SAT Review of Identifying Sentence Errorshttp://schooltutoring.com/help/wp-content/themes/osmosis/images/empty/thumbnail.jpg 150 150 Deborah Deborah http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/63fb4ad5c163b8f83de2f54371b9e040?s=96&d=mm&r=g
One of the subtests of the SAT Writing portion is Identifying Sentence Errors. These multiple-choice questions ask students to recognize errors in grammar, usage, word choice, and idioms. During preparation for the SAT, it is best to identify the error and correct it. There are a few sentences that don’t have any errors at all.
Each of the sentences are presented with clear directions as to the type of error that might be found within it. Words and phrases within the sentence are underlined, and the last choice is always “no error.” There is only one error within the sentence, and the other four choices are distractors. Suppose the sentence were: The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog next Tuesday. No error. Read the entire sentence quickly to see that (a) brown, (c) lazy dog, and (d) Tuesday are not in error. However, (b) jumped cannot be in past tense if the action takes place next Tuesday. Therefore, (e) no error, is not correct, and the correct alternative is (b).
Types of Errors and How to Solve Them
The most common grammatical errors are easy to spot. Subjects and verbs must agree, pronouns must agree in number and case, an adverb must modify a verb, and an adjective must modify a noun. During practice, read sentences aloud, as the error won’t sound right in many cases. Get in the habit of correcting errors, even though that won’t be on the test. Sometimes knowing how to solve an error is an indication that there really is one. However, don’t waste time on sentences where there really isn’t an error. Select alternative (e), no error, and move on.
Dangling Participles and Misplaced Pronouns
Some very common grammatical errors are created when a participial phrase is situated in the wrong place. Suppose the sentence were: Wearing a long green dress, Brad Pitt walked down the carpet with Angelina Jolie. Brad was probably not wearing the dress in this case. The sentence could be recast as Brad Pitt walked down the carpet with Angelina Jolie, who was wearing a long green dress. Another alternative: Angelina Jolie, wearing a long green dress, walked down the carpet with Brad Pitt. The point is that the participial phrase is closest to what it modifies. In this case, Angelina is wearing the dress, so she is closest to it.
Strategies for Taking the Test
The Identifying Sentence Errors portion of the writing test will take less time than either Improving Sentences or Improving Paragraphs. A useful strategy for that portion of the test is to read carefully and keep moving to save time. Questions in this section range from easy to hard. If any question seems puzzling, mark it in the answer booklet and move on, to go back and answer it later if there is extra time.
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