ACT English 4.2 Passage Drill
Want a study guide too?
ACT English 4.2 Passage Drill. How would you correct the underlined portion, if at all?
|ACT English||Passage Drill|
|Product Type||ACT English|
|Sentence Structure||Consistency and Tense|
It’s funny how one little word can throw an entire sentence askew.
In this case, the word “who” is a real troublemaker.
See, “who” is what’s known as a relative pronoun.
Like normal pronouns, a relative pronoun’s job is to stand in for nouns in a sentence.
However, relative pronouns have the addeduty of introducing relative clauses, which
modify words, phrases, or ideas.
So in the sentence in question the relative pronoun “who” signals a clause that describes
the subject (aka “most people nowadays”).
The trouble is that by establishing a relative clause the word “who” is stealing the
verb from the subject of the sentence.
Like full sentences, relative clauses need a subject and verb to exist.
If “who” is allowed to have its way, the word “believe” would have to be its verb.
Unfortunately, this derails everything because the original sentence is trying to use “believe”
as its verb as well. By stealing the verb from the subject of the sentence,
“who” makes the entire sentence incomplete.
Looks like we’d better nix any option with “who” in it before this relative pronoun
can case any more trouble. Choices (A) and (C) are out of the running.
Now that we’ve got “who” out of our hair, we can turn our attention to choices (B) and (D).
The difference here is that (B) uses the simple present tense with “believe,”
and (D) uses the present progressive with “are believing.”
Given the two, we’re going with choice (B).
The simple present tense works better in this context because the writer is talking about
a general belief that people have.
The present progressive makes it sound like tons of people are obsessing about the issue
of the origin of fortune cookies at this very moment.
Which we hope isn’t true--for the good of the country as a whole.