SAT Writing : Identifying Preposition Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #31 : 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 results of the experiment indicate that children prefer the voices of adults rather than those of other children. No error

Possible Answers:

children

those of

No error

rather than

indicate

Correct answer:

rather than

Explanation:

This sentence contains an idiom error. It is incorrect to say that someone "prefers X rather than Y." Instead, the correct form of the idiom is "prefer X to Y," so the sentence should read, "The results of the experiment indicate that children prefer the voices of adults to those of other children."

Example Question #33 : 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.

To the professor's surprise, the measurements obtained by her colleagues were inconsistent to the predictions of classical Newtonian physics. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

professor's

classical

were

to

Correct answer:

to

Explanation:

This sentence contains an incorrect idiomatic expression. The phrase "inconsistent to" should be "inconsistent with." 

 

Example Question #31 : 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.

When the earthquake hit, Martin, fearing for his life, ran to cover underneath a nearby tree, not knowing he was safer out in the openNo error

Possible Answers:

ran to cover

for his life

a nearby tree

out in the open

No error

Correct answer:

ran to cover

Explanation:

The phrase "ran to cover" contains the sentence's error; it should be written as "ran for cover" instead so that it correctly follows the conventions of preposition usage.

Example Question #31 : 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.

Somehow, I managed to talk with my professor for twenty minutes and successfully evade from the topic of my seriously late literature review. No error

Possible Answers:

seriously

talk with

evade from

and

No error

Correct answer:

evade from

Explanation:

This sentence does not follow the conventions of prepositions. “Evade” is not typically followed by a preposition; the “from” is unnecessary and incorrect. The corrected sentence reads, "Somehow, I managed to talk with my professor for twenty minutes and successfully evade the topic of my seriously late literature review."

Example Question #31 : 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 rice dish I made was different than the one Krista made last weekend; mine used different spices and had a longer cooking time. No error

Possible Answers:

weekend; mine

spices and had

No error

the one

different than

Correct answer:

different than

Explanation:

"Different from" should be used instead of "different than." "Than" implies a direct comparison, implying that A is more different than B. Since only two things are being compared, that means one can't be more different than the other (unless there is a third reference item also in the comparison), and "different from" should be used instead of "different than."

Example Question #32 : Identifying Preposition Errors

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

The research assistant came back with results inconsistent to those of previous trials, so the investigator had to verify her calculations. No error

Possible Answers:

had

those of

to

trials, so

No error

Correct answer:

to

Explanation:

"To" is the incorrect preposition to use with "inconsistent." The correct pairing would be "inconsistent with." "With" should also be paired with "consistent."

Example Question #31 : 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.

Ron used to prefer cats for dogs, but recently changed his mind on the matter after being befriended by a charming canine. No error

Possible Answers:

being befriended

used to prefer

for

No error

but recently

Correct answer:

for

Explanation:

When using the word "prefer" to describe a preference for one item versus another, the proper preposition to use along with "prefer" is "to," not "for." Therefore, the proper formation of this part of the sentence would be "prefer cats to dogs," not "prefer cats for dogs."

Example Question #31 : Identifying Preposition Errors

The several miscommunication problems that we have experienced point at the underlying translation issues that characterize the industry as a whole.

Possible Answers:

as a whole

several

No error

that characterize

point at

Correct answer:

point at

Explanation:

This sentence has a problem with prepositional idioms. The corrected sentence reads: The several miscommunication problems that we have experienced point to the underlying translation issues that characterize the industry as a whole.

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