ACT English : Other Verb Usage Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ACT English

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Example Questions

Example Question #191 : Correcting Verb Errors

Issues began cropping up as soon as the new software was introduced, having angering consumers who bought the initial run of the product.

Possible Answers:

have angering consumers

having anger consumers

having angering consumers

having angry consumers

angering consumers

Correct answer:

angering consumers

Explanation:

"Having angering" is a universally incorrect construction, and needs to be made appropriate grammatically. The -ing verb form following a comma that ends a complete thought is a participial modifier, which modifies the result of that clause. Here the result of "issues began cropping up" is that consumers became angry (at those issues). Using "angering" as the modifier, then, makes complete sense: the issues angered the consumers, so "angering consumers" properly uses a participial modifier to describe the effect of the action that takes place before the comma. "angering consumers" is correct.

Example Question #47 : Correcting Verb Errors

Most people ignoring the warnings of the government officials about the storm.

Possible Answers:

More people ignoring

Most persons ignores

Most people ignored

Many people ignoring

Most people ignoring 

Correct answer:

Most people ignored

Explanation:

The use of the verb "ignoring" is incorrect in this sentence, as it is a present participle and the sentence needs a past tense active verb; therefore, the correct answer is "Most people ignored."

Example Question #48 : Correcting Verb Errors

The man keeping up with the friends he made in childhood.

Possible Answers:

The man's keeping up with

The man keeping with

The man who had kept up with

The man keeps up with

The man keeping up with

Correct answer:

The man keeps up with

Explanation:

The use of the past participle "keeping" is inappropriate as it needs either an infinitive or a version of "be" to be used as the verb in a sentence. "Keeping" needs to be changed to an appropriate verb form without changing the meaning of the sentence. The only answer choice that does both is "The man keeps up with."

Example Question #49 : Correcting Verb Errors

The power of monarchy in Renaissance Europe questioning by modern scholars.

Possible Answers:

is questioning by modern scholars.

questionable by modern scholars.

is questioned by modern scholars.

questioned by modern scholars.

questioning by modern scholars.

Correct answer:

is questioned by modern scholars.

Explanation:

The use of the verb form "questioning," a gerund, makes the sentence confusing. The word should be changed to a form that properly reflects the "scholars" are questioning "the power of monarchy." The answer choice that best does this is "is questioned by modern scholars."

Example Question #51 : Correcting Verb Errors

Due to his condition, the professor keeping an extra pair of glasses by his podium.

Possible Answers:

 keeping the extra pair of glasses

by keeping an extra pair of glasses

 keeping extra pair of glasses

 keeps an extra pair of glasses

 keeping an extra pair of glasses

Correct answer:

 keeps an extra pair of glasses

Explanation:

The use of the participle form "keeping" is incorrect without a  version of the verb "to be," and needs to either be changed to a non-participle or have the version of "to be" added. This is the only issue with the sentence as it is written. Therefore, the correct answer choice is "keeps an extra pair of glasses."

Example Question #52 : Correcting Verb Errors

The protesters moving into position to have a confrontation with the police.

Possible Answers:

The protesters moves into position

The protesters moving into position

The protesters move into position

The protesters moving in towards position

The protesters had moving into position

Correct answer:

The protesters move into position

Explanation:

The use of the participle form "moving" makes the sentence have no actual verb, as any participle needs a form of the verb "to be" to function as the verb in a sentence. The form needs to to either have the active form "is" attached or be changed into the active form; therefore, "The protesters move into position" is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #53 : Correcting Verb Errors

Under the terms of the treaty, the victorious nation keeping the territory it acquired during the war.

Possible Answers:

the victorious nation keeping the territory

the victorious nation keeping territory

the victorious nation keep the territory

the victorious nation having keeping the territory

the victorious nation kept the territory

Correct answer:

the victorious nation kept the territory

Explanation:

The use of the verb "keeping," a participle, is incorrect and confusing in the sentence, as a participle always needs to function with a version of the form to be. Either one of these forms needs to be added in or the form should be changed. The only answer choice that appropriately does this is "the victorious nation kept the territory."

Example Question #54 : Correcting Verb Errors

How long a person could live in outer space is a question scientists still debating.

Possible Answers:

still debate.

still debated.

debating still.

still debating.

debating.

Correct answer:

still debate.

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence needs to align with what it describes, the "scientists." To make it grammatically correct, the verb form of "debating" needs to be changed to a simple present form. "Still debate" is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #55 : Correcting Verb Errors

The nervous woman making mistakes every time she tried to make cupcakes.

Possible Answers:

making mistakes

makes mistakes

making the mistakes

made mistakes

making, mistakes

Correct answer:

made mistakes

Explanation:

The use of "making," a participle means the sentence has no verb, as a participle needs some form of "to be" to function as a full verb; therefore, a complete verb form needs to be used, and has to match the past tense usage of "tried." This makes the correct answer choice "made mistakes."

Example Question #56 : Correcting Verb Errors

For a long time, the man having issues with his wife that they could not resolve.

Possible Answers:

the man has issues

the man have issues

the man had issues

the man having issues

the man having had issues

Correct answer:

the man had issues

Explanation:

The use of the patriciple form "having" is incorrect in the sentence, as the participle cannot stand on its own as the verb of the sentence. The word needs to be changed, and must match the later use of the past tense construction "that they could not." The correct answer, therefore, is "the man had issues."

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