ACT English : Other Verb Usage Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ACT English

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store varsity tutors amazon store varsity tutors ibooks store

Example Questions

Example Question #31 : Correcting Other Verb 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.

The woman hoarding animals in unsafe conditions, which got her charged by the animal control services.

Possible Answers:

The woman hoarding animals in unsafe conditions,

The woman was hoarding animals in unsafe conditions,

The woman hoard animals in unsafe conditions,

The woman hoarding animals in the unsafe conditions,

The woman hoarding animals in unsafe condition,

Correct answer:

The woman was hoarding animals in unsafe conditions,

Explanation:

The use of "hoarding" makes the sentence contain no actual verb, as the present participle "hoarding" needs to be preceded by some form of the verb "to be" to make a complete verb phrase. "The woman was hoarding animals in unsafe conditions," is the only answer choice that inserts the appropriate word.

Example Question #31 : Correcting Other Verb 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.

Many psychologists now argue that vacations being one of the best ways for people to reduce their stress.

Possible Answers:

are one of the best ways

being one of the best ways

being one for the best ways

being one of the best way

being one the best ways

Correct answer:

are one of the best ways

Explanation:

The use of "being" makes the sentence actually not have a verb, as "being" is a gerund, or a verb form that is used as a noun. The sentence needs to be changed so that it contains a verb. The only answer choice that corrects the issue is "are one of the best ways."

Example Question #41 : Other Verb Usage 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.

The young boy holding onto his teddy bear throughout the stressful trip.

Possible Answers:

The young boy holding on his teddy bear

The young boy holding to his teddy bear

The young boy held onto his teddy bear

The young boy holding onto his teddy bear

The young boy holding onto his' teddy bear

Correct answer:

The young boy held onto his teddy bear

Explanation:

The use of the participle form "holding" makes the sentence actually have no practical verb, as a participle needs some form of the verb "to be" in order to function as the verb in the sentence. Either a version of "to be" needs to be put in the sentence, or "holding" should be changed to a proper verb form. "The young boy held onto his teddy bear" is the only answer choice that does either.

Example Question #61 : Correcting Verb 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.

The storm creating havoc from the moment it made landfall near the coastal resort.

Possible Answers:

The storm creating havoc from the moments it made landfall near the coastal resort.

The storm creating havoc from the moment it made landfall near a coastal resort.

The storm creating havoc at the moment it made landfall near the coastal resort.

The storm creating havoc from the moment it made landfall near the coastal resort.

The storm created havoc from the moment it made landfall near the coastal resort.

Correct answer:

The storm created havoc from the moment it made landfall near the coastal resort.

Explanation:

The use of the participle "creating" in the sentence makes the sentence not have a verb, as a participle needs some form of the verb "to be" to create a full verb for a sentence. Either the verb needs to be changed or have a form of "to be" added in. The only answer choice that does either is "The storm created havoc from the moment it made landfall near the coastal resort."

Example Question #37 : Correcting Other Verb 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.

It is widely believed that working for the government usually requires the employee willing to take a substantial pay cut.

Possible Answers:

usually required the employee willing to take

usually requires the employee to be willing to take

usually requires the employee willing to take

usually requires the employee willing taking

usual requires the employee willing to take

Correct answer:

usually requires the employee to be willing to take

Explanation:

The sentence actually has no verb as written, as the word that is trying to function as a verb, "willing," is a participle that cannot stand alone as a verb. Instead, it needs a form of the verb "to be" attached to it to fully function as the verb in the sentence. Therefore, the correct answer choice is "usually requires the employee to be willing to take," as it is the only one that employs such a usage.

Example Question #38 : Correcting Other Verb 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.

Their mother keeping her promises, and each child picked out a new toy.

Possible Answers:

Their mother keeping her promises

Their mother kept her promises

Their mother keeps her promises

Their mother keeping up her promises

Their mother in keeping her promises

Correct answer:

Their mother kept her promises

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence is one part of a compound sentence, and can therefore function as a complete sentence structurally. However, the participle "keeping" cannot stand alone as a verb, and the proper verb needs to match the past tense "picked" in the second clause of the sentence. "Their mother kept her promises" is the only answer choice that features the correct verb form.

Example Question #39 : Correcting Other Verb 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.

Working out of a former garage, the business growing rapidly into a multinational corporation.

Possible Answers:

the business growing more rapidly

the business growing rapid

the business growing rapidly

that business growing rapidly

the business grew rapidly

Correct answer:

the business grew rapidly

Explanation:

The use of the participle "growing" makes the sentence actually not have a verb, as a participle needs some form of the verb "to be" to make a complete verbal phrase. "Growing" needs to be changed to a verb that can work on its own as the main verb of the sentence. The only answer choice to do so is "the business grew rapidly."

Example Question #41 : Correcting Other Verb 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.

The team working toward a common goal.

Possible Answers:

The team worked toward a common goal.

The team working toward a commoner goal.

The team's working toward a common goal.

The team working toward a common goal.

The team working toward the common goal.

Correct answer:

The team worked toward a common goal.

Explanation:

The use of the participle "working" as the verb in the sentence is incorrect, as a participle needs some form of the verb "to be" with it to complete a full verbal phrase. The verb "working" needs to be changed to a proper verb form. The only answer choice that uses a correct verb form is "The team worked toward a common goal."

Example Question #251 : Verb Formation Errors

The old woman keeping pets in unsafe conditions that were against the law.

Possible Answers:

The old woman keeping pets in unsafe condition

The old woman keeping pets around unsafe conditions 

The old woman kept pets in unsafe conditions

The old woman keeping pets in unsafe conditions

The old woman keeping pets in unsafer conditions

Correct answer:

The old woman kept pets in unsafe conditions

Explanation:

The use of the participle "keeping" as the verb in the sentence means the sentence actually does not have a verb, as a participle needs a version of the verb "to be" to make a usable verbal phrase. The only answer choice that appropriately takes care of this problem by changing the verb form is "The old woman kept pets in unsafe conditions."

Example Question #161 : Correcting Verb 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.

The reclusive man never keeping up with any of his old friends.

Possible Answers:

The reclusive man not keeping up with any of his old friends.

The reclusive man not ever keeping up with any of his old friends.

The reclusive man never kept up with any of his old friends.

The reclusive man never keeping up with any of his old friends.

The reclusive man never keeping up among any of his old friends.

Correct answer:

The reclusive man never kept up with any of his old friends.

Explanation:

The use of the participle "keeping" makes the sentence have no actual verb, as a participle needs some form of the verb "to be" in order to stand as the main verb of a sentence. The verb form should be changed to one that can actually function as a verb in the sentence. "The reclusive man never kept up with any of his old friends," which uses the past tense verb "kept," is the only answer choice that uses a correct verb form.

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors