Tip #24 to Get a Top SAT Critical Reading Score (page 2)
This is one of the most common types of SAT writing questions, and it's very easy. Basically, in a sentence, subject and verb must match. There is no fancy rule that I need to teach you; you already know this stuff, just from speaking and reading. What I need to teach you is to train and then trust your ear for "easy" and "medium" questions, and to identify the subject of the verb for "hard" questions or when in doubt. In this Skill, we'll look at some straightforward questions. Then in Skill 25 we'll look at the two tricks that the SAT always tries.
Let's look at this question:
Solution: Listen to your ear; "Even after she had healed physically, she wants" does not sound correct. The "she had healed" implies that the "she wants" should be past tense, "she wanted." You can hear that if you know to listen for it. That's our goal, to train you to listen for it.
SAT Reading/Writing Mantra #24
When a verb is underlined, trust your car. When in doubt, identify its subject and make sure singular/plural and tense math the subject.
- D Trust your ear on easy and medium questions. "Practices" should be "practiced."
- E No error. All the underlined words work. Trust your ear; if an easy question sounds correct, then it is.
- A Cool question. Organizations like "the school association" or "the high school," or "the fire department" are singular. Even though they are comprised of many people, the organization itself is one group and is singular. So since the subject of the underlined verb "are" is a singular subject, "are" should be "is." Trust your ear; and if in doubt, identify the subject of the underlined verb.
- C "Lives" should be "living" to fit the rest of the phrase "and the other living in caves."
- A "Is" should be "was" to match "voted."
- A "Vote" is the subject of the underlined verb "indicate," and since "vote" is singular, "indicate" should be "indicates."
- C The subject of "taunt" is "who," so "taunt" should be "taunts."
- A I included this question because "had swam" appeared on an SAT and so many kids got it wrong. "Had swam" should be "swam" because the "after" implies that the swimming is done. This is a tough rule for a "medium," but the question is considered medium, because your ear can tell that "had swam" is wrong. Moral of the story: Listen to your ear!
Go to: Tip #25
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