SAT Writing : Recognizing Sentences That Contain No Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #11 : Correcting Other Errors And Recognizing Correct Sentences

More recently, the trend reversed itself to come back to the original position.

Possible Answers:

reversed itself

reverses itself

reversing itself

reversed themselves

reverses themselves

Correct answer:

reversed itself

Explanation:

The underlined portion is correct as is. While the sentence is somewhat awkwardly worded, the underlined portion is gramatically correct, and there is little that other answer choices do to improve the sentence.

Example Question #1 : Correcting Other Errors And Recognizing No Errors

The identity of the killer remained a mystery for the next fifty years.

Possible Answers:

for the next fifty years.

until the next fifty years.

until fifty years.

and fifty years.

in fifty years.

Correct answer:

for the next fifty years.

Explanation:

The "identity of the killer" was unknown a while, so the use of the preposition "for" is correct, as it indicates the length of time was fully taken by the mystery of the killer's identity. The sentence is correct as written.

Example Question #1 : Recognizing Sentences That Contain No Errors

Forcing the issue, the students brought up the teacher's overly long assignments.

Possible Answers:

Force the issue,

Forcing the issue,

Issue being forced,

Forcing issues,

Issue forcing,

Correct answer:

Forcing the issue,

Explanation:

The underlined section of the sentence is a dependent clause, meaning it defines the rest of the sentence, but is not able to stand alone. The phrase "Forcing the issue" is correct in its usage.

Example Question #1 : Correcting Other Errors And Recognizing No Errors

Hungry and tired, the group stopped under the tree by the river bank for the night.

Possible Answers:

under the tree by bank of river

under tree by river bank

under the tree by the river bank

under the tree, the river bank

under the tree by the rivers banks

Correct answer:

under the tree by the river bank

Explanation:

The underlined phrase, although slightly awkward and over worded, is actually perfectly grammatically correct. As none of the "corrected" answer choices are grammatically correct, the unchanged form of the underlined portion is the correct answer.

Example Question #1 : Correcting Other Errors And Recognizing No Errors

No one will come to our defense but ourselves in our time of need.

Possible Answers:

our self

our own

ourselves

ourself

ours

Correct answer:

ourselves

Explanation:

The use of "ourselves" is actually correct in the sentence, as it refers to the previous use of "our" in the phrase "our defense;" therefore, the correct answer is to keep the word as "ourselves."

Example Question #1 : Recognizing Sentences That Contain No Errors

Trying to understand her students' issues, the teacher found ways to ask about their problems indirectly.

Possible Answers:

Trying to understand her students' issues, the teacher found ways to ask about their problems in an indirectly fashion.

Trying to understand her students' issues, the teacher found ways to ask about their problems indirectly.

Trying to understand her students' issues, the teacher found ways to asks about their problems indirectly.

Trying to understand her student's issues, the teacher found ways to ask about their problems indirectly.

Try to understand her students' issues, the teacher found ways to ask about their problems indirectly.

Correct answer:

Trying to understand her students' issues, the teacher found ways to ask about their problems indirectly.

Explanation:

The sentence is absolutely correct as written, and needs no improvement. The various corrections all make the sentence incorrect, as "asks" does not work in an infinitive, "student's" refers to one student and contradicts "their" as mentioned later, "indirectly" is an adverb and not an adjective, and writing "try" makes the sentence unclear and a fragment.

Example Question #1 : Recognizing Sentences That Contain No Errors

Choose the best way to rephrase the underlined portion of the sentence. One of the answer choices repeats the original phrasing.

Since she arrived home from work, Rachel has been locked in her room, watching television and refusing to speak to anyone.

Possible Answers:

is watching television locked in her room, refusing 

locked in her room, is watching television and refusing

is locked in her room, watching television and refusing

has been locked in her room, watched television, and refused

has been locked in her room, watching television and refusing

Correct answer:

has been locked in her room, watching television and refusing

Explanation:

This sentence is phrased nicely. The other options confuse the verb tense or otherwise complicate the coordination of events.

Example Question #2 : Correcting Other Errors And Recognizing No Errors

The young boy, tired from the long trip, immediately went to sleep when he arrived at his grandparent's house.

Possible Answers:

The young boy tired from the long trip, immediately

The young boy tired, from the long trip, immediately

The young boy tired from the long trip immediately

The young boy, tired from the long trip, immediately

The young boy, tired from the long trip immediately

Correct answer:

The young boy, tired from the long trip, immediately

Explanation:

The phrase "tired from the long trip" is an interrupting phrase, a clause that is unnecessary to the structure of the sentence but gives crucial information. All such clauses need to be set off by commas, making the sentence correct as written.

Example Question #1 : Recognizing Sentences That Contain No Errors

In the sentence below, select the phrasing of the underlined portion that produces the best sentence.

Tom Hanks is undoubtedly one of the great leading men of our time, but he cannot compare to Humphrey Bogart.

Possible Answers:

and yet he cannot compare to Humphrey Bogart's movies.

but he cannot compare to Humphrey Bogart.

although his work is not comparable to Humphrey Bogart.

but his movies cannot compare to Humphrey Bogart.

but he cannot compare to the work of Humphrey Bogart.

Correct answer:

but he cannot compare to Humphrey Bogart.

Explanation:

Whenever making a comparison, be sure to compare like things. This sentence is correct as written, as you are comparing an actor (Hanks) to an actor (Bogart). In the incorrect options the comparison is between one actor and the other's work or movies.

Example Question #10 : Correcting Other Errors And Recognizing No Errors

The ability to whistle is not a universal among all people.

Possible Answers:

not a universal among all people.

not universal for people who are all.

not a universal for people in all.

not a universal toward all people.

not universal all people.

Correct answer:

not a universal among all people.

Explanation:

The sentence is perfectly correct as written and needs no changes to it. Additionally, the other answer choices are all either grammatically incorrect, confusingly worded, or both.

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