ACT English 1.5 Sentence Structure
ACT English: Sentence Structure Drill 1, Problem 5. What should be done to the beginning of this sentence?
|ACT English||Sentence Structure|
|Product Type||ACT English|
|Sentence Structure||Sentence Fragments|
The answer choices give us different options for the first word of the sentence, which
is a big clue that this is a sentence fragment.
"By" is a subordinating conjunction, which is a word used to connect subordinate clauses
to the main clause in a complex sentence.
We know a subordinate clause when we see one because it's generally less important than
the main clause on which it's totally dependent.
Of course, in this case, there's no other clause for this one to connect with.
Wow, that's kind of a sad thought, huh?
It's like E-Harmony writing back and saying there's literally nobody in the world for
Anyway, because there's no other clause here, "by" turns our sentence into a fragment. Therefore
we can go ahead and take choice (A) out of the running.
Choices (B) and (C) are now easy to eliminate because "while" and "through" are both subordinating
conjunctions as well.
Just like their buddy, "by," they turn our sentence into a fragment, which we're sure
it doesn't appreciate.
Choice (D) is correct, because it's the only choice with no troublemaking subordinating
We guess even the most subordinate of conjunctions can be insubordinate sometimes...