SAT Writing : Identifying Conjunction Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Identifying Conjunction Errors

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

My library normally only allows patrons to check out three books at a time, and when I explained that I needed to check out more than that because I was working on a term paper, they allowed me to do soNo error

Possible Answers:

time, and

No error

My library normally only allows

they allowed me to do so

when I explained that I needed to check out more than that

Correct answer:

time, and

Explanation:

This sentence's error is one that has to do with the logic of conjunctions. The conjunction "and" is used to join two sentences that do not contradict each other. This is not the case with these two sentences: based on the first sentence, you would think that the speaker would only be allowed to check out three books, but this is not the case. So, "and" is not the correct conjunction to use; changing "and" to "but" would correct the sentence's error.

Example Question #2 : Identifying Conjunction 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 would bake more cookies, and every time I do, my oven burns themNo error

Possible Answers:

them

every time I do, my oven

would

and

No error

Correct answer:

and

Explanation:

This sentence begins with "I would bake more cookies" but then the speaker gives a reason why he or she does not bake more cookies, "every time [he or she] tries to bake cookies, [his or her] oven burns them." So, "and" is not the correct conjunction to use in this sentence. A conjunction like "but" is needed to contrast the two parts of the sentence and convey why the speaker does not bake more cookies even though he or she "would."

Example Question #1 : Identifying Conjunction Errors

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

Jonathan was a devoted fan of music of almost any kind, and he just could not tolerate reggae. No error

Possible Answers:

could not tolerate

almost any

and

devoted

No error

Correct answer:

and

Explanation:

This sentence is not coordinated correctly. Logically, the second half contradicts the message of the first, so the conjunction “but” would be more appropriate. The corrected sentence reads: Jonathan was a devoted fan of music of almost any kind, but he just could not tolerate reggae.

Example Question #4 : Identifying Conjunction Errors

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

Only six students attended the football game on Saturday, and many students went instead to the school dance. No error

Possible Answers:

to

attended

on

No error

and

Correct answer:

and

Explanation:

This sentence contains an error in the logical expression of ideas. The original text uses the conjunction "and," which fails to capture the cause and effect relationship between low attendance at the football game and students going to the dance instead. A better conjunction to express the cause and effect relationship would be "because."

Example Question #1 : Identifying Conjunction Errors

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

Jack was the one who got us into this dangerous situation, but he has absolutely no right to complainNo error

Possible Answers:

to complain

the one

dangerous

No error

but

Correct answer:

but

Explanation:

This sentence isn’t coordinated correctly. The conjunction “but” does not describe the logical connection between the two parts of the sentence. A better alternative would be, "John was the one who got us into this dangerous situation, so he has absolutely no right to complain."

Example Question #2 : Identifying Conjunction 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 his friends cut the triple layer chocolate cake, the author felt cheerful but newly energizedNo error

Possible Answers:

As

but

newly energized

felt

No error

Correct answer:

but

Explanation:

This sentence uses the wrong coordinating conjunction. Since “cheerful” and “newly energized” are similar, the conjunction “and” should be used. The corrected sentence reads, "As his friends cut the triple layer chocolate cake, the author felt cheerful and newly energized."

Example Question #2 : Identifying Conjunction Errors

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

Unlike his mentor, acheiving the title of "partner" by the time he was thirty years old, Jon does not think that he will acheive this position until he is at least forty years old. No error

Possible Answers:

acheiving

at least

No error

he will acheive

his

Correct answer:

acheiving

Explanation:

The error exists in the underlined portion of the sentence, "achieving." In order to explain the background of who the mentor is, it is not sufficient to place a comma after "mentor" without a transition, such as "who achieved." Simply using the word "achieving" is not sufficient. Therefore, "achieving" is the correct answer. 

Example Question #1 : Identifying Conjunction Errors

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

Neither the teachers or the students were told that the famous actor and actress would be visiting the school until the day before the visit; it was hard to tell which group was the more excited one when everyone found out. No error

Possible Answers:

the more excited one

the famous actor and actress would be visiting

Neither the teachers or the students were

until the day before the visit; it was hard to tell

No error

Correct answer:

Neither the teachers or the students were

Explanation:

When using the word "neither" to introduce one of two things in a negative fashion, one needs to introduce the other thing using the word "nor," not "or." So, the correct answer is, "Neither the teachers nor the students were told that the famous actor and actress would be visiting the school until the day before the visit; it was hard to tell which group was the more excited one when everyone found out."

Example Question #3 : Identifying Conjunction Errors

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

Neither the aliens who were invading or the people who were being invaded really understood what was happeningNo error

Possible Answers:

No error

were being

or

what was happening

who

Correct answer:

or

Explanation:

This sentence has a problem with coordinators. If “neither” is used, it triggers the use of “nor.” The corrected sentence reads: Neither the aliens who were invading nor the people who were being invaded really understood what was happening.

Example Question #1 : Identifying Conjunction Errors

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

Neither the dog or the cat could climb the trees outside the house, for the trees were too tallNo error

Possible Answers:

no error

too tall

were

outside the house

or

Correct answer:

or

Explanation:

The proper conjunction here would be "nor," as it agrees with "neither."

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