ACT English 5.14 Passage Drill
ACT English: Passage Drill 5, Problem 14. Which choice best fits in this sentence?
|ACT English||Passage Drill|
|Product Type||ACT English|
|Sentence Structure||Consistency and Tense|
The sentence before the underlined portion tells us...
“Many believe that spiders have special oils that repel the stickiness of their threads.”
But the sentence in which the underlined portion appears tells us that...
“this has never been proven.”
Looks like we have a contrast here.
So whatever word we choose for the underlined segment needs to establish this contrast.
Option (D) suggests the word “despite,” which does communicate contrast.
Unfortunately, though, this choice is grammatically incorrect.
“Despite” is a preposition, and prepositions should almost always be followed by nouns.
In this sentence, however, it’s followed by the helping verb “has” instead.
The gods of grammar would strike us with lightning if we let this one fly.
We’re putting choice (D) out of its misery. So bye.
The remaining three choices--anyway, however, and besides--are all what’s known as conjunctive adverbs.
These are adverbs whose job it is to create smooth transitions from one clause to another.
Each of these conjunctive adverbs can be used to establish some kind of contrast,
so choosing the right one might be tough.
Out of the three, we’re going with choice (B) because the word “however” establishes
the strongest contrast.
Also, (B) is the only option that’s punctuated correctly. When a conjunctive adverb interrupts
a sentence, it’s necessary for it to be surrounded by commas.
Free wheelin’ conjunctive adverbs are a cardinal sin in spider writing.