ACT English 1.1 Passage Drill
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ACT English: Passage Drill Drill 1, Problem 1. Conjunctive Adverbs.
|ACT English||Passage Drill|
|Product Type||ACT English|
|Punctuation Marks||Comma Placement|
And here are the potential answers:
The key to getting this question right is knowing that "however" is a conjunctive adverb.
It's the job of conjunctive adverbs to relate the ideas of independent clauses, which are
clauses that can stand on their own as complete sentences.
There are very specific rules about how to punctuate when using "however" and other conjunctive
adverbs, like "nevertheless," "thus," and "consequently."
If we don't follow these rules, we usually end up with run-on sentences, which is no bueno.
For example, we can eliminate choice (A) for not using any punctuation at all.
We can't go around slapping independent clauses together without using punctuation.
If we did, all compound sentences would be run-ons, thoughts and ideas would mush together,
nobody would know what anyone else was saying, and society would descend into anarchy.
We think it's best to avoid such things, so we'll nix (A) before it causes any more trouble.
Choice (D) does a little bit better by placing a comma after "however."
It is always necessary to place a comma after a conjunctive adverb, whether it's connecting
two independent clauses, or kicking off an individual sentence.
However, comma, choice (D) still turns this sentence into a run-on by not placing any
punctuation before the word "however."
Therefore, comma, we'll get rid of it before chaos ensues.
Like (D), choice (C) correctly places a comma after "however."
It veers off the road, though, when it places a comma before the conjunctive adverb. If
we want to use a conjunctive adverb to join two independent clauses, it's always necessary
to use a semicolon.
Commas just don't cut it, and neither does choice (C).
The only option that correctly punctuates the sentence is (B).
Here, a comma follows "however," and a period divides the two independent clauses.
At long last, we're safe from the danger of run-ons.
At least for now...