What is an idiom error on the SAT writing section?
Idiom errors are when verbs are incorrectly paired with prepositions.
Find an idiom error in the following sentence.
The drunk driver ran through a pedestrian in the crosswalk and was charged for manslaughter.
The correct idioms should be:
- ran over
- charged with
Although "ran through" is a perfectly good idiom, it does not work not in this case; "ran over" is the correct idiom.
"Charged for" is also not correct; it should be "charged with"
What makes idiom errors hard to spot on the SAT?
Idiom errors are challenging because verbs require close checking of form, agreement, and tense as well; idioms often slip past.
How does the SAT confuse you about idiom errors?
The SAT often confuses you by underlining both the verb and preposition, when only the preposition would need to be changed to fix the idiom error.
How should you approach preparing for idiom errors on the SAT?
You should adopt a proactive approach by studying verbs that are common idiom errors on the SAT.
Over 85% of this deck presents those common idioms on the SAT. Learn the way they are paired, but more importantly learn to recogninze the verbs from the list when they occur on the test.
Once you learn the common verbs that the SAT uses for idiom errors, how do you use that knowledge on the test?
As you read the sentence correction item...
- recognize the verb from the target list
- find the preposition paired with it in the sentence
- check memory or try other prepositions to ID a possible error
What are the most challenging verbs on the idiom verb target list?
The most challenging verbs on the idiom list are verbs that have multiple prepositional partners for different meanings.
What determines which preposition pairs with a verb that has more than one possible partner?
The correct preposition is determined by sentence context.
Though I am of course very similar to my twin brother, Robbie, I differ from him a great deal when it comes to politics.
Discriminate + which preposition?
His grandfather, however, was not free of those prejudices that caused him to discriminate (against, about, for, over) immigrants who had joined his community.
Consist + which prepostion?
The colonel realized that the strike team needed to consist (in, by, about, of) specialists with plenty of operations experience.
Contribute + which prepostion?
Key turnovers, inclimate weather, and a bad call by head coach in the second half all contributed (in, to, into, up) the undefeated team's first loss.
Respond + which prep?
Despite numerous appeals from the demonstrators, the mayor refused to respond (about, at, over, to) their demands.
Recover + which preposition?
Pete couldn't recover (about, from, into, under) his mistake telling Jackie that he wasn't ready to marry.
Worry + which preposition?
All throughout her husband's last year of deployment in Iraq, Pilar worried (over, of, with, about) his safety.
"Worry over" is also acceptable, though not prefered in most circumstances.
Blame + which preposition?
After the failure of the compromise legislation, both sides blamed the other (about, with, for, in) the impasse.
Believe + which preposition?
Edward believed (at, in, over, through) his father's ability to convince his mother of anything.
Accuse + which prepostion?
The police detective accused him (at, in, of, with) a crime without enough evidence even to indict.
Apologize + which preposition?
Though facing death threats, Almon didn't feel any obligation to apologize (about, after, for, upon) his comments.
Insist + which preposition?
Kelvin insisted (about, upon, on, over) having breakfast cereal with Greek yogurt after reading the article.
Approve + which preposition?
The queen could not approve (about, on, of, over) some of the dalliant pursuits of her son, the prince.
Arrive + which preposition?
With so many plastic cups in the trash and empty bottles and cans in recycling, mom and dad arrived (at, on, to, upon) the conclusion that their "darling" children had thrown a party without permission.
Cover + which prepostion?
The apples, covered (by, in, over, with) caramel and nuts, stood waiting for the carnival goers to devour them.
Complain + which preposition?
The spoiled girl complained (about, at, of, over) every detail of her birthday party.
Distinguish + which preposition?
Though customers in the focus group swore their brand tasted the best, they failed to distinguish it (about, for, from, upon) any other brand in a blind test.
Escape + which preposition?
Presently, the urge to escape (at, for, from, to) the attention Frau Drossler overwhelmed him.
Excel + which preposition?
Hilda was chosen to be the spokesperson because she excellled (at, by, on, upon) persuasion and rhetoric.
Forget + which preposition?
Oscar was the kind of husband who was likely to forget (about, at, over, to) insults his wife may have said during a heated argument.
Forgive + which preposition?
Sebastian would never forgive Elaine (about, for, from, over) the way she embarassed him at the party.
Hide + which preposition?
The curate seeks a place to hide (at, from, into, under) the Martians which attack all human life with their heat ray.
Hope + which preposition?
Instead of self-defeating thoughts that can only intensify suffering during the crisis, Cheryl focused on hope (about, for, in, under) better days to come.