SAT Writing : Identifying Comparative and Superlative Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #291 : Identifying Word Usage Errors

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

Though many people may disagree, I think my brother is the cuter baby in the whole wide world. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

the whole

cuter baby

many people

I think my

Correct answer:

cuter baby

Explanation:

Because the baby is being compared to all of the babies in the world, the superlative "cutest baby" is needed. If the baby were being compared to only one other child, the comparative "cuter baby" would be appropriate. This makes the correct selection "cuter baby."

Example Question #292 : Identifying Word Usage Errors

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

Between a train and an airplane, an airplane is the fastest and more reliable way to travel. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

more reliable

Between a train

an airplane

is the fastest

Correct answer:

is the fastest

Explanation:

Because only two objects (the train and the airplane) are being compared in this sentence, the comparative "faster" must be used. If there were three or more items being compared, the superlative "fastest" would be appropriate. This makes the correct selection "is the fastest."

Example Question #293 : Identifying Word Usage Errors

She stumped me with a riddle about ten boxes of various weights; the goal was to find the heavier one by only using the scale twice.

Possible Answers:

stumped me with

heavier one

using

No error

of various weights

Correct answer:

heavier one

Explanation:

In this sentence, there are nine boxes, so the the superlative “heaviest” would be better than the comparative “heavier.” The corrected sentence reads: She stumped me with a riddle about ten boxes of various weights; the goal was to find the heaviest one by only using the scale twice.

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