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Sentence Structure Questions

This resource was written by Jaclyn Wells.
Last edited by Jaclyn Wells on August 11, 2009 .

Summary:
This resources will help you structure your sentences for the GED.

Sentence Structure questions make up about 30% of the test. These questions will ask you to “correct sentence fragments, run-on sentences, comma splices, improper coordination and subordination, misplaced modifiers, and lack of parallel structure .”   The following practice questions are all sentence structure questions. Try all of them. When you are finished, check your answers and look at the suggested resources.  

Questions 1 through 6 refer to the following letter.

All-Care Auto Repair
2300 South Street
Carbondale, IL 62901

Dear Manager:

(A)

     (1) I recently came to your shop to have my car repaired, it was making a funny noise. (2) Your mechanic told me that the front wheel bearings needed to be replaced after inspecting it. (3) The part was ordered. (4) Came in on September 28. (5) My car was not fixed until October 5, so I was without a vehicle for nearly two weeks. (6) This was a particular problem for me I am from out of town and had to stay with family until I could get back on the road.

(B)

     (7) When I first brought the car to your shop, I explained my situation to your customer service employees. (8) They told me the car would be finished as soon as the part came in. (9) When it wasn’t finished, I stopped in to find out what the hold-up was. (10) Your customer service manager, Marsha, was very rude to me. (11) Even though I have witnesses who also heard her say it, she denied saying that the car would be fixed as soon as the part came in. 

(C)

     (12) I am upset that I had to wait so long for my car to be fixed. (13) I am also very angry about the way I was treated by your customer service staff. (14) I would like to receive a refund and getting an apology. (15) Please contact me immediately at 618-555-2131.

Sincerely,
Alice Smith

1.    Sentence 1: I recently came to your shop to have my car repaired, it was making a funny noise.

The most effective revision of sentence 1 would include which group of words?

(1)    repaired and it was making a funny noise
(2)    repaired it was making a funny noise
(3)    repaired, my car was making a funny noise
(4)    repaired because it was making a funny noise
(5)    repaired but it was making a funny noise

2.    Sentence 2: Your mechanic told me that the front wheel bearings needed to be replaced after inspecting it.

The most effective revision of sentence 2 would begin with which group of words? 

(1)    Your mechanic after inspecting it
(2)    After inspecting it, your mechanic
(3)    Your mechanic, told me
(4)    Your mechanic inspects it and told me
(5)    Your mechanic inspecting it and told me

3.    Sentence 4: Came in on September 28.

Which correction should be made to sentence 4?

(1)    replace Came in with Arrived
(2)    change Came to Come
(3)    insert The part before Came in
(4)    insert a comma after Came in
(5)    no correction is necessary

4.    Sentence 6: This was a particular problem for me I am from out of town and had to stay with family until I could get back on the road.

Which is the best way to write the underlined portion of the sentence? If the original is the best way, choose option (1).

(1)    for me I am
(2)    for me, I am
(3)    for me and I am
(4)    for me I’m
(5)    for me; I am

5.    Sentence 11: Even though I have witnesses who also heard her say it, she denied saying that the car would be fixed as soon as the part came in. 
What correction should be made to sentence 11?

(1)    change Even though to Though
(2)    remove the comma after it
(3)    add a comma after fixed
(4)    add a semi-colon after it 
(5)    no correction is necessary

6.    Sentence 14: I would like to receive a refund and getting an apology.

Which is the best way to write the underlined portion of the sentence? If the original is the best way, choose option (1).

(1)    to receive a refund and getting
(2)    to receive a refund and get
(3)    to receive a refund, and getting
(4)    to receive a refund, and get
(5)    to receive a refund; and get

Answers to Sentence Structure Practice Questions

1.    Answer (4) repaired because it was making a funny noise is the best answer. The original sentence contains a comma splice and is a run-on sentence. Inserting “because” and eliminating the comma corrects both of these problems. Also, the conjunction “because” shows the relationship between the two parts of the sentence. Since the subordinating clause “because it was making a funny noise” is at the end of the sentence, no comma is necessary. For more information, look at the CWEST resources on Comma Splices, Fragments and Run-ons, and Coordination and Subordination.

2.    Answer 2 After inspecting it, your mechanic is the best answer. In the original sentence, “after inspecting it” is a misplaced modifier. Because the modifier is misplaced, the sentence implies that the mechanic is suggesting the bearings should be inspected and then replaced. What the writer is really trying to say is that the mechanic inspected it and then suggested the bearings be replaced. For more information on this topic, look at the CWEST resource on Modifiers.

3.    Answer 3 insert The part before Came in is the best answer. The original sentence is a fragment sentence because it does not have a subject. Inserting “The part” corrects this problem. Please note that there are many ways to correct this sentence. For example, the writer could combine sentences 3 and 4 to say, “The part was ordered and came in on September 28.” Usually, there are many ways to rewrite incorrect sentences. In the test, your job is to choose the best option listed (though there may be many other options that are not listed). For more information, see the CWEST resource on Fragments and Run-Ons

4.    Answer 5 for me; I am is the best answer. The original sentence is a run-on sentence because there are two independent clauses connected without correct punctuation. There are many ways to correct this sentence. The writer could simply break the sentence in two by putting a period after “for me” and beginning a new sentence with “I am.” The best option listed is to insert a semi-colon. For more information, see the CWEST resources on Fragments and Run-Ons and Semi-colons.

5.    Answer 5 no correction is necessary is the correct answer. “Even though I have witnesses who also heard her say it” is a subordinate clause. Because it is placed at the beginning of the sentence, it needs a comma. “Even though” is one of three subordinating conjunctions (the other two are though and although) that also requires a comma when placed at the end of the sentence. For more information, go to the CWEST resources on Coordination and Subordination and Commas.

6.    Answer 2 to receive a refund and get is the best answer. In the original sentence, “receive” and “getting” are not parallel. By changing “getting” to “get,” you revise the sentence so that it has parallel structure. For more information on this topic, see the CWEST resource on Parallel Structure.

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