SAT Writing : Correcting Single-Word Grammatical Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #830 : Improving Paragraphs

1 That’s why codes of discipline have arisen for raising factual or difficult children. 2 Some experts avow for strict authoritative castigation at all times while others argue for gentle or praise centric approaches. 3 Many parents find themselves confounded with the problem of unruly children. 4 Most adults however can agree that consistency and consequences are two key components of disciplining any child from the most pugilist to the most mild-mannered. 5 Being too permissive or too authoritarian can ultimately result with many instances of bad behavior.

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

Possible Answers:

fractional

fractious

fractal

factual (no change)

factional

Correct answer:

fractious

Explanation:

Based on the context of the rest of the passage, we can conclude that we’re looking for a synonym for “unruly.” “Fractious,” which means troublesome, unruly, or hard to control, is the best choice.

Example Question #831 : Improving Paragraphs

1 W. Somerset Maugham was a proliferate and English author of more than two dozen books. 2 Born in 1874 and orphaned at a young age, also working as an ambulance driver in World War I and studying medicine in London. 3 Among his life he traveled in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia, within other places, these experiences were also reflected in his writing. 4 His first novel, Liza of Lambeth, drew on these real-life experiences and became an instant bestseller, when it was published, in 1897. 5 One of Maugham’s most famous works, the American writer Theodore Dreiser gave a glowing review to the 1915 novel Of Human Bondage. 6 His legacy includes many plays, film adaptations, a tumultuous love life, an epigrammatic British literary award (the Somerset Maugham Award), and a steady if unexperimental oeuvre of fiction.

In Sentence 3, what word should replace “within”?

Possible Answers:

around

about

among

except

within (no change)

Correct answer:

among

Explanation:

We can infer from the sentence that Maugham traveled to Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and other places. The only preposition that would suggest this meaning is “among.”

Example Question #832 : Improving Paragraphs

1 W. Somerset Maugham was a proliferate and English author of more than two dozen books. 2 Born in 1874 and orphaned at a young age, also working as an ambulance driver in World War I and studying medicine in London. 3 Among his life he traveled in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia, within other places, these experiences were also reflected in his writing. 4 His first novel, Liza of Lambeth, drew on these real-life experiences and became an instant bestseller, when it was published, in 1897. 5 One of Maugham’s most famous works, the American writer Theodore Dreiser gave a glowing review to the 1915 novel Of Human Bondage. 6 His legacy includes many plays, film adaptations, a tumultuous love life, an epigrammatic British literary award (the Somerset Maugham Award), and a steady if unexperimental oeuvre of fiction.

In Sentence 3, what word should replace “Among”?

Possible Answers:

During

Within

Throughout

Between

Among (no change)

Correct answer:

During

Explanation:

Events typically happen “during” (not “among” or some other preposition) a span of time.

Example Question #3371 : Sat Writing

1 Generally, a person will tell you they prefer not to have their food burned. 2 Because caramel: a delicious sticky dessert, is actually made by slowly burning sugar. 3 A copper saucepan, a candy thermometer, and sugar and water are all you need to make this lascivious treat. 4 Although some chefs prefer to use their eyes and nose rather than a thermometer. 5 Desserts that will be made from caramel, including ice cream, pies, crème brûlée, candy apples, nougats, flan, and pralines. 6 However it may take many disastrous attempts and scorched pans while the amateur caramel maker achieves the golden, buttery perfection of this tasty dessert.

What word should be changed in Sentence 4?

Possible Answers:

nose

no words should be changed

thermometer

prefer

chefs

Correct answer:

nose

Explanation:

Presumably the multiple chefs do not just have a single “nose,” so we need to change the sentence accordingly: “eyes and noses.”

Example Question #834 : Improving Paragraphs

1 Generally, a person will tell you they prefer not to have their food burned. 2 Because caramel: a delicious sticky dessert, is actually made by slowly burning sugar. 3 A copper saucepan, a candy thermometer, and sugar and water are all you need to make this lascivious treat. 4 Although some chefs prefer to use their eyes and nose rather than a thermometer. 5 Desserts that will be made from caramel, including ice cream, pies, crème brûlée, candy apples, nougats, flan, and pralines. 6 However it may take many disastrous attempts and scorched pans while the amateur caramel maker achieves the golden, buttery perfection of this tasty dessert.

In Sentence 2, what word should replace “Because”?

Possible Answers:

Through

Where

Because (no change)

Moreover

But

Correct answer:

But

Explanation:

Based on the context of Sentences 1 and 2, we’re looking for a word that indicates contrast, and “But” is the only one of the provided options that does so.

Example Question #835 : Improving Paragraphs

1 Generally, a person will tell you they prefer not to have their food burned. 2 Because caramel: a delicious sticky dessert, is actually made by slowly burning sugar. 3 A copper saucepan, a candy thermometer, and sugar and water are all you need to make this lascivious treat. 4 Although some chefs prefer to use their eyes and nose rather than a thermometer. 5 Desserts that will be made from caramel, including ice cream, pies, crème brûlée, candy apples, nougats, flan, and pralines. 6 However it may take many disastrous attempts and scorched pans while the amateur caramel maker achieves the golden, buttery perfection of this tasty dessert.

In Sentence 5, what word should replace “will”?

Possible Answers:

would

were

should

will (no change)

can

Correct answer:

can

Explanation:

“Will” is the future tense and implies a level of certainty that the passage doesn’t support. “Can,” a present tense verb that indicates possibility, is the best choice for the sentence.

Example Question #836 : Improving Paragraphs

1 Many cultures have a tradition of mythical creatures.2 Some malicious, others benefactors, with a variety of powers and special attributes. 3 The ancient Greeks had centaurs and harpies, the Assyrians had mermaids, and the German elves. 4 These creatures remain prevaricate today, to appear in fantasy novels, movies, and even university courses.

In Sentence 4, how should “to appear” be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

to have appeared

appearing

appeared

to be appearing

to appear (no change)

Correct answer:

appearing

Explanation:

In order to make the second part of Sentence 4 a proper dependent clause, we need to change the infinitive “to appear” to the gerund “appearing.”

Example Question #837 : Improving Paragraphs

1 Seaweed; a type of algae that’s a promising resource for the future. 2 It can be used with a fuel, medicine, fuel source, and even fertilizer. 3 Often being both farmed or foraged. 4 In Indonesia, China, Korea, and the Philippines are among the world’s largest producers of seaweed, it is used for everything from sushi and bread to dessert. 5 Medically, speaking derivatives of seaweed can be optimized in bandages, dental molds, and microbiology cultures. 6 Girls especially will squeal when they hear that seaweed’s components are used to make many pretty makeup products. 7 It should come as no surprise, then, that countries around the world are investing significant capital in seaweed research.

In Sentence 2, what word should replace “with”?

Possible Answers:

in

among

by

as

with (no change)

Correct answer:

as

Explanation:

The preposition that makes most sense in the context of the passage is “as”: Seaweed can be used in a number of different applications.

Example Question #231 : Rewriting A Single Word

1 The job is similar to a music editor, who creates and merges songs, background music, and other sound effects to create a particular atmosphere. 2 While most Americans today are cognizant of film jobs such as director, producer, actor, and even screenwriter. 3 Few know much about the role of film editor. 4 This job involves mostly post-production work, with the editor choosing that parts of the raw footage to move, combine, or separate. 5 Without the film editor, there would only be a bewitching jumble of disordered chaotic images. 6 Sometimes more than ten times as much film is shot than is used in the final cut of the movie. 7 Film editors, also have the ability to impose experimental approaches, discontinuity, or emotional manipulation as he sees fit. 8 Film editing truly is a critical and undervalued art. 

In Sentence 4, "that" should be changed to what word?

Possible Answers:

or

which

this

without

those

Correct answer:

which

Explanation:

Because we’re dealing with a nonrestrictive clause in this sentence, “that” should be changed to “which.”

Example Question #232 : Rewriting A Single Word

1 Dream interpretation has a long and storied past. 2 Did you know that the ancient Egyptians were interpreting dreams thousands of years ago? 3 In ancient Greece, prophecies were often based off dreams; and in English literature including Shakespeare dreams have long held a significant role.

4 Common dream symbols include new rooms, which indicate new discoveries about the self, hair, which is purportedly related to sexuality, and forests, which alternately signal loss or variegated opportunities. 5 Books with titles ranging from The Lofty Principles of Dream Interpretation and Dream Alchemy offer advice, and opinions.6 More recently, psychologists have contributed their own analysis to the collaboration of interpretative literature. 7 What did you think your dreams mean?

Which sentence contains an incorrect plural form?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 6

Sentence 2

Sentence 7

Sentence 3

Sentence 4

Correct answer:

Sentence 6

Explanation:

In Sentence 6, the multiple psychologists presumably have more than one single analysis, so the word should be changed to “analyses.”

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