Finding the Error


If you’re going to take the SAT or some other standardized test that features questions related to writing and grammar, do as many practice questions as you can. You’ll quickly see that there’s a lot of repetition. You won’t necessarily see the exact same sentences, but you will see the same types of sentences. For example, there will always be questions involving incorrect verb tenses, subject-verb agreement, parallel structure, and so on. As you do more and more practice tests, you’ll find yourself knowing the answer to many questions as soon as you start to read the sentence. You’ll spot the word neither and immediately look for its partner, nor. You’ll see the word one used in the third-person narrative voice and suspect a switch to the second-person you -- and sure enough, there it’ll be.


This is not to suggest that you should rush through the questions, or fail to read the sentences completely. Don’t jump to conclusions. Slow down and make sure. But also trust your ear for the language. Read the sentence silently, but hear it in your mind. If something sounds wrong, it probably is.


One more thing. The sentences on these tests tend to be long, cluttered with all kinds of words, phrases, and punctuation. They also have underlined parts, which can be distracting. The errors are often far apart, separated by the clutter. This may be an obstacle at first, but it too will soon lose its power as you learn to recognize each question type and the likely answer.


For each of the following sentences, identify the grammar or usage error it contains. The letter corresponding to the mistake is the answer to that question. If a sentence has no error, its answer is E.


Questions 1-6