SAT Writing : Identifying Parallel Structure Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #41 : 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.

Napa Valley is known for having amazing food, high quality wine, and attracts a wealthy clientele. No error

Possible Answers:

attracts

No error

is

having

for

Correct answer:

attracts

Explanation:

It is important for a sentence to use correct parallelism, which means that listed items should take on the same grammatical form. Here, the first two listed items are nouns ("amazing food" and "high quality wine"). Therefore, the third item should also be a noun; however, “attracts” is a verb, and therefore is incorrect. To fix the sentence, one might omit the word "attracts," leaving simply "amazing food, high quality wine, and a wealthy clientele," three nouns.

Example Question #802 : Identifying Sentence Errors

I had expected to learn many essential survival skills at the workshop, but instead only how to open a can without a can opener.

Possible Answers:

only how to open

had expected

but

No error

essential

Correct answer:

only how to open

Explanation:

This sentence has a problem with parallelism. Since the first part contains a verb, the second part must as well. The corrected sentence reads: I had expected to learn many essential survival skills at the workshop, but instead I only learned how to open a can without a can opener.

Example Question #803 : Identifying Sentence Errors

The young girl struggled in school growing up, having trouble with adding, spelling, and the ability to read.

Possible Answers:

with adding, spelling and the ability to read.

with adding, spelling, and the ability to read.

with adding spelling and the ability to read.

with adding, spelling, and reading.

in adding, spelling, and the ability to read.

Correct answer:

with adding, spelling, and reading.

Explanation:

The series placed in the underlined portion of the sentence suffers from the problem of not having a parallel structure. All components in such a list need to take the same format. Therefore, "with adding, spelling, and reading" is the correct answer.

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