SAT Writing : Identifying Apostrophe Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store varsity tutors amazon store varsity tutors ibooks store

Example Questions

Example Question #31 : Identifying Apostrophe Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

Werent you supposed to be guarding the food stores last night? No error

Possible Answers:

Werent

be guarding

supposed

night?

No error

Correct answer:

Werent

Explanation:

"Weren't" is a contraction of the words "were not" and must always contain an apostrophe. "Werent" is incorrect as written in the provided sentence, as it is missing this apostrophe.

Example Question #32 : Identifying Apostrophe Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The diners praised the chef for the entrée’s rich taste and the hors d’ouevre’s exquisite texture; they were astonished that her restaurant had not yet received a good review in a major newspaper. No error

Possible Answers:

hors d’ouevre’s

No error

had not yet received

entrée’s rich taste

exquisite texture;

Correct answer:

hors d’ouevre’s

Explanation:

"Hors d’ouevres" is a word taken from French, and it is always spelled with the final "s." For that reason, the possessive apostrophe needs to come after the "s" and not before it.

Example Question #33 : Identifying Apostrophe Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

As she drives the car through the geese's puddle, it's swinging door flies open. No error

Possible Answers:

drives

geese's

No error

door flies

it's

Correct answer:

it's

Explanation:

The "it" in the second clause logically must be the car, not the geese's puddle. The contraction "it's" is only used as a replacement for the phrase "it is;" when expressing possession by an object, "its" (without an apostrophe) is always the correct form. The present tense verbs, while unusual, are not incorrect.

Example Question #34 : Identifying Apostrophe Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

I cant understand why the weather has been so foul lately; it's very unseasonable. No error

Possible Answers:

it's

cant

No error

why the weather

lately;

Correct answer:

cant

Explanation:

The word "cant" means something entirely different from the word "can't," which is a contraction of the words "can" and "not" ("Cant" refers to purposeless chatter or discourse). The latter is clearly what should be in the sentence above, since it is a verb and not a noun, and as such, the portion of the sentence that needs to be corrected is, "cant."

 

Example Question #35 : Identifying Apostrophe Errors

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

I wont be very happy with you if you continue to fail to clean up your fair share of the dishes. No error

Possible Answers:

your fair share

to fail to

with you

No error

I wont be

Correct answer:

I wont be

Explanation:

"Wont" refers to a desire acquired through custom or habit. Clearly this is not the right word for this sentence. "Won't" (with an apostrophe) is a contraction of "will not," which fits this sentence much better.

Example Question #111 : Identifying Punctuation Errors: Other Punctuation

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

I believe that your being difficult just for the sake of being difficult; I would appreciate it if you would stop. No error

Possible Answers:

you would stop.

No error

your being

I believe that

being difficult;

Correct answer:

your being

Explanation:

“You're” is a contraction meaning you are. “your” indicates possession when using the second person pronoun you. This sentence needs a verb, not a possessive pronoun, so the portion of the sentence that needs to be corrected is, "your being."

Example Question #112 : Identifying Punctuation Errors: Other Punctuation

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

I bought a lot of you're daughter's Girl Scout cookies last week, and I would appreciate it if you would buy a wreath for my son. No error

Possible Answers:

you would buy

last week, and

No error

you're daughter's

I bought 

Correct answer:

you're daughter's

Explanation:

“You're” is a contraction of "you are." “Your” indicates possession when using the second person pronoun you. In the sentence above, clearly "you are" would be a very strange and grammatically incorrect choice, so "you're" has to be the error in the example.

Example Question #113 : Identifying Punctuation Errors: Other Punctuation

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

You need to be sure to feed the dog its' raw meat. No error

Possible Answers:

to feed

to be

Its'

meat.

No error

Correct answer:

Its'

Explanation:

This sentence features a simple error of apostrophe placement. The apostrophe in "its'" should be moved before the "s" in order to indicate singular possession. The rest of the sentence is correct as written.

Example Question #114 : Identifying Punctuation Errors: Other Punctuation

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

The very old boat had a number of leaks in it's keel, but we were sure that it would weather the storm. No error

Possible Answers:

were sure that

it's

a number

The very old boat

No error

Correct answer:

it's

Explanation:

“It’s” is a contraction meaning it is or it has. “Its” indicates possession when using the third person pronoun it. In this sentence, it would not make sense to say "a number of leaks in it is keel," so we know that "it's" should be replaced with "its."

Example Question #115 : Identifying Punctuation Errors: Other Punctuation

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all.

I find it hard to believe that the plane crashed solely because its engine failed; there must have been some human error. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

must have been some human error.

that the plane

I find it hard

its

Correct answer:

its

Explanation:

“It’s” is a contraction meaning it is or it has. “Its” indicates possession when using the third person pronoun it. The portion of the sentence that needs to be corrected is, "its"

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors