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GED Writing Answers and Explanations

1. 4: The question tests students' knowledge of dependent and independent clauses. A dependent clause cannot stand alone and begins with that. An independent clause is set off by quotation marks and begins with which. The first option suggests a problem with subject-verb agreement, which is not the case. Which brings snow is not an independent clause; therefore, choice 2 is incorrect. During the winter is an adverbial prepositional phrase and needs no punctuation, making option 3 wrong. The fifth option also suggests a problem with subject-verb agreement and is incorrect.

2. 3: The sentence tests students on the correct word for comparison of adjectives. The sentence requires worse, which is the comparative form of the adjective bad, rather than superlative form worst. To make the change suggested in option 1. is to create a problem with subject-verb agreement. Choice 2 creates an adjective comparison problem, which is the very problem we are trying to correct. Choice 4 suggests a different conjunction, which is unnecessary. Choice 5 is incorrect; a problem does exist that needs to be solved.

3. 2: The sentence is written as a double negative. Answer 2 is the only choice that corrects the problem. Choice 1 is incorrect; the sentence needs to be changed. Option 3 is incorrect because it does not solve the problem of the double negative and at the same time creates an additional problem with verb tense. Likewise, choice 4 does not solve the problem of the double negative and can be eliminated. Neither does choice 5 solve the problem of the double negative; therefore, it is incorrect as well.

4. 1: The problem is one of clarity. The introductory dependent clause should come at the beginning of the sentence rather than interrupting another clause, unless very short, introductory dependent clauses are followed by a comma. Option 2 makes an incomprehensible hash of the sentence and is an incorrect choice. Option 3 makes the sentence into an interrogative, which is not the case. Placing a comma after it does not solve the problem of an incorrect sentence. Choice 4, therefore, is wrong. Choice 5 is incorrect; the sentence needs to be reworded to achieve clarity.

5. 2: To achieve coherence in the paragraph, a sentence that begins with First of all needs to come first, not in the middle. Choice 1 is incorrect; the sentence does not begin the paragraph logically. Option 3 is also not correct because a sentence that begins with First of all does not belong as the concluding sentence. Option 4 is wrong because the sentence does not belong with paragraph B, which focuses on preparing under the hood and the interior part of the vehicle. Choice 5 is incorrect; the sentence has a place and need not be deleted for coherence.

6. 5: The phrases as they stand have no main subject or verb. As is, sentence (9) is really a sentence fragment, both a subject and a predicate need to be added. Choice 5 is the only choice that does so. Response 2 is incorrect; splitting the infinitive will solve nothing, and have serves no purpose. Option 3 is incorrect. Making such a change would only create a problem in agreement. The fourth option is not correct. Deleting to note does not solve the problem; it merely makes the phrase shorter.

7. 4: Sentence (10) as it is written is a run-on sentence in need of proper punctuation. The use of a semicolon between two sentences related in thought is the only acceptable solution. The first choice, to do nothing, does not solve the problem of the run-on and is incorrect. Choice 3 places a conjunction between the two sentences but does not include the comma needed prior to that conjunction. It is thus an incorrect choice. Option 5 would be correct if is were capitalized, but because it is not, this is not a valid choice.

8. 3: These words are three items in a series and require commas separating them. Choice 1 is not an accurate response. The apostrophe in this case signals possession; therefore, it is correctly used. Response 2 is also incorrect; the word emergency is spelled correctly as it stands in the sentence. Choice 4 is incorrect; there is no need to separate two items in a series by a comma. Answer 5 is incorrect; it does not address the sentence's problem of correct comma usage.

9. 1: This question asks students to reconstruct the sentence. In effect, they are to flip the clauses and place the dependent clause first. Option 2 is not correct; beginning with the car would create an unmanageable mangle. Choice 3 is also incorrect. Leave the car not is not correct English construction. The fourth option is also wrong. Beginning with not leave makes no sense and does not resolve the issue of placement of clauses. Answer 5 is incorrect; it does not properly address the sentence's construction challenge.

10. 1: There is nothing wrong with the sentence, which should be left to stand as is. At issue is the use of a comma to separate a dependent clause. Because everything after the comma could be omitted without harming the independent clause at the beginning of the sentence, that dependent clause requires a comma. Choice 2 offers the option of omitting the comma before a dependent clause, which is incorrect. By making products singular, as in choice 3, one creates a subject-verb tense agreement problem. The same problem exists in option 4, except the verb is made singular. Choice 5, switching are and which, creates a construction that makes no sense.

11. 2: The question asks students to recognize a disagreement of subject and verb. Slow foods is plural, requiring the plural form of to be, which is are. By changing is to are, the sentence is corrected. There are no extra commas in the sentence, making option 1 incorrect. Choice 3 is also wrong: genetically modified is not a proper adjective; therefore, it does not require capitalization. The items in series are already parallel, making answer 4 incorrect. Placing a question mark at the end of the sentence is not correct; this is not an interrogatory sentence.

12. 4: The question is designed to check students' ability to distinguish correct spelling. To emphasize is the verb form; emphasis is the nominative, which is required here. Choice 1 is incorrect; it does not address the problem. Choice 2 merely changes the verb, and there is nothing wrong with the verb choice. Option 3 makes the verb plural, but this only adds to the problem. Option 5 changes the spelling but creates another problem by making the verb plural so that it disagrees with the subject.

13. 5: At issue in this question is parallel structure. Placing the definite article in front of the final two terms in the series mars the structure. Removing the makes all the items parallel. Choice 1 is incorrect; as it stands, the sentence lacks parallel structure. The second option is also wrong. By making species singular, another problem is introduced. Answer 3 is incorrect because making all nouns singular does not correct the problem. Option 4 is wrong; modern usage does not demand a final comma before the last term in a series. In any case, adding it does not solve the problem of parallel structure.

14. 3: This question asks students to reconstruct the sentence, placing the dependent clause first. The beginning of the independent clause must follow, making slow food the correct answer. It is impossible to make a clause beginning with sustainable agriculture, which makes option 1 incorrect. The second option, use sustainable, does not make any sense and is wrong. Answer 4 is not the beginning of the independent clause, and is, consequently, wrong. Option 5 will not work as the beginning of an independent clause; therefore, it is incorrect.

15. 2: Slow Food USA is the name of a particular organization, making it a proper noun that requires capitalization. Choice 1 is not correct; the specific program, likewise, is a proper name, and thus the capitals are correct. Option 3 is wrong; it tests students' spelling abilities. Elementary is the correct spelling of the word. Choice 4 is also wrong; thru is a shortcut spelling made familiar by usage, but through is standard English orthography. Option 5 is incorrect; the sentence as it stands is not accurate.

Last Updated: 05/15/2014

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