In this lesson, our instructor Rebekah Hendershot goes through an introduction on grammar errors. She starts by discussing verbs: subject-verb agreement, collective nouns, and gerunds. She then moves on to pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, and parallel structure.
The two most common types of verb questions that appear on the SAT grammar section are:
issues with verb tense and form
Singular subjects take singular verbs; plural subjects take plural verbs.
Watch for third-person forms. Third-person singular verbs end in s; third-person plurals do not.
The verb will probably be separated from the subject by a phrase. It may also be reversed, or controlled by a compound subject.
Collective nouns are singular.
A number of anything is plural.
The number of anything is singular.
Each is singular.
(Every) one is singular.
Gerunds as subjects are singular.
Verb tense should remain consistent throughout the sentence.
When a sentence contains a reference to date or time, check all verb tenses first!
If an SAT sentence is set in the past and describes a completed action, use the simple past tense, not the present perfect.
The SAT likes to switch would and will. When you see one underlined, switch it with the other and see if it works better. Remember, will goes with present-tense verbs and would with past-tense ones.
Would generally shouldnt appear in a sentence beginning with if.
The SAT likes to switch gerunds (-ing verbs that act like nouns) with infinitives (to verbs). Switch them back, and add a preposition to a gerund if necessary.
All pronouns must agree with their antecedents in number and gender.
If a sentences uses one or you to describe an undetermined person, it must not switch between the two terms.
Pay close attention to a pronouns caseespecially whether its being used as a subject or an object.
This is especially true with compound subjects and compound objects!
Adjectives modify nouns or pronouns.
Adverbs modify adjectives, verbs, or other adverbs.
Adjectives can modify nouns via a linking verb.
When a sentence contains a list or series of items, each item should appear in the same format.
Some sets of conjunctions (called correlative conjunctions) are always paired up a certain way: Either/or, Neither/nor, Not only / but also, Both / and, As / as, Between / and, So (such) / that, More (less) / than, Just as / so, From / to, At once / and, No sooner / than
For Extra Grammar Help
See Erica Meltzers The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar
Essays not written on the essay assignment will receive a score of zero.
Recommended supplementary material to view SAT questions featured in lesson answer guides: The Official SAT Study Guide by the College Board.
Grammar Errors: Part 1
Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.
Educator.com recommends The Official SAT Study Guide published by The College Board, the administrators of the actual SAT test. In it, you will find additional practice questions and a review of all subjects, along with 10 official SAT practice tests. Our instructors work through several of the practice tests in real time, going through their thought processes and test-taking tips.
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