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SAT_Question of the Day_Writing

posted Mar 1, 2010, 7:36 PM by Chuang Tina   [ updated Mar 19, 2010, 4:00 AM ]



Mar. 18, 2010

The following sentence contains either a single error or no error at all. If the sentence contains an error, select the one underlined part that must be changed to make the sentence correct. If the sentence contains no error, select choice E.

Most ships move (A) through the Suez Canal with (B) their own power, but large ships must (D) be assisted by a tugboat.

1. (A)
2. (B)
3. (C)
4. (D)
5. (E)

<Hint>
Pay attention to prepositions and what they mean in context.

<Correct Answer> B 

<Here's Why> 
The error in this sentence occurs at (B), where there is an improper idiom. The idiom is “under their own power,” not “with their own power.” 

<Question Type> Identifying Sentence Errors


Mar. 15

Part of the following sentence is underlined; beneath the sentence are five ways of phrasing the underlined material. Select the option that produces the best sentence. If you think the original phrasing produces a better sentence than any of the alternatives, select choice A. 

The well-preserved, 121-million-year-old fossilized bird embryo on display at the museum has several features that suggest that its young could move about and feed themselves very soon after they hatched. 
  1. its 
  2. her 
  3. their 
  4. the species’ 
  5. for this species 
<Hint> 
To what does the possessive pronoun “its” refer? 

<Correct Answer> 4
 
<Here's Why> 
Choice (D) is correct. It avoids the pronoun reference error of the original by using “the species” to indicate the kind of birds (birds of the same species) whose “young could move about … hatched.” 

<Question Type> Improving Sentences

Mar. 10, 2010

The following sentence contains either a single error or no error at all. If the sentence contains an error, select the one underlined part that must be changed to make the sentence correct. If the sentence contains no error, select choice E.

It weaves (A) across a strip of tropical land where (B) the Isthmus of Panama narrows (C) in the shape of a long flattened letter S, the Panama Canal
links the Atlantic(D) and Pacific Oceans.

1. (A)
2. (B)
3. (C)
4. (D)
5. (E)

<Hint>
Remember that two complete thoughts should never be joined by a comma.

<Correct Answer> A 
  • Here's Why: 
The error in this sentence occurs at (A), where a comma splice is created. To fix the comma splice, “It weaves” should be changed to “Weaving.” 
<Question Type> Identifying Sentence Errors

Mar. 5, 2010

Part of the following sentence is underlined; beneath the sentence are five ways of phrasing the underlined material. Select the option that produces the best sentence. If you think the original phrasing produces a better sentence than any of the alternatives, select choice A.

Its fossil record virtually unchanged over 100 million years, the Gingko tree is one of the oldest living species of tree.

1. Its fossil record
2. Its fossil record was
3. Its fossil record, which is
4. Its fossil record exists
5. Its fossil record, because

<Hint>
Try placing the adjectival phrase “Its fossil record … years” after the noun it modifies, “the Gingko tree.”

<Correct Answer> A 
  • Here's Why: 
Choice (A) is correct. It avoids the errors of the other options by using the phrase “Its fossil record” to describe what has remained “virtually unchanged over 100 million years.” 

<Question Type> Improving Sentences

Mar. 1, 2010

The following sentence contains either a single error or no error at all. If the sentence contains an error, select the one underlined part that must be changed to make the sentence correct. If the sentence contains no error, select choice E.

Except for (A) the phonograph, the performances of great musicians (B) and the voices of famous people would have been (C)
lost to history (D).

1. (A)
2. (B)
3. (C)
4. (D)
5. (E) (no error)

<Hint>
When choosing prepositions, pay attention to their meaning.

<Correct Answer> A
  • Here is Why: 
The error in this sentence occurs at (A), where there is in appropriate word choice. In this context, "Except for" doesn't make sense. Instead, "Without" is needed.

<Question Type> Identifying Sentence Errors

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