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Download The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar - Erica L. caite.info SAT® is a trademark registered by the College Board, which is not affiliated with, and grammar book dedicated to you, but I hope you'll accept the gesture. The 4th edition is available online free here: caite.info content/uploads//07/caite.info
Gerunds and Wordiness The pronoun and verb in the first clause are optional. Although their Writing scores were hardly the deciding factors — both were straight-A students — it is unlikely that either of their applications would have gotten nearly as close a look with Writing scores in the s. Show related SlideShares at end. Mediterranean cooking is best known for its reliance on fresh produce, whole grains, and it uses significant amounts of olive oil as well. That as part of a subject When used to begin a sentence, the phrase the fact that is often simply reduced to that.
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You can change your ad preferences anytime. Upcoming SlideShare. Like this presentation? Why not share! An annual anal Embed Size px. Start on. Show related SlideShares at end. WordPress Shortcode. Published in: Full Name Comment goes here. Are you sure you want to Yes No. Be the first to like this. No Downloads. Views Total views. Actions Shares. Embeds 0 No embeds. Afraid that I would run out of material, I went to the bookstore and looked through the standard commercially-produced test-prep books for additional exercises.
When I looked closely at the practice questions they provided, I realized that not only did they frequently omit a number of major kinds of errors that regularly occurred on the exam, but they also covered rules that were never even tested!
Furthermore, the level of the language contained in the sentences was often significantly easier than that found on the actual test. And the correct answer choices often seemed thoroughly arbitrary, a situation that is not true of the SAT.
So I started writing my own questions. What started as ten or fifteen sentences jotted down on a piece of scrap paper gradually multiplied and multiplied and eventually became this book.
This guide is designed to systematically cover every major concept and type of question that can be reasonably expected to occur on the multiple-choice component of the SAT Writing section. Through a series of cumulative exercises, it also aims to continually reinforce concepts so that material covered early on will not be forgotten. While it contains information that applies to situations well beyond the SAT, its primary focus is that test, and my aim throughout is to make clear the application of particular grammatical rules to the precise ways in which the College Board handles them.
I have therefore deliberately simplified explanations of some grammatical principles in order to make certain concepts easier to grasp, and I have also avoided including information that does not directly relate to the exam.
The goal of this book is to teach you how to anticipate it. Overview The SAT contains 49 multiple-choice grammar and style questions divided between two Writing sections. Those two sections are always arranged as follows: First Section: Since it is necessary to identify the main idea of the paragraph and decide which evidence best supports it, this section combines both reading and writing skills.
In principle, Error-Identification and Fixing Sentences questions are intended to run from least to most difficult. So, for example, in the first Writing section, 11 is the most difficult Fixing Sentences question, but 12, the first Error-Identification question, starts over at the easiest level. Fixing Paragraphs questions are distributed in no particular order of difficulty.
Because the multiple-choice Writing section contains fewer questions than either Math or Critical Reading, students often wonder what all the fuss is about. After all, why memorize dozens of error-identification rules when there are only 18 questions on the entire test? The answer is that because there are fewer questions, each one counts a lot more. Consider this: A Note About Content SAT Writing questions cover standard concepts of grammar and usage that high school juniors can reasonably be expected to have encountered.
There is a heavy emphasis on subject-verb and pronoun agreement issues, as well as on parallel structure. Test-takers are expected to be able to differentiate between sentences and fragments and to select the version of a sentence that is clearest and most logical — all skills that are necessary for good analytical not creative! One of the most important features of SAT grammar questions, however, is the utter predictability of both their content and their structure.
Specific concepts are always tested in specific ways, with some concepts appearing only in Fixing Sentences and others only in Error-Identification. Furthermore, although the sentences may seem random, their structures as well as the underlined words and phrases they contain frequently indicate the rules they are testing.
That is, if you know what to look for. Let me reiterate: They are deliberate constructions, carefully arranged to test specific skills. The sentence has been designed to sound that way precisely because most other high school students will think so as well.
Keep in mind that the College Board tests all of its questions before it includes them on actual exams. Assuming that most people answer the questions by ear, the College Board has arranged the exam so that the average high school junior or senior will get most of the easy questions right, some of the medium questions right, and most of the hard questions wrong. When I first started picking apart exams and grouping their questions by category, I did not quite understand why the College Board chose to focus so heavily on certain types of errors subject-verb agreement, pronoun agreement, parallel structure and virtually ignore others.
Then, as a tutor, I read the writing of high school students — lots of them. And I started to notice that most of their writing was full of the exact errors tested on the SAT.
The SAT favors clarity and simplicity, good goals for most high school students to aim for in their analytical writing.
I have had students email me, genuinely thrilled to have spotted a dangling modifier in a magazine or on a website. If you are not comfortable identifying them, it is suggested that you begin by reviewing this section. Although portions of these definitions are repeated throughout the guide, familiarizing yourself with these terms before you begin will help you move through the explanations and exercises more easily.
Even if you are already comfortable identifying parts of speech, it is strongly suggested that you complete the exercise beginning on page 8. The seven major parts of speech tested on the SAT are as follows: Verb Verbs indicate actions or states of being.
Examp To les: All of the verbs listed above are infinitives. Verbs are not always used as infinitives, however. In order to indicate who is performing an action, we must conjugate the verb and provide its subject. Conjugation of the verb to be: They are Conjugation of the verb to have: Noun Nouns indicate people, places, objects, and ideas.
Proper nouns indicate specific people and places. The politician walked out of the press conference in Washington with his head in his hands. Pronoun Pronouns replace nouns. She plays it every day after school. Marco walks to school with Sherri and Ann. He meets them at the corner. Personal Pronouns are often referred to in the following manner: Adjective Adjectives modify nouns and pronouns.
The stunning view left him at a loss for words. It was so exciting I could hardly contain myself. Adverb Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. They frequently end in —ly Examples: He received an exceedingly good grade on the test. Conjunction Conjunctions indicate relationships between words, phrases, and clauses.
Although it has been raining all week, it should be sunny tomorrow. Preliminary Exercise: Identifying Parts of Speech For the following sentences, identify the part of speech contained in each underlined word or phrase.
Answers p. Introduction Error-Identification questions fall into 16 major categories, listed below in approximate descending order of frequency. Please note that errors involving verbs and pronouns appear far more often than any other kind of error and comprise approximately one-third of the multiple choice grammar questions.
Subject-Verb Agreement 2. Pronoun-Antecedent 4. Pronoun Case Additional Errors: Adverbs 6. Parallel Structure: Lists 7. Faulty Comparisons 9. Word Pairs Noun Agreement Relative Pronouns Conjunctions Diction While other kinds of errors such as misplaced modifiers or conjunctions do appear see the Fixing Sentences section for explanations , they are very comparatively rare, and I have thus chosen to discuss them in the section devoted to Fixing Sentences.
The format of Error-Identification questions is deceptively simple: There are, however, two potential difficulties: Typically, the more test-takers contemplate the choices, the more they start to think that, well, it could be just about any of the answers.
They want there to be an error so badly…. It just seems wrong for there not to be one — the section is called Error-Identification, after all!
The College Board has actually been known to make the answer E three times in a row. Hey, get over it. The College Board can do whatever it wants. The most important thing to keep in mind is that finding the right answer often has nothing to do with figuring how you would say the sentence. Remember, the test is designed that way. If, on the other hand, you train yourself to know exactly — and I mean exactly — what to look for, the errors will virtually pop out at you.
But that takes practice. Note that this is the opposite of nouns, which take an —s in the plural rather than the singular. Unfortunately, most subject-verb agreement questions that appear on the SAT are not nearly this straightforward. Subjects rarely appear next to the their verbs, making it difficult to spot disagreements. The ways in which the SAT separates subjects from their verbs are, however, highly predictable.
It is important that you practice recognizing the following structures because they will appear over and over again.
Subject — Non-Essential Clause — Verb Identifying Non-Essential Clauses A non-essential clause describes a noun, often but not always the noun that is the subject of a sentence. Non-essential clauses have two main identifying features: In addition: Let us examine the following sentence: Moroccan green tea, which is prepared with a healthy dose of sugar and mint leaves, is one of the most popular drinks across North Africa.
If we remove that clause, we are left with: Moroccan green tea […] is one of the most popular drinks across North Africa. The sentence that remains makes complete sense on its own. A non-essential clause that does not begin with one of those words is known as an appositive. You do not have to remember the term, but you do have to be able to recognize that the structure is correct, even though it may sound odd to you. The following sentence contains an example of an appositive: Moroccan green tea, a drink prepared with a healthy amount of sugar and mint leaves, is one of the most popular drinks across North Africa.
Non-Essential Clauses on the SAT On the SAT, non-essential clauses are typically inserted between subjects and verbs in order to distract the test-taker from the fact that the subject is singular and the verb is plural or vice-versa. Incorr ect: Corre ct: Moroccan green tea, which is prepared with a healthy amount of sugar and mint leaves, are one of the most popular drinks across North Africa.
Moroccan green tea, which is prepared with a healthy amount of sugar and mint leaves, is one of the most popular drinks across North Africa. Whenever you encounter a non-essential clause, you should immediately cross it out.
Most often it is used to distract you from spotting subject-verb agreement errors, but it can be used to distract from other types of errors as well described later. Do not forget to do this! Otherwise, you risk overlooking errors that can be easily spotted. Moroccan green tea, which are prepared with a healthy amount of sugar and mint leaves, is one of the most popular drinks across North Africa. Occasionally, you will encounter a non-essential clause followed by the word and.
This construction is always wrong because if you cross out the non-essential clause, you are left with nonsense: Moroccan green tea, which is prepared with a healthy amount of sugar and mint leaves, and it is one of the most popular drinks across North Africa.
Moroccan green tea and it is one of the most popular drinks across North Africa. Essential Clauses with That Occasionally, you will see subject-verb agreement questions based on essential clauses beginning with that.
Such clauses are not set off by commas, but the verbs they contain must still agree with their subjects. Incorr Green tea is a beverage that have long been used as a form of medicine in ect: Corre Green tea is a beverage that has long been used as a form of medicine in many countries.
Subject — Prepositional Phrase — Verb A prepositional phrase is, quite simply, a phrase that begins with a preposition e. These are often inserted between subjects and verbs to distract from disagreements. In the sentences below, the subject is underlined, the prepositional phrase is italicized, and the verb is in bold.
Changes in the balance of trade seems remote from everyday concerns, but they can drastically affect how we spend our money. Changes in the balance of trade seem remote from everyday concerns, but they can drastically affect how we spend our money. The above sentence contains a classic trick: However, the prepositional phrase inserted between the subject and the verb has as its last word a singular noun trade , which, if you are not paying close attention, can easily appear to be the subject of the verb that follows.
The last word of a prepositional phrase will always be the last word right before the verb, so be careful not to cross out verbs when getting rid of prepositional phrases. If you see an underlined verb close to the beginning of a sentence, the subject will usually be the first word or couple of words of the sentence.
Prepositional Phrase — Verb — Subject In this structure, the normal word order or syntax of a sentence is reversed so that the prepositional phrase appears at the beginning of a sentence, followed by the verb and then subject, always in that order. Corre Along the Loup Canal in Nebraska extends parks, lakes, and trails owned and operated by the Loup power district. Along the Loup Canal in Nebraska extend parks, lakes, and trails owned and operated by the Loup power district.
Prepositional Phrase—Verb—Subject errors almost always appear as questions and are signaled by a preposition at the beginning of the sentence. Most often, the preposition will be the first word of the sentence, but sometimes it will be the second. Running along the Loup Canal in Nebraska is parks, lakes, and trails owned and operated by the Loup power district.
Running along the Loup Canal in Nebraska are parks, lakes, and trails owned and operated by the Loup power district. It is common for test-takers to become confused because the reversed syntax makes the sentence sound odd.
It is important to understand, however, that the unusual syntax is not what makes the sentence incorrect. It is simply a distraction to keep you from hearing the disagreement between the subject and the verb.
Usual Syntax: Unusual The book and the pen sits on the table. On the table sits the book and the Syntax: Note that in the second version, the error is much more difficult to hear.
It is also important that you determine the entire subject because errors will very occasionally appear in which the verb comes before the subject but is not preceded by a prepositional phrase: Radioactivity is generally not considered harmful when people are exposed to it at low levels for brief periods, but less clear is its long-term effects.
Radioactivity is generally not considered harmful when people are exposed to it at low levels for brief periods, but less clear are its long-term effects. Neither the senator nor his aide are expected to speak to the press today.
Neither the senator nor his aide is expected to speak to the press today. In general, the SAT only incorrectly pairs singular nouns connected by neither…nor with plural verbs.
Errors involving plural nouns or combined singular and plural nouns do not appear. The general rule, however, is that the verb takes the number of the noun that follows nor e. Neither the books nor the pen is on the table, BUT Neither the book nor the pens are on the table.
Very Important: Common examples include agency, institution, school, committee, jury, city, country, class, university, and team. While many people consider it perfectly acceptable to use such nouns with plural verbs, the SAT only considers singular verbs to be correct. After many days of deliberation, the jury have finally returned with a verdict. After many days of deliberation, the jury has finally returned with a verdict.
Watch out for collective nouns. They appear often, and their presence in a sentence often indicates an agreement error. A number of people are expected to attend the party tonight. BUT Corr ect: The number of people at the party last night was quite large.
Each of the students in Ms. Every one of the students in Ms. Going to the movies are a common way for people to relax. Going to the movies is a common way for people to relax. Subject-Verb Agreement Exercises In the following sentences, fix any subject-verb agreement error that appears.
Label all subjects, verbs, and prepositional phrases, and make sure to cross out any non-essential clauses. Some of the sentences may not contain an error. The process of living vicariously through a fictional character in order to purge one's emotions are known as catharsis. Along the border between China and Tibet lies the Himalaya Mountains, which include some of the highest peaks in the world.
Recognized for formulating unorthodox social theories, Lev Gumilev and D. Mirsky was partly responsible for founding the neo-eurasianist political and cultural movement. The works of artist Alan Chin draws inspiration from both the California gold rush and the construction of the transcontinental railroad. The maps of historian and cartographer John Speed depict some of the first visual representations of many towns and cities throughout England, Ireland, and Scotland.
Playboating, a discipline of whitewater rafting or canoeing in which players stay in one spot while performing certain maneuvers, involve specialized canoes designed for the sport. Often found in plastic drinking bottles is substantial amounts of a potentially toxic chemical called Bisphenol A. The African violet, which is known for its striking pink and purple leaves, belong to the Saintpaulia family of flowering plants rather than to the violet family.
One of the animal kingdom's best jumpers is the flea, whose ability to leap up to times its own body length is nearly unsurpassed. Stiles, structures that provides people with a passage through or over a fence, are often built in rural areas or along footpaths. The patent for the first mechanical pencils were granted to Sampson Morgan and John Hawkins in England during the early nineteenth century.
Galaxies, far from being randomly scattered throughout the universe, appears to be distributed in bubble-shaped patterns. For the past several years, the theater company have traveled to various schools throughout the city in order to expose students to classic works. According to the law of diminution, the pitches of notes sounded by an orchestra remains the same even as the amount of sound diminishes.
There are a number of prominent economists who consider changes in the demand for goods to be one of the fundamental causes of inflation. Although the criminal protested his innocence vehemently, neither he nor his lawyer were ultimately able to offer a convincing alibi. Historians describe the chariot as a simple type of horse carriage that were used by ancient civilizations for peacetime travel and military combat.
Along the deepest part of the ocean floor sits the Mariana Trench and the HMRG Deep, the two lowest spots that researchers have ever identified on earth. Verb Tense and Form Like subject-verb agreement errors, verb tense and form errors regularly appear on the SAT in specific formats and in highly predictable ways.
The inclusion of a date or time period in a sentence is usually a tip-off that the question is testing verb tense. When you see one of these clues, make sure to check the tenses of all verbs first.
Consistency Verbs should remain consistent or parallel in tense or form throughout a sentence. Unless the information in the sentence clearly indicates otherwise, sentences that start in the past should stay in the past, and sentences that start in the present should stay in the present. The sentence begins in the past tense, as indicated by the verb was, and must continue in the past tense since there is nothing to suggest otherwise. Often, the present perfect e. Corre During the nineteenth century, Charles Dickens has been renowned as one of the most famous British novelists.
During the nineteenth century, Charles Dickens was renowned as one ct: Would vs. Will Would and Will are switched only with one another. Whenever you see would or will underlined in a sentence, replace it with the other one and see if it works better. If you are not sure when to use would and will, the rule is that you should not mix past and future in the same sentence.
Corre William Shakespeare, who will become the greatest English dramatist, was born in William Shakespeare, who would become the greatest English dramatist, was born in In the incorrect version of the above sentence, for example, the verb was appears. Since was is a verb in the past tense, will become, a verb in the future tense, should not also appear. And since will and would are switched with one another, would become must be the correct answer.
Likewise, a sentence containing a verb in the present tense should not contain would. If it rains today, I would go to the movies instead of the park. If it rains today, I will go to the movies instead of the park. Since the verb rains is in the present tense, would go cannot be correct. Will go is the only other option.
If company officials and union leaders would have compromised on several important issues, the labor crisis would have been averted. Corre If company officials and union leaders had compromised on several important issues, the labor crisis would have been averted. Gerunds vs. If you see a gerund underlined, plug in the infinitive and vice-versa. Though she was one of the few women of her time gaining international prominence, Clara Barton would not have described herself as a proponent of women's rights.
Though she was one of the few women of her time to gain international prominence, Clara Barton would not have described herself as a proponent of women's rights. Often, when switching a gerund with an infinitive, you must place a preposition before the gerund in order for a sentence to make sense.
Inserting only the gerund will not usually fix the sentence. Corre Deactivated viruses form the basis of many vaccines known for their effectiveness to prevent disease. Deactivated viruses form the basis of many vaccines known for their effectiveness preventing disease. Deactivated viruses form the basis of many vaccines known for their effectiveness in preventing disease.
Sometimes, both a gerund and an infinitive are acceptable. In such cases, neither will be considered an error. Corr ect: Today, the members of Ms. In general, it is necessary to rely on your ear in order to determine whether the gerund or the infinitive is correct.
There is no rule that governs which one is used, and the gerunds and infinitives tested are fairly random. So while I do not advocate trying to memorize all the expressions that require gerunds vs. Past Participle vs. Simple Past The past participle is used after any form of the verb to have e. Examp les: I have gone to George Washington high school for the past three years. Since a number of unexpected issues had arisen during the meeting, we were forced to remain an extra hour.
Having sung for hours, the bird fell silent. The present perfect is used for an action that started in the past and that is continuing into the present. When the words for or since appear, the present perfect is usually required. I played soccer since I was seven years old. Corre I have played soccer since I was seven years old.
Corre I have played soccer for the past nine years. However, the simple past is used for actions that began and ended in the past. I attended George Washington High School from to A number of unexpected issues arose during the meeting, so we were forced to remain an extra hour.
The bird sang for hours and then fell silent. On the SAT, the simple past rather than the past participle will always incorrectly follow a form of the verb to have; the past participle is never used to replace the simple past e.
He done the work. The verb to go, for example, has two different forms in the past: Here is a list of some common verbs that have different forms for their simple past and past participle. The past perfect is used to indicate that one of those actions occurred before the other.
By the time it adjourned, the committee made several important decisions. By the time it adjourned, the committee had made several important decisions.
Logically, the committee must have made several important decisions action 1 before it adjourned action 2 ; therefore, the past perfect is required. Whenever a verb in the past perfect appears, ask yourself whether the sentence makes it clear that the event or action the verb describes clearly occurred before a second event or action. If it does not, the sentence is incorrect. There are, however, instances when either the past perfect or the simple past is perfectly acceptable.
Before a complete version of Louisa May Alcott's novel Little Women appeared in , the book had been published in two separate volumes. Before a complete version of Louisa May Alcott's novel Little Women appeared in , the book was published in two separate volumes.
In the first sentence, the past perfect is used to emphasize the appearance of the book in two volumes before its appearance in one; however, the simple past in the second sentence is also correct because it describes two actions that took place in the past and keeps the tense of the sentence consistent.
In the Error-Identification sentence, you may encounter sentences that contain only the simple past but that could also be written with the past perfect, as in the first example above.
For a College Board example, see question 26, p. Since both versions are acceptable, an underlined simple past verb that falls into this category will not be the error. In general you will only be required to recognize whether the past perfect — rather than the simple past — is being used incorrectly see question 21, p.
Verb Tense and Form Exercises In the following exercises, underline the date or words that indicate a tense question, and fix any verb not in the correct tense or form. Built in Newcastle upon Tyne, England and launched in , the SS Dunraven was powered by both steam and sail and was intended to travel between Britain and India. In , Dutch scholar Erasmus of Rotterdam has moved from Paris to England, where he became a professor of ancient languages at Cambridge.
Hyland, who authored the acclaimed novel How the Light Gets In, is often praised to be a subtle and complex portrayer of human psychology. Composer Georgi Tutev, who will become one of the principal figures of Bulgarian modernism, was born of a German mother and a Bulgarian father. According to researchers, the Antarctic ice shelf has shrank by approximately 50 gigatons of ice each year since The nearly ton Mayflower was chartered by a group of British merchants and setting sail from Plymouth, England in Mahatma Gandhi, who was born in India, studied law in London and in went to South Africa, where he spends twenty years opposing discriminatory legislation against Indians.
Accidentally discovered by Procter and Gamble researchers in , the fat substitute Olestra has been shown in causing stomach upset in those who consume excessive amounts of it. Defying predictions that he will fade from the public eye, former Czech president Vaclav Havel became a film director after his retirement from office. Descended from a long line of university professors, Marie Goeppert-Mayer received the majority of her training in Germany and eventually teaching at a number of universities in the United States.
After a attempt to overthrow Mikhail Gorbechav failed, power had shifted to Russian president Boris Yeltsin. During the Renaissance, glass products made on the island of Murano could only be crafted according to traditional techniques, and local artisans were forbidden to leave and sell their creations elsewhere.
The illustrator often photographed multiple models for each drawing and has made his selection only when the final prints arrived in his hands. Toward the end of the sixteenth century, the Iroquois League, a confederation of six Native American nations, has formed in the northeastern United States.
After weeks of careful scrutiny, the consumer protection agency informed the public that a number of products will be recalled because of safety concerns. Even before the beginning of the twentieth century, when the electronic age was still in its infancy, the first attempts to generate sound from electricity had already begun.
Far from being a recluse, Goethe corresponded with the leading literary, political, and scientific figures of his day with an energy that few of his readers could ever hope to match. Several dozen boats are known to have sank off of the French Frigate Shoals, part of an enormous protected zone that covers nearly , square miles in the Pacific Ocean.
Emperor Frederick the Great of Prussia believed that to fight a successful war was creating minimal intrusion into the lives of civilians. According to cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham, one major reason why more students do not enjoy school is because abstract thought is not something our brains are designed to be good at or enjoying. Hardly a stranger to self-censorship, Mark Twain never hesitated to change his prose if he believed that the alterations will improve the sales of his books.
Some critics have argued that Dostoevsky was unique among nineteenth-century authors in that he surrendered fully to his characters and has allowed himself to write in voices other than his own. There are two kinds of pronoun questions that appear on the SAT: In the sentence, The ball is on the table, the noun ball can be replaced by the pronoun it. Likewise, in the sentence, Mary threw the ball, the name Mary can be replaced by the pronoun she.
An antecedent is simply the word noun, pronoun, or gerund to which a pronoun refers. All pronouns must agree with their antecedents. Just as singular verbs must agree with singular subjects and plural verbs must agree with plural subjects, so must singular pronouns agree with singular nouns and plural pronouns with plural nouns.
For example, in the sentence, Katie dribbled the ball, and then she shot it at the basket, the word ball is the antecedent referred to by the pronoun it. The word Katie is the antecedent of the pronoun she. If we said, Katie dribbled the ball, and then she shot them at the basket, there would be a disagreement between the antecedent and the pronoun because the antecedent ball is singular and the pronoun them is plural.
Likewise, if we said, Katie dribbled the ball, and then they shot it at the basket, there would also be an pronoun-antecedent disagreement because the antecedent Katie is singular, while the pronoun they is plural. Whenever you see a pronoun underlined, you should immediately try to figure out what noun that pronoun is referring to. If the noun and the pronoun do not agree, whichever one is underlined will be incorrect.
You will never find both the noun and the pronoun underlined. One vs. You One and You are frequently switched with one another although they are also occasionally switched with other pronouns. They cannot be mixed and matched within a sentence but must remain consistent throughout. If one wants to avoid insect invasions, you should refrain from leaving crumbs lying on the floor. Corre If one wants to avoid insect invasions, one should refrain from leaving crumbs lying on the floor.
Corre If you want to avoid insect invasions, you should refrain from leaving crumbs lying on the floor. Singular vs. Plural Singular nouns are referred to by singular pronouns.
Plural nouns are referred to by plural pronouns. Sometimes different pronouns are used to refer to people and to things. For people e. Corre A person who wishes to become an Olympic-caliber athlete must devote virtually all of their time to training. A person who wishes to become an Olympic-caliber athlete must devote virtually all of his or her time to training. People who wish to become Olympic-caliber athletes must devote virtually all of his or her time to training.
Corre People who wish to become Olympic-caliber athletes must devote ct: For things e. Corre When the economy does poorly, their performance is of all-abiding interest to the public. When the economy does poorly, its performance is of all-abiding interest to the public. The lights began to flicker wildly, and only moments later it went out altogether.
The lights began to flicker wildly, and only moments later they went out altogether. More than any other pronoun, it is likely to be wrong. Whenever you see the word it underlined, start by figuring out its antecedent. Ambiguous Antecedent Sometimes it is unclear which antecedent a pronoun refers to.
Afraid that they would be late to the party, Rosa and Caroline decided to take her car rather than walk. Whose car did Rosa and Caroline take? In order to fix this sentence, we must make it clear whose car they took. We can therefore say: Missing Antecedent Any pronoun that appears in a sentence must have a clear antecedent that is a noun, pronoun, or gerund. If a sentence includes a pronoun without an antecedent, that sentence cannot be correct, no matter how obvious its meaning may be.
In some countries, extreme weather conditions have led to shortages of food, and consequently they must struggle to receive adequate nutrients. In some countries, extreme weather conditions have led to shortages of food, and consequently their inhabitants must struggle to receive adequate nutrients.
In the incorrect version, it is understood that the word they refers to the inhabitants of countries with extreme weather conditions; however, there is no noun anywhere in the sentence that explicitly says who they are. In the report released by the committee, it stated that significant budget cuts would be necessary for the following year.
In the above sentence, we do not know who or what the word it refers to. The writers of the report? The report itself? The sentence never tells us. There are several ways to fix this issue in order to make the antecedent clear. We can either eliminate the pronoun completely: The report released by the treasury committee stated that significant budget cuts would be necessary for the following year. Or, we can make it clear what it refers to: The treasury committee stated in its report that significant budget cuts would be necessary for the following year.
Any sentence that attempts to use another part of speech, such as a verb or an adjective, as an antecedent cannot be correct. Activists who defend endangered species from poaching do it on the grounds that such animals, once gone, are irreplaceable. What does it refer to in this sentence? Defending endangered species. When no real antecedent is present, the correct phrase is do so: Activists who defend endangered species from poaching do so on the grounds that such animals, once gone, are irreplaceable.
Do so is correct. The canine penchant for hierarchy has its roots in wolf society, which always designated its specific role within the pack. What does its refer to? A canine. And since antecedents can only be nouns or gerunds, its has no antecedent. In order to make the sentence correct, we must repeat the word canine, this time using it as a noun. This, Which, and That Occasionally, the pronoun this will be used without an antecedent. Australian Jessica Watson became the youngest person ever to sail around the world, completing this in March of Australian Jessica Watson became the youngest person ever to sail around the world, completing her journey in March of Which is made incorrect in the same way: Australian Jessica Watson became the youngest person ever to sail around the world, which she achieved in March of Here again, it is clear from the information provided in the sentence that which refers to the feat of sailing around the world.
But the noun sailing never actually appears — only to sail, which is a verb and therefore unable to be an antecedent. In order for the sentence to be correct, we must either provide a noun that states exactly what Jessica Watson achieved: Australian Jessica Watson became the youngest person ever to sail around the world, a feat that she achieved in March of Australian Jessica Watson became the youngest person ever to sail around the world, achieving that feat in March of Note that it is perfectly acceptable to replace which with a present participle in this case achieving in order to eliminate a pronoun that lacks an antecedent.
For an explanation of present participles, please see p. Same thing for that Incorr ect: Australian Jessica Watson became the youngest person ever to sail around the world, and she achieved that in March of Australian Jessica Watson became the youngest person ever to sail around the world, and she achieved that feat in March of In the incorrect version of the sentence, the pronoun that does not refer to a specific noun.
Only when we supply the noun that it refers to feat does it become correct. Pronoun-Antecedent Exercises In the following sentences, label all pronouns and their antecedents. Not until the early twentieth century did the city become capable of maintaining their population and cease to be dependent on rural areas for a constant stream of new inhabitants. Cleota Davis, the mother of jazz legend Miles Davis, was an accomplished pianist in her own right, but she hid that fact from her son until he was an adult.
The nitrogen cycle describes its movement from the air into organic compounds and then back into the atmosphere. If you exercise to prevent diabetes, one may also want to avoid vitamins C and E since these antioxidants have been shown to correlate with it.
A fish that has been chased to the surface of the water might hurtle into the air to confuse a pursuer, which either won't notice its prey or will be unable to predict where they will land.
Although Alice Sebold does not write her books with any particular age group in mind, it has proven popular with middle and high school students. Some critics of the Internet have argued that it is a danger to people because its vastness, often heralded as a benefit, threatens our intellectual health. The woolly mammoth and the saber-toothed tiger might have survived as late as 10, B.
When the auditorium closes next year for renovations, the theater company will probably hold their productions at another location. While most editors are concerned with how accurate a biography is, others are more interested in how rapidly it can be published. Though recipes for yeast-free muffins were commonly found in nineteenth-century cookbooks, by the twentieth century most recipes were calling for it. Although the jury spent many hours arguing over the details of the trial, it was ultimately unable to reach a consensus.
The Egyptian temple complex at Karnak, situated on the eastern bank of the Nile, was their sacred place of worship. The city's economy has weakened significantly over the past decade, and this has led to an overwhelming loss of manufacturing jobs. In the announcement, the school committee states that they will substantially overhaul the eleventh grade curriculum at some point during the next year.
The world's population could climb to Paul and Julio had just returned from a long and exhausting hike along the Appalachian Trail when he stumbled and hit his head. In order to become truly great at a sport, players must spend most of his or her free time practicing. The Marquesa islands were among the first South Pacific islands to be settled, and from its shores departed some of the greatest navigators of all time.
Autobiographies are often structured differently from memoirs, which follow the development of an author's personality rather than the writing of his or her works. Pronoun Case Case refers to whether a pronoun is being used as a subject or an object.
A subject is: In the following sentences, the subject is in bold: Jonah read the book. Who read the book?
Jonah 2. The coat is more attractive than warm. What is more attractive than it is warm? The coat 3. Unable to find a place to plug in their computers, Sarah and Ansel decided to read instead. Who was unable to find a place to plug in their computers? Sarah and Ansel All subjects can be replaced by subject pronouns: An object is the person or thing that receives an action.
In the following sentences, the object is in bold. What was being read? The book 2. Akil threw the basketballs across the court. What did Akil throw? The basketballs 3. Serena waved to Sam and me from the parking lot.
To whom did Serena wave? Sam and me All objects can be replaced by object pronouns: Note that proper names Serena, Sam, Akil, Sarah can be either subjects or objects, but that most pronouns I, she, they, them can be only one or the other.
Both are proper names. We can rewrite the sentence several ways to include pronouns: She threw the ball to Alisha. Mary replaced with object pronoun Mary threw the ball to her.
Alisha replaced with subject pronoun She threw the ball to her. Alisha replaced with subject pronoun and Mary with object pronoun What we cannot do, however, is the following: Her threw the ball to Alisha. Mary threw the ball to she. Her threw the ball to she.
When pronouns are used incorrectly with singular subjects or objects, as in the above sentences, the error is usually pretty easy to spot. And pronoun case questions will nearly always contain a compound subject or object, usually one with a proper name, that includes the word and. The only thing to remember is that what goes for singular goes for plural.
Since you would say, The prize was presented to him rather than, The prize was presented to he, the sentence must be rewritten as follows: To reiterate: After giving a stern lecture on the necessity of checking the validity of our sources, the teacher gave Jonah and I back the report we had turned in at the beginning of the week.
In the above sentence, we notice that there is a pronoun paired with a proper name. Would you say, The teacher gave I back the report? Obviously not. But since you would say, The teacher gave me back the report, the sentence should read: After giving a stern lecture on the necessity of checking the validity of our sources, the teacher gave Jonah and me back the report we had turned in at the beginning of the week.
Occasionally, however, an underlined subject or object pronoun will appear without the word and. Corre To we students, it seems awfully unfair that school should start at 7: To us students, it seems awfully unfair that school should start at 7: When this is the case, there are several ways to determine whether a pronoun is correct. First, you can use the following rule: We cannot be correct because it is a subject pronoun, and it follows to, which is a preposition.
You can also simply cross out the noun after the pronoun in this case, students.
Would you ever say, To we it seems awfully unfair? Probably not. This error is tested frequently on the SAT, and quick recognition of it can save you a lot of time. There are no exceptions to it. Pronoun Case Exercises In the following sentences, fix any pronoun case error that appears. Although our parents have little difficulty distinguishing between my twin sister and I, our teachers are much more easily fooled.
For we voters, it is exceedingly difficult to choose between the two candidates because their positions on so many issues are so similar that they are virtually indistinguishable. After listening patiently to our admittedly flimsy excuses, the principal decided to sentence Akiko and I to a week of detention. Along with our project, the professor handed Shalini and I a note requesting that we remain after class in order to discuss our research methods with her.
Evidently moved by the strength of their testimony, the jury awarded Tom and him a two million dollar settlement for the injuries they had sustained in the accident. The conversation between my supervisor and me went surprisingly well despite the numerous disputes we had engaged in over the past several weeks. When the gubernatorial candidate arrived at the auditorium to give a speech, we found it nearly impossible to distinguish between she and her assistant, so similar were they in height and appearance.
My lab partner and myself were awarded first prize in the science fair for our work on the breakdown of insulin production in people who suffer from diabetes. Walking through Yellowstone National Park, Jordan, Sam, and me were so astonished by our surroundings that we found ourselves at a loss for words. An unfamiliar subject when the class began, Roman history became increasingly fascinating to he and Alexis over the course of the semester. For each sentence, fix the error and label its category.
Some sentences may not contain an error.
The works of Paulus Barbus has largely been lost, although many editions of his works were both published and esteemed during the Renaissance. Many runners, even those who train regularly, do not have a clear sense of their potential since one tends to stick to an established distance. For centuries, Norwegians hang dolls dressed as witches in their kitchens because they believe that such figures have the power to keep pots from burning over.
When the fossil of an enormous ancient penguin was unearthed in Peru, archaeologists discovered that their feathers were brown and gray rather than black and white. Although the waiter offered to bring Ramon and I a list of desserts, we had already eaten too much and found the prospect of more food unappetizing.
At the meeting point of the Alaskan and the Aleutian mountains rises an immense alpine tundra and sparkling lakes, which give way to thundering waterfalls. Since , the Kentucky Derby — arguably the best-known horse race in America — has took place on a track measuring one-and-a-quarter miles.
Long Island was the setting for F. People who seek out extreme sports such as skydiving and mountain climbing often do so because he or she feels compelled to explore the limits of their endurance. While one is cooking a recipe that involves large quantities of hot chili peppers, you should generally try to avoid touching your eyes. Chicago's Sears Tower was the tallest office building in the world for nearly thirty years, a distinction it has lost only upon the completion of the Taipei Tower in Born in Spain in , Pablo Picasso will become one of the most celebrated and revolutionary painters of the twentieth century because of his invention of the cubist style.
The Sherlock Holmes form of mystery novel, which revolve around a baffling crime solved by a master detective and his assistant, contrasts the scientific method with prevailing superstitions. In the early years of the fourteenth century, Pope Clement V moved the papacy to the French city of Avignon and leaving Rome prey to the ambitions of local overlords.
Along the side of the winding country road stretch a long line of pine trees and a low, crumbling stone wall covered with both moss and snow. Although the two books recount the same series of events, they do it from different perspectives and are not intended to be read in any particular order. Roberta and her supervisor, Ms. South Africa experienced a series of massive and devastating blackouts in , and consequently they have been rationing electricity ever since that time.
Though extremely long, the meeting between my advisor and I was unusually productive because it provided me with many new ways of thinking about a familiar subject.
Although prairie dogs were once on the verge of extinction, their numbers have rose to pre-twentieth century levels because of the work of the environmentalists who lobbied for their salvation. In response to be criticized for the poor nutritional value of its food, the restaurant chain has altered its menu to include more healthful options. The dog is wild. The wave became calm. It is not difficult to accomplish. Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. He speaks slowly.
She runs very quickly. Samson is a highly interesting conversationalist. Adverbs are usually formed by adding —ly to the adjective. For adjectives that already end in —y, the adverb is formed by adding —ily.