ACT English 1.4 Punctuation
ACT English: Punctuation Drill 1, Problem 4. Which conjunction fits best with the comma?
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a comma. Alert, alert, comma splice!
There are two acceptable ways to combine two independent clauses.
With a comma AND a conjunction... or with a semicolon.
There are no options with a semicolon here... so we need to find one of the other choices
that uses a comma with a conjunction.
Let's look at all the answers carefully here. Besides the original sentence, they
all use a comma, and then a conjunction quite nicely. So our job is to figure out which
conjunction is the best for the job. In the sentence, there is a pretty clear contrast
between the two parts. "I like poetry", in contrast, "my brother likes the opposite."
And doesn't really communicate that contrast, and neither does so.
But, on the other hand, works perfectly -- communicating that he does not like this but that.
Here is a general strategy we should take away from this problem.
Read through all the answers before we choose one. If we just looked for a comma and a conjunction,
B would have worked. If we had rushed through this question, it
might have kicked our... but.