ACT English 3.5 Passage Drill
ACT English: Passage Drill, Drill Set 3, Problem 5. How should this sentence be changed, if at all?
|ACT English||Passage Drill|
|Oral and Written Conventions||Sentence Structure|
|Product Type||ACT English|
And here are the potential answers...
The trick here is that the phrase "spinning and gaining momentum" is supposed to modify
air, not water. We know this because the idea follows logically from the previous sentence,
which informs us on the joys of spinning columns of low-pressure air.
Therefore, we know we’re on the hunt for the answer choice that makes this relationship clear.
Option (D) looks like the worst of the bunch. Not only does this version attempt to modify
water instead of air, it’s also so garbled that we suspect it’s taken a spin in a tornadic waterspout itself.
No doubt, this choice has to go.
Option (A) relates its information much more clearly. But, unfortunately, it’s the wrong information.
By placing the modifying phrase before “the surrounding water,” this version of the sentence
makes it seem a bit like the water is instigating the spinning rather than the air.
While we’re at it, we might as well go ahead and nix choice (C), which makes the same mistake
by placing the phrase directly after “the surrounding water.”
This leaves us with choice (B), which correctly places “spinning and gaining momentum”
before “the column of air.”
Ah, it’s nice when modifier and modified come together.