ACT English : Subordinating Conjunction Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ACT English

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Example Questions

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Example Question #21 : Subordinating Conjunction Errors

It is important to be practical and thoughtful in the way in which spends one's money, even if spending money is also your passion. Although I love to shop, I still stay within a strict budget. It keeps my creditors at bay and my partner happy.

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:

Because

Despite the fact that

NO CHANGE

Even considering that

Even though

Correct answer:

Because

Explanation:

This question asks you to interpret the meaning of different subordinating conjunctions in context. The subordinating conjunction "because" most changes the meaning of the sentence because it suggests that the narrator's love of shopping causes him/her to stay within his/her budget. All the other choices convey a contrast, suggesting that it is surprising that the narrator stays within his/her budget.

Example Question #22 : Subordinating Conjunction Errors

Adapted from "The Weakness, Unrest, and Defects of Man," from The Thoughts of Blaise Pascal (ed. 1901)

We care nothing for the present. We anticipate the future as too slow in coming, as if we could make it move faster; or we call back the past, to stop its rapid flight. So imprudent are we that we wander through the times in which we have no part, unthinking of that which alone is ours; so frivolous are we that we dream of the days which are not and pass by without reflection those which alone exist. For the days of the present generally gives us pain; we conceal it from our sight because it afflicts us, and if it be pleasant, we regret to see it vanish away. We endeavor to sustain the present by the future, and think of arranging things not in our power, for a time at which we have no certainty of arriving.

If we examine our thoughts, we shall find them always occupied with the past or the future. We scarcely think of the present, and if we do so, it is only that we may borrow light from it to direct the future. The present is never our end; the past and the present are our means, the future alone is our end. Thus we never live, but hope to live, and while we always lay ourselves out to be happy, it is inevitable that we can never be so.

Which of the following best translates the author’s usage of “as” bolded in the second sentence?

Possible Answers:

like

as being

while

akin to

Correct answer:

as being

Explanation:

The sense of the sentence in question is that we anticipate the future and thus treat it as though it is coming too slowly. Another way that we could translate "as" here would be "as though it were..." In lieu of this longer phrase, "as being" is an adequate translation. The options indicating similarity or similitude are not appropriate in this context.

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