SAT Writing : Rewriting a Single Word

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Rewriting A Single Word

Adapted from "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine (1776)

These are the times that try mens souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is expense only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods. And it would be strange indeed if so heavenly an article as freedom should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to tax) but "to bind us in all cases whatsoever," and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, than is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. 

Replace the underlined portion of this sentence with a version that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

 

Possible Answers:

mens souls

man souls

men's souls

mens' souls

Correct answer:

men's souls

Explanation:

To form the correct possessive, the apostrophe must follow "men" but come before the -s at the end of the word. 

Example Question #1 : Rewriting A Single Word

Adapted from "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine (1776)

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is expense only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods. And it would be strange indeed if so heavenly an article as freedom should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to tax) but "to bind us in all cases whatsoever," and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, than is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is sacrilegious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.

Replace the underlined portion of this sentence with a version that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. 

The best replacement for the word “expense” in the underlined sentence is __________.

Possible Answers:

cost

risk

dearness

expensive

Correct answer:

dearness

Explanation:

The word "dearness" as Paine would have used it means having the quality of being both valuable and costly, so it would be the best fit for this context.

Example Question #1 : Rewriting A Single Word

Adapted from "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine (1776)

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is expense only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods. And it would be strange indeed if so heavenly an article as freedom should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to tax) but "to bind us in all cases whatsoever," and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, than is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is sacrilegious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.

Replace the underlined portion of this sentence with a version that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

The best replacement for the word “heavenly” in this sentence is __________.

Possible Answers:

heavenly

religious

celestial

Godly

Correct answer:

celestial

Explanation:

"Celestial" means "having to do with the heavens," so it is the word choice closest to the meaning given here.

Example Question #1 : Rewriting A Single Word

Adapted from "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine (1776)

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is expense only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods. And it would be strange indeed if so heavenly an article as freedom should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to tax) but "to bind us in all cases whatsoever," and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, than is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is sacrilegious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.

Replace the underlined portion of this sentence with a version that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

The best replacement for the word “sacrilegious” is __________.

Possible Answers:

impious

unorthodox

deadly

forbidden

Correct answer:

impious

Explanation:

The word "sacriligeous" means "disrespectful of religion or god," and since the remainder of the sentence talks about God specifically, the word "impious" comes closest to the original meaning.

Example Question #1 : Rewriting A Single Word

Adapted from "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine (1776)

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is expense only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods. And it would be strange indeed if so heavenly an article as freedom should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to tax) but "to bind us in all cases whatsoever," and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, than is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is sacrilegious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.

Which of the underlined words in this sentence needs to be changed?

Possible Answers:

she

that

than

there

Correct answer:

than

Explanation:

"Than" is used for comparisons between objects, but since this sentence is worded like a traditional "if/then" statement, the word "then" is more appropriate here.

Example Question #1 : Revising A Single Word Of Introductions And Transitions

1 French high-wire artist Philippe Petit has a long history of daredevil and breathtaking performances. 2 Although none are so well known as his 1974 tightrope walk between the Twin Towers in New York City. 3 Petit made more than two hundred trips to the Twin Towers in surrogate preparation for the eminent walk. 4 Supposedly, he spent more than six years practicing on a low wire at a property in upstate New York and laying his plans. 5 He first read an article about the Twin Towers in his dentist’s office while they were still being built.

6 On August 7, 1974 Philippe Petit made the walk. 7 With the help of his tepid friends, he snuck into the buildings, strung a cable more than a quarter mile above the ground, and began the walk. 8 The buildings were still under construction. 9 The performance lasted for more than half an hour and included Petit walking, running, and even lying down on the rope. 10 Whereas Petit was arrested when he returned to the ground, the judge only sentenced him to perform for city children in Central Park. 11 After the Twin Tower walk, Petit continues to give lectures, write books, and perform everywhere from the Eiffel Tower to Niagara Falls.

What word would best replace “Whereas” in Sentence 10?

Possible Answers:

However

Because

But

Nonetheless

Although

Correct answer:

Although

Explanation:

The sentence in question implies a contrast between Petit’s immediate arrest and his lenient sentencing, so we need a word that indicates such contrast and is grammatically correct in context. The only word that fits this description is “although.”

Example Question #1 : Rewriting A Single Word

1 Although many people have heard of the seven wonders of the world, most don’t know who made the original list. 2 Both Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian, and Callimachus, a scholar at the famous Library of Alexandria, composed early lists of the seven wonders. 3 Although, an extract copy of these lists has not survived.

4 Still, historians know that the original seven wonders were. 5 They included Colossus of Rhodes, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. 6 Only the Great Pyramid still exists today. 7 Ruins or evidence of five of the other wonders have been found, but the Hanging Gardens have never been located by archaeologists.

8 What do these seven wonders have in common? 9 Since ancient times, scholars have made their own lists of seven wonders of the world. 10 Some of these wonders include Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China, the Hagia Sophia, Macchu Pichu, and the Golden Gate Bridge. 

What transitional word or phrase should replace “Although,” in Sentence 3?

Possible Answers:

However,

On the other hand,

Whereas,

Meanwhile,

Even though,

Correct answer:

However,

Explanation:

While “Although” does indicate the contrasting relationship that this sentence adheres to, it’s not the right grammatical choice. “However” fits the syntax and the meaning of the sentence correctly.

Example Question #1 : Revising A Single Word Of Introductions And Transitions

1 Have you ever went hang gliding? 2 Sailing smoothly across the sky, hang gliders are a sight to behold and capture humans’ longstanding fascination with self propelled flight. 3 Whereas, it is also a dangerous pastime. 4 Personally, I know many people who are aware of the sport’s relative danger but still enjoy it on a regular basis. 5 With proper technical training and certification, it is possible to avoid some of the most common hang gliding catamounts, stalling near the ground, aerobatic stunts gone wrong, and failure to use helmets or parachutes.

7 In the United States, hang gliding is a relatively new sport and most hang gliders are wealthy and educated devotees. 8 Hang gliding actually originated in the 500s in China, with man-sized kites allowing people to sustain flight for short distances. 9 Continual advances in material technologies’ result in constantly improving hang glider equipment – specialized nylon parachutes and lightweight aluminum alloy frames, for example. 10 Popular hang gliding destinations in the United States include Salt Lake City, Utah, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. 11 The most ardent affiliates say there’s absolutely nothing like the joy of soaring miles above the ground for hours.

Which of the following transitional words should replace “Whereas” in Sentence 3?

Possible Answers:

Therefore

Henceforth

Thus

However

While

Correct answer:

However

Explanation:

The only word that provides the needed contrast between Sentence 2 (which points out hang gliding’s attractions) and Sentence 3 (which points out hang gliding’s dangers) and that does not result in a sentence fragment is “However.”

Example Question #1 : Rewriting A Single Word

1 Although agritourism is a fairly recent phenomenon in the Western world; it is proving popular in many countries. 2 Agritourism is broadly defined as any activity or attraction that draws visitors to a farm, and it can include anything from corn mazes and apple picking to vineyard tours, workshops on animal husbandry, and work-stay exchange programs. 3 The practice is particularly prevocalic in North America, Europe, and Australia. 4 With a huge variety of farms and activities available to agritourists. 5 For example: visitors can learn how to run a cattle drive in Wyoming, make cheese in France, harvest olives in Sicily, or pick kiwi fruit in New Zealand.

6 Income generated from agritourism can help small family farms remain soluble as well as educate the public about where their food comes from. 7 Henceforth, most people agree that agritourism is benevolent for everyone involved. 8 While there are some who argue that it is a cheap ploy designed to make selfish tourists feel better about their vacations. 9 All in all, it will be interesting to see how agritourism continues to develop in the future. 

In Sentence 7, what word should replace “Henceforth”?

Possible Answers:

Notwithstanding

Besides

Likewise

Heretofore

Therefore

Correct answer:

Therefore

Explanation:

Based on the content of this sentence, we need a word that means for this reason, and “Therefore” is the only choice that matches this meaning.

Example Question #5 : Revising A Single Word Of Introductions And Transitions

1 Some of the best-known badlands occur in North America; Badlands National Park in South Dakota, Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado and Utah, and the Big Muddy Badlands in Saskatchewan. 2 Have you ever been to the badlands? 3 Despite their name, badlands are often fascinating topographical regions. 4 With beautiful vistas as well. 5 Elsewhere badlands can be found in Italy, New Zealand, Spain, and Argentina.6 Badlands are distinguished by their stark, dry terrain, their sharply eroded landscapes, their lack of vegetation, and their colorful, clay-rich rocks. 7 They often include geological features such as canyons, gullies, mesas, buttes, and hoodoos. 8 Nevertheless, visiting badlands can be an uncommon but rewarding experience.

What transitional word(s) could not replace “Nevertheless” in Sentence 8?

Possible Answers:

Therefore

For this reason

Thus

Hence

Heretofore

Correct answer:

Heretofore

Explanation:

Sentence 8 is summarizing why readers should visit badlands, so a transitional word that indicates summary or conclusion would be best. “Heretofore” is the only word on this list that would not indicate summary or conclusion.

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