ACT English 2.10 Passage Drill
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ACT English: Passage Drill 2, Problem 10
|ACT English||Passage Drill|
|Product Type||ACT English|
|Punctuation Marks||Comma Placement|
City if we're not careful.
See, "then" is what's known as a conjunctive adverb, a part of speech used to join words,
phrases, or clauses and to help the author clarify what he or she is saying. Some of
"then's" conjunctive adverb friends include "however," "also," and "nonetheless."
Knowing that "then" is a conjunctive adverb allows us to knock out (A) and (B) simultaneously.
An important rule to remember is that a conjunctive adverb can't link two independent clauses
without the help of a semicolon. Both (A) and (B) attempt this feat with nothing but
a comma, which turns our sentence into a dreaded comma splice.
Choice (D) makes a noble attempt by placing a period between the two independent clauses.
If we don't want to put a semicolon before our conjunctive adverb, the alternative is
to place a period before the adverb. Thus, we sever the two independent clauses, allowing
each one to be its own sentence.
However, choice (D) bungles the job by placing the period after the word "then," instead of before it.
Leaving "then" attached to the first clause actually turns the first clause into a fragment,
or a sentence that can't stand on its own as a complete sentence.
Though a sentence fragment would correspond well with the author's fragmented psyche during
the cat-washing attempt, that doesn't make (D) the correct answer.
(C) is the right choice because it correctly places the period before the word "then."
It also remembers to place a comma after "then," which is always necessary when a conjunctive
adverb kicks off a sentence. With this punctuational nip/tuck we now have a clearer understanding
of the soothing relationship of coconut shampoo, lukewarm water, and rubber mats.
Personally, we can't imagine a situation in which we'd by comforted by a rubber mat.