SAT Writing : Identifying Parallel Structure Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #31 : Identifying Parallel Structure Errors

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

Lisa insisted that her favorite activities included camping, reading, drinking tea, and hikesNo error

Possible Answers:

insisted that

No error

and hikes

included

favorite

Correct answer:

and hikes

Explanation:

This sentence does not have parallel structure between the items in the list. The first three are gerund verbs, but the fourth is a noun. The corrected sentence reads: Lisa insisted that her favorite activities included camping, reading, drinking tea, and hiking.

Example Question #56 : Identifying Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

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

Until he started his first food service job, Hank had never mopped a floor, scrubbed a wall, or wash dishesNo error

Possible Answers:

had never mopped

wash dishes

No error

Until

or

Correct answer:

wash dishes

Explanation:

This sentence has a problem with parallel structure. All of the items in the list should be in the same verb tense, but the third item here is in a different tense. The corrected sentence reads: Until he started his first food service job, Hank had never mopped a floor, scrubbed a wall, or washed dishes.

Example Question #57 : Identifying Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

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

It’s a long drive, but I would much rather drive home than busNo error

Possible Answers:

No error

than bus

It's

but

long

Correct answer:

than bus

Explanation:

In this sentence, the format of the two items being compared does not stay parallel. “Drive” is a verb, and “bus” is a noun. The corrected sentence reads: It’s a long drive, but I would much rather drive home than take the bus.

Example Question #58 : Identifying Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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 spies started to empathize with the man they were watching, and suddenly they wondered if their actions were morally excusable or not being soNo error

Possible Answers:

empathize with

No error

and suddenly

they

not being so

Correct answer:

not being so

Explanation:

This sentence lacks grammatical parallelism. The phrase “not being so” is clunky, and it doesn’t match with the earlier part “were morally excusable.” The corrected sentence reads: The spies started to empathize with the man they were watching, and suddenly they wondered if their actions were morally excusable or not.

Example Question #21 : Identifying Parallel Structure Errors

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

She aspired to someday live in Barcelona, learn Spanish, and traveling through the country. No error

Possible Answers:

live in

through

someday

No error

traveling

Correct answer:

traveling

Explanation:

This sentence has a problem with parallelism. The items in the list should be formatted the same. The corrected sentence reads, "She aspired to someday live in Barcelona, learn Spanish, and travel through the country."

Example Question #31 : Identifying Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

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

When I was much younger I was very energetic, but now I nap often, watch a lot of television, tired, and rarely work out. No error

Possible Answers:

much younger

tired

often

No error

rarely

Correct answer:

tired

Explanation:

All of the items in this poor tired fellow's list of activities need to be in the same form. Yet we find three verbs ("nap," "watch," and "work out") and one adjective ("tired"). Thus, the adjective is the odd one out and needs to be changed (to something like "am always tired").

Example Question #32 : Identifying Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

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

That performance has been seen by more people than any musical made in the past decade. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

any musical

than

in

has been seen

Correct answer:

any musical

Explanation:

The word "other" should be included in a comparison of one thing with a group, so the correct phrase is "any other musical" and "any musical" contains the sentence's error.

Example Question #32 : Identifying Parallel Structure 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 class project consisted of forming groups, discussing questions about the novel, and give a presentation in front of the class. No error

Possible Answers:

in front of

consisted of

groups

No error

give

Correct answer:

give

Explanation:

"Give" is the wrong verb tense. To achieve parallelism, it should be "giving."

Example Question #33 : Identifying Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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 town fell into chaos and confusion; people fled from their homes and running blindly into obstacles. No error

Possible Answers:

confusion; people

running

No error

their

fell into

Correct answer:

running

Explanation:

This sentence has a problem with verb tense and parallelism. Since the “fled” and “running” are coordinated with a conjunction, they should be formatted in the same way. The corrected sentence reads, "The town fell into chaos and confusion; people fled from their homes and ran blindly into obstacles."

Example Question #34 : Identifying Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

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

Ultimately, he concluded that having a surprise party on a gloomy day was better than his birthdayNo error

Possible Answers:

gloomy

than his birthday

concluded that having

No error

on

Correct answer:

than his birthday

Explanation:

This sentence does not compare between two like things. The two sides of the comparison should be formatted in a parallel way. The corrected sentence reads, "Ultimately, he concluded that having a surprise party on a gloomy day was better than one on his birthday."

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