ACT English 4.1 Passage Drill
ACT English: Passage Drill 4, Problem 1. Which choice indicates proper comma placement in this sentence?
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If commas surround a particular sentence element, there’s a good chance that element is nonessential.
This means that if the element were taken away the sentence wouldn’t lose anything too important.
In the sentence in question, however, every element is essential.
The author is specifically referring to “the invention of fortune cookies as we know them today.”
This article will only discuss modern fortune cookies;
caveman fortune cookies will be dealt with at another time.
Since we know that everything in the sentence is essential, we can quickly eliminate the
answer choices that contain commas.
Option (D) can go because it randomly separates the noun “today” from the rest of the sentence.
(A) is wrong because placing a comma in front of “as” makes it seem like the rest of
sentence, which includes the verb, is not important.
And choice (B) separates the phrase “as we know them today.”
This omits the fact that we’re talking about modern fortune cookies,
not ancient ones--or futuristic ones for that matter.
The correct answer is (C), which recognizes the essential nature of everything in the
sentence by using no commas whatsoever.
Hm, we wonder if modern fortune cookies are able to predict what
fortune cookies will be like in the future.