If you are reading this in an email you received from me, do not click the link to sat.collegeboard.org below. Use the link to my website that is farther down on the email. If you are seeing this in my blog, do the SAT Question of the Day by clicking on this link:
http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day?src=R&questionId=20130527 (This link takes you to today’s question. If you use my archive, you will see the question related to my SAT explanation for that date.)
The answer is E. There are two independent clauses (each with a subject and a predicate) that are separated by a comma in the original sentence. This error is called a “comma splice.” The two clauses have to be 1) separated by a semi-colon, 2) separated by a conjunction (and, or, but, etc.), or 3) divided into two sentences by a period or other terminal punctuation.
The other option for fixing this mistake is to make one of the “independent” clauses a “dependent clause.” The best answer choice is to use this option because the test writers kept the comma in all of the answers. They forced you into keeping the original sentence as one sentence. Answers B and D both have independent clauses after the comma, making them wrong. Answer C is wrong due to the awkwardness and incorrect use of the verb “being known as.” Answer E is the “Goldilocks” choice! It is just right.
Let’s see what mayhem the ACT folks have prepared for us. I bet we can beat them at their game too.
http://www.act.org/qotd/ (The ACT staff does not put a date on their questions so if you click on an archived blog, you’ll get today’s question and the old explanation. Sorry. The SAT staff has dated their questions; so, the archive is helpful. The ACT folks simply don’t do that.)
The answer is C (just as it was the previous times this question appeared as the ACT Question of the Day). Keep two basic rules in mind when you do the reading test questions and this question is a snap. First, the answer must be based only on the information in the passage. (Watch my YouTube video on my home page about reading for more information.) Second, any answer that adds to the passage is wrong. Answers A, B, and D all add to the story. There is no indication that she is irritated (A), resentful (B), or excited (C) which makes them all wrong. Earlier in the passage we are told she is must be old (her hair is thin) and “ill” (lines 25 through 28) and tired (line 31 and 32). So, answer C makes perfect sense because you could insert it into the story without adding anything new. (Disregard the ACT explanation using line 8 because it is nonsense!)
Have a nice Memorial Day. If you are taking the SAT this Saturday be sure to practice a little each day. Read my blogs from the first week in May and you’ll get some clues about what to eat for breakfast and other pretest preparation that will help your score.