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Test PrepACTEnglishContext & Style

ACT English Skill Review: Context & Style

We’ve grouped the remaining question types that appear on the ACT English test into one skill review on context and style. These multiple-choice questions ask about the passage as a whole or the role a particular sentence plays in the passage and not about grammar or punctuation.

Typically you’ll be asked to do one of the following:

  • Choose the phrasing that best represents the goals/point of view of the writer;
  • Change the wording to better reflect a particular meaning intended by the writer;
  • Decide if a sentence should be removed and identify why;
  • Decide if a sentence should be added and identify why and/or where;
  • Select appropriate introductory/concluding sentences, transitional words and/or supporting examples.

Example

Try the following example.

We visited a local animal shelter on Saturday. We wanted to pick out a new dog. As we walked through the corridor, each dog had its own way of sharing something about its personality. Some dogs barked, others jumped up and down, and still others cowered in the corners of their cages. Dogs make wonderful companions. Finding the right fit is important. We visited with several different dogs, but the one who stole our hearts was Bogart. This big, black dog with droopy ears and a wagging tail is now the newest member of our family.

  1. What is the best way to combine the first two sentences of this paragraph?

    1. We visited a local animal shelter on Saturday, we wanted to pick out a new dog.
    2. We visited a local animal shelter on Saturday because we were hoping we would be able to pick out a new dog.
    3. Visiting a local animal shelter on Saturday, we were wanting to pick out a new dog.
    4. We visited a local animal shelter on Saturday to pick out a new dog.

Answer and Explanation

  1. The correct answer is D. Choice D combines the two sentences without being wordy. Choice A, although not wordy, is a comma splice. Choices B is unnecessarily wordy. Choice C has a problem with verb usage (were wanting).


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