ACT English : Modifier-Word Modified Number Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ACT English

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Correcting Modifier Word Modified Agreement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Despite the challenges involved, karate consists of many learnable technique that can be mastered by people from all walks of life. 

Possible Answers:

consists of technique many learnable

consists of many learnables techniques

consists of many learnable technique

consists of many learnable techniques

consists of many learnables technique

Correct answer:

consists of many learnable techniques

Explanation:

The adjective "many" in this sentence is intended to modify a plural noun; therefore, the correct phrase should be "many learnable techniques."

Example Question #11 : Modifier Word Modified Number Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the underlined choices repeats the answer as it is written. 

Jamie wasn't aware that Lisa didn't want to be treated like those; she preferred to get to know her friends well before she hugged them. 

Possible Answers:

be treated like this

be treated like those

be treated like that

be treated like thats

be treated like these

Correct answer:

be treated like that

Explanation:

The error in the sentence is in the use of the word "those," as the remainder of the sentence refers to a specific way Lisa prefers to be treated. Therefore, "those" should become "that" and the underlined phrase should become "be treated like that." 

Example Question #861 : Improving Sentences

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the underlined choices repeats the answer as it is written. 

Having been alls over the world, Jeremy could confidently say that his favorite place to be is right here in his hometown.

Possible Answers:

Having all been over the world

Having alls over the world been

Having been all over the world

Having been over alls the world

Having been alls over the world

Correct answer:

Having been all over the world

Explanation:

The error in this sentence is the word "alls," which does not follow the rules of standard written English within the context of the sentence. We should change the word to "all," with the correct phrasing as "Having been all over the world."

Example Question #1 : Correcting Modifier Word Modified Agreement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the underlined choices repeats the answer as it is written. 

Kasia was initially confused by all of the different part involved in constructing the cabinet, but she eventually came to understand how everything fit together.

Possible Answers:

all the part different

all different of the part

all of the different part

all the different part

all of the different parts

Correct answer:

all of the different parts

Explanation:

The word "part" must be pluralized in order to reflect the use of the word "all." We should therefore change the phrase to "all of the different parts."

Example Question #12 : Modifier Word Modified Number Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

The appeal of art is largely a subjective experience that critics nonetheless take as an objective studies.

Possible Answers:

the study's objective.

an objective study.

the objective studies.

an objective studies.

a studies of objectivity.

Correct answer:

an objective study.

Explanation:

The key issue with the underlined phrase is the simultaneous use of "an" and the plural form "studies." Either the singular "an" or the plural "studies" needs to be changed to make the forms match. "An objective study" is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #11 : Modifier Word Modified Agreement Errors

Passage adapted from Anna Sewell's Black Beauty (1877)

I was now beginning to grow handsome; my coat had grown fine and soft, and was bright black. I had one white foot and a pretty white star on my forehead. I was thought very handsome; my master would not sell me till I was four years old; he said lads ought not to work like men, and colts ought not to work like horses till they were quite grown up. When I was four years old Squire Gordon came to look at me. He examined my eyes, my mouth, and my legs; he felt them all down; and then I had to walk and trot and gallop before him. He seemed to like me, and said “When he has been well broken in he will do very well.” My master said he would break me in himself, as he should not like me to be frightened or hurt, and he lost no time about it, for the next day he began.

Every one may not know what breaking in is, therefore I will describe it. It means to teach a horse to wear a saddle and bridle, and to carry on his back a man, woman or child; to go just the way they wish, and to go quietly. Besides this he had to learn to wear a collar, a crupper, and a breeching, and to stand still while they are put on; then to have a cart or a chaise fixed behind, so that he cannot walk or trot without dragging it after him; and he must go fast or slow, just as his driver wishes. He must never start at what he sees, nor speak to other horses, nor bite, nor kick, nor have any will of his own; but always do his masters' will, even though he may be very tired or hungry; but the worst of all is, when his harness is once on, he may neither jump for joy nor lie down for weariness. So you see this breaking in is a great thing.

Choose the answer that best corrects the bolded and underlined portion of the passage. If the bolded and underlined portion is correct as written, choose "NO CHANGE."

Possible Answers:

him

its

NO CHANGE

it's

their

Correct answer:

NO CHANGE

Explanation:

This question requires the reader to choose the best modifier for the word back. This modifier must be consistent with number and gender of the noun it is replacing. "It's" is not appropriate because this is a contraction that represents the phrase "it is." "Their" is not appropriate because the subject is a single horse, while this modifier represents a plural noun. "Him" is not appropriate because it is pronoun that's in the objective case, while a possessive case is appropriate here. Finally, the reader must choose between "his" and "its." The context of the paragraph personifies the horse as a "he" so "his" is the correct answer.

Example Question #13 : Modifier Word Modified Number Errors

Choose the answer that best corrects the underlined portion of the sentence. If the underlined portion is correct as written, choose "NO CHANGE."

Many of the college basketball team's members are planning to become a professional player after graduation.

Possible Answers:

NO CHANGE

professional players

professionally players

a player that is professional

a player with a profession

Correct answer:

professional players

Explanation:

The antecedent "members" is plural, thus the team members wish to become "players" after graduation.

Example Question #14 : Modifier Word Modified Number Errors

Coupons

Are you trying to stick to a budget? Using coupons for [61] purchases, also known as “couponing” is a great way to save money on groceries. [62] Coupons are a little piece of paper that can give you a discount on what you buy. You will be amazed at the [63] great bargains and amazing savings you can get!

It’s easy to get started. [64] When you open up your daily newspaper, one might find a glossy insert full of coupons. [65] Some of the coupons will be for things you don’t buy, some will be for things you buy all the time. Go through the coupons and [66] chop out the ones you can use.

The key to successful couponing is getting multiple copies of coupon circulars. Ask [67] your friends, your neighbors, and family if they have any extras. Some coupon users even go through the recycling at their office to find more coupons! [68] Completely devoted, these circulars help coupon users to get even more savings.

Couponing might sound like hard work, but for [69] many people, it’s also a hobby. Not only does it help them save hundreds of dollars per year, [70] but instead it gives them a fun challenge every time they do their shopping.

Is there perhaps a greater value to a life lived without constant counting, penny-pinching, and miserliness? [71] But of what value are such savings? [72] At the end of the day; money is a construct, invented by the elite for the sole purpose of controlling the populace. [73] If we accept this fundamental truth, it behooves one to question the monetary structures that control our lives. Indeed, from this perspective, the very practice of couponing might seem a venial distraction from the valuable human endeavor of personal philosophical consideration. [74]

The papers we pore over should be in our books; the pennies we save should be in the currency of our happiness; [75] the budget we have made should have been a budget of our contentment.

A sort of couponing of the soul might ultimately be the solution.

Choose the answer that best corrects section [62].

Possible Answers:

NO CHANGE

Coupons are the little piece of paper

Coupons are little pieces of paper

Coupons are that little piece of paper

Correct answer:

Coupons are little pieces of paper

Explanation:

This question asks you to correct an agreement error. The subject of this sentence is "coupons," which is plural. In order to agree, the phrase describing it, "a little piece of paper," must also be plural. The correct answer fixes this mistake by changing the phrase to the plural form, "little pieces of paper."

Example Question #15 : Modifier Word Modified Number Errors

Are you trying to stick to a budget? Using coupons for purchases, also known as “couponing” is a great way to save money on groceries. Coupons are a little piece of paper that can give you a discount on what you buy. You will be amazed at the great bargains and amazing savings you can get!

It’s easy to get started. When you open up your daily newspaper, one might find a glossy insert full of coupons. Some of the coupons will be for things you don’t buy, some will be for things you buy all the time. Go through the coupons and chop out the ones you can use.

The key to successful couponing is getting multiple copies of coupon circulars. Ask your friends, your neighbors, and family if they have any extras. Some coupon users even go through the recycling at their office to find more coupons! Have you ever heard of such a thing in your life! Completely devoted, these circulars help coupon users to get even more savings.

Couponing might sound like hard work, but for many people, it’s also a hobby. Not only does it help them save hundreds of dollars per year, but also it gives them a fun challenge every time they do their shopping. 

Choose the answer that best corrects the underlined portion of the sentence. If the underlined portion is correct as written, choose "NO CHANGE."

Possible Answers:

NO CHANGE

Some coupon users even go through the recycling at his office

Some coupon user even going through the recycling at their office

Some coupon users even going through the recycling at their office

Some coupon users even go through the recycling at their offices

Correct answer:

Some coupon users even go through the recycling at their offices

Explanation:

This question asks you to correct an agreement error. The subject of this sentence, "coupon users," is plural. The context of this passage gives no indication that all coupon users work together in a single office, so the noun "office" must also be plural to convey the multiple places where this action is occurring.

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