Monday, October 14, 2013

Top 16 SAT Grammar Errors

1. Subject-verb agreement when subject follows verb (Despite an intensive campaign to encourage conversation, there is many Americans who have not accepted recycling as a way of life.)

2. Subject-verb agreement when subject and verb are separated. (The collection of paintings entitled "Clammy Clam clams" are one of the most widely traveled exhibits in recent years.)

3. Subject-verb agreement when the subject seems plural. (Poor pitching, along with injuries and defensive lapses, are among the problems that plague last year's championship team) Keep in mind that the subject is pitching, not injuries/lapses.

4. Confusion of simple and past participles. (Several passerby seen the bank robber leaving the scene of his crime.) swam and had swum, sang and had sung, shrank and had shrunk, etc. Remember stuff like that.

5. Confusion of infinitive and gerund. (Team officials heralded Cap Day as an attempt at attracting a larger tunrout of fans). The answer would be 'to attract', idiom and your ability to 'hear' the error plays a role here.

6. Non-Idiomatic Preposition After Verb (City Council members frequently meet until the early morning hours in order to work in their stalemates). The answer would be 'work out' or 'work through'.

7. Wrong word (affect/effect, emigrate/immigrate, eminent/imminent)

8. Wrong Tense (Over the last half-century, the building of passenger airliners had grown into a multi-billion dollar industry). The answer would be has grown, watch out for when a time indicator, such as Middle Ages, is involved in the sentence.

9. Number Agreement Problems (The advertisement in the newspaper requested that only persons with a high school diploma apply for the position). Here, it is assumed that all persons share a single diploma. The correct answer would be 'with high school diplomas' here.

10. Pronoun in the wrong number (Most infants, even unusually quiet ones, will cry with greater intensity when it begins teething).

11. Pronoun in the wrong case in compound noun prhases (Him and the rest of the team stopped by the malt shop for milkshapes after the game). Just separate the rest of the clause by taking out 'and the rest of the team' to see if it would make sense. Him stopped by the malt shop for milkshakes after the game . . . doesn't make sense. It should be 'he'.

12. Pronoun Shift (One cannot sleep soundlyi f you exercise vigorously before retiring to bed.)

13. Pronoun with Ambiguous references (After the dreailment last month, they are inspecting trains for safety more often than ever before.) Who is 'they'?

14. Faulty comparison (To lash back at one's adcversaries is a less courageous course than attempting to bring about reconciliation with them.) In order to keep this comparison parallel it should be 'to attempt'.

15. Misuse of adjective or adverb (The critics who reviewed both of David Eggers's novels like the second one best). Only two are compared, it should be 'better'. (The applicants for low-interest loans hoped to buy decent built houses for their families.) 'Decently' would be the proper word.

16. Double negative (James easily passed the biology exam without hardlystudying his lab notes). Hardly and without both describe a scarcity/lack, only one is necessary. 'Don't not' would be a more basic example. Don't use no double negatives on the Writing Section.