If you are currently studying to take the college entrance exam, specifically the SAT, then you will already know that your grammar, spelling, and punctuation are extremely important. These are all tested within the writing section of the SAT, and you will need to know how to identify some of the most common grammatical errors. In some cases, you may also need to know how to correct the mistakes. These are some of the most common errors that you may need to identify.
Run on sentences. Many students will be guilty of using run on sentences in essays, but now you will need to be able to find them. A run on sentence can usually be identified by looking at whether the clauses express a complete idea each, or whether they are related. If separate ideas are conveyed, each with their own subject, then you have a run on sentence that needs to be corrected. Fixing a run on sentence can be done by replacing a comma with a semi colon or by adding a conjunction.
Fragments. These are sentences that do not form a complete clause, usually when a verb or a subject is missing. Fragmented sentences can be corrected by adding in the elements that are missing or by joining it to another sentence in the paragraph.
Verb tenses. In the SAT, there are six verb tenses that may be used, and you will need to make sure that the correct one is in the sentence. The tenses you may encounter are past, present, future, past perfect, present perfect and future perfect. The easiest mistakes to spot will involve past and present tense, which must be consistent throughout the entire sentence.
Punctuation. It is important that you spend some time looking over the different punctuation marks and when they might be used. While you may not need to identify them all, knowing the basic usage for the main ones is definitely worthwhile. Look at periods, commas, exclamation marks, question marks, and apostrophes, which are the most frequently used. It would also be a good idea to review colons and semi colons before the exam.
Finally, check to see whether the pronouns are correct. The subject form (he, she) is used to refer to the person carrying out the action, while the object form (him, her) refers to the person who is the object. For example, “he spoke to her” – “he” is the subject, or the person doing the speaking. “Her” refers to the object, or the person being spoken to, in this case.
When you are writing, remember to keep your sentences short and to the point. Using too many words can make the paragraph or essay difficult to read and understand, so if there are two options that are both grammatically correct, choose the shorter one. If the examiner does not understand what you are trying to say easily, then you are likely to lose marks as a result. Be concise in your writing and do not use superfluous words.