Two Writing Questions From The November SAT

<p>There is a lot of public controversy over this first question and personal doubt about the second question I am about to post. These two questions are from one of the two versions of today's test and any help would be appreciated. I am only including the possible answer choice as I do not remember the others; however, the others are not relevant anyways. Also, I am posting the questions in their essential forms, not word for word, without changing anything critical to the grammar component. To anyone who can come up with an answer, please enlighten me.</p>

<p>The year 1987 saw the publication of Langston Hughes's poem, Acceptance, which (had lain) on his desk for several years. </p>

<p>The question's answer is either no error or had lain needs to be changed to had laid.</p>

<p>Several decades after Cynthia (argued) for the preservation of the area, the town finally marked the cemetery as a historical landmark.</p>

<p>People do not seem to be as confused about this latter question, but I personally cannot get it to sound correctly in my head. The question's answer is either no error or argued needs to changed to had argued. </p>

<p>Thank you for your help.</p>

<p>Yes this is from the test with the dolphins CR. I did not have any writing experimental. The paragraph revision was about movie representations of books.</p>

<p>Though I did not take the November SAT, from what you have down, I believe "had lain" is correct as is. The past participle of lay is laid and the past participle of lie is lain. Now the question becomes, should lay or lie be used? Should be lie because lay requires an object. </p>

<p>For the 2nd one, I believe it should be had argued. There's two events going on here, the marking of the cemetery as a historical landmark, and the arguing by Cynthia.</p>

<p>Wasn't it "had lain neglected"?
I believe I put had lain as well because I believe "lain" is the wrong verb used. It should be had laid, or I think of the synonymous term "settled/stayed". "Had lain" is synonymous with "put down" or "reclined".</p>

<p>As for the second one, I forgot what I put. But I see what you mean with the "had argued" part.</p>

<p>Thank you very much Carl and Pencil. Also, sorry to hear that Carl.</p>

<p>I put 'had lain' as incorrect, but nearly everyone else wrote 'No Error' so I'm going with the majority on that one. </p>

<p>Was tricky indeed...The second is 'No Error.' The sentence had made it clear, by using a date (1931) and several decades later, that this was in the past.</p>

<p>I put 'had lain' as incorrect</p>

<p>I put no error</p>

<p>Is this for Test A or B, cause I don't remember these questions.</p>

<p>Test A (10 chars)</p>

<p>was this the same section that also had a comparison error question about some writer(?) and a "pen and paper" (in the area with the 4 underlined words... somewhere near 26-29)? I had experimental writing and I can decide which was which still.</p>

<p>Either way, did the section you were talking about have several comparison error questions or just one?</p>

<p>A comment about lie/lay/lain and lay/laid/laid that I hope will be helpful:</p>

<p>If a person or object is lying down, then the verbs to use are lie/lay/lain. So, for example, one could say:
He lies flat on the floor.
He lay down yesterday.
He has lain down all this morning, but now he is up.
The book has lain undisturbed on the shelf for centuries.</p>

<p>If a person is setting something down, then the verb to use is lay/laid/laid:
He lays the book on the shelf.
He laid the book on the shelf yesterday.
He has already laid the book on the shelf.</p>

<p>If you are using lay/laid/laid, there need to be an object of the action. This is a transitive verb. So, it is valid to say:
He is laying himself down,
but not to say
He is laying down.</p>

<p>This is a common mistake in English. I think part of the confusion is caused by the fact that the simple past tense of the intransitive verb (lie/lay/lain) is identical to the present tense of the transitive verb (lay/laid/laid). It is also difficult for native German speakers, I think.</p>

<p>About the only case where you can use the transitive verb without specifying the object would be one like this:
The hen is laying.
This does not mean that the hen has fallen over on its side and is lying on the ground.</p>

<p>@QuantMech, so you're saying 'had lain' is OK and the correct answer is 'No Error?' </p>


<p>Yeah, sorry. The form "lain" may disappear in the next generation, but if CB still has it in a question, they still observe the lie/lay/lain vs. lay/laid/laid distinction.</p>

<p>I'm going with the first one as no error (E), and the second one as 'argue' should be changed to 'had argued' (A)</p>