ACT English 3.3 Passage Drill
ACT English : Passage Drill 3, Problem 3. Which choice best fits into the sentence?
|ACT English||Passage Drill|
|Grammar and Usage||Pronouns|
|Product Type||ACT English|
Let’s start the elimination process by nixing the choices that don’t make any sense.
Because...ya know...as a general rule, sentences that
don’t make sense are frowned upon in English language circles.
Option (D) is the worst offender.
Omitting the underlined portion turns this sentence into gibberish. Check it out:
"But tornadic waterspouts can reach 100 miles per hour, can still be quite destructive.”
Clearly we need some kind of word to connect the last phrase to the main sentence.
Otherwise, no one will know what this meteorologically obsessed writer is talking about.
OK, now let’s point our lasers at the second nonsensical option: choice (C).
We’ll read the sentence (C)’s way: “But tornadic waterspouts can reach 100 miles per
hour, in which can still be quite destructive.”
Yeah, that sounds weird. This is because “in which” is a preposition used to signal when
something is contained within something else.
The final phrase isn’t trying to tell us what’s inside of “100 miles per hour,”
so we can definitely get rid of option (C).
Now we’re left with choices (A) and (B),
which ask us to deal with the never-ending conundrum of “that” vs. “which.”
Really, it’s not a conundrum because it’s a question with an easy answer.
We use “that” to introduce a phrase that’s essential to a sentence. See what we did there?
We’ll say the sentence again minus the final phrase. “We use ‘that’ to introduce a phrase.”
Something was lost, right?
If this were all we said before, our sentence would’ve been remarkably unhelpful, because
it wouldn’t have identified the type of phrases the word “that” introduces.
Let’s try this test on our sample sentence and see how essential the final phrase is.
“But tornadic waterspouts can reach 100 miles per hour.” Hm, seems fine to us.
The part about these winds being destructive isn’t totally necessary to the meaning of the sentence.
This means that “that” isn’t necessary either.
Therefore, we can cross out (A) and dub (B) the correct answer, since we use “which”
to introduce phrases that are nonessential.
Because who doesn’t already know that 100 mile per hour winds can be destructive?