ACT English 3.4 Passage Drill
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ACT English: Passage Drill 3, Problem 4. Which choice describes the location of the subject correctly?
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This question requires us to know the location from which this spinning column of low-pressure
air is stirring up the water. Don’t worry; we don’t have to be Bill Nye the Science
guy to figure it out.
All we have to do is take a good look at the context in which the underlined portion appears.
For instance, choice (B) is ridiculous and insults our intelligence.
If the phrase “from above you” replaced the underlined portion, it would imply that
tornadic waterspouts tend to form directly over people.
Thankfully for swimming enthusiasts across the globe, this isn’t true.
Otherwise, there’d probably be legends of raining humans, instead of fish and frogs.
Choice (D) kinda gets across the right idea. Air pressure does come from above, because
it’s...like...air. However, there’s no need to qualify the statement with the fact
that it doesn’t come from below.
Even if we didn’t pay attention in Earth Science, most of us are pretty clear on the
fact that the sky is above the ocean.
Ultimately, (D) is too wordy, and there's no time for excess verbiage when it's raining frogs.
This narrows down the options to (A) and (C), which offer “overhead” and “up above,” respectively.
Out of the two, “overhead” is the best choice because it’s more specific.
“Up above” could mean anywhere higher in the sky,
while "overhead" indicates that the air is stirring directly above the water.
If it can rain fish and frogs, can it rain stinging jellyfish?
Let’s hope not.