If the Phrase Doesn’t Fit, You Must “OMIT”
If the Phrase Doesn’t Fit, You Must “OMIT”
You will often see the answer choice “OMIT the underlined portion.” By choosing it, you can remove the entire underlined portion from the passage.
When an answer choice allows you to “OMIT the underlined portion,” think hard about that option. “OMIT,” when it appears as an answer, is correct approximately 25 percent of the time. We don’t suggest that you go through the test ticking off “OMIT” for every possible question, but we do want you to consider it as an answer.
“OMIT” is an attractive (and often correct) answer because it eliminates redundant or irrelevant statements. (For more on redundancy, see the “Style” section under “Rhetorical Skills Questions on the English Test.”) For example,
The bag was free.  I didn’t have to pay for it. 
 21
21. A. NO CHANGE
B. I paid five dollars for it.
C. I paid almost nothing for it.
D. Omit the underlined portion
The ACT writers want your edits to make the passage as concise as possible. A statement like the one above should strike you as redundant because you clearly don’t need to pay for something that’s free—so why say the same thing twice? If you choose choice A, you keep the redundant sentence in the passage and get the answer wrong. Choices B and C don’t make much sense because they have you paying for the free bag. Choice D is the correct answer because it omits an unnecessary statement. Without the second sentence, a reader still understands that the free bag didn’t cost anything.
When deciding whether to omit, read the passage or sentence without the underlined portion and see whether the new version of the sentence makes as much, if not more, sense to you as the original. If it does, go ahead and choose “OMIT.” If the passage or sentence loses something in the omission, then turn to the other answer choices.
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