ACT English 1.15 Passage Drill
ACT English: Passage Drill Drill 1, Problem 15. What's the correct verb tense?
|ACT English||Passage Drill|
|Grammar and Usage||Verb Tenses|
|Product Type||ACT English|
|Usage/Mechanics||Grammar and Usage|
for example, the right tense for the verb is the present tense, even though the rest
of the verbs in the sentence are in the past. A little confusing, we know, but if we keep
our cool, we can sort out the reasoning behind it.
The culprit is the relative adverb "when." We know that "when" is a relative adverb
because the relative phrase it introduces modifies the verb "released" by describing
the way in which the coconut's seed-release happens. This particular relative adverb phrase
makes the present tense appropriate by speaking in a general sense about the fruit wall's
decay. (We hate it when our fruit walls decay--just sayin'.)
Since we know we're in need of a present tense verb, we can cross out choice (A) because
"decayed" is in the past.
We might as well go ahead and take (D) out of the running too. "Decaying" is in the
present progressive tense, and all we need is the simple present. (Though when a fruit
wall decays, nothing seems simple.) Choices (B) and (C) are both in the present
tense, so we'll have to find another way to choose between them.
Ah, it looks like (B), "decay," is plural, while (C) "decays," is singular. Since
"wall" is singular, the verb that follows needs to be singular too. Therefore, choice
(C) is the correct answer.
It's always a sad occasion when a coconut decays, but that's when we mosey over to the
tree and get a new one.