SAT Study Guide/Part 4 - The Writing Section/Identifying Sentence Errors

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About a third of the questions in the writing section are identifying sentence error questions. A question typically looks like

The other delegates (A) and him (B) immediately (C) accepted the resolution drafted (D) by the neutral states. No error (E)

The error with this sentence is (B). Him is the objective form of the pronoun he. You use Him (or Her, them or whom) when you want that person to be the object of the sentence. That is, you want something done to that person. But in this sentence, a person is doing something, namely accepting something. This makes that person the subject.

The correct usage of him would look like

The neutral states proposed a resolution that the other delegates and him immediately accepted.

Questions like this are to be expected on the test. You should have an ear for grammatical errors after completing this chapter.

The above example featured an error in pronoun choice. The types of errors you can expect on the test include

  • Subject Verb Agreement
  • Verb Tense
  • Diction
  • Parallelism
  • Verb form
  • Comparisons
  • Pronoun choice

Common errors[edit | edit source]

The errors featured in this section show up on the test most often. Expect to see 3 or 4 of each of these types of errors on a test.

Subject-Verb Agreement[edit | edit source]

Subject-verb agreement questions are relatively easy for native English speakers. Most of these errors can figured out if you have an ear for the English language. Errors in subject-verb agreement just sound wrong. A typical error in subject-verb agreement looks like

Here comes Jim and Jack

The error here is that comes is plural but the subject, Jim and Jack, is plural. This sentence uses the wrong verb for its subject and the subject and verb don't agree. The following pages deal with subject verb agreement.

  1. Identify the correct subject
  2. Subjects with multiple nouns or pronouns
  3. Identifying Singular and Plural Subjects
  4. Indefinite Pronouns
  5. Practice In Subject-Verb Agreement

Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement[edit | edit source]

Verb Tense[edit | edit source]

Diction[edit | edit source]

Uncommon errors[edit | edit source]

Comparisons[edit | edit source]

Verb Form[edit | edit source]

Pronoun choice[edit | edit source]

Rare errors[edit | edit source]

Parallelism[edit | edit source]

Idiom[edit | edit source]

Modifiers[edit | edit source]

Sentence Fragments and Run-Ons[edit | edit source]

Verbosity[edit | edit source]