ACT English 5.2 Sentence Structure
In this ACT English drill question, figure out if the underlined section requires a correction or not.
|ACT English||Sentence Structure|
|Product Type||ACT English|
|Sentence Structure||Consistency and Tense|
of the dinosaur, but sometime before he or she is speaking.
We know when the action took place because the verb “waited” is in the simple past tense.
We also know that the other verb in the sentence needs to be in simple past tense if we’re
going to clearly communicate the epic past tense story of how this person couldn’t catch a cab.
Therefore, choice (A) is easy to eliminate because “see” is present tense.
Unless our speaker has some kind of amazing ability to bend the space-time continuum,
it doesn’t make sense for the sentence to suddenly shift tenses.
(D) is incorrect because it sets up a comparison that doesn't exist.
“Was seeing” is in the past progressive tense, which can be used to show when a longer
action in the past was interrupted by another past action. In this sentence, the waiting
isn’t interrupting the seeing.
The one isn’t happening before the other; they’re happening at the same time… which
means that the past progressive tense doesn’t work in this sentence.
(C) doesn’t work either because “had seen” is in the past perfect tense, not the simple past.
We remember that past perfect is used to describe an action that occurred before another event in the past.
Since we’ve already established that isn’t the case here, we can send (C) packing.
Choice (B) lays the correct answer on us by using “saw.”
This is the simple past version of the verb “see,” so it matches up with the past
tense verb “waited.”
Now if the speaker could only flag down a cab all would be right with the world…