SAT Writing : Identifying Preposition Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #21 : Identifying Preposition 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 Federalists and the Republicans, the first two political parties of the United States, disagreed with how the Constitution should be interpretedNo error

Possible Answers:

political

No error

of the United States

should be interpreted

with

Correct answer:

with

Explanation:

The wrong preposition is used in "disagreed with." You generally "disagree with" a person or policy, but "disagree over" or "disagree on" an issue. Changing "with" to "over" corrects the sentence's error. The corrected sentence reads "The Federalists and the Republicans, the first two political parties of the United States government, disagreed over how the Constitution should be interpreted."

Example Question #21 : Identifying Other 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.

Her father prevented her against dropping out of high schoolNo error

Possible Answers:

prevented her

against

of high school

Her father

No error

Correct answer:

against

Explanation:

The correct phrase is “to prevent someone (or something) from doing something.” 

Example Question #44 : Identifying Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

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

While small dogs are more vulnerable then large dogs, they also tend to be more aggressive. No error

Possible Answers:

also

then

are more

No error

While

Correct answer:

then

Explanation:

"Then" is used to describe a sequence of events, while "than" is used to compare two subjects. Here, two subjects are being compared: big and small dogs. Therefore, "than" should be used, not "then."

Example Question #22 : Identifying Other 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.

Now that I have researched all of the candidates and the issues, I have decided to support for the third party candidate. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

all of the

have decided

and

support for

Correct answer:

support for

Explanation:

In this sentence, the preposition “for” is incorrect. “For” is used after the noun “support,” but not the verb. The corrected sentence reads, "Now that I have researched all of the candidates and the issues, I have decided to support the third party candidate."

Example Question #21 : Identifying Preposition 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 presence of a chicken happily pecking at pretzels strewn across her kitchen floor was rather surprising for Margaret. No error

Possible Answers:

surprising for

No error

strewn

was

happily

Correct answer:

surprising for

Explanation:

There is an error in the idiomatic use of prepositions in this sentence. The preposition “to” is more acceptable after “surprising.” The corrected sentence reads: The presence of a chicken happily pecking at pretzels strewn across her kitchen floor was rather surprising to Margaret.

Example Question #22 : Identifying Preposition Errors

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

Half of the students in the class stayed up all night in order to work in the questions that confused them the most. No error

Possible Answers:

confused

most

work in

of the students

No error

Correct answer:

work in

Explanation:

"In" is the wrong preposition. "Work on" makes more sense.

Example Question #27 : Identifying Preposition Errors

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

Inspired for the delicious quiche that he tried in a French bakery last weekend, Marvin went on a organic vegetable shopping spree and tried to recreate the perfect breakfast in his own kitchenNo error

Possible Answers:

No error

Inspired for

in his own kitchen

that he tried

and

Correct answer:

Inspired for

Explanation:

This sentence uses the wrong preposition after “inspired.” “By” would be idiomatically correct. The corrected sentence reads, "Inspired by the delicious quiche that he tried in a French bakery last weekend, Marvin went on a organic vegetable shopping spree and tried to recreate the perfect breakfast in his own kitchen."

Example Question #28 : Identifying Preposition Errors

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

Secretly delighted that the prank, the author admonished his friends for giving him such a fright. No error

Possible Answers:

admonished

delighted that

Secretly

giving

No error

Correct answer:

delighted that

Explanation:

The correct idiomatic preposition after “delighted” in this context would be “by.” The corrected sentence reads, "Secretly delighted by the prank, the author admonished his friends for giving him such a fright."

Example Question #29 : Identifying Preposition Errors

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

 

While his style was initially a protest to painting, Jackson Pollock's brand of artistic expression is now widespread and has influenced many other artists. No error

Possible Answers:

has influenced

traditional painting

No error

widespread

protest to

Correct answer:

protest to

Explanation:

As a general rule for prepositions, "protest" is accompanied by the preposition "against," not "to." Therefore, "protest to" contains an error. 

Example Question #23 : Identifying Preposition 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 the dictator established more policies to repress the population, many rebels decided to protest of them. No error

Possible Answers:

established

to repress

of

No error

decided

Correct answer:

of

Explanation:

The error in this sentence involves prepositions. Instead of saying "protest of them," which is incorrect, it should read either "protest against them" or "protest them."

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