ACT English : Period, Exclamation Point, and Question Mark Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ACT English

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Example Questions

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Example Question #41 : Period, Exclamation Point, And Question Mark Errors

Maybe your thinking of getting a dog; but you are not sure how it will affect your budget. Don’t worry! It’s possible to enjoy the companionship with a dog without spending too much of your precious dollars.

First, you will want to make a list of all the necessary items needed before you bring Fluffy home. Compare costs at different pet stores, grocery stores and big box stores. You will need to buy food, a leash, and purchase toys for your dog.

When it comes to the many dog food choices, you don’t want to just buy the cheaper option. You will want to do some research to see what is healthiest for your dog! One of the best ways to save money on dog food is to buy it in bulk.

Don’t forget to plan for some other big expenses, the vet consultation, wellness exam, and any treatments your dog needs. When you bring your pet to the vet, they may need shots, which can vary for price. Call different clinics in the area and ask how much they charge for the standard immunizations? You might find that there is a lot of differences between offices.

The key to sticking to your budget is planning everything out! With good preparation and organization, a dog will not cost you more money than you planned for.

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:

immunizations. You

NO CHANGE

immunizations but you

immunizations, you

immunizations you

Correct answer:

immunizations. You

Explanation:

This question asks you about the correct punctuation to use at the end of a sentence. This sentence expresses uncertainty, but it is phrased in the form of a statement, so a question mark should not be used. A period is correct punctuation.

Example Question #42 : Period, Exclamation Point, And Question Mark Errors

Fashion, that ever-changing entity has thrown us some curveballs in the last year. No one expected that gym pants would become acceptable workwear, but shockingly, that’s exactly what has happened! First seen on the runway these casual, slouchy pants bridge the gap between exercise attire and business casual. They have comfortable, elastic waists but feature crisp lines and smart patterns.

Even though top executives have been seen sporting this edgy look, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can pull it off too! Think about your office dress code and how relaxed it is. For instance, do you see other people in your office wearing less traditional clothing, and do people push the boundaries without getting in trouble. If every person in your office is wearing a button-down shirt, suits, and a tie, this fun fashion may be best left to the weekend.

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:

that's exactly what has happened,

NO CHANGE

that's exactly what has happened!!

that's exactly what has happened?

that’s exactly what has happened.

Correct answer:

NO CHANGE

Explanation:

This question asks you about the grammatically correct use of an exclamation point. An exclamation point should be used to add emphasis or express a strong thought. In this sentence, an exclamation point is correct punctuation to add emphasis because the word "shockingly" indicates that this is meant to be a strong statement. Although a period is grammatically correct here, it is not the strongest stylistic choice. A question mark is incorrect since this is not a question. The use of a comma would create a comma splice. It is not grammatically correct to use two exclamation points to add additional emphasis. 

Example Question #43 : Period, Exclamation Point, And Question Mark Errors

Fashion, that ever-changing entity has thrown us some curveballs in the last year. No one expected that gym pants would become acceptable workwear, but that’s exactly what has happened! First seen on the runway these casual, slouchy pants bridge the gap between exercise attire and business casual. They have comfortable, elastic waists but feature crisp lines and smart patterns.

Even though top executives have been seen sporting this edgy look, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can pull it off too! Think about your office dress code and how relaxed it is. For instance, do you see other people in your office wearing less traditional clothing, and do people push the boundaries without getting in trouble. If every person in your office is wearing a button-down shirt, suits, and a tie, this fun fashion may be best left to the weekend.

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:

without getting in trouble!

without getting in trouble

NONE OF THESE

NO CHANGE

without getting in trouble?

Correct answer:

without getting in trouble?

Explanation:

This question asks you about the appropriate punctuation to use at the end of a sentence. Since this sentence is a question, it should end with a question mark. A period or exclamation point should not be used to end a question. A lack of any punctuation creates a run-on sentence.

Example Question #44 : Period, Exclamation Point, And Question Mark Errors

“Justice and Parents”

We tend to think of justice as a matter of strict equality.  For example if someone wants to buy an item, they are understandably expected to pay an amount that is roughly equal to its value.  Likewise, when a law declares that the penalty for speeding is $150, it is considered just that one who breaks this law pays the fine.  However, justice can also pertain to matters that are beyond mere equality.

An obvious example of this is the case of the relationship between children and their parents.  Unlike the cases discussed earlier, children will have had little opportunity to repay they’re parents for all that they have done for them.  Technically speaking, strict “equality” would require the child to give birth to the parents.  This is an absurd thing to suggest.  Similarly absurd is the suggestion that children should directly repay the rearing offered by parents.  Once again, strict equality cannot occur in the child-parent relationship.

However, there is a kind of justice between children and his or her parents.  For example, when a parent ages and is in need of assistance, if the adult child can provide assistance but refuses to do so.  This is a kind of injustice to the parents.  On a more positive note.  For example, an adult child might send his parents on a cruise in memory of their anniversary.  Such an action would be a kind of “justice” done to the parents—at least in that it recognizes the immense debt that is owed by the child to the parents in question.

In these (and many other cases), justice is less about equality than it is about paying what one can pay.  That is, in such cases, both justice or injustice is determined by worthiness that surpasses mere equality.  This kind of justice could be called justice above justice.  That is, it is a kind of justice that surpasses the “normal” justice of equality.  Such acts of justice ensure that society does not become reduced to the cold calculation of equality but, instead, has the warmth of true affection and loving gratitude.

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:

NO CHANGE

This was an absurd thing to suggest.

This is an absurd thing to suggest!

This was an absurd thing to suggest!

This had been an absurd thing to suggest!

Correct answer:

This is an absurd thing to suggest!

Explanation:

As written, the sentence does not require any change in tense. It merely needs to have an exclamation point added. The sentence breaks the flow slightly and sounds like an exclamation that someone might make in surprise. For this reason, it makes sense to end the sentence with an exclamation point in this manner, so as to accentuate the surprise that the words themselves express as well.

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