Usage “Grammar” Skills

ACT English Tutorial

Usage "Grammar" Skills


The writing rules tested on the ACT can be grouped into two categories: Usage and Rhetoric. Usage skills are what you classically call “Grammar Rules,” such as punctuation, subject/verb agreement, and verb tenses. Let’s look at an example usage question commonly found on the ACT.

Sample Problem

Choose the answer that best corrects the underlined portion of the sentence. If the underlined portion is correct as written, choose “NO CHANGE.

In spite of horrific conditions, there were many great acts of heroism committed during the hurricane season.


Irregardless of




“In spite of” is a common phrase that means “despite” or “regardless of.” Putting another preposition in its place changes the meaning and/or causes it to function differently.

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