ACT English 4.4 Passage Drill
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ACT English: Passage Drill Drill 4, Problem 4. Where should the commas be placed in the underlined portion of this sentence?
|ACT English||Passage Drill|
|Parts of Speech||Restrictive and Nonrestrictive Relative Clauses|
|Product Type||ACT English|
Once again, we’re being asked to determine what’s essential and what’s
nonessential in a sentence.
The rule of thumb is that nonessential elements should be set apart by commas...
While essential elements should let it fly with no punctuation at all.
Choice (A) is definitely wrong.
It goes so crazy with the commas that it’s hard to tell what the writer thinks is essential
or nonessential. Option (B), on the other hand, sets the phrase
“named Makoto Hagiwara in 1914” apart with commas.
There’s no way this is correct because the main point of this sentence is to tell us
The year in which he invented fortune cookies also seems probably pretty important.
We find a similar mistake in choice (C), which only sets the name “Makoto Hagiwara” apart.
Again, this guy’s name is totally essential to the sentence.
Man, why is everybody hatin’ on Makoto? That does it; we’re officially starting
the Makoto Hagiwara fan club.
The best answer is (D). The correct response is to place no punctuation in this sentence.
All of the elements of the clause that begins with "Japanese man named…" are essential—
we need to know the name, the year, and the place. Therefore, they should not be set off from
the body of the sentence by commas.
We believe fortune cookie history is essential knowledge for all Americans
and should be taught in every school across the land.