ACT English 5.1 Passage Drill
ACT English: Passage Drill Drill 5, Problem 1. Which choice indicates proper comma use in the underlined segment?
|ACT English||Passage Drill|
|Product Type||ACT English|
We’re gonna go out on a limb and say that commas are the most abused members of the punctuation family.
Everybody is guilty of comma abuse once in a while, but if we work together, we can put it to an end.
One incredibly useful rule of thumb is that commas are used to set apart nonessential
elements in a sentence.
If a sentence works just as well without a particular word, phrase, or clause, chances
are that element is nonessential.
In these cases, a comma is needed to step in and keep the nonessential element away
from the rest of the sentence.
So for this question, we have to take a good look at the underlined segment and analyze
whether any of this information is nonessential.
We’ll read it out loud to help:
“Spiders are invertebrate creatures in the araneae order of the class
arachnida in the phylum arthropoda.”
Secret confession: we only read that aloud because we like pronouncing Latin names.
Anyway, that all seems essential to us. The writer wants to tell us the order, class,
and phylum to which spiders belong. No piece of information is more important than another.
If we took anything away, the meaning of the sentence would change.
Since everything is essential, no commas are required in this sentence.
Knowing this allows us to swiftly eliminate options (A), (D), and (C),
which all include commas.
Sorry, guys, but the comma abuse has to stop somewhere.
The correct answer is (B), which uses no commas to separate any of this vital information.
All this info needs to be stuck together like insects in a spider’s web.
OK, that simile was a little grim.