SAT Writing : Identifying Sentence Fragment and Sentence Combination Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Identifying Sentence Fragment And Sentence Combination Errors

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

We could swear Bessie the cow was always happy she always had a smile on her face whenever we saw her. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

we saw 

happy she

on her face 

could swear

Correct answer:

happy she

Explanation:

The above sentence is a compound sentence, and therefore, there needs to be a semicolon between "happy" and "she" to properly denote the beginning of the second independent clause. 

Example Question #2 : Identifying Sentence Fragment And Sentence Combination 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 scientists grappled with the theoretical physics problem all night they emerged exhausted from the lab in the morning without an answer. No error

Possible Answers:

without

night they

from the lab

grappled with 

No error

Correct answer:

night they

Explanation:

The above sentence is a compound sentence, and therefore we need to include a semicolon between "night" and "they" in order to properly separate the two independent clauses.

Example Question #77 : 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. 

Jessica threw the flying disc over to Daniel and he spun around in a big circle before throwing it back over Jessica's head. No error

Possible Answers:

throwing

in a big circle

No error

Daniel and

over Jessica's head

Correct answer:

Daniel and

Explanation:

The above sentence is a compound sentence, and therefore needs a comma in between "Daniel" and "and" to properly separate the two independent clauses of the sentence. 

Example Question #2 : Identifying Sentence Fragment And Sentence Combination Errors

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

After her brother ate her sandwich, Andrea was angry. And frustrated. No error 

Possible Answers:

angry. And 

No error

frustrated. 

sandwich,

After

Correct answer:

angry. And 

Explanation:

"And frustrated" is a sentence fragment because it does not contain a subject. Since "and" is not being used as a coordinating conjunction in this instance no punctuation, not even a comma, is needed between "angry and frustrated."

Example Question #4 : Identifying Sentence Fragment And Sentence Combination Errors

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

Although jaguars and leopards are similar in appearance, the jaguar is the larger animal and the leopard is the fastest. No error

Possible Answers:

No error

are similar 

Although

the fastest 

the larger 

Correct answer:

the fastest 

Explanation:

When comparing only two things, in this case, the jaguar and the leopard, the suffix “-er” should be used instead of the suffix “-est.” The sentence should end “the faster,” not “the fastest.”

Example Question #4 : Identifying Sentence Fragment And Sentence Combination Errors

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

Many of the students who dislike Ms. Simmons would likely learn a lot less if they were to have a more relaxed teacher. No error

Possible Answers:

they were

a more

would

No error

who dislike

Correct answer:

No error

Explanation:

Every aspect of this sentence is grammatically correct and there is no error. "Who" is correctly used, rather than whom, in this instance; "would" is the correct verb in the correct case.

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