ACT English : Other Adjective and Adverb Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ACT English

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Example Questions

Example Question #926 : Word Usage Errors

Adapted from The Discourse on Method by René Descartes (1637; 1899, ed. Eliot)

From my childhood, I have been familiar with letters; and as I was given to believe that by their help a clear and certain knowledge of all that is useful in life might be acquired, I was ardently desirously for instruction in them. But as soon as I had finished the entire course of study, at the close of which it is customarily to be admitted into the order of the learned, I completely changed my opinion. I found myself involved in so many doubts and errors and was convinced that I had not advanced in all my attempts at learning. At every turn, ignorance and unknowing was to be discovered. And yet, I was studying in one of the most celebrated Schools in Europe. I thought there must be learned men in it, at least if such were anywhere to be found. I had been taught all that others learned there. However, not contented with the sciences actually taught us, I had, in addition, read all the books that had fallen into my hands, studying those branches that are judged to be the most curious and rare. I knew the judgment that others had formed of me. I did not find that I was considered inferior to my fellows, although there were among them some whom were already marked out to fill the places of our instructors. And, finally, our era appeared to me as flourishing and fertile with powerful minds as any preceding one. I was thus led to take the liberty of judging of all other men by myself. Furthermore, I concluded that there was no science in existence that was of such a nature as I had previously been given to believe.

Which is the best form of the underlined selection "which it is customarily to be admitted into the order of the learned"?

Possible Answers:

NO CHANGE

which it is customarily having been admitted into the order of the learned

whom it is customarily to be admitted into the order of the learned

which it is customary to be admitted into the order of the learned

Correct answer:

which it is customary to be admitted into the order of the learned

Explanation:

The problematic word in the sentence is "customarily," which is an adverb. The author intends to say that (at this time of education) it is customary to be admitted into the order of the learned. This requires "customary," which is an adjective, and not the adverb "customarily."

Example Question #927 : Word Usage Errors

I love to cleaning. It’s a good way to unwind at the end of the day, and, I always function better in a clean environment. I once heard someone say, “You’re home is your temple.” I attempt to lived my life by that. My priorities are getting rid of clutter, sweeping the floor, washing the dishes, and cleaning the counter top in our kitchen. I mop the floor extremely, quickly. I don’t mop all that often, but my roommates appreciate it whenever I do!.

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

Possible Answers:

I mop the floor extreme quickly.

NO CHANGE

I mop the floor extremely and quickly.

I mop the floor extremely quickly.

I mop the floor quickly extremely.

Correct answer:

I mop the floor extremely quickly.

Explanation:

Adverbs can be used to modify a verb, adjective, or another adverb. Here the adverb “extremely” is providing more information about the adverb “quickly.”

 

How do you mop the floor?

I mop the floor quickly.

How quickly do you mop the floor?

I mop the floor extremely quickly.

 

The phrase “extremely and quickly” changes the meaning of the sentence, because now “extremely” is modifying the verb “mop” instead of the adverb “quickly.” No comma is needed between only two adverbs.

Example Question #928 : Word Usage Errors

Travelling can be both fun stressful. If you leaves the country, you should always keep your passport with you. A domestic trip may be more palatable to the xenophobic. However, even a short road trip can be scary than staying at home. People would be wise to simply treat them to a movie.

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

Possible Answers:

A domestic trip may be more palatable to not travel xenophobically.

NO CHANGE

A domestic trip may be more palatable to me who are xenophobic.

A domestic trip may be more palatable to be xenophobic.

A domestic trip may be more palatable to those who xenophobic. 

Correct answer:

NO CHANGE

Explanation:

"Xenophobic" is acting as substantive adjective in this sentence, which means it is acting as a noun.

Example Question #929 : Word Usage Errors

While the course appeared hard from the outset, when his report card arrived in the mail, Charlie had discovered that all of his studying had paid off. He had successfully passed Chemistry: his father would be proud. His father, a world-renowned chemist was doubtful that Charlie would pass the class but Charlie was sure that he could do it. He had spent all of the fall semester studying the periodic table, memorizing different measurements and learning the parts of an atom.

That terrible semester culminated in the final exam. The day of the big test, his stomach is a tight knot of nerves. He tried to tell his mother that he was feeling ill but she knew that he was lying.1 He shook as he tried to put on his shoes and socks.He woke up with his fingers tightly gripping the bedspread.3 Sitting on the bus, he could feel himself sweating through his light sweater.4 When Charlie finally arrived at school, he walked into his Chemistry class just as his teacher was passing out the test. “You may now begin,” she said.

With the report card now clenched in his hands in victory, Charlie knew that he could tackle anything to which he put his mind.

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

Possible Answers:

world-known

world renowning

world renown

NO CHANGE

Correct answer:

NO CHANGE

Explanation:

“World-renowned” is a descriptive adjective which shows that his father is widely known and acclaimed in the world of Chemistry. "World renown" is a noun, while "world-known" and "world-renowning" are not grammatically correct.

Example Question #21 : Other Adjective And Adverb Errors

During the final months of 2007, the prices of basic grains nearly doubled in Northern Africa, Latin America, and much of Asia, the high prices caused a global food crisis. The catastrophe sparked and incited an international debate regarding the licensing of new technologies to developing nations. One economist warned that because of the risk of unforeseen price shocks, officials should proceed very cautiously. The construction of private farms pose a serious financial threat to farmers in the United States; nevertheless, of the five most industrialized nations, the United States exports more crops.  

How do some countries cope with food crises better than others. It is technology that accounts for the majority of the difference. The rate at which countries adopt innovations depends significantly on environmental factors. These environmental factors include climate, soil and elevation. The variability in environment inhibits new technologies from gaining worldwide popularity that are suited for one particular region over another. For example, the pesticides used in Europe are much more acidic than North America. Without the different levels of acidity, pests would prevent the crops to grow.

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

Possible Answers:

caution

cautious

NO CHANGE

and cautiously

Correct answer:

NO CHANGE

Explanation:

The original text is correct. The adverb phrase "extremely cautiously" correctly modifies the verb "proceed."

Answer choice "cautious" is incorrect because "cautious" is an adjective whereas the modifier of the verb "proceed" must be an adverb. 

Similarly, answer choice "caution" is incorrect because it does not contain an adverb to modify the verb "proceed."

Although answer choice "and cautiously" contains the adverb "and cautiously," the insertion of the word "and" leads to the sentence becoming ungrammatical.

 

Example Question #671 : Usage Errors

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has become wide recognized as one of the most brilliant and influential musicians of all time. At only thirteen years old, he skillfully played several instruments and wrote in a variety of musical genres. Over the past century, his orchestral music, along with his many operas, have delighted audiences around the world. Mozart wrote his music for wealthy patrons and aristocrats, yet even the commoners of the time enjoyed his music. The music of Mozart is richer and more textured than his contemporary, Joseph Haydn.  

The Austro-Turkish War, which began in 1787, prompted the redirection of much of Austria’s resources from arts and music to the military. As a result, Mozart faced financial difficulties. In 1788, he discontinued his public concerts and his income declined. In 1790, hoping to improve his financial situation and circumstances, Mozart toured Berlin and several other cities in Germany. The tours were unsuccessful, however, and did not improve his financial problems.

Scholars have proposed several hypotheses regarding the cause of Mozart’s death, such as influenza, smallpox and meningitisTheir is little physical evidence, however, to support these claims. Mozart's funeral belied the elaborate ornamentation of his music: the ceremony was basic and reserved. In the period following his death, Mozart’s popularity increased significantly. Concert halls throughout Europe featured his music, and composers sought to imitate his style. Modern audiences praise Mozart’s music for its liveliness, expressiveness, and the fact that it is sophisticated.

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

Possible Answers:

has wide recognized

has become widely recognized

NO CHANGE

has widely recognized

Correct answer:

has become widely recognized

Explanation:

The original text incorrectly uses the adjective "wide" to modify the adjective "recognized." The correct way to modify an adjective is with an adverb (i.e. "widely") rather than another adjective.

The correct answer is therefore "has become widely recognized."

Example Question #672 : Usage Errors

"The Election of 1800" by Alec Slatky (2013)

The presidential election of 1800 was an unusual and unique contest in American history. The opponents were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson former friends who became rivals. Jefferson had actually been Vice President under Adams, but had not supported the latter’s policies. Jefferson leapt at the chance to unseat his former boss. Adams, too, would have enjoyed spending time on his farm more than dealing with political acrimony. Accordingly, he was too prideful to willingly relinquish his office. So, the two men who were most qualified for the position but least excited to have such a stressful job became the presidential candidates.

The campaign was a bitter partisan one and included numerous personal attacks. Critics called Jefferson a Democratic-Republican radical, he would lead the country down the bloody path of the French Revolution. Jefferson’s allies fired back, painting Adams as an anti-liberty autocrat. Adams was from Massachusetts. Adams even faced opposition from some extremists among his fellow Federalists and thus lacked the party unity required to win the election.

In the end, Jefferson emerged victorious, winning 73 of the 138 electoral votes. Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated as President, and Aaron Burr was inaugurated as Vice President. The election was a milestone in American history: it was the first that shifted control of the White House to a different party, the first with a modern mudslinging campaign, and the first that truly tested whether the new nation would remain united despite all its divisions.

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

Possible Answers:

NO CHANGE

bitterly partisanly

bitterly partisan

bitter partisanly

Correct answer:

bitterly partisan

Explanation:

"Bitterly partisan" is correct because “bitterly” is an adverb that describes “partisan” (which means divided), and “partisan” is an adjective that describes “one.”  "bitter partisan" is incorrect because “bitter” is an adjective, and cannot describe another adjective; if there were a comma in between “bitter” and “partisan,” they could both be adjectives that described “one,” but there is not; "bitter partisanly" and "bitterly partisanly" are incorrect because “partisanly” is an adverb, which cannot describe a noun.

Example Question #22 : Other Adjective And Adverb Errors

"The Election of 1800" by Alec Slatky (2013)

The presidential election of 1800 was an unusual and unique contest in American history. The opponents were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson former friends who became rivals. Jefferson had actually been Vice President under Adams, but had not supported the latter’s policies. Jefferson leapt at the chance to unseat his former boss. Adams, too, would have enjoyed spending time on his farm more than dealing with political acrimony. Accordingly, he was too prideful to willingly relinquish his office. So, the two men who were most qualified for the position but least excited to have such a stressful job became the presidential candidates.

The campaign was a bitter partisan one and included numerous personal attacks. Critics called Jefferson a Democratic-Republican radical, he would lead the country down the bloody path of the French Revolution. Jefferson’s allies fired back, painting Adams as an anti-liberty autocrat. Adams was from Massachusetts. Adams even faced opposition from some extremists among his fellow Federalists and thus lacked the party unity required to win the election.

In the end, Jefferson emerged victorious, winning 73 of the 138 electoral votes. Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated as President, and Aaron Burr was inaugurated as Vice President. The election was a milestone in American history: it was the first that shifted control of the White House to a different party, the first with a modern mudslinging campaign, and the first that truly tested whether the new nation would remain united despite all its divisions.

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

Possible Answers:

NO CHANGE

Though

Likewise,

However,

Correct answer:

However,

Explanation:

"However," is correct because it indicates a contrast with the previous sentence. Adams wanted to retire to his farm BUT he did not want to willingly give up his position. "Accordingly," and "Likewise," indicate a continuation of the previous thought. "Though" indicates a contrast, but is punctuated incorrectly and is not a complete sentence as written. (To hear why, read the sentence out loud).

Example Question #674 : Usage Errors

Communist rule in Poland ended in 1989 and the following year proved disastrous for the Polish economy. Prices rapidly ballooned while incomes dropped. Attempting to find a solution, the Balcerowicz Plan was implemented by Polish officials. The plan liberalized the economy by abolishing price controls, exposing markets to international competition, and it discontinued most industrial subsidiesIn the time of the years following these efforts, economic growth has increased steady

After years of negotiations and economic and political reforms, Poland became a member of The European Union on May 1, 2004. Soon after, Polish officials voted in favor for laws that would eventually mend the unemployment problem in Poland significantly. In fact, the unemployment rate improved for the first time in five years immediately following Poland's membership. The involvement of Poland in the Eastern Bloc is currently greater than the Czech Republic. The passage of two policies regarding energy credits from foreign countries provide evidence of the emergence of Poland in the global economy.

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

Possible Answers:

had increasing steadily

increased steadily

steady increased

NO CHANGE

Correct answer:

increased steadily

Explanation:

In this sentence, "economic growth" is the subject and "has increased" is the verb. Since "steady" modifies the way the way the increasing process took place, "steady" is modifying the verb of the sentence, and therefore should appear in adverb form: "steadily." The correct way to express the statement is "economic growth has increased steadily." The original sentence and the answer choice "steady increased" are incorrect because "steady" is an adjective rather than an adverb, and the answer choice "had increasing steadily" is incorrect because it contains a tense error. The correct answer is "increased steadily."

Example Question #675 : Usage Errors

As the class entered the museum, Ms. Johnson noticed that two of her students had fallen behind the group. After all of the tickets had been secured, she approached the two girls, saying: “what on Earth is causing you to go so slow?” The taller girl, whose name was Ashley, was the first to respond:

“Veronica and I were just discussing something very private. Nobody can hear what her and I are discussing.”

“Well, Ashley, I think that our tour guide, Dr. Mitchell, will be offended by your behavior. You and Veronica should find separate places in the group and you should pay attention to him and me.”

The two girls reluctantly joined the rest of the class. Ms. Johnson looked to see if another student was out of their place, but everything seemed to be in order. The tour guide, Dr. Mitchell, introduced himself to the class: 

“Hello everyone! My name is Dr. Mitchell. I’m so glad that you have all come to the Museum of Natural History today; I think you’ll really enjoy our exhibits, which have been curated with the utmost care. The museum has three distinct types of exhibitions. Permanent exhibitions, temporary exhibitions, and space shows. The permanent exhibition and the space show is always available for viewing, but the temporary exhibition changes seasonally.“

Having finished his introduction, the permanent exhibition was the first thing that Dr. Mitchell showed to the class.

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

Possible Answers:

causing you to go so slow"?

NO CHANGE

causing you to go so slow?".

causing you to go so slowly?"

Correct answer:

causing you to go so slowly?"

Explanation:

There is no problem with the punctuation in this answer; the question mark should precede the quotation mark and does not require further punctuation to end the sentence. The mistake is that the teacher used an adjective, "slow," to modify an infinitive verb, "to go." She should have used an adverb, "slowly." Adjectives modify nouns; adverbs modify verbs.

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