014 Common Errors

1,068
-1

Published on

0 Comments
3 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
1,068
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
4
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
3
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

014 Common Errors

  1. 1. Common Errors to Avoid <ul><li>Sentence Fragment - a group of words that does not contain an independent thought, thus, not acceptable as a sentence. </li></ul>Incorrect: Tests of the Shroud of Turin have produced some curious findings. For example, the pollen of forty-eight plants native to Europe and the Middle East. Revised: Tests of the Shroud of Turin have produced some curious findings. For example, the cloth contains the pollen of forty-eight plants native to Europe and the Middle East. Incorrect: Scientists report no human deaths due to excessive caffeine consumption. Although caffeine does cause convulsions and death in certain animals. Revised: Scientists report no human deaths due to excessive caffeine consumption , a lthough caffeine does cause convulsions and death in certain animals.
  2. 2. Common Errors to Avoid <ul><li>Sentence Sprawl – too many equally weighted phrases and clauses </li></ul>Incorrect: The hearing was planned for Monday, December 2, but not all of the witnesses could be available, so it was rescheduled for the following Friday. (There are no grammatical errors here, but the sprawling sentence does not communicate clearly and concisely.) Revised: The hearing, which has been planned for Monday, December 2, was rescheduled for the following Friday so that all witnesses would be able to attend.
  3. 3. Common Errors to Avoid <ul><li>Misplaced Modifiers – phrases that are not located properly in relation to the words they modify. These lead to illogical sentences that are difficult to follow. </li></ul>Incorrect: A small book sat on the desk that Sarah had read . (This modifier is misplaced because it modifies the desk. It sounds as if Sarah had read the desk.) Revised: A small book that Sarah had read sat on the desk. Incorrect: The professor posted the notes for the students covered in class . (The modifier, “covered in class,” appears to modify “the students.” Because the students are not covered in class, this is a misplaced modifier.) Revised: The professor posted the notes covered in class for the students.
  4. 4. Common Errors to Avoid <ul><li>Misplaced Modifiers </li></ul>Incorrect: Many tourists visit Arlington National Cemetery, where veterans and military personnel are buried every day from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM. (Do people bury every day between the hours of 9AM to 5 PM?) Revised: Every day from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM, many tourists visit Arlington National Cemetery, where veterans and military personnel are buried.
  5. 5. Common Errors to Avoid <ul><li>Dangling Modifiers – phrases or clauses which say something different from what is meant because words are left out. The meaning of the sentence, therefore, is left &quot;dangling.&quot; </li></ul>Revised: The grass tickled my feet as I walked through the park. OR Walking through the park, I found that the grass tickled my feet. Incorrect: Walking through the park, the grass tickled my feet. ( Walking through the park seems to modify the grass. However, The grass cannot walk through the park. Therefore, this is a dangling modifier.) Incorrect: The experiment was a failure, not having studied the lab manual carefully. ( Not having studied the lab manual carefully seems to modify the experiment. Who did not study?) Revised: The team failed the experiment, not having studied the lab manual carefully. (Who did not study the lab manual carefully? The team.)
  6. 6. Common Errors to Avoid <ul><li>Dangling Modifiers </li></ul>Revised: When writing a proposal, a scholar sets an original task for research. (Who is writing a proposal? A scholar.) Incorrect: When writing a proposal, an original task is set for research. (Who is writing a proposal?) Incorrect: Having arrived late for practice, a written excuse was needed. ( Not having studied the lab manual carefully seems to modify a written excuse. Who arrived late?) Revised: Having arrived late for practice, the team captain needed a written excuse. (Who arrived late? The teamcaptain.)
  7. 7. Common Errors to Avoid <ul><li>Faulty Parallelism – grammatically unequal sentence elements expressing two or more ideas or items in a series. </li></ul>Incorrect: The candidate's goals included winning the election, a health program, and education . (The ideas in the series are not grammatically parallel.) Revised: The candidate's goals included winning the election, enacting a national health program, and improving the educational system. (The ideas in the series are now grammatically parallel with the use of participial phrases.) Incorrect: Some critics are not so much opposed to capital punishment as postponing it for so long. (The ideas in the series are not grammatically parallel.) Revised: Some critics are not so much opposed to sentencing convicts to capital punishment as they are to postponing executions for so long. (The ideas in the series are now grammatically parallel with the use of infinitives to compare two different views.)
  8. 8. Common Errors to Avoid <ul><li>Unclear Pronoun Reference – the noun or noun referents for which a pronoun refer to is not definite. Use it, they, that, these, those, and which carefully to prevent confusion. </li></ul>Incorrect: Einstein was a brilliant mathematician. This is how he was able to explain the workings of the universe. ( This has no definite referent. What made him able to explain the working of the universe?) Revised: Einstein, a brilliant mathematician, used his quantitative ability to explain the workings of the universe. (What made him able to explain the working of the universe? his quantitative ability )
  9. 9. Common Errors to Avoid <ul><li>Unclear Pronoun Reference </li></ul>Incorrect: Because Senator Martin is less interested in the environment than in economic development, she sometimes neglects it . (Does” she ” refer to the Senator – male or female? What does “ it ” refer to?) Revised: Because of her interest in economic development, Senator Martin sometimes neglects the environment.
  10. 10. Common Errors to Avoid <ul><li>Pronoun Agreement – make sure that each pronoun agrees in gender and number with the noun to which it refers (antecedent or referent.) </li></ul>Incorrect: Jake and Marissa think her kids are brilliant. (The antecedent is Jake and Marissa which is plural.) Revised: Jake and Marissa think their kids are brilliant. Incorrect: Each of the dogs needs their own crate. (The antecedent is each which is singular and the referent of each is “dogs,” so the pronoun should be its .) Revised: Each of the dogs needs its own crate.
  11. 11. Common Errors to Avoid <ul><li>Incorrect Pronoun Case – determine whether the pronoun is being used as a subject, object, or possessive in the sentence, and select the pronoun form to match. </li></ul>Incorrect: Castro's communist principles inevitably led to an ideological conflict between he and President Kennedy. ( he is in the subjective case but its use is as object of the preposition “between”) Revised: Castro's communist principles inevitably led to an ideological conflict between him and President Kennedy. ( him is in the objective case) Incorrect: Because strict constructions recommend fidelity to the Constitution as written, no one objects more than them to judicial reinterpretation. Revised: Because strict constructions recommend fidelity to the Constitution as written, no one objects more than they (subject) to judicial reinterpretation.
  12. 12. Common Errors to Avoid <ul><li>Omitted Commas – use commas to signal nonrestrictive or nonessential material to prevent confusion, and to indicate relationships among ideas and sentence parts. </li></ul>Incorrect: When it comes to eating people differ in their tastes. Revised: When it comes to eating, people differ in their tastes. (The comma gives a clear meaning to the sentence.) Incorrect: The Huns who were Mongolian invaded Gaul in 451. Revised: The Huns , who were Mongolian, invaded Gaul in 451. (The commas set off the relative clause “who were Mongolian” to make the meaning of the sentence clear.)
  13. 13. Common Errors to Avoid <ul><li>Superfluous Commas – unnecessary commas make sentences difficult to read. </li></ul>Incorrect: Field trips are required , in several courses , such as , botany and geology. Revised: Field trips are required in several courses , such as botany and geology. Incorrect: The term “scientific illiteracy , ” has become almost a cliché in educational circles. Revised: The term “scientific illiteracy ” has become almost a cliché in educational circles. (Remove the comma because the whole phrase is the subject and does not need it before its predicate.)
  14. 14. Common Errors to Avoid <ul><li>Comma Splice – when two or more independent clauses are linked with a comma. Instead, use a period or semicolon. Otherwise, use the coordinating conjunctions and, or, for, nor, so, yet . </li></ul>Incorrect: In 1952 Japan's gross national product was one third that of France , by the late 1970s it was larger than the GNPs of France and Britain combined. Revised: In 1952 Japan's gross national product was one third that of France . By the late 1970s it was larger than the GNPs of France and Britain combined. (Put a period after the 1 st independent clause.) Incorrect: Diseased coronary arteries are often surgically bypassed , however , half of all bypass grafts fail within ten years. Revised: Diseased coronary arteries are often surgically bypassed ; however , half of all bypass grafts fail within ten years.
  15. 15. Common Errors to Avoid <ul><li>Apostrophe Errors – apostrophes are not used to indicate plural forms. Apostrophes indicate possession for nouns like Jim's hat , but NOT for personal pronouns like its, yours, theirs, whose . They also indicate omissions in contractions like it's for it is . </li></ul>Incorrect: In the current conflict its uncertain who's borders their contesting . Revised: In the current conflict it's (it is) uncertain whose (possessive pronoun) borders they are (they're) contesting . Incorrect: The Aztecs ritual's of renewal increased in frequency over the course of time. Revised: The Aztecs rituals (plural form) of renewal increased in frequency over the course of time.
  16. 16. Common Errors to Avoid <ul><li>Words Easily Confused – “ effect ” is most often a noun, and “ affect ” is almost always a verb. Other pairs commonly confused: lead/led, accept/except, choose/chose. Check a glossary of usage to find the right choice. </li></ul>Incorrect: The recession had a negative affect on sales. (verb) Revised: The recession had a negative effect on sales. (noun) OR The recession affected sales negatively. (verb) Incorrect: The laboratory instructor choose not to offer detailed advice. (plural form of verb in the present tense; the subject is singular) Revised: The laboratory instructor chose not to offer detailed advice. (past tense)

×