ACT English 2.4 Passage Drill
ACT English: Passage Drill Drill 2, Problem 4. Which tense works the best in this sentence?
|ACT English||Passage Drill|
|Product Type||ACT English|
|Sentence Structure||Consistency and Tense|
Let’s get choice (B) out of our faces first of all. The verb “made” is in the simple
past tense, which signals that the baking had already ended by the time the car backfired.
(C) gives us the past perfect tense with “had made.” The past perfect indicates that something
happened before something else in the past, which is mostly the case here.
However, past perfect also implies that an action occurred in the distant past.
Because the writer says these things happened yesterday, we can eliminate choice (C).
Choice (D) offers “had been making,” which is in the past perfect continuous.
This tense signals that something happened before another event in the past and continued on
until that event interrupted it. This makes some sense here as well, but we can ultimately eliminate
(D) for the same reason we nixed (C). The helping verb “have” implies the distant
past, and this event occurred “yesterday.”
The correct answer is (A), which uses the past continuous tense with “was making.”
The past continuous signals an action that was occurring in the recent past, but was
then interrupted by something in the simple past. This is totally what we’re looking
for here, since the writer was in the middle of baking yesterday, when she heard the car backfire.
Will she ever bake again?