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Must-Know Grammar Rules for the ACT English Section

The ACT is an entrance exam in the United States which is used for admissions in most colleges. It is used to test a high school student’s preparedness for college. It acts as a standard yardstick to compare all aspirants.

The ACT English section exam contains 75 multiple choice questions that need to be completed in 45 minutes.These questions assess a candidate’s understanding of grammar and writing style. If you have a grasp of the grammar rules tested on the ACT English Section, you will be able to get an excellent ACT English score. In this blog, I’ll share the necessary ACT English grammar rules.

Even though the bonds of Standard English appear countless, they start with several basic rules that form the base for more sophisticated structure and language. These grammatical rules comprise of sentence structure and formation, punctuation, and word usage.

Rule #1:-No Commas before or after a Preposition

Prepositions give course to the topic of a sentence. Therefore,it is almost always incorrect to use a comma before or after a preposition.

For example:

Incorrect sentence: Ramesh loves roaming, to Goa for fun.
Correct Sentence: Ramesh loves roaming to Goa for fun.

Rule #2:- Use as few words as possible.

The shortest, grammatically correct answer that portrays the same information as the original sentence will be the correct response. Sentences that are short are easier to understand.

For example:

Incorrect sentence: Mallika likes to have fun by way of swimming in the swimming pool.
Correct Sentence: Mallika likes swimming in the swimming pool.

Rule #3:-Avoid Comma Splices.

If we have two independent clauses, we should never link them with only a comma. Keep in mind that an independent clause is an expression that can stand alone as a complete sentence. If we need to link two such phrases, we should always use one of the following: a comma with a managing conjunction, or a semicolon.

For example:

Incorrect sentence: I hate swimming, I never get in swimming pools!
Correct Sentence: I hate swimming, so I never get in swimming pools!

Rule #4:-Use Apostrophes for Possessives.

This is an easy rule, but it is also an equally easy one to forget, especially if you’re used to a computer auto-correcting missing apostrophes. If a word is singular/plural and does not end with an “s,” we add an “s” after the apostrophe to make it possessive.

For example:

Incorrect sentence: I am the people favourite.
Correct Sentence: I am the people’s favourite.

Rule #5:-When to Use a Semicolon

Semicolons are not the same as commas. In fact, semicolons work very similar to periods (full stop). A semicolon is not only frequently used to join two independent parts; it is also used to separate items in a list that each have their own commas. So if we want to end a sentence where the colon is located, the sentence should seem sensible and be a complete thought.

For example:

Incorrect sentence: Ramesh needs to buy a few items for his project like: construction material and paint.
Correct Sentence: Ramesh needs to buy a few items for his project: construction material and paint.

Rule #6:-Subject and Verb must agree

The basic rule for subject and verb agreement in a sentence is that the verb usually ends in “s” in the singular form and does not in the plural form. Consider very closely to how many subjects there are (one or more than one), and then look at the ending of the corresponding verb. Do remember that a subject can never be restricted in a prepositional phrase.

For example:

Incorrect sentence: Film stars likes to entertain loving fans.
Correct Sentence: Film stars like to entertain loving fans.

Rule #7:-Use of relative Pronouns

Pronouns relate to certain objects. But a relative pronoun connects a phrase to a noun. Relative pronouns include that, which, where, when, whose, and who/whom. Each relative pronoun can be used only with a certain kind of noun.

For example:

Incorrect sentence: Where is the building in wherein the fire broke out?
Correct Sentence: Where is the building in which the fire broke out?

Rule #8:-Know Your Idioms

Idiom questions don’t follow specific rules. You will have to trust your instinctive understanding of English and your knowledge of specific phrases to choose the right idiomatic expression.

Incorrect idiom: You decided reading this article.
Correct idiom: You decided to read this article.

Now you came to know the eight most important grammar skills on the ACT English section. Take this knowledge with you to your next test prep session, and you’ll be flying through those grammar questions in no time! Remember to always check for subject-verb agreement, choose the correct word, be mindful of punctuation, specify relative pronouns, use consistent structure and make proper comparisons.

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