ACT English : Conjunction Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ACT English

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Example Questions

Example Question #31 : Conjunction Errors

Choose the answer that best corrects the underlined portion of the text. If the underlined portion is correct as written, select “NO CHANGE.”

 

I would prefer that you take a train rather than driving. Not only will it be faster, you will save money on gas.

Possible Answers:

Not only will it be faster, in addition you will save money on gas.

It will be faster, you will save money on gas.

Not only will it be faster, but also you will save money on gas.

Not only will it be faster. You will save money on gas. 

NO CHANGE

Correct answer:

Not only will it be faster, but also you will save money on gas.

Explanation:

This question asks about the correct use of correlative conjunctions, which connect equal grammatical terms. The correlative conjunctions "not only... but also..." should be used together to ensure that the sentence's meaning is clear. In the original sentence, the lack of the second correlative conjunction phrase, "but also," creates a run-on sentence. 

Example Question #32 : Conjunction 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:

It does help them save hundreds of dollars per year, it also gives them a fun challenge every time they do their shopping.

Not only does it help them save hundreds of dollars per year, and it gives them a fun challenge every time they do their shopping.

Not only does it help them save hundreds of dollars per year, it gives them a fun challenge every time they do their shopping.

Not only does it help them save hundreds of dollars per year. It gives them a fun challenge every time they do their shopping.

NO CHANGE

Correct answer:

NO CHANGE

Explanation:

This question asks you to select the correct correlative conjunctions to use in a sentence. This sentence is correct as written, making use of the correlative conjunctions "not only... but also" to express inclusion. These correlative conjunctions should be included in the same sentence, and both should be used. 

Example Question #271 : Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

“Bach and German Hymnody”

[31] The great German composer, Johann Sebastian Bach was a member of a prodigiously talented musical family. [32] A significant number of Johann Sebastians ancestors and descendants were musicians of various levels of talent. [33] Although he was known for music of a variety of forms, one of his most enduring legacies is the repertoire of chorale music by which he improved and solidified the world of German congregational singing.

During the period after the Protestant Reformation, a number of hymns were written for use in the common worship of the Christians of the time. [34] The structured form of these compositions were well suited for congregational singing although they would sound strange to our contemporary ears. [35] The harmonies and meters of these hymns are very close in character to the music with which we are familiar. They lack some of the standard structural elements that we take for granted in this form of organized [36] Western music, these small differences would stand out to our sensibilities.

It was the great glory of Johann Sebastian Bach to have harmonized a great number of these hymns, often penning multiple such harmonies. [37] One solitary single melody might be made by Bach into three, four, or even five different harmonic compositions. [38] This amazing feat of musical prowess is no small addition to the original behest of Lutheran hymns that Bach had inherited from his fellow religious brethren. [39] Many of these harmonies remain to this day as classic renditions of these songs. [40] They are sung not only in the German world but in Protestant and Catholic services. [41] Indeed they are even sung in wholly secular concerts thanks to their great beauty!

Interestingly enough, Bach was more recognized as a talented performer, rather than composer, of music in his own lifetime. While he was still composing, knowledge of Bach’s work was limited to music connoisseurs who happened to be physically near places [42] he lived and worked. It was not until the early 19th century, when the first biography of Bach was published, that academic and popular interest [43] truly picked up steam. In the two centuries that followed, his works have continued to proliferate in both religious and purely musical contexts.

This great diffusion of one mans’ work is a testament to his prodigious talent. [44] It also stands as a testament to the fact that Bach’s work came at a pivotal time when the Protestant hymnody was crystallizing, as well as when Western harmonies were coming into a particular expression that is known as the Baroque. [45]

Choose the answer that best corrects section [40].

Possible Answers:

NO CHANGE

They are sung not only in the German world, but in Protestant and Catholic services.

They are sung not only in the German world, but also, in Protestant and Catholic services.

They are sung not only in the German world but also in Protestant and Catholic services.

Correct answer:

They are sung not only in the German world but also in Protestant and Catholic services.

Explanation:

The problem with this selection is its use of the correlative conjunctions "not only . . . but also." As written, the sentence lacks the word "also." This should be added to complete the form of the pairing. No commas are necessary for this construction, as this is merely a compound set of prepositions, not of independent clauses.

Example Question #272 : Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

Choose the answer that best corrects the underlined portion of the sentence. If the underlined portion is correct as written, select “NO CHANGE.”

If neither John, whose job it usually is, or his brother want to go out and pick up the pizza, we'll have to get it delivered. 

Possible Answers:

either John, whose job it usually is, or his brother

neither John, whose job it usually is, nor his brother

NO CHANGE

neither John, whose job it usually is, but also his brother

not John, whose job it usually is, and not his brother

Correct answer:

neither John, whose job it usually is, nor his brother

Explanation:

This question asks you about the correct use of correlative conjunctions. The correlative conjunctions "neither...nor" and "either...or" should always be used together. The original sentence is incorrect because it combines "neither" with "or." The key is to figure out which correlative conjunctions we need. This sentence is expressing negativity--John and his brother might both have a desire not to pick up the pizza--so the correct correlative conjunctions to use are "neither" and "nor."

Example Question #273 : Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

Let's go over our options. We interviewed three dozen candidates, and we found two who you deemed worthy of consideration. Even in the face of your extreme pickiness, we have nothing but good options. Neither John nor Melanie would struggle to do this job well; it doesn't matter who you select.

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:

Either John or Melanie

John or Melanie

NO CHANGE

John nor Melanie

Not John and not Melanie

Correct answer:

NO CHANGE

Explanation:

This question asks you to identify the correct use of correlative conjunctions. The correlative conjunctions "neither...nor" are correctly used here to indicate that the people mentioned would not struggle with the job. 

Example Question #274 : Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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:

That is, in such cases, both justice / injustice is determined

That is, in such cases, both justice and injustice is determined

That is, in such cases, both justice and, injustice, is determined

That is, in such cases, both justice, and injustice is determined

NO CHANGE

Correct answer:

That is, in such cases, both justice and injustice is determined

Explanation:

As written, this sentence misuses the correlative conjunction construction "both . . . and."  It is written, "both . . . or," which is quite wrong. Several options swap out "or," replacing it with "and." They add commas where they are not needed. All you need is a simple "and."

Example Question #275 : Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

For decades large American corporations have outsourced (1) its workers, (2) especially in the manufacturing realm, in order to save money that could be spent paying American workers for the same job. Workers in foreign countries, especially those that contain a highly populated urban population as in Eastern Asia, are willing to work much longer hours for far less money than American workers. In addition,these foreign workers are not protected by as many labor laws. If a company’s primary desire is to maximize profit, (3) so outsourcing jobs is the most obvious and convenient solution. That is, until stories of unfair labor practices (4) begin circulating. Technological advancements in mass media communication (5) having been able to facilitate the process of raising awareness of important issues, including violation of basic human rights in the workplace.

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:

since

NO CHANGE

then

obviously

Correct answer:

then

Explanation:

"If" must always be followed by "then." "So" and "since" do not emphasize the conditional statement, and "obviously" is redundant and informal.

Example Question #276 : Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

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

Abraham Lincoln only spoke for four minutes at Gettysburg, however, his words influenced the future of the United States for the next several decades.

Possible Answers:

but

because

so,

moreover, 

NO CHANGE

Correct answer:

but

Explanation:

The sentence joins two main clauses with comma and thus requires a conjunction, one of the seven "FANBOYS". "However" and "Moreover" are correlative coordinators that require a preceding semi-colon. The two clauses present a contrast, not a cause and effect; therefore, "so" is the wrong coordinator.

Example Question #277 : Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

Adapted from “The Nose Tree” in German Fairy Tales and Popular Stories by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm (trans. Taylor, ed. 1864)

Then the king made known to all his kingdom, that whomever would heal her of this dreadful disease should be richly rewarded. Many tried, but the princess got no relief. Now the old soldier dressed himself up very sprucely as a doctor, and said he could cure her. Therefore, he chopped up some of the apple, and, to punish her a little more, gave her a dose, saying he would call to-morrow and see her again. The morrow came, and, of course, instead of being better, the nose had been growing on all night as before; and the poor princess was in a dreadful fright. So the doctor then chopped up a very little of the pear and gave it to her. He said that he was sure that it would help, and he would call again the next day. Next day came, and the nose was to be sure a little smaller. However, it was bigger than when the doctor first began to meddle with it.

Then he thought to him, "I must frighten this cunning princess a little more before I am able to get what I want from her." Therefore, he gave her another dose of the apple and said he would call on the morrow. The morrow came, and the nose was ten times bad as before.

"My good lady," said the doctor, "Something works against my medicine and is to strong for it. However, I know by the force of my art that it is this, you have stolen goods about you. I am certain of it. If you do not give them back, I can do nothing for you."

The princess denied very stoutly that she had anything of the kind.

"Very well," said the doctor, "you may do as you please, but I am sure I am correct. You will die if you do not own it." Then he went to the king, and told him how the matter stood.

"Daughter," said he, "send back the cloak, the purse, and the horn, that you stole from the right owners."

Then she ordered her maid to fetch all three and gave them to the doctor, and begged him to give them back to the soldiers. The moment he had them safe, he gave her a whole pear to eat, and the nose came right. And as for the doctor, he put on the cloak, wished the king and all his court a good day and was soon with his two brothers. They lived from that time happily at home in their palace, except when they took an airing to see the world in their coach with their three dapple-grey horses.

What is the proper form of the underlined selection, "known to all his kingdom, that"?

Possible Answers:

NO CHANGE

known to all his kingdom; that

known to all his kingdom: that

known to all his kingdom that

Correct answer:

known to all his kingdom that

Explanation:

The word "that" is here being used as a conjunction that introduces an indirect quotation. You could write this sentence in a form like: Then the king spoke to all his kingdom, "Etc . . ." However, as used here, "that" introduces the clause describing indirectly what he said to the kingdom. This requires no comma, as it is a necessary part of the main clause, helping to specify exactly what he made known to the kingdom.

Example Question #278 : Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

Adapted from “The Nose Tree” in German Fairy Tales and Popular Stories by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm (trans. Taylor, ed. 1864)

Then the king made known to all his kingdom, that whomever would heal her of this dreadful disease should be richly rewarded. Many tried, but the princess got no relief. Now the old soldier dressed himself up very sprucely as a doctor, and said he could cure her. Therefore, he chopped up some of the apple, and, to punish her a little more, gave her a dose, saying he would call to-morrow and see her again. The morrow came, and, of course, instead of being better, the nose had been growing on all night as before; and the poor princess was in a dreadful fright. So the doctor then chopped up a very little of the pear and gave it to her. He said that he was sure that it would help, and he would call again the next day. Next day came, and the nose was to be sure a little smaller. However, it was bigger than when the doctor first began to meddle with it.

Then he thought to him, "I must frighten this cunning princess a little more before I am able to get what I want from her." Therefore, he gave her another dose of the apple and said he would call on the morrow. The morrow came, and the nose was ten times bad as before.

"My good lady," said the doctor, "Something works against my medicine and is to strong for it. However, I know by the force of my art that it is this, you have stolen goods about you. I am certain of it. If you do not give them back, I can do nothing for you."

The princess denied very stoutly that she had anything of the kind.

"Very well," said the doctor, "you may do as you please, but I am sure I am correct. You will die if you do not own it." Then he went to the king, and told him how the matter stood.

"Daughter," said he, "send back the cloak, the purse, and the horn, that you stole from the right owners."

Then she ordered her maid to fetch all three and gave them to the doctor, and begged him to give them back to the soldiers. The moment he had them safe, he gave her a whole pear to eat, and the nose came right. And as for the doctor, he put on the cloak, wished the king and all his court a good day and was soon with his two brothers. They lived from that time happily at home in their palace, except when they took an airing to see the world in their coach with their three dapple-grey horses.

What is the best form of the underlined selection, "it would help, and he would"?

Possible Answers:

NO CHANGE

it would help and he would

it would help; and he would

it would help and that he would

Correct answer:

it would help and that he would

Explanation:

There are two indirect statements being made by the "doctor" in this sentence:

1. That he was sure that it would help

2. That he would call on the next day

To make it clear that this is a compound set of indirect statements, use an additional "that" as the appropriate conjunction to indicate the fact. Otherwise, it is possible to misunderstand exactly what is being connected by the conjunction "and."

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