.

Sentence 1

Sentence 2

Correct answer:

Sentence 4

Explanation:

In Sentence 4, we’re making a singular noun that ends with ‘s’ into a possessive. The correct process for this kind of noun is to put the apostrophe after and not before the s. In this sentence "specie's" should be spelled "species'"

Example Question #822 : Improving Paragraphs

1 Unlike most languages, Esperanto was created artificially and not arrived naturally from other language’s evolution. 2 If you’ve ever traveled in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language, you’ll be familiar with the motives of the creators of Esperanto; a universal language constructed in 1887. 3 It was invented by the linguist L.L. Zamenhof, its name translating roughly to “the hopeful one,” and it was intended as a simple, neutral language that could transfer national differences and promote international harmony.

4 Implementing Esperanto, although, was more difficult than anticipated. 5 Yet more than two million people world-wide are fluent in Esperanto, far more are fluent in so-called global languages, such as English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Hindi. 6 Linguistically, Esperanto relies within a Latin alphabet and a grammar and vocabulary based primarily on Indo-European languages. 7 Luckily, free online resources, local clubs, and interminable school-sponsored instruction have kept this valuable linguistic experiment from dying out altogether.

Which sentence contains an apostrophe error?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 2

Sentence 5

Sentence 1

Sentence 3

Sentence 4

Correct answer:

Sentence 1

Explanation:

In Sentence 1, we’re clearly talking about multiple languages evolving. The correct way to make a standard plural noun possessive is by putting the apostrophe after and not before the “s”: languages’.

Example Question #823 : Improving Paragraphs

1 Unlike most languages, Esperanto was created artificially and not arrived naturally from other language’s evolution. 2 If you’ve ever traveled in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language, you’ll be familiar with the motives of the creators of Esperanto; a universal language constructed in 1887. 3 It was invented by the linguist L.L. Zamenhof, its name translating roughly to “the hopeful one,” and it was intended as a simple, neutral language that could transfer national differences and promote international harmony.

4 Implementing Esperanto, although, was more difficult than anticipated. 5 Yet more than two million people world-wide are fluent in Esperanto, far more are fluent in so-called global languages, such as English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Hindi. 6 Linguistically, Esperanto relies within a Latin alphabet and a grammar and vocabulary based primarily on Indo-European languages. 7 Luckily, free online resources, local clubs, and interminable school-sponsored instruction have kept this valuable linguistic experiment from dying out altogether.

In Sentence 1, what word should replace “arrived”?

Possible Answers:

deprived

despised

arrived (no change)

derived

contrived

Correct answer:

derived

Explanation:

Languages can’t be “arrived” from other languages, but they can be “derived,” or taken from other languages.

Example Question #824 : Improving Paragraphs

1 Unlike most languages, Esperanto was created artificially and not arrived naturally from other language’s evolution. 2 If you’ve ever traveled in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language, you’ll be familiar with the motives of the creators of Esperanto; a universal language constructed in 1887. 3 It was invented by the linguist L.L. Zamenhof, its name translating roughly to “the hopeful one,” and it was intended as a simple, neutral language that could transfer national differences and promote international harmony.

4 Implementing Esperanto, although, was more difficult than anticipated. 5 Yet more than two million people world-wide are fluent in Esperanto, far more are fluent in so-called global languages, such as English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Hindi. 6 Linguistically, Esperanto relies within a Latin alphabet and a grammar and vocabulary based primarily on Indo-European languages. 7 Luckily, free online resources, local clubs, and interminable school-sponsored instruction have kept this valuable linguistic experiment from dying out altogether.

What word should replace “although” in Sentence 4?

Possible Answers:

however

while

wherefore

whereas

although (no change)

Correct answer:

however

Explanation:

“However” is a conjunctive adverb, the correct part of speech for this sentence construction. “Although” is a subordinating conjunction, and it does not match the structure of Sentence 4.

Example Question #825 : Improving Paragraphs

1 The lost-wax casting method may sound cryptic, but its really a fairly simple and comprehendible process. 2 It is also known as investment or precision casting. 3 It involves twelve steps in that an artist makes an original wax model; creates rubber and plaster molds from the model; fills the molds with wax; coats the new wax models with a ceramic material; and fires the wax-ceramic mixture into a kiln so that the outer layer becomes a reusable mold and the inner wax melts away. 4 Despite involves technical jingo such as spruing, metal-chasing, and burnout, it is a very versant process that can be applied to everything from jewelry making and sculpture, automobile and gun manufacturing.

5 Lost-wax has been used by sculptors from ancient Greece all the way to modern day Germany. 6 Lost-wax has even been applied to dentistry, it is most frequently used to make gold crowns and inlays.7 Why not give it a try? 

In Sentence 3, what word should replace the underlined “that”?

Possible Answers:

then

these

than

that (no change)

which

Correct answer:

which

Explanation:

“In which” is a phrase that can introduce various other items; “in that” is a phrase that means in the sense that or for the reason that. The former option is the one that fits the context of this sentence, so "that" should be replaced with "which" in the sentence.

Example Question #826 : Improving Paragraphs

1 The tornado, a dreaded meteorological phenomena and a verifiable force of nature. 2 But what is it really? 3 Also known as a twister or a cyclone, tornadoes are rapidly rotating funnels of air linked between a cloud and either the surface of the earth or water. 4 They are caused by the creation of strong thunderstorms by rotating columns of air, resultantly increased rainfall causes increased downward air movement. 5 Rather than the Richter scale measures the strength of hurricanes the Fujita scale measures the strength of a tornado. 6 This natural disasters’ destructive mite is commemorated in such classic films as the 1996, movie, Twister. 7 And the 2014 “Into the Storm” and even the 2013 sparse “Sharknado.” 8 The Fujita scale, also called the F-scale, was named after an employee at the University of Chicago and originally had 13 different levels.

In Sentence 1, which of the following words should be changed?

Possible Answers:

phenomena

force

none of these words should be changed.

meteorological

dreaded

Correct answer:

phenomena

Explanation:

“Phenomena” is plural; “phenomenon,” the correct choice, is singular.

Example Question #827 : Improving Paragraphs

1 The tornado, a dreaded meteorological phenomena and a verifiable force of nature. 2 But what is it really? 3 Also known as a twister or a cyclone, tornadoes are rapidly rotating funnels of air linked between a cloud and either the surface of the earth or water. 4 They are caused by the creation of strong thunderstorms by rotating columns of air, resultantly increased rainfall causes increased downward air movement. 5 Rather than the Richter scale measures the strength of hurricanes the Fujita scale measures the strength of a tornado. 6 This natural disasters’ destructive mite is commemorated in such classic films as the 1996, movie, Twister. 7 And the 2014 “Into the Storm” and even the 2013 sparse “Sharknado.” 8 The Fujita scale, also called the F-scale, was named after an employee at the University of Chicago and originally had 13 different levels.

In Sentence 6, what word should replace “mite”?

Possible Answers:

mite (no change)

might

mete

meight

mate

Correct answer:

might

Explanation:

We’re talking about the tornado’s destructive force or strength, so we need the homonym for “mite” (a tiny object or speck of dust) that correctly fulfills the meaning required (expressing a possible condition).

Example Question #828 : Improving Paragraphs

1 The tornado, a dreaded meteorological phenomena and a verifiable force of nature. 2 But what is it really? 3 Also known as a twister or a cyclone, tornadoes are rapidly rotating funnels of air linked between a cloud and either the surface of the earth or water. 4 They are caused by the creation of strong thunderstorms by rotating columns of air, resultantly increased rainfall causes increased downward air movement. 5 Rather than the Richter scale measures the strength of hurricanes the Fujita scale measures the strength of a tornado. 6 This natural disasters’ destructive mite is commemorated in such classic films as the 1996, movie, Twister. 7 And the 2014 “Into the Storm” and even the 2013 sparse “Sharknado.” 8 The Fujita scale, also called the F-scale, was named after an employee at the University of Chicago and originally had 13 different levels. 9 The thirteenth level of the scale is used to describe only the most awe inspiring of tornadoes.

Which of the following sentences contains an apostrophe error?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 6

Sentence 1

Sentence 4

no sentence contains an apostrophe error here

Sentence 2

Correct answer:

Sentence 6

Explanation:

The word “this” signals that “tornado” is singular in this sentence. To form a regular singular possessive, we place the apostrophe before and not after the ‘s.’

Example Question #829 : Improving Paragraphs

1 Think about medieval Christianity. 2 What do you see? 3 Likely you’re imagining monks, gloomy Gothic cathedrals with flying buttresses, or witches burned at the stake. 4 But what you may not be cognitive of is: the concept of the anchorite. 5 This is the moniker for a religious recluse who elects to be walled up in a small room inside a church. 6 The anchorite was not left to die, however, they were fed through small windows and used the imprisonment to participate more fully in the spiritual life of the community. 7 It is a spiritual calling that is now very rare; few if any anchorites still exist in the world today.

What word or phrase should be changed in Sentence 6?

Possible Answers:

spiritual life

no word or phrase should be changed in this sentence

they were

imprisonment

however

Correct answer:

they were

Explanation:

Here we have an incorrect pronoun referent. We’re talking about a single anchorite at the beginning of the sentence, so our pronoun and corresponding verb conjugation should be singular – “he or she was.”

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