ACT English : Conjunction Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ACT English

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Example Questions

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Example Question #11 : Other Conjunction Errors

“On the Nature of Belief”

Belief and faith often are critiqued in a scientific culture.  It can seem that mere belief is a replacement for science made available to soothe the ignorant masses.  There is some truth to such accusations, and many people do use belief as a screen to cover their own ignorance about the truths of reality.  Everyone should be aware, however, that almost every single human being have these kinds of “blind spots.”  We all live with many things that we merely believe, all of which are so central to ones world view.

Even if we set aside all such types of beliefs, there still remains a broad terrain of human life in which faith and belief remain—even if we ignore all religious matters whatsoever.  Imagine the scientist who’s work on brain neurons depends upon many discoveries made by many other people.  Yes, if it were possible, it would be better for such a person to know all of the details that they accept merely at the word of other scientists.  In all cases, seeing directly is more fulfilling than merely hearing about something.

However, is the scientist better off when he or she knows only what they have experienced directly.  Although it is preferable that he or she knows such facts. However, it is impossible to investigate everything.  Sometimes, one must extend one’s own vision with the vision of someone else.  In a way, the person who thus “takes it on faith” gains a further vision.

Such faith always relies upon the credibility of the person who shares the experience, of course.  For one person to believe on faith what another person says, it is presupposed that the other person is not a liar and actually could have experienced the matter in question.  This means that even the “scientific believer” must take the risk of placing credibility in someone who has witnessed things that he or she has not seen.  While this does not vindicate every kind of faith that people have had, it does provide a telling sign that faith, as such, is not always the refuge of the ignorant.  Indeed, it is an important part of all of our lives, even the lives of scientists, who’s daring and investigative work is rarely criticized as being a refuge for ignorance!

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:

too such accusations, and many people do use belief

to such accusations and many people use belief

to such accusations and many people do use belief

too such accusations and many people do use belief

NO CHANGE

Correct answer:

NO CHANGE

Explanation:

For this question, there is no problem with the word "to," so that does not need to be changed. The word "too" is used only to mean also or as well. Also, the comma before "and" is fine, as there are two independent clauses here. Hence, nothing needs to be changed!

Example Question #12 : Other Conjunction 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:

Such acts of justice ensure that society does not become reduced to the cold calculation of equality, but, instead, have the warmth of true affection and loving gratitude.

Such acts of justice ensure that society does not become reduced to the cold calculation of equality but, instead, have the warmth of true affection and loving gratitude.

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.

NO CHANGE

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.

Correct answer:

NO CHANGE

Explanation:

There are no errors in the sentence as it is written. The "but" is a conjunction in the clause starting with "that." Therefore, the subject of the verbs in that clause is "society." This is a singular subject, meriting the use of "has" for the verb after "but." No comma is needed, for the subject does not change. Both "become reduced" and "has" have the same subject, namely, "society."

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