Here are the corrections and explanations for last week’s entries.
A run-on sentence consists of two or more main clauses that are run together without proper punctuation.
When writing, pauses are not obvious, so sentences must be broken into shorter units or punctuated properly so that they are not grammatically incorrect and do not sound run-on.
Using periods, semi-colons or conjunctions are the means to correct the problem of run-on sentences.
“The boy showed us his tickets someone gave them to him.”
This unit has two main clauses with no punctuation to separate them, so is a run on sentence.
“The boy showed us his tickets. Someone gave them to him.”
“We often speak in run-on sentences, we make pauses and change our tone so people can understand us.”
A comma cannot be used to connect two principal clauses. A semi-colon could be used because the clauses are related in meaning.
“We often speak in run-on sentences; we make pauses and change our tone so people can understand us.”
“When we write no one can hear us.”
This sentence is correct because it is made up of a principal clause and a subordinate clause.
Find and correct the errors in the following pieces.
“ ‘There’s no turning back now, the place is going up as we speak,’ he said.”
This is a perfect example of a run-on sentence; a comma cannot be used to connect two principal clauses. A semi-colon can be used to correct the problem.
“ ‘There’s no turning back now; the place is going up as we speak,’ he said.”
“If there was a test to tell you how long you would live, would you take it?”
In a conditional sentence the verb “was” should be changed to “were”.
“If there were a test to tell you how long you would live, would you take it?”
Identify and correct the errors in the following examples. Give reasons to support your opinions.
“CFIB wants less public sector sick days”
“Fewer” must be used when referring to things that can be counted. “Less” can only be used when referring to quantities of things that are measured in bulk.
“CFIB wants fewer public sector sick days”
“Although the Palestinians say that any decision is still a long ways off, the mere threat has unnerved Israel.”
Using the plural “ways” in this context is incorrect. Use the singular form.
“Although the Palestinians say that any decision is still a long way off, the mere threat has unnerved Israel.”
Find, identify and correct the errors in the following pieces. HINT: There are many.
“Conservatives used their superior numbers in the House of Commons on Wednesday to brush aside opposition objections and pass the government’s latest omnibus budget bill. But not before NDP leader Tom Mulcair and Government House leader Peter Van Loan almost got into a scrap on the floor of the House of Commons.”
For consistency, the verb “pass” should be “to pass”.
Probably this should be one sentence.
“Conservatives used their superior numbers in the House of Commons on Wednesday to brush aside opposition objections to pass the government’s latest omnibus budget bill, but not before NDP leader Tom Mulcair and Government House leader Peter Van Loan almost got into a scrap on the floor of the House of Commons.”
“Police searched the residence and found the following eight firearms. Police found several rounds of ammunition. Some of the seized firearms were loaded.”
So, where is the list of “eight firearms”? This sounds like a “Writing 01″ class.
“Police searched the residence and found several rounds of ammunition and eight firearms, some off which were loaded.”
“The point, though, is that this how real negotiations are conducted, and that alone was progress.”
A verb has been left out, so it makes no sense.
The second clause is in the wrong tense and, therefore, inconsistent.
The comma is misplaced.
“The point, though, is that this is how real negotiations are conducted and that, alone, is progress.”
“Really, that chance always been in the cards, barring an act on insanity.”
Where is the verb?
“Really, that chance had always been in the cards, barring an act on insanity.”
“There’s a chance here, and what a shame it would if anybody loses their balance, and topples the whole damn thing.”
Some commas are not needed.
“Anybody” is singular. “Their” is plural and is incorrectly used in reference to “anybody”.
“There’s a chance here, and what a shame it would if anybody loses his balance and topples the whole damn thing.”
“Likeliness” is a noun referring to the probability of something happening.
“The likeliness of lightning striking twice in the same place is extremely small.”
“Likeness” is a noun referring to one’s portrait or picture.
“The artist’s likeness of the girl is eerily realistic.”
“Likely” is an adjective meaning having a chance of occurring or possible. It is the adjectival form of “likeliness”.
“It is likely that I will go to the game tonight.”
RULE OF THE WEEK
It is not against the rules to use contractions.
Contractions were used by the old masters such as Shakespeare; his title, “All’s Well That Ends Well”, is a good example.
Contractions might be avoided in more formal writings but they have widespread acceptance in all other forms.
The only caution is to avoid awkward those that can morph into poor grammar such as “could of” or “should of”. Contractions such as “who’re”, why’d”, “when’ll”, “why’s” or “there’ll” just sound bad and should be avoided.
Source: Patricia T. O’Connor, Origins of the Specious.
WORTH TAKING TO HEART
“Folks who never do more than they’re paid for, never get paid for any more than they do.”
Elbert Hubbard, an American author who lived from 1856 to 1915, wrote this.
LAST WEEK’S WORDS
“Philistine” (n.) refers to a person who is uninterested in intellectual pursuits or a lowbrow. As an adjective it means smug, ignorant and hostile to artistic values.
“I once knew a philistine who proudly proclaimed that Shakespeare would put him to sleep.”
“Spectral” (adj.) means being or like a phantom, ghostly or unearthly.
“The face I saw through the window was eerily spectral and reminded me of the figures portrayed in old science fiction movies.”
“Downright” (adj.) means without evasion or compromise, direct, forthright or blunt.
“The bully was huge and downright scarey and he used his size to intimidate as often as he could.”
“Feckless” (adj.) means not fit to assume responsibility, incompetent, bungling, inept or unqualified.
“His feckless attempts to appear as an intellectual writer made him look even more childish and inane.”
“Languish” (v.) means to pine away, to waste away, to degenerate to fade or to become feeble.
“After her husband died, the widow languished in unutterable grief to the point of complete depression.”