Make it Make Sense. College and Career Readiness Mrs. Hendrix. Sense vs. Economy Questions. You Have to Care. The shortest answers aren’t necessarily right. When the answers are all about the same length, the question is more likely to test SENSE. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
Text of Make it Make Sense
Make it Make SenseCollege and Career ReadinessMrs. Hendrix
SENSE VS. ECONOMY QUESTIONS
You Have to Care• The shortest answers aren’t necessarily right.• When the answers are all about the same length, the question
is more likely to test SENSE.• Consider the shortest answer first, but don’t be quite as quick
to select it.• Think about the effect each choice has on the meaning of the
sentence, and pick longer answers if the shortest one doesn’t make sense.
GRAMMAR RULES AND SENSE QUESTIONS
Connections• While it’s not necessary to think about grammar rules to
answer the questions, being familiar will help. • The more ways you have to think about a question, the more
likely you are to find the right answer.• We’ll go through the quiz to give some examples…
COMPLETENESSQuestions 1 and 12
Question 1• Rule at work: Every sentence must contain a subject and a
verb and express a complete thought.• When you are testing completeness, don’t just look to see if it has
a subject and a verb! • If left alone (A), the sentence would be incomplete. • It makes no sense!
• What’s wrong with B?• Nonsensical colon
• What’s wrong with C?• Adds a comma when there’s no grammatical reason to do so
• D is the correct answer.• Continues and completes the sentence without adding anything
Question 12• Rule at work: Every sentence must contain a subject and a
verb and express a complete thought.• “Though to little acclaim” is obviously a fragment…why?• If you didn’t know that, though, look at it from an intuitive
level. Does the statement make sense?• What’s wrong with F & J?• Fragment is left isolated
• What’s wrong with H?• Omits any punctuation between the fragment and the main body
of the sentence. • G does just what we need…• Logically connects the fragment to the main sentence
SENTENCE STRUCTUREQuestion 4
Rule at Work
• There are three ways to connect complete thoughts:• Use a semicolon• Use a comma with a coordinating
conjunction (FANBOYS)•Make one of the two thoughts
incomplete (or dependent).
Question 4• Rule at Work: A sentence can have two thoughts, but they must be
combined correctly. If none of the answer choices does this, select the choice that creates two separate sentences.
• In this question, there are two complete thoughts: 1) Selkirk found himself a celebrity upon his return, and 2) his tale was bandied about the pubs and coffeehouses.
• What’s wrong with the underlined portion?• Comma splice!
• What’s wrong with J?• Run-on
• What’s wrong with G?• The inclusion of the word “but” doesn’t make any sense
• H is the correct answer because you have to create two sentences, one for each thought.
Rule at Work for Question 4
• Using the rules for connecting complete thoughts, we have three options for Question 4:• Selkirk found himself a celebrity; his strange
tale had already…• Selkirk found himself a celebrity, for his
strange tale had already…• Selkirk found himself a celebrity because his
strange tale had already…
SENTENCE SENSE – MODIFIERS Questions2 & 11
We’ll Focus on Question 2• Rule at Work: A modifier, or describer, is any word or group of words
that describes another. Any and all describers must clearly relate to (be close to) whatever they are referring to.
• Sentences become confused if a descriptive word, phrase, or clause is separated from the verb, noun, pronoun, etc. that it should be connected to (its antecedent). • Note: Misplaced modifiers are a common ACT trick. If multiple answers
sound right to you, consider, “Is every modifying phrase placed near the word it logically modifies?”
• “after a bitter quarrel with his captain” should describe the person (or pronoun) that follows next. It doesn’t.
• The he who put Selkirk ashore must be the captain…but it’s not…why?• Which is correct? Why?• As a rule of thumb, you should always make sure that modifiers are as
close as possible to the things they describe.
IDIOM (ACCEPTED WORD FORM AND CHOICE)
Questions 3 & 8
We’ll Focus on Question 3• Rule at Work: The correct preposition can vary depending on
the sense of the sentence. Many phrases in English are correct because people have agreed to use them in a certain way. No overall rules apply. To master these, listen to what sounds right.
• What’s wrong with B & C?• Completeness problems
• D just sounds weird• The sentence as written actually makes sense. • The idiom “much the same” calls for as to complete the
comparison between Selkirk’s and Crusoe’s ways of life.
PRONOUNS – WORD CHOICE, SENTENCE SENSE, AND ORGANIZATION
Question 5• Rule at Work: A pronoun must agree with the person or thing it is
referring to, in person, gender, and number. The reference must be clear; if there is any confusion, the sentence must be fixed.• Sometimes the ACT will throw you a sentence in which the meaning of a
pronoun is unclear. You won’t be sure to whom or what the pronoun is referring.
• What’s the intended meaning of the pronoun he? • What’s the closest male name to the pronoun as the question is written?• So make it clear! • What’s wrong with C?• Sense problem – his what became the subject of a book?
• What’s wrong with D?• Shifts the verb tense into the present (the book was written over 250 years
ago!)• B is correct because it changes the pronoun to the correct proper noun.
LOGIC – WORD CHOICE, SENTENCE SENSE, AND ORGANIZATION
Questions 6 & 10
We’ll Focus on Question 10• Rule at work: Words like therefore, despite, however, and
because are structural clues. They serve to let you know where the author is going an dhow all of the pieces logically fit together.• If you see on the other hand, a contrast is coming up.• If you get the clue moreover, that means a continuation is coming
up – an addition that is more or less in the same vein as what came before.
• Many ACT questions mix up the logic of a piece of writing by giving you the wrong structural clue or another logic word.
• What’s wrong with the sentence as written?• Why is G the correct answer?
VERB USAGE – VERB TENSE, WORD CHOICE, AND SENTENCE SENSE
Rules at Work• Use the simplest tense possible. • In most cases, the present, past, and future tenses are all you
need.• Change tenses only if the sentence doesn’t make sense as
written.• Make sure the verb is singular if it has a singular subject and
plural if the subject is plural.
Question 7• Verbs have an annoying habit of changing form depending on
who’s doing the action and when that person is doing it. • You have to be very careful to make sure verbs match their
subject and the tense of the surrounding context.• The publication of Robinson Crusoe is something that took
place in 1719 – the past. • What’s wrong with the underlined portion?• Puts the verb in the present perfect tense
• What’s wrong with C & D?• Put the verb into tenses normally used to convey a complex time
relationship or a weird time sequence.• B is the correct answer.
TONE – WORD CHOICE & WRITING STRATEGY
Rule at Work• Every writer of an ACT English passage has a voice, or tone.
This voice is usually either casual (conversational) or factual (informational). Select the answer that fits the author’s voice.
• If a passage contains slang, a few exclamation points, and a joke or two, the tone is informal.
• If the passage sounds like something from a textbook, the tone is probably formal.
• Good style requires that the tone of a piece of writing be consistent throughout. • Sometimes the underlined portion might not fit the tone of the
rest of the passage. • It’s up to YOU to correct it!
Question 13• Selkirk “never gave a hoot” about going back? Really?• Slang doesn’t belong in this passage.
• Which choice uses a straightforward, factual tone that fits the passage?• NO CHANGE is silly.• Choice B is too wordy and formal.• Choice C is also slang.• Choice D is the correct answer.
• Don’t just pick an answer because it sounds “fancy.” • Pick commonsense, everyday words that express the meaning the