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Kristin Fracchia

ACT Challenge Question 6: Confusing Comma – Explanation

Magoosh ACT Challenge Question

Earlier this week, I posted a tricky ACT English grammar question about comma usage. If you missed out, try it below and then scroll down for the answer!

ACT Challenge Question #6

As the daughter of one of Charleston’s leading judges, Angelina Grimke could have looked forward to a life of luxury and ease, and her comfort assured by the presence of slaves trained to respond to her wishes.

B. life of luxury and ease her comfort
C. life of luxury and ease, her comfort
D. life of luxury, and her comfort

Answer and Explanation

ANSWER: C, life of luxury and ease, her comfort

This one is a little tricky because of the sophisticated structure of the dependent clause “her comfort assured by the presence of slaves…” Answer choice A is incorrect because the dependent clause needs a main verb (if it said “her comfort was assured…” it would work). Therefore, it cannot stand alone as an independent clause in the compound sentence this answer choice creates. Answer choice D also improperly uses a coordinating conjunction to create a compound sentence even though the second clause cannot stand alone as a sentence. Answer choice B creates a run-on that is confusing without the separation of the dependent clause. So our answer is C.

Got it now? Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts in the comments below!

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About Kristin Fracchia

Kristin makes sure Magoosh's sites are full of awesome, free resources that can be found by students prepping for standardized tests. With a PhD from UC Irvine and degrees in Education and English, she’s been working in education since 2004 and has helped students prepare for standardized tests, as well as college and graduate school admissions, since 2007. She enjoys the agony and bliss of train running, backpacking, hot yoga, and esoteric knowledge.

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