ACT English: Prepositional Idioms

SAT Question of the Day

The SAT question of the day is a math question that has already been addressed on this blog: click here to see an explanation.

ACT Question of the Day

The ACT question of the day is an English question that tests your knowledge of commonly used idioms.

Read the sentence that contains underlined part 3.  Trying to paraphrase this sentence is difficult because something is wrong with the underlined word "by."  If you only look at the words "by its ability," there doesn't seem to be a problem.  Consider the words that come before the underlined portion.  Can you say that something is unique by its ability?  It doesn't sound very natural.  What would you use instead of the preposition "by"?  I  might say that something is unique "because of" its ability.  Look down at your answer choices.

 (A)  The original wording was awkward, so you can eliminate this choice.

(B)  The word "as" doesn't make sense in context and ends up sounding like a comparison of baseball and its ability.  Eliminate this choice.

(C)  This doesn't match the prediction, but try it in context.  Can you be unique in an ability?  Yes!   This preposition is idiomatically correct.  Quickly check the last option.

(D)  This answer may seem to match the prediction "because of," but it is missing the essential preposition "of."  This answer choice is incorrect because the word "because" cannot function as a preposition.  Be sure to make your prediction carefully and read all of the answer choices carefully.  Eliminate this choice.   

The correct answer is (C). 

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