The clause "with whom I went to college" is a non-restrictive clause that provides more information about Cade. Because non-restrictive clauses mustbe surrounded by commas, the comma before the preposition "with" is correct.Keep in mind that this situation rarely comes upon the ACT. Generally, commas shouldn’t be put before or after a preposition on the test.Actual ACT ExampleThe comma before the preposition "of" is wrong; there also shouldn’t be any comma after "rights." Therefore, the correct answer is C. On the ACT,if you’re unsure whether or not there should be a comma, it's best to err on the side of leaving the comma out.#3: Don't Separate Two Independent Clauses With a CommaSeparating two complete thoughts with a comma is a grammar error known as a comma splice,and it's the most common type of run-on sentencethat appears on the ACT. Here's an example of a comma splice:I’m going to my friend’s house, it’s really far away.As you can see, the clauses before and after the comma arecomplete thoughts that could stand alone as sentences.There are a few ways to correct a comma splice. One is to place a conjunctionafter the comma:I’m going to my friend’s house, butit’s really far away.Alternatively, you can put arelative pronoun after the comma:
I’m going to my friend’s house, whichis really far away.Finally, you can use asemicolonto correctly separate two complete thoughts:I’m going to my friend’s house; it’s really far away.I'm not sure what this means. (Laura Olin/Flickr)Actual ACT ExampleBoth clauses before and after the comma are independent and could stand alone as sentences; therefore, this sentence is a comma splice. Sinceadding a conjunction after the comma corrects the comma splice, the correct answer is B.While answer choice C also adds a conjunction, thischoice doesn’t work since the word "so" doesn’t make sense in the context of the sentence. ("So" implies a cause-effect relationship, whereas "and"connects two related thoughts.)#4: Use the Fewest Words PossibleWhen it comes to the ACT,the shortest, grammatically correct answer choice that expresses the same information as the original sentencewill be the right answer.Sentences that are more concise are easier to comprehend.WordinessOn ACT English, wordiness is a grammatical error in which words or phrases are added to a sentence unnecessarily.Here's an example of awordy sentence:Melissa enjoys having fun by way of shooting at the gun range.And here is the corrected version of the sentence:Melissa enjoys shooting at the gun range.Clearly, the second sentence is more concise, and it still contains all the relevant informationthat’s in the first sentence.
That looks like a fancy gun—but, then again, I don't know anything about guns.Actual ACT ExampleThe phrase "as time goes by" is unnecessary—it doesn’t add any information that can’t be inferred without it. Answer choices B and C are incorrectbecause the sentence already implies that her collection grows "gradually" and "with the passing of time." Thus,the correct answer is D.
- Fall '19