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Post Writing Questions Here

silverturtlesilverturtle 12415 replies81 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
edited December 2013 in SAT Preparation
I've noticed that there are many threads posing SAT Writing questions. It may be more helpful if we consolidate further posts on the topic into one thread.

Feel free to post any Writing questions that you have. Be sure to include the answer choice if you have the key, and I or another informed poster will attempt to explain why the answer is what it is and may also communicate a more generally applicable rule that will help in answering similar questions.

If you post error-identification questions, enclose the potential answer choices in parentheses for ease of reading.

(About me: I'm currently a junior in high school, but I scored a perfect on the MC choice portion of the SAT Writing section two years ago.)
edited December 2013
1315 replies
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Replies to: Post Writing Questions Here

  • silverturtlesilverturtle 12415 replies81 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    From Rh.,

    Conflicts between land developers and conservationists have repeatedly arose (A) , causing congress to reconsider legislation that prohibits building within habitats of endangered species.

    Answer is (A) because the auxiliary word "have" precedes the past perfect tense, which is "arisen" in this case.
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  • silverturtlesilverturtle 12415 replies81 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    From theReach,

    Peter's [seemingly effortless] flights, [achieved through] the use of sophisticated technical equipment, [continues] to delight those [who] see the play Peter Pan.

    The answer is (C) because "continues" must agree with the plural "flights."
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  • silverturtlesilverturtle 12415 replies81 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    From theReach,

    Mediators were standing by, prepared [to intervene] in the labor dispute [even though] both sides [had refused] earlier offers [for] assistance.

    "offers for assistance" is presumably unidiomatic, and the answer is therefore (D).
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  • silverturtlesilverturtle 12415 replies81 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    From theReach,

    An amateur potter [herself], the accountant offered [to help] the artist with his business accounts, complicated [as they were] [by] his unusual system of record keeping.

    The original poster of this question claims the erroneous word to be "by," and I am forced to conclude that the use of "by" in this context is colloquial or unidiomatic.
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  • lockdown22lockdown22 278 replies19 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Here's one, it was the only one I missed but I just don't understand the error:

    There is probably no story more dramatic than baseball's great hitter and right fielder, Hank Aaron.

    The answer is D (than baseball's).
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  • RAlec114RAlec114 2376 replies268 threads- Senior Member
    @ #4, is "offer to" the correct idiomatic phrase?
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  • silverturtlesilverturtle 12415 replies81 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    From lockdown22,

    (There is) (probably no) story (more dramatic) (than baseball's) great hitter and right fielder, Hank Aaron.

    The answer is (D) because there is an illogical comparison. A story should be compared only to another story. The sentence should be: "There is probably no story more dramatic than that of baseball's great hitter and right fielder, Hank Aaron."
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  • silverturtlesilverturtle 12415 replies81 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "is 'offer to' the correct idiomatic phrase?"

    Yes, the sentence should end with "earlier offers to assist."
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  • lockdown22lockdown22 278 replies19 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    The answer is (D) because there is an illogical comparison. A story should be compared only to another story. The sentence should be: "There is probably no story more dramatic than that of baseball's great hitter and right fielder, Hank Aaron."

    Ah, that makes sense. Thanks.
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  • theReachtheReach 1534 replies119 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Just an update to my question about the potter problem (Writing). By was the answer I chose, not the correct answer. The correct answer is No Error.
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  • silverturtlesilverturtle 12415 replies81 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    From theReach (Corrected),

    An amateur potter [herself], the accountant offered [to help] the artist with his business accounts, complicated [as they were] [by] his unusual system of record keeping.

    The original poster of this question claims the erroneous word to be "by," and I am forced to conclude that the use of "by" in this context is colloquial or unidiomatic.

    UPDATED: It turns out there was a miscommunication. "by" is apparently not colloquial as deemed by whoever wrote this question; there is no error.
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  • silverturtlesilverturtle 12415 replies81 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    (I found this to be a rather interesting question, as the error in parallelism is rather subtle.)

    From iLee,

    The revote against Victorianism was perhaps even more marked in poetry than EITHER FICTION OR DRAMA.
    1 the same
    2 either in fiction or drama
    3 in either fiction or drama

    There is an error because "in poetry" must be parallel to "either fiction or drama." This logic, however, merely rules out choice (1). One distinguishes between choices (2) and (3) by correctly applying the idiom: "more in... than in either."
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  • cadillaccadillac 779 replies107 threadsRegistered User Member
    Just a general question about unsual idioms... not about the ones followed by prepositions, but the ones that start introductory such as "heretofore..." or "As while..." I encountered one on my last SAT test, and it was just so awkward (it was like 2 of those words together) that I marked it wrong.

    Would it be safer to assume that those weird phrases are normally correct? (I hope my question makes sense)
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  • silverturtlesilverturtle 12415 replies81 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I'm not comfortable making any generalization of that kind with confidence.
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  • RAlec114RAlec114 2376 replies268 threads- Senior Member
    can someone get me a list of correct and commonly misused idioms?
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  • fresh101fresh101 1539 replies83 threads- Senior Member
    ^Can a chicken fly? If the answer is no, then no is also the answer to your question.

    Thus, i have answered a question with another question. LOL
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  • silverturtlesilverturtle 12415 replies81 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    From fresh101,

    High school graduates usually do not end up earning as much income as college graduates (do, this being why so many high school students) go on to pursue college degrees.

    C. do; this fact explains why so many high school students
    E. do, explaining why so many high school students

    The answer is (C) because the semicolon is used correctly to indicate the strong relationship between clauses, and choice (E) uses an ambiguously modifying participial phrase.

    (I initially thought that (C) and (E) were both correct because participial phrases can occasionally modify the preceding clause instead of the immediately preceding subject. The applicability of this rule is more nuanced, however. See the discussion of this question here: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/sat-preparation/782991-writing-help.html. Thanks to crazybandit for his explanation.)
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  • fresh101fresh101 1539 replies83 threads- Senior Member
    Just to give another problem opposite to the one i previously mentioned, I found this one in the 2007 PSAT booklet.

    In 1946, Thurgood Marshall won the NAACP's top award, the Spingarn Medal, (which he became its second-youngest recipient).

    A) same as the one in parenthesis
    B) of which he became its second-youngest recipient
    C) he was its second-youngest recipient
    D) the second-youngest recipient for it
    E) becoming its second-youngest recipient

    I sort of get why the answer is E, but B is also plausible, no?
    Can some1 tell me what im confusing with these kinds of sentences in which they test your ability to use adverbial phrases?
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  • silverturtlesilverturtle 12415 replies81 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    From fresh101,

    In 1946, Thurgood Marshall won the NAACP's top award, the Spingarn Medal, (which he became its second-youngest recipient).

    A) same as the one in parenthesis
    B) of which he became its second-youngest recipient
    C) he was its second-youngest recipient
    D) the second-youngest recipient for it
    E) becoming its second-youngest recipient

    (E) is the correct answer because the participial phrase correctly and clearly modifies the subject of the sentence, Thurgood Marshall.

    Now to choice (B). I believe this answer is wrong because it includes "its." The relative pronoun "which" already refers to "the Spingarn Medal," and therefore "its" should not be included. The choice would be acceptable if it were written, "of which he became the second-youngest recipient."
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  • fresh101fresh101 1539 replies83 threads- Senior Member
    So, the addition of "its" makes it redundant?
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