Most Important SAT Grammar Rules You Should Follow

Aug 20, 2021 | Turito Team USA

SAT grammar rules

For effective writing, grammar rules have their own importance. Using grammar correctly makes your writing more readable and engaging. If you are preparing for the SAT, you must be familiar with the SAT Writing and Language Test which checks your grammar, editing skills, and writing style. So, if you are worried about grammar rules and want to make your writing more engaging, we have brought you a complete guide to SAT grammar rules that help you take your writing and grammar knowledge to the next level. 

 Through this article, you will learn the most essential SAT grammar rules and will be able to apply them when you sit for the SAT Writing ad Language Test.  

 Let’s get started with SAT grammar rules

 The Use of Correct Words 

 In the SAT Test, there are two types of word choice questions – Homophones and Related words. Homophones refer to words that are similar but have different meanings. Some of the examples of Homophones include cite/site/sight, fare/fair, there/their/they’re, then/then, etc. For better use of these words, you must have an understanding and know the meaning of these words. Related words, also called synonyms, are the second type of word choice question in the SAT Test where a word will be underlined, and the answer choices will be related words. You will have to choose the one correct word to complete the meaning of the given sentence. 

 Subject-Verb Agreement 

 This grammar rule deals with the number aspect where subjects and verbs must agree in number. It means if the subject is singular, the verb must be singular. For instance, He, She, It, They are singular subjects, and there will always be singular verbs. Let’s say, for example, He writes poems. (He is a singular subject and writes as a singular verb). In the case of They, the verb will be plural. Let’s say, for example, They play volleyball. If the subject is plural or more than one, there should always be a plural verb. For example, David and John sing a song. (David and John is a plural subject, and sing is a plural verb). Subject-verb agreement is one of the most commonly tested grammar rules in the SAT Writing Section, and you can be better at it by practicing a lot. 

 The Use of Punctuation 

 Some of the most common punctuation marks used to make sense of a sentence are apostrophes, commas, colons, semicolons, periods, and dashes. We use apostrophes to make nouns possessive. For instance, The cat’s food (the food belongs to the cat), Jack’s book (The book belongs to Jack), and Sara’s dress (The dress belongs to Sara). You must remember that when you use singular nouns, always add apostrophe + s. Conversely, we add s + apostrophe when using plural nouns. Let’s say, for example, The cats’ foodThe boys’ bookThe girls’ dress. In case the plural form of a noun does not end with “s” (children, feet, etc.), always add apostrophe + s. For instance, Children’s books. 

Commas are used to separate a list of similar words or phrases. For example, Joseph traveled through New York, London, and Poland. Commas are also used before and in a similar phrase or sentence – Children took bread, cheese, and fruit with them. In non-essential words and phrases (such as which), between a dependent clause and an independent clause, and to separate adjectives whose order could be reversed, commas are mainly used. 

Colons are typically used when we introduce lists. For example, some of the main reasons for the development of a country: are infrastructure, socio-economic development, science, and technology. Colons are used to indicate a subtitle or a subdivision of a topic or between sentences when the second sentence describes or advocates the first sentence. Semicolons are used in place of full stops to separate two main clauses. 

 In informal writing, dashes are more common. We can use dashes in similar ways to commas or semicolons. They are also used to define non-essential statements within a sentence as well as used before a list, an explanation, or to create a deliberate pause in a sentence. 

 Do not use a comma to Combine Whole Sentences  

 To make writing more effective and readable, it is essential to break sentences into different pieces instead of combining them with a comma. For example, I can’t understand what you said, can you please repeat it? This is not correct as it combines whole sentences with a comma. And this is why many students make a mistake. Using a comma instead of a period can affect your writing and make it monotonous. Instead, you can use, I can’t understand what you said. Can you please repeat it? In this case, you use a period between two sentences. 

 Do not Use the Redundant Words 

 In SAT, you can face complex sentences with redundant and wordy words. For example, Every year, George goes on a London trip annually. The sentence involves the word “every year” and “annually” too, which is unnecessary. Both the words carry similar meanings. So, why don’t you use one word? 

 The Correct Use of Idiomatic Expressions 

 Idiomatic expressions refer to groups of words with an established meaning contrary to the meanings of the individual words. Questions related to idioms can be challenging as they don’t follow specific rules. You have to use your knowledge of specific phrases and standard English conventions to correctly answer these questions. When you take the SAT and solve idiom questions, you will be asked to use the right preposition in a given sentence. You can only solve such types of questions through focus. An idiom is also called an expression and can be very interesting as it creates a ‘picture’ in your mind. 

 Modifiers Must Make Sense of What They are Modifying 

 A modifier simply alters, filters, qualifies, or restricts a particular word in a sentence to add emphasis, explanation, or detail. Modifiers tend to be descriptive words, such as adjectives and adverbs. The common rule of a modifier is that it must make sense of what it is modifying. In SAT, the most common type of modifier error is dangling modifier. It generally is a word or phrase that doesn’t modify the word it is intended to modify. 

 There are also many SAT writing grammar rules you need to consider – Parallelism, Tenses, Shift in Point of View, Follows on, Transitions, Pronoun Case, Word Pairs, and The use of “And”.  

 The Wrap Up 

 These are some of the common SAT grammar rules you must use during your SAT Writing and Language Test. If you follow these rules and apply them to your test review, you can improve your target score for the SAT Writing and Language Test. 

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