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SAT2写作试题分享(Sentence Structure)

发布日期:02-06 18:35 分类:英语 阅读次数:29

摘要Sentence Structure 1. Parallelism In a correctly written sentence, similar elements must h ...

Sentence Structure

 

1. Parallelism

 

In a correctly written sentence, similar elements must have a similar form.

 

EXAMPLES:

 

To abandon their homes, leave behind their families, and traveling across the ocean required great courage on the part of the immigrants who moved to America.

 

In this, the three verb forms abandon, leave, and traveling should be parallel. The sentence is cor-rected by changing traveling to travel so that the sentence reads: “To abandon their homes, leave behind their families, and travel across the ocean required great courage on the part of the immigrants who moved to America.”

 

The review praised the wit, charm, and interpreting of the recitalist but never once mentioned her voice.

 

In this sentence, wit and charm are nouns, so interpreting, too, should be a noun. The sentence is corrected by changing interpreting to interpretation. So the corrected sentence reads: “The review praised the wit, charm, and interpretation of the recitalist, but never once mentioned her voice.”

 

To acknowledge that one has something to learn is taking the first step on the road to true wisdom.

 

This sentence has a structure similar to a mathematical equation: This is the same as that. Both parts of the “equation” must have the same form. The sentence is corrected by changing taking to to take. Corrected, the sentence reads: “To acknowledge that one has something to learn is to take the first step on the road to true wisdom.”

 

2. Split Constructions

 

A split construction is a sentence structure in which two otherwise separate ideas are joined together by a later element. For example, “The mayor knew or should have known about the corruption.” This is a

perfectly acceptable split construction in which the ideas knew and should have known are joined together by the single object corruption. In some split constructions, one half or the other never gets completed.

 

EXAMPLES:

 

The students are critical of the dean because he is either unfamiliar or doesn’t care about the urgent need for new student housing on campus.

 

The split construction, is either unfamiliar or doesn’t care, never gets completed. Leave out the idea following the or and the sentence reads: “is unfamiliar the urgent need.” Nonsense! The sentence should read: “The students are critical of the dean because he is either unfamiliar with or doesn’t care about the urgent need for new student housing on campus.”

 

Baseball has and probably always will be the sport that symbolizes for people in other coun-tries the American way of life.

 

The first half of the split verb construction is never completed. Leave out the second idea and the sentence reads: “Baseball has the sport.” The sentence should read: “Baseball has been and probably always will be the sport that symbolizes for people in other countries the American way of life.”

 

3. Verb Tense

 

The choice of verb tenses in a correctly written sentence reflects the sequence of events described.

 

EXAMPLES:

 

The teacher began to discuss the homework assignment when he will be interrupted by the sound of the fire alarm.

 

The sentence reads: “The teacher began . . . and will be interrupted.” One or the other verb tense is wrong. The sentence can be corrected by changing will be interrupted to was interrupted. Corrected, the sentence reads: “The teacher began to discuss the homework assignment when he was interrupted by the sound of the fire alarm.”

 

The conductor announced that the concert would resume as soon as the soloist replaces the broken string on her violin.

 

There is a mismatch between the verbs would resume and replaces. The sentence reads: “the concert would resume as soon as the soloist replaces.” Corrected, the sentence might read: “The conductor an-nounced that the concert would resume as soon as the soloist replaced the broken string on her violin.”

 

Many patients begin to show symptoms again after they stopped taking the drug.

 

This sentence reads: “patients show symptoms after they stopped.” The sentence can be corrected by changing stopped to stop. The sentence should read: “Many patients begin to show symptoms again after they stop taking the drug.”

4. Logical Expression

 

Sometimes a sentence will “want” to say one thing but end up saying something completely illogical.

 

EXAMPLES:

 

The great pianist Vladimir Horowitz played the music of the romantic era better than any pianist in history.

 

As written, the sentence asserts that Vladimir Horowitz was better than anyone—including himself. But that is a logical impossibility. The sentence should read: “The great pianist Vladimir Horowitz played the music of the romantic era better than any other pianist in history.”

 

Educators are now expressing their concern that American schoolchildren prefer watching television to books.

 

The sentence makes an illogical comparison between watching television and books. Watching tele-vision is an activity; the books are objects. The sentence should read: “Educators are now expressing their concern that American schoolchildren prefer watching television to reading books.”

 

The novels of Nathaniel Hawthorne contain characters that are every bit as sinister and fright-ening as the master of cinematic suspense, Alfred Hitchcock.

 

This sentence, too, commits the error just discussed. The sentence literally compares the characters in the novels of Nathaniel Hawthorne to Alfred Hitchcock, the person. The sentence should read: “The novels of Nathaniel Hawthorne contain characters that are every bit as sinister and frightening as those of the master of cinematic suspense, Alfred Hitchcock.”

 

A Japanese firm has developed a computer so small that users can carry it in their briefcase.

 

As written, the sentence asserts that all of the users have but a single, jointly owned briefcase. What the sentence means to say is that users can carry the new computer in their briefcases (plural). It should read: “A Japanese firm has developed a computer so small that users can carry it in their briefcases.”

 

Another type of logical error tested is illogical transitions. Words like therefore, consequently, and so signal logical transitions.

 

EXAMPLE:

 

Carlos has a very pleasant personality and he is a talented musician; therefore, he gets good grades in school.

 

Therefore seems to signal a logical transition from the first two ideas to the third, but there is no logical connection between having a good personality and being a talented musician, on the one hand, and getting good grades, on the other. So the therefore is out of place. Substitute furthermore for there-fore. An example of the correct use of therefore is: “I see the newspaper is not on the front porch; there-fore, my brother must be home already.”

 

Words such as moreover, further, and furthermore signal the continuation of an idea.

EXAMPLE:

 

John had already been granted three extensions of the deadline; moreover, the dean refused to grant him another.

 

The two ideas in this sentence create a contrast, so the moreover is out of place. You could correct the sentence by substituting so for moreover.

 

However, in spite of, and instead are used to contrast ideas.

 

EXAMPLE:

 

A poll of students shows that Helen is the top choice for student body president. Helen, how-ever, is likely to win the election.

 

The however seems to signal a contrasting idea, but the logic of the second sentence continues the idea of the first. You can correct the problem by eliminating the however: “A poll of students shows that Helen is the top choice for student body president. Consequently, Helen is likely to win the election.”

 

5. Sentence Fragments

 

A sentence must have a main verb.

 

EXAMPLE:

 

Post-modern art, with its vibrant colors and bold shapes, taking its inspiration from artists such as Cézanne but reacting against the pastel indistinctness of the Impressionist canvases.

 

The original sentence lacks a main verb. This is corrected by changing taking and reacting (which function as adjectives modifying art) to took and reacted. So, the corrected sentence reads: “Post-modern art, with its vibrant colors and bold shapes, took its inspiration from artists such as Cézanne but reacted against the pastel indistinctness of the Impressionist canvases.”

 

6. Excessive Wordiness

 

Watch out for excessive wordiness.

 

EXAMPLES:

 

After months of separation and being apart, Gauguin finally joined up with Van Gogh in Arles, although Gauguin left a few weeks later.

 

This sentence is awkward and needlessly wordy. It would be more concise to say: “After months of separation, Gauguin finally joined Van Gogh in Arles but left a few weeks later.”

 

The nineteenth-century composers of music Wagner and Mahler did more than just write music; as conductors they did their own works.

 

This sentence is also awkward and needlessly wordy. The very same idea can be expressed more directly: “The nineteenth-century composers Wagner and Mahler did more than just write music; they conducted their own works.”

 

Some expressions are needlessly repetitious.

EXAMPLES:

 

Since only the ruling party is allowed to vote, its members are able to maintain the existing status quo.

 

Each year, the geese make their annual migration from Northern Canada to their winter habi-tats in the United States.

 

Although the committee met for over two weeks and issued a 50-page report, its findings were of little importance or consequence.

 

Each of these sentences contains needless repetition. The first can be corrected by eliminating existing. The second can be corrected by eliminating either each year or annual. The third can be corrected by eliminating either importance or consequence.

 

7. Misplaced Modifiers

 

Another common structural error is the misplaced modifier.

 

EXAMPLES:

 

Wrapped in several thicknesses of newspaper, packed carefully in a strong cardboard carton, and bound securely with tape, the worker made sure that the fragile figurines would not be broken.

 

The sentence as originally written suggests that it was the worker who was wrapped, packed, and bound. In general, a modifier should be placed as closely as possible to the part of the sentence it is to modify. The corrected version of this sentence reads: “To make sure that the figurines would not be broken, the worker wrapped them in several thicknesses of newspaper, packed them carefully in a strong cardboard carton, and securely bound the carton with tape.”

 

Riding in a coach and wearing the crown jewels, the crowd cheered the royal couple.

 

The sentence as originally written suggests that the crowd is wearing the crown jewels and riding in the carriage. This sentence can be made clear by changing it to: “Riding in a coach and wearing the crown jewels, the royal couple was cheered by the crowd.”


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