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ACT English “Best Sentence” Questions

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Some ACT English questions ask you to choose from several versions of the same sentence. Because these questions don’t include a guided prompt, many students are unsure how to answer them. Fortunately, like all questions on the ACT, “best sentence” questions follow a simple set of rules. When given four variations of the same sentence, the correct choice will:

  • be in active voice
  • directly state the subject
  • be free of misplaced and dangling modifiers


Sample Questions

Let’s take a look at how these rules work with a couple of sample questions. For the sake of clarity, we’ve included what would be the original version of the sentence in choices A and F. On the real English section, these sentences would be in the body of the passage, and the letters would say NO CHANGE.


  1. Piece by piece, the design is carved according to the customer’s specifications.
  2. The artist carves the design piece by piece according to the customer’s specifications.
  3. According to the customer’s piece by piece specifications, the artist carves the design.
  4. Piece by piece, the customer’s specifications are carved by the artist.


Choice A is wrong because it is in passive voice (“is carved”) and lacks a clear subject. (Who is doing the carving?) B is wrong because the modifier is unclear. Does the artist carve the design “piece by piece,” or does the customer give the artist the specifications one piece at a time? D also has modifier issues because it omits the word “design,” and the “specifications” themselves cannot be carved. Only choice B correctly follows all three of our “best sentence” rules. Therefore, B is the correct answer.


  1. Going for a walk one summer evening, my first geocache was found.
  2. Going for a walk one summer evening was the discovery of my first geocache.
  3. I found my first geocache one summer evening while going for a walk.
  4. My first geocache came to me going for a walk one summer evening.


Taken literally, choices F and G both mean that the “geocache” itself is what was going for a walk. Choice J has a similarly-confusing modifier. These three choices also lack a clear subject. Choice H is correct because it begins with “I,” is in active voice, and contains no misplaced modifiers.




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