ACT English 4.4 Punctuation
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ACT English: Punctuation Drill 4, Problem 4. Where should the dash be placed in this sentence?
|Product Type||ACT English|
|Punctuation||Dashes, Question Marks, and Exclamation Points|
So, to figure this one out, we need to identify the natural fault lines in the sentence.
We can tell right off the bat that (A) is incorrect because, while we generally need
a pause after an opening prepositional phrase like "To some of you..."
...putting a dash there brings things to too much of a halt.
It's kind of like being behind somebody who's just way too cautious at stop signs.
Choice (B) is even more wonky.
The dash pops up in the middle of the thought, breaking the sentence up in a way that doesn't make sense.
It's sort of like a highway that just randomly ends for no reason.
Well, (C) does get some brownie points from us because it uses a comma to separate the
prepositional phrase at the beginning of the sentence.
Before it does a victory dance, though, we have to cross it out for wonky dash use.
(D) is the one that shows them all how it's done.
The two modifiers, "good" and "even brilliant," are separate ideas...so they
need to be separated in some way.
A comma would also work here, but the dash helps to really emphasize just how good this essay might be.
Choice (A) shows us how to a break a thought with flair.
We hope our thoughts never break, but if they do, we'll try to glue them back together with a dash.