ACT English 2.5 Punctuation
ACT English: Punctuation Drill 2, Problem 5. Which choice indicates the best place for a semi-colon in the sentence?
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and commas in this sentence. Here are the three places the semicolons are used.
By now we're awesome at dealing with sentences containing semicolons. There's nothing "semi"
about the sentence's individual parts.
They're full-fledged independent clauses or sentences, so for our purposes, you should
be able to read a full sentence on either side of them.
Let's check out the position of the semicolon suggested by choice D.
Before the semicolon, "Rainfall amounts in the United States" isn't a full sentence,
so this one doesn't work. Awkward. What about A? The first part of the
sentence would read: Rainfall amounts in the United States have become a recent concern
in fact. That makes about as much sense as "walrus
unicorn jelly rubber duckies." And that's saying something.
There's only one place left we could possibly put the comma. And it makes sense because
it takes out the "in fact" from the previous sentence.
Now the only difference between B and C is the comma.
Should a comma go after "in fact?" In fact, it should.
"In fact" is an introductory modifier at the beginning of that sentence.
The sentence works without it, but it makes more sense and flows better if you include
it. Speaking of flowing better, anyone up for
a canoe trip along the North Pole River?