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  • 1. Grammar and Usage
    Chapter 7
    October 4, 2009
    1
  • 2. PRONOUNS
    Pronouns are used to replace nouns. The ACT writers like to see if you understand the rules of pronouns. There will probably be several pronoun questions on the test you take.
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    2
  • 3. The first pronoun rule: Agreement
    A pronoun must always agree with the noun to which it refers.
    Try to spot the error in the sentence below
    Any young boy who watched the first moon landing probably spent the next few years wishing that they could become an astronaut.
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    3
  • 4. Any young boy who watched the first moon landing probably spent the next few years wishing that they could become an astronaut.
    In the spoken English, people make pronoun agreement errors all the time. In written English, you have to be precise.
    As you read the above sentence, try to decide which noun is being referred to by the pronoun “they”
    If you decided that “they” was referring to “boy” then you are correct.
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    4
  • 5. Any young boy who watched the first moon landing, probably spent the next few years wishing that he could be an astronaut.
    Because “boy” is singular, the pronoun referring to boy has to be singular as well.
    “He” correctly referrers back to “boy”.
    The following charts contain some commonly used singular and plural nouns.
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    5
  • 6. SINGULAR PRONOUNS
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    6
  • 7. PLURAL PRONOUNS
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    7
  • 8. Another example:
    Neither of the two young girls with whom I watched the first moon landing expressed their feelings out loud, but I knew that all three of us wanted to be astronauts.
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    8
  • 9. Neither of the two young girls with whom I watched the first moon landing expressed her feelings out loud, but I knew that all three of us wanted to be astronauts.
    Neither and either are considered singular
    Therefore we should use the singular pronoun “her”
    The following indefinite pronouns are singular
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    9
  • 10. The Second Pronoun Rule: Case
    If a pronoun is the subject of a sentence, it must be expressed as a subject
    Subject pronouns include
    I, we you, he, she, it they, and who
    If a pronoun is the object of a sentence, or the object of a preposition, it must be expressed as an object.
    Object pronouns include
    Me, us you, him, her, it, them and whom
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    10
  • 11. Which choice best fits the sentence?
    (She/Her) bought a souvenir sweatshirt.
    • Because the person who buys the shirt is the subject of the sentence, the correct pronoun is “she”.
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    11
  • 12. Which choice best fits the sentence?
    Jane bought a souvenir NASA sweatshirt for (he/him).
    • Because the person who receives the shirt is the object of the preposition “for”, the correct pronoun is “him”.
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    12
  • 13. Which choice best fits the sentence?
    Before the moon landing, the TV announcer gave some additional background on the astronauts, about (whom/who) we were all quite interested.
    • A pronoun following a preposition is suppose to be the object of that preposition. The correct answer is “whom”.
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    13
  • 14. How Do You Spot Pronoun Errors?
    Look for pronouns
    Don’t forget that many indefinite pronouns are singular
    If the pronoun is being used as a subject, it must be in the subject
    If the pronoun is being used as an object, it must be in the form of an object
    If who or whom appears in the underline portion of the question you must determine if the subject or the object of the clause in which it appears
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    14
  • 15. How Do You Spot Pronoun Errors?
    if it is in the subject, “who” is correct
    If it is an object “whom” is correct
    Generally, if the relative pronoun follows a preposition, the correct form will be “whom”
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    15
  • 16. VERBS
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    16
  • 17. Subject – Verb Agreement
    The verb of sentence must always agree with its subject
    If a sentence contains a singular subject, the verb that goes with it must also be singular
    If the sentence contains a plural subject, the verb that goes with it must also be plural
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    17
  • 18. Look at an example:
    The best moment during a broadcast filled with many great moments were when the astronaut step out of the Lunar Lander and bounced on the moon.
    What is the subject of this sentence?
    Is the subject singular or plural?
    What is the verb in this sentence?
    Should it be singular or plural?
    How should the sentence read?
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    18
  • 19. ACT writers use many modifying phrases and clauses between the subject and the verb to confuse you.
    ACT form
    The best moment during a broadcast filled with many great moments were when the astronaut stepped out of the Lunar Lander and bounced on the moon.
    ACT form minus the modifiers
    The best moment were when the astronaut stepped out of the Lunar Lander and bounced on the moon.
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    19
  • 20. Pronoun-Verb Agreement
    Sometimes the subject of a sentence is pronoun
    The verb must still agree with the subject, even if the subject is a pronoun.
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    20
  • 21. Look at another example:
    Each of these moments have played in our mind again and again as I try to recapture the excitement of that momentous day in June.
    What is the subject of the sentence?
    Is the subject singular or plural?
    What is the verb of the sentence?
    Is the verb singular or plural?
    How do you fix the sentence?
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    21
  • 22. The fixed sentence…
    Each of these moments has played in my mind again and again as I try to recapture the excitement of that momentous day in June.
    Sounds awkward?
    But it is correct.
    This is a great example of how knowing and applying the rules leads you to the correct answer, while using your ear may not.
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    22
  • 23. How do you spot Subject-Verb Agreement Errors?
    Isolate the subject and the verb of the sentence
    Try drawing a line between any words or phrases between them to see the relationship
    Remember answer choices can provide valuable clues
    If the underlined portion of the sentence contains a verb, check to see if the answer choices contains different forms of that verb. If they do, you have a potential subject-verb agreement error.
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    23
  • 24. Verb Tense (do not put in notes)
    Verb tense tells us WHEN the action of the sentence is taking place
    Present tense
    He runs the 440 in 50 seconds.
    Past tense
    He ran the 440 in 50 seconds last week.
    Future tense
    He will run the race next Saturday.
    Present perfect tense
    He has run the 440 in under 50 seconds in the last four races.
    Future perfect tense
    He will have finished the race by next Sunday.
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    24
  • 25. How does the ACT test Verb Tense
    The ACT writers do not care if you know the names of the verb tenses
    They sometimes do not care if you know what tense the passage is written in
    They want to see if you can spot inconsistencies in verb tense
    If the verb in the non-underlined portion of the sentence is in one tense,
    The verb of the underlined portion tends to be in the same tense
    October 4, 2009
    Sample footer
    25
  • 26. Look at an example:
    Sam is walking down the street when he found a large suitcase.
    The verb “is walking” and “found” are in two different tenses
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    26
  • 27. How does the ACT test Verb Tense
    You will not be asked to make a decision as to which tense would be more appropriate for the sentence
    Only one verb will be underlined and it will be up to you to look at other verbs in the sentence or verbs in the surrounding sentence to decide how to change the underlined verb
    Look at underlined verbs in the “…ing” form very carefully
    Especially the verbs “having” and “being” which are almost always used improperly
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    27
  • 28. How Do You Spot Verb Tense Errors
    If you spot a verb in the underlined portion of the passage or
    In any of the answer choices
    Immediately anticipate subject-verb agreement error or
    Verb tense error
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    28
  • 29. One more ACT Verb Error
    Sometimes ACT will put together two perfectly fine past tense verbs to create a past tense construction that does not work
    For Example: Mike has ate all the cookies in the cookie jar.
    In this sentence either “ate” or “has eaten” would be correct
    But “has ate” is incorrect
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    29
  • 30. Adjectives and Adverbs
    ADJECTIVES
    ADVERBS
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    30
  • 31. Adjective vs. AdverbThe ACT sometimes tests to see if you know the difference between the two.
    Adjective
    Modifies a noun
    Passes the “He is very ____” test
    A comparative adjective is often used when a sentence is comparing two things. For example: Juanita is taller than Jane.
    Adverbs
    Modifies everything else (verbs, adjectives and other adverbs)
    Usually end in “…ly”
    A comparative adverb is often used when a sentence is comparing two actions. For example: Juanita dances more graceful than Jane.
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    31
  • 32. Superlatives
    When more than two THINGs are being compared, the sentence needs a superlative adjective
    To make a comparison of three or more things add “…est” to the adjective
    Of the many men in the room, John is the strongest.
    When more than two ACTIONS are being compared, a sentence often needs a superlative adverb
    to make a superlative adverb, add the words “most” or “least” before the adverb
    Compared with the other boys in the school, Sid behaves the most politely.
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    32
  • 33. Idiomatic Expressions
    Idioms are expressions that require the use of specific prepositions
    Fortunately, you will be familiar with many of the idioms on the ACT
    The best way to spot them would be to look for preposition in the answer choices
    I’m in love (with/for) you.
    My sculpture is based (on/after) Rodin’s Thinker.
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    33
  • 34. Grammar Drill
    7 questions focusing on grammar
    Set up in ACT form
    Review Chp 7 materials and techniques including:
    Pronoun Agreement
    Verb Tense
    Adjective vs. adverb
    Subject- Verb agreement
    Idiomatic expressions
    Superlatives
    October 4, 2009
    Grammar and Usage
    34