(A question from an ACT English test ) My older sister was a guitar buff and my idol when I was growing up. She would teach me songs on her acoustic guitar now and then after school and on long family road trips to the beach. In those moments, my sister and I were the closest we've ever been. And my guitar itself felt like, well, family.

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I don't think any of these options will fit, since "my idol" only indicates that the author admired his sister

1 Answer 1


Ah, one of THOSE questions. We native speakers have trouble with them too, because they are not so much a test of your linguistic skills as they are of your ability to form associations and think critically. They almost never include the obvious answer (the fact the narrator really admired her sister) as an option, instead making you choose an option your have to infer using logic (sometimes really shaky logic, imo). I believe in this instance the answer should be "B," since none of the others can be assumed from the selected text. The rest of the paragraph tells you that "A" is true, even with the "idol" phrase removed. Nowhere does the passage indicate exactly how talented the sister is (D) or how much older she is (C). Removing the bit about her sister being her idol makes no difference for either of those two answers either. That leaves "B" through process of elimination, and I suppose you could deduce that the narrator probably became interested in guitar in part because of her admiration for her sister, who liked guitar. I always hated this kind of test question!

  • I in fact hesitate between B and D because I think that it could be the guitar talent that the sister has makes the author admires her, as it makes the author become interested in guitar. Nov 23, 2020 at 6:19
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    @crucifyficklecrank I am thinking the exact same thing. Nov 23, 2020 at 6:34
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    @crucifyficklecrank D still has the same problem as A in that case. Removing the highlighted phrase doesn't remove any information about the sister's abilities, since it is the other parts of the passage that imply she is knowledgeable about guitar, as she knows enough to teach her sister. It is possible to be bad at something and still have your younger sister who adores you try to copy you at it. Of course, I could be wrong, since I've noticed the people who write these questions sometimes phrase things in ways that are odd. As I said, I have always disliked these kinds of test questions!
    – MarielS
    Nov 23, 2020 at 7:32

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