ACT English 3.1 Sentence Structure
ACT English: Sentence Structure Drill 3, Problem 1. How would you change the underlined portion?
|ACT English||Sentence Structure|
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If we don't know this simple rule, though, we may be headed for complete chaos.
"After reading the original study" is what's known as a modifying phrase. Like adjectives,
it's the job of modifying phrases to describe nouns and pronouns.
The one simple rule we need to keep in mind here is that it's important to place the noun
or pronoun that the modifying phrase is describing directly after or before the phrase itself.
This way the reader is never confused about what exactly the modifying phrase is describing.
Confusing modifiers can cause lots of trouble.
For example, we might write an email to our boss where he mistakenly thinks we're describing
the way his wife kissed us at the holiday party rather than the cute dog she was holding.
The original sentence in question definitely breaks our rule. Here, the noun following
our modifying phrase is "article."
We're guessing that the article wasn't the thing reading the original study, unless it
was some kind of sentient article with artificial intelligence.
Chances are, this is not the author's intention, and so we can eliminate choice (A). We're
convinced that this sentence is in need of a little TLC.
Choices (B) and (C) basically make the same mistake. As with the original sentence, both
options place the noun, "article," after the modifying phrase.
So we can eliminate both of these options for the same reason as choice (A). Chaos will
always ensue if we don't place the noun or pronoun we're describing directly after the
Choice (D) is the correct answer because it does just this by placing the pronoun "I"
after the modifying phrase.
In this version, it's totally clear that it's the speaker who's done the background research
that has apparently exposed this poorly researched article.
What kind of sicko is this speaker? Exposing articles? They need to keep their pants on
like everyone else.