28 February 2011

No comma before or after a preposition

One of the most common grammatical errors on the ACT English section is the use of a comma before or after a preposition (a “time” or “location” word).

Common prepositions:

Of, To, For, From, In, On, Under, Between, Across, Around, At, With, By

This construction is virtually always incorrect, and any answer that contains it should automatically be eliminated. Note that even if the original version in the passage doesn’t contain it, one or more of the other answers might include it.

To illustrate:

Correct: There are a number of interesting items on the restaurant’s menu.

Incorrect: There are a number of interesting items, on the restaurant’s menu.

Incorrect: There are a number of interesting items on, the restaurant’s menu.

Many wrong answers on ACT English involve this error; you can very often get down to two answers and occasionally down to one just by crossing options that contain it.

Leave a Reply