ACT English 1.5 Passage Drill
ACT English: Passage Drill 1, Problem 5. What is the best, most concise way to express the underlined portion?
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If a sentence works without it, it's always best to leave it out.
We can eliminate choice (A) for this reason. "Cover that is enclosing" isn't the
most concise way to express this thought.
The "that" is making this poor sentence wordy when it doesn't need to be.
"That" causes problems in choice (C) as well. This choice also makes the mistake of
needlessly placing us in the future tense with the word "will."
The rest of the sentence is in the present tense, so shifting into the future tense for
no reason is inconsistent.
It's not like these coconut shells are only going to enclose coconuts on some day in the
future; they're doing it right now.
Choice (D) incorrectly makes "cover" the subject and "encloses" the verb. This sentence already
has a subject, "drupe," and a verb, "is."
All the other parts of the sentence should be working towards describing this "drupe"
and nothing else. There's no room for rival subjects and predicates here.
Choice (B) is the correct answer. For starters, it eliminates that troublemaking "that."
It also correctly applies the word "enclosing." In this form, "enclosing" is a participle,
which is a word derived from a verb that acts as an adjective by modifying a noun.
Here, the participle "enclosing" introduces a participle phrase that describes the coconut's
"hard stony cover."
But...while the coconut seems tough on the outside, inside he's a real softy