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Welcome to GED Test Info

Sentence Structure

Sentence structure items comprise 30 percent of the items on the Writing Test Part I.

Here is a list of the sentence structure topics assessed on the GED:

Sentence fragments and run-on sentences

  • Fragments are incomplete sentences.
  • Run-on sentences have two or more independent clauses run together without linking words or punctuation.
  • Comma splices have two independent clauses joined only with a comma; they lack coordinating conjunctions.
Comma Splice Knives are sharp, they should be kept in a safe place.
Correction Knives are sharp, and they should be kept in a safe place.

Improper subordination
Subordination combines clauses to show the relationship between them.

Improper Subordination I will call you. I get back from the movie.
Correction I will call you after I get back from the movie.

Modification
When a modifier is misplaced or "dangles" (does not clearly refer to something), it can be confusing to the reader.

Dangling Modifier Relieved of your responsibilities at your job, your home should be a place to relax. (Has your home been relieved of your responsibilities at your job?)
Correction Relieved of your responsibilities at your job, you should be able to relax at home.

Parallelism
When two or more ideas play the same grammatical role, they should have the same grammatical structure.

Not Parallel The dictionary is used to find word meanings, pronunciations, and looking up correct spellings.
Correction The dictionary is used to find word meanings, pronunciations, and correct spellings.

Teaching Tip:
Have students use the following editing strategies to check for correct parallelism.

Quickly read your paper and pause each time you see the word "and" or "or." Check on each side of the word to see whether the items joined are parallel. If not, make them parallel.

If you have several items in a list, put them in a column to see whether they are parallel.

Listen to the sound of the items in a list or the items being compared. Do you hear the same kinds of sounds? For example, is there a series of -ing words beginning each item? Or do you hear a rhythm being repeated? If something is breaking that rhythm or repetition of sound, check to see if it needs to be made parallel.