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Online Writing Lab (OWL) > Editing Tips

This page contains brief explanations of how to identify and correct common grammatical problems. These discussions may be useful for writers who are in the final stages of editing and proofreading.

subject/verb agreement sentence fragments colon
vivid verbs run-together sentences semicolon
pronoun/antecedent agree. comma splice quoation marks
vague pronoun reference sentence variety dashes and parentheses
active/passive voice parallel structure apostrophes
concrete/abstract language unnecessary commas
homonyms
effective paragraphs

Fragments

A complete sentence must have

  1. a verb
  2. a subject
  3. complete idea.

Common Errors That Create Fragments:


The period was used too soon

John ran home. Realizing he had forgotten his wallet.
Marcus can’t stay awake in class. Especially since he began working the night shift.
Kevin quit the band. To start a landscaping business.

A clause that begins with a conjunction is set off as a separate sentence, instead of linking to main clause

We will refund your money. If you return the part.
Although I missed the bus. I was not late for my doctor’s appointment.

The subject does not have its own complete verb

Bill spilling ink all over his math book.
Mrs. Cardoza who is a head nurse at Dominican Hospital.

Fragments are permitted when you’re writing dialogue because people often speak in fragments.

“I got fired today,” John moaned.
“Why?” asked Sara.
“Because I was late again.”
“More car trouble?”
“Yeah, driving north on Main Street.”

Fragments may also be used for emphasis or special effect. Be careful not to overdo this.

Will I ever go back to that job? No. Never. Absolutely not. When pigs wear perfume.

To edit a paper to find and correct sentence fragments, try one or more of the following techniques:

  • Read the paper aloud.
  • Focus on one sentence at a time. Read the paper backward, sentence by sentence.
  • Incomplete ideas will stand out.
  • Read your paper looking for sentences that begin with conjunctions (connecting words).
  • Every time you find a sentence that begins with a conjunction, check to make sure it is not a fragment.
  • Use your word processor’s grammar check to tag fragments. Remember, computers don’t understand English, so they aren’t always right. Look at what is tagged and decide for yourself whether you want to change the sentence.

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Passive Voice

If the subject of the sentence performs the action, the verb and sentence are in the active voice. Active sentences are vivid and lively.

If the subject is acted upon, the verb form and sentence are in passive voice. In a passive sentence, the person or thing that performs the action usually appears toward the end of the sentence after the word “by” or is left out. A passive sentence always has a form of the verb “to be” in it. Passive voice often leads to wordiness and can be confusing when the doer of the action is left out.

Passive: The book was given to Marcie by Sean.
Passive: The book was given to Marcie.
Active: Sean gave the book to Marcie.

Passive: Huge traffic jams are endured by many motorists commuting to work
Active: Many motorists commuting to work endure huge traffic jams.

Do not shift to a passive verb form when the same person is still active.

He retyped his resume and it was mailed the same day.
He retyped his resume and mailed it the same day.

After you complete the form, it should be returned to the employment agency.
After you complete the form, you should return…

Passive voice may be useful when the performer of the action is unknown or unimportant.

The book about motorcycles was misplaced among the books about cosmetics.
My car was stolen!

Passive voice can also be effective when the emphasis is on the receiver of the action or the verb.

The police were totally misled.
Marcia was given a good citizenship award.

Passive voice may be used when the performer of the action does not want to take responsibility for the action.

Mom, the car was totaled! (You don’t admit your guilt.…..Mom, I totaled the car.)

Passive Voice Guidelines

  • Read your paper, watching for forms of the verb “to be.” Make sure sentences with “to be” verbs are active or an effective use of the passive voice.
  • Read your paper watching for phrases beginning with “by.” If the sentence is passive, rewrite it as active.
  • Use your word processor’s grammar check to tag passive sentences. Rewrite tagged sentences when necessary.

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Verb Choice

Aim at accurate, active verbs with exact shades of meaning to make your writing forceful and easy to understand. When we are in a hurry, we often use words that come close to expressing our intended meaning, but aren’t exactly right. Choosing words is based partly on your purpose, your audience, and the image you want to project. Choose thoughtfully! If you are writing to inform readers with a balanced, detailed assessment avoid highly emotional words. Don’t reject accurate common words. Larger or more sophisticated-sounding words do not mean better writing. Use a larger or less common word only when the choice captures your meaning more accurately or avoids redundancy better than the simpler choice.

Check your paper for active, colorful verbs that convey a lot of meaning.

Ivana spoke her answer quietly.
Ivana whispered her answer.

Avoid passive verbs.

The ball was kicked by Pelé.
Pelé kicked the ball.

Circle forms of to be.This verb form does not convey any action and may make your sentence needlessly wordy. However, not every to be verb needs to be replaced. Use them to link a subject to a noun that renames it or to an adjective that describes it.

A surge of power was responsible for the destruction of my computer.
A surge of power destroyed my computer.
History is a bucket of ashes.
Scoundrels are always sociable.

Adjust to your readers’ needs. College writing usually has a fairly high level of formality. Avoid slang.

Getting fired didn’t faze me because I have megabucks stashed away.
Getting fired didn’t disturb me because I have savings.

Circle there is, there are, it is constructions. These may be unnecessarily vague, wordy, or confusing. They also let the writer withhold information. Is this appropriate or has the construction led you to omit important details?

It is important for us to raise more money.
We must raise more money.

Edit out words used in older literature which are rarely used today. Language constantly changes. Some words fall out of common usage while new words enter the vocabulary. Other words shift meaning.

Good reviews of our play were scarce, save in Fanfare.
“save” seems old-fashioned

Circle any words you learned recently or have not used often. Check with a dictionary, friend or tutor to make sure they work.

Similar choices affront every student.
Similar choices confront every student.

If several alternates come to mind, write them down separated with slashes. Later, with the help of a dictionary, friend, roommate or tutor, you can choose which word most accurately captures your meaning.

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Apostrophes for Possession and Contraction

Apostrophe for contractions

  • Contractions are common in informal speech and writing, but use them sparingly in formal writing.
  • Remember the apostrophe goes in place of the letter or letters that were left out.
  • Be careful with words such as don’t and doesn’t (do not write do’nt and does’nt)

Apostrophes for possession

  • Distinguish between singular and plural possessives
  • Add apostrophe and ­s to show possession in singular nouns
  • Add apostrophe and ­s for plural nouns that do not have an ­s in the plural form (1 child, 5 children; 1 mouse, 19 mice).
  • Add only the apostrophe at the end of plural words where the plural is formed by adding -s.

Recognizing Possessive Construction

If you are not sure a construction is possessive try the following transformation. If you can transform the construct into a phrase using “belonging to” or “of” with the same meaning, the construction is possessive and requires an apostrophe.

The power of the president .
the president’s power

The book belonging to Estella
Estella’s book

  • Circle all words with apostrophes.
  • Count the contractions. Write out the words if you use too many contracted forms.
  • Check for words that are only plural and remove the apostrophe.
  • Check words that require apostrophes. Does the apostrophe belong before the ­s or after?
  • Check all possessive pronouns: its, whose, hers, his, ours, yours theirs. Remove apostrophes from these words.
  • Double-check the following words: its, it’s, whose, who’s , theirs, they’re. Check when to use the apostrophe and when not to.
  • Check any compound words. Did you remember to put the apostrophe or apostrophe and ­s on the last word of the group?
  • Your word processor’s spell check will tag possible apostrophe problems. Double-check whatever is marked by the program.

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Subject/Verb Agreement

If you have many problems with subject/verb agreement you might need to circle every verb in your paper, find its subject, and make sure subject and verb agree. Otherwise you might want to check the following common problem areas.

Focus on individual sentences. Try reading each sentence out loud or reading your paper backward sentence by sentence. This will help you concentrate on each sentence instead of the overall meaning. This may help your ear to detect some errors.

  • Find all indefinite pronouns. Remember, they are singular and require singular verb forms.
  • Find the relative pronouns who, which and that. When a relative pronoun functions as a subject, its verb agrees in number with the pronoun’s antecedent.

The man who works in the bank is helpful.
The men who work in the bank are helpful

  • Find all collective nouns; they take singular subjects unless they are used in a way that means the individuals and not the group.
  • Find places where you used the compound subjects or, nor, either…or, neither…nor, not only…but also, not…but.
    The verb agrees with the subject closest to the verb.

The teacher or his assistants grade the tests.
The assistants or the teacher grades the tests.

  • Watch for sentences beginning with there is, there are, here is, here are and any other sentences where the subject follows the verb. It is hard for your ear to hear what is right, so check whether the subject and verb agree in number.

Sitting on the professor’s desk were two chimpanzees.
There is a skunk hiding in the bushes.

  • Look for long sentences where the subject might separated from the verb by a phrase or clause. It is hard for your ear to hear which verb form is correct in these sentences.

A smelly pile of old blankets was our only refuge from the snow.
The editor, along with two reporters, reviews every story.

  • The words some, most, all, none, and half (along with other fractions) can be either singular or plural depending on the meaning of the sentence.

Half of the money is yours.
Half of the students are staring out of the window.
Most of the pie has been eaten.
Most of the brownies have been eaten.

  • Your word processor’s grammar/spell check program will tag sentences that may have agreement errors. Be sure to find the subject and verb in each of these sentences and check for agreement problems.

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Concrete and Abstract

This comes under the umbrella of finding the exact word. Two places to look for help with finding exact words are the dictionary or a thesaurus (a book of synonyms and antonym). Try to select words with the appropriate connotations. Choose specific, concrete words. Do not misuse words: if a word is not part of your active vocabulary it is easy to misuse it. Avoid worn-out or overused expressions and use figures of speech with care.

Obviously, both abstract (love hate, justice, fear) and concrete (rock, frog, rose) are necessary to convey meaning. Still, to create the image in the reader's mind it is necessary to be as specific as possible: film (a general class), science fiction (a narrower class), and Jurassic Park (more specific yet).

The example below of a sentence using an abstract word shows how different readers might have varying images.

My fifteen-year-old son glanced out the window and happily yelled, "What a beautiful day!"

After an informal survey, I determined that 90% of the people asked defined a "beautiful day" as sunny with blue skies, birds twittering, etc. etc. etc. In fact, what my son saw out the windows was thunder and lightning, rain pouring down and hurricane wind scattering tree branches across the road. So, for him to accurately depict what he had in mind would required a bit more elaboration than the simple word "beautiful."

This is the kind of playing with language that often comes during the revision process, not necessarily in the first draft of a piece of writing. Have fun with the words, the connotations, and the insights that are given to the reader by the author.

  • While reading a paper aloud or while listening to a paper being read, focus on the "picture" being drawn, the sounds being heard, the odors smelled and the textures felt. Does the language create a vivid picture in your mind?

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Homonyms: A Review

Unfortunately for the over-burdened, the computer does not help with homonyms, those words sounding the same but having different meanings and spellings. The best idea is to come up with a trick to help remember the words that cause you the most difficulty. For instance the infamous aide-memoire:

Principal: this principal is a PAL, a person. This spelling means a person who heads a school.
Principle: this is not a PAL and therefore not a person but a fundamental truth.

They're: the apostrophe means there are letters missing so this is the contracted form of they are.

They're moving to San Francisco next month.

There: cover up the letter t and the word is here, a place. Now uncover the letter t and the words is there, another place, but farther away.

Don't stand in my way. Move over there.

Their: by the process of elimination this last word must be the one indicating possession.

Their cars have been painted.

The next is not a homonym problem, but does occur because of sound similarity. Please be careful and remember that there is not construction in English using "of" as a helping verb (could of, would of, should of).


Wrong
: I could of gotten that for you.
Correct: I could have gotten that for you.

  • Compile your own list of troublesome homonyms, keep it handy and refer to it when in doubt.
  • Quickly scan your paper, circling all of the homonyms you find.
  • Double-check these homonyms with a dictionary or friend.

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Parallelism

If two or more ideas are parallel they are easier for the reader to grasp if they are expressed in parallel grammatical form. Briefly, parallelism in writing balances a word with a word, a phrase with a phrase or a clause with a clause so the parts of a sentence are grammatically the same.

Parallel: I like biking, swimming, and camping.
Parallel: I want to improve my skills, go online, and surf the Internet.
Parallel: Either Rene will go to college or she will get a job at the bank.
Parallel: Rene will either go to college or get a job at the bank.
Parallel: It is easier to speak in abstractions than to ground one's thoughts in reality.
Parallel: Television teaches us that nothing is more important than being rich, looking good and having a good time.

  • Watch for words, phrases, clauses, and verb forms in a series. Make sure each item in the follows the same pattern.
  • Check sentences with and, or, nor. Does the word, phrase or clause on one side match the other?
  • Check sentences with not only and but also. The structure that follows the "not only" should match what follows the "but also."
  • Check for comparisons linked with than or as.

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Colons

The colon is generally used after a complete sentence to call attention to the words that follow.

Use a colon after an independent clause to direct attention to a list, an appositive, or a quotation.

  • List:Your daily exercise routine should include the following: twenty knee bends, fifty push-ups and ten minutes of running in place.
  • Appositive: My roommate is guilty of two of the seve deadly sins: gluttony and laziness.
  • Quotation:Consider the words of John F. Kennedy: "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

Use a colon between two independent clauses if the second summarizes or explains the first.

Sentences: Minds are like parachutes: they only function when they are open.

  • Skim your paper, marking every colon you find. Is each colon used correctly? Is there a complete sentence before each colon? If you used several colons, you may want to rewrite some sentences to make the colon unnecessary.
  • Scan your paper and mark any long lists. If you use a complete sentence to introduce the list, use a colon after the introductory sentence and before the list.
  • Do you have any general statements immediately followed by a more specific explanation? If you have, you may want to use a colon after the complete sentence (your general statement) and before the specific example.

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Semicolons

The semicolon is used sparingly in modern writing. The major uses of the semicolon are listed below:

Use a semicolon between independent clauses when the ideas are closely related and the clauses are not joined with a coordinating conjunction.

My aunt's basement had walls of clay; it felt like a dungeon to me.

Use a semicolon between independent clauses linked with a transitional expression.

I learned all the rules of baseball; however, I never could hit the ball very well.

Use a semicolon between the items in a list when one or more of the items has internal punctuation.

Today I saw Dr. Sacks, the veterinarian; Ms. Vaughn, the mayor of San Jose; and Diana, my college roommate.

How many semicolons did you use? Skim your paper and mark every semicolon. If you have several semicolons, you may want to rewrite some of the sentences to make the semicolon unnecessary. When you used a semicolon did you use it correctly? Avoid common misuses of the semicolon:


Do not use a semicolon between a subordinate clause and the rest of the sentence.

Unless you brush your teeth within 10 minutes of eating; brushing does almost no good.

Do not use a semicolon between an appositive and the word to which it refers.

Another delicious dish is the chef's special; a roasted chicken stuffed with wild rice.

Do not use a semicolon to introduce a list.

Some of my favorite musicians have home pages on the Web; Andy Stewart, John McCutcheon, Janos Starker, Christopher Parkening, Alice Artz, Maurizio Pollini and Maura O'Connell.

Do not use a semicolon between independent clauses joined by coordinating conjunctions.

Five of the applicants had worked with word processors; but only one was familiar with database management.

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Quotation Marks

Use quotation marks to enclose direct quotations, the exact words someone spoke or wrote.

Olivia shouted, "I was promoted to department manager yesterday!"

Do not use quotation marks around indirect quotations. An indirect quotation reports someone's ideas without using that person's exact words.

Olivia told us she had been promoted to department manager yesterday.

Use single quotation marks to enclose a quotation within a quotation.

Tom groaned, "If I hear another newscaster say someone is 'pushing the envelope' I'll lose my mind."

Do not use quotation marks to disown trite expressions or to justify an attempt at humor.

Punctuation with quotation marks:

  • Commas and periods always go inside quotation marks.
  • Colons and semicolons always go outside quotation marks.
  • Question marks and exclamation points go inside the quotation marks if the question or exclamation is made inside If the question or exclamation applies to the whole sentence, place the punctuation mark outside the quotation mark.

Every night after my daughter has been in bed twenty minutes she squeals, "Mommy, may I have a drink of water?"
Have you heard the proverb "Don't climb the hill until you reach it"?

Scan your paper and highlight key words that indicate you may be using someone else's words in dialogue or as a source of information.

Common dialogue cues: said, says, shout(ed), whisper(ed), call(ed), etc.
Common citation cues: believes, maintains, insists, asserts, according to, etc.

Look at the passages before and after the words you found and check if you are using someone else's words or ideas. Insert any necessary quotation marks.

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Sentence Variety

Most sentences begin with the subject, move to the verb and continue with the object, with modifiers tucked in along the way or at the end. These sentences are grammatically correct, but too many in a row will become monotonous. If your rough draft has too many same-sounding sentences, try adding some variety with the techniques below. Remember, don't sacrifice clarity or ease of reading.

Vary your sentence openings:


Adverbial modifiers are usually easily moved and can be inserted ahead of the subject. These modifiers might be single words, phrases or clauses.

A pair of ducks flew over the house just as the sun was coming up.
Just as the sun was coming up, a pair of ducks flew over the house.

Adjectives and participial phrases can often be moved to the beginning of a sentence.

Edward, dejected and withdrawn, was ready to give up his search for a job.
Dejected and withdrawn, Edward was ready to give up his search for a job.

Invert sentences occasionally.

A display of candy is opposite the check stand.
Opposite the check stand is a display of candy.

Use a variety of sentence structures: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex.

Adriana is studying math.
Adriana is studying math and Tom is washing the dishes.
Adriana is studying math while Tom is washing the dishes.
Adriana is studying math while Tom is washing the dishes because they want to finish their work so they can go to a concert.

Grammar checkers are not much help with sentence variety. It takes a human ear to know when and why sentence variety is needed.

To edit a paper to find out if you do not have enough sentence variety:

  • Read the paper aloud. Mark sentences that sound too repetitious.
  • Highlight every sentence that begins with a subject and verb. Do you need to vary some of these?

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Dashes and Parentheses

Writers use dashes and parentheses to set off extra information that is included in a complete sentence. These brief bits of description or explanation would not affect the meaning of the sentence if they were taken out. Writers always want readers to be able to find the main idea of a sentence easily, so they set off extra information with dashes or parentheses.

Rather than taking out sections of additional information (you thought they were important enough to include in the first place), see if surrounding them with either dashes or parenthesis would help your reader differentiate between the core of the sentence and the additional bits of information. Think of these kinds of punctuation marks as a tap on the shoulder or a gentle poke in the ribs of the person you are talking to, or a lowering of your voice in order to let them know there's something else you want to tell them.

A note on dashes: if the extra information comes at the end of a sentence, you only need one dash at the beginning of the extra information to set if off. The period will set off the end of the extra.

A note on parenthesis: parentheses always come in pairs.

  • Read your paper backwards, one sentence at a time. Highlight or circle passages where you included extra information. Do you need to surround the extra information with dashes or parentheses to help your reader find the main idea of the sentence?
  • Highlight or mark all sentences where you used dashes or parentheses. If you leave out what comes in between (or what comes after a single dash), do you have a complete, sensible sentence left? If you don't, you need to revise the sentence.

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Unnecessary Commas

Note: In the examples below all the commas in bold type are wrong.

Do not use a comma between compound elements that are not independent clauses.

The teacher handed out the books, and gave students the first assignment.

Do not use a comma after a phrase that begins an inverted sentence.

Etched on his wrist, was a tattoo of a dragon.

Do not use a comma before the first item or after the last item in a series.

Do not use a comma between an adverb and an adjective.

The Hurst Home is not suitable for severely, disturbed teenagers.

Do not use commas to set off restrictive or mildly parenthetical elements.

Drivers who think they own the road make cycling dangerous.
Clarissa believes the Internet is, essentially, a place for advertising.

Do not use a comma to set off a concluding adverb clause that is essential to the meaning of the sentence.

Don't go to Yosemite during the tourist season, unless you have a reservation.

Do not use a comma to separate a verb from its subject or object.

Zoos large enough to let animals roam, are becoming more popular.

Do not use a comma after a coordinating conjunction.

Do not use a comma after such as or like.

Do not use a comma before a parenthesis.

Do not use a comma with a question mark or exclamation point.

"Why don't you come with me?", she coaxed.

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Pronoun Reference

Pronouns substitute for nouns: they are a kind of shorthand.

After Andrew intercepted the ball, he kicked it as hard as he could.
he stands for Andrew; it substitutes for ball.

Note: all of the examples below are of errors in pronoun reference.


Avoid ambiguous pronoun reference

When I dropped the pitcher on the glass-topped table it broke. What broke? The pitcher or the table?

Avoid placing a pronoun so far away from its antecedent that the sentence is not easy to read.

Avoid using this, that, which, and it to refer to whole ideas or sentences. For clarity these pronouns should refer to specific antecedents.

Patients have to wait longer and longer at the free clinic. Most of them accept this with minor complaints.

Do not use a pronoun to refer to an implied antecedent.

After braiding Ann's hair, Sue decorated them with ribbons.

Avoid using they to refer to persons who have not been specifically mentioned.

My gas bill listed suggestions for saving energy. They said to set a moderate temperature for the water heater.

Avoid using the pronoun it indefinitely in constructions like the following

It is said on television...
In the book it points out that...

The pronoun you is appropriate when you are addressing the reader directly. In formal contexts do not use the pronoun you to mean "anyone in general."

In Ethiopia you don't need much property to be considered wealthy.

Use who, whom, or whose t

o refer to people.

Neighbors wondered how an old lady that walked with a limp could fix her own roof.

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Paragraph Logic and Effectiveness

Reworking your paragraphs can occur at almost any time during your writing and can be repeated as often as necessary. It is also a normal part of revising and editing.

Scan your paper for large blocks of text, especially areas of half a page or more. You might need to insert a new paragraph at the following places:

  1. A change of idea or subject.
  2. A change in voice.
  3. A change in speaker when you are writing dialogue.
  4. A change in time.

Now, highlight or mark the topic sentence of every paragraph and go through the checklist below:

  • Do all the ideas in the paragraph belong? Move or cut any ideas that don't belong in the paragraph.
  • Is the paragraph adequately developed? Are any necessary ideas left out?
  • Do all the sentences in the paragraph focus on the topic? Remember, every sentence in a paragraph should develop the same idea.
  • Does each sentence link to the previous sentence? Is the order of the sentences logical?
  • Are the sentences connected to each other with natural, effective transitions?
  • Is the paragraph linked to the preceding and following paragraphs with effective transitions?

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Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement

A pronoun is a word that substitutes for a noun. The antecedent is the noun or pronoun to which the pronoun refers. A pronoun and its antecedent agree when they are both singular or both plural.

Common trouble spots:

  • Indefinite pronouns refer to nonspecific persons or things. Treat them as singular.


Replace plural pronoun with he or she (or his or her)

When someone has been drinking, they are likely to speed.
When someone has been drinking, he or she is likely to speed.

Make the antecedent plural

When someone has been drinking, they are likely to speed.
When drivers have been drinking, they are likely to speed.

Rewrite the sentence to avoid the agreement problem

When someone has been drinking, they are likely to speed.
A driver whohas been drinking is likely to speed.

  • Generic nouns represent a typical member of a group (a student) and are singular.

A medical student must study hard if they want to succeed.
A medical student must study hard if he or she wants to succeed.

  • Collective nouns name a class or group (jury, committee, team, family, class). Usually the group functions as a unit so the noun should be treated as singular; if the members of the group function as individuals, treat the noun as plural.

    unit: The committee granted its permission to build a new library.
    individual: The audience clapped and stamped their feet.

  • Compound antecedents connected by and are generally plural.

    Joanne and Alex moved to the mountains where they built a cabin.

  • Compound antecedents connected by or, nor, either...or, neither...nor. The pronoun must agree with the closest antecedent.

    Neither the mouse nor the rats could find their way through the maze.

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Run-Together Sentences and Comma Splices

A run-together sentence occurs when two independent clauses are run together without any punctuation or coordinating conjunction between them. A comma splice is two or more independent clauses joined with only a comma.

Four ways to correct run-together sentences:

1) Use a comma and a coordinating conjunction ( and, but, for, so, yet, nor, or ).

Gestures are a means of communication for everyone, but they are essential for the hearing impair

2) Use a semicolon or colon if appropriate.

Gestures are a means of communication for everyone; they are essential for the hearing impaired.

3) Separate the clauses into separate sentences.

Gestures are a means of communication for everyone. They are essential for the hearing impaired.

4) Restructure the sentence, perhaps by subordinating one of the clauses.

Although gestures are a means of communication for everyone, they are essential for the hearing impaired.
Gestures, a means of communication for everyone, are essential for the hearing impaired.

If you have a problem with run-together sentences, first look for common trouble spots:


Remember that transitional expressions are not enough to connect complete sentences.

also in addition furthermore of course however still
as a result in fact besides in other words
therefore
next
on the other hand then finally meanwhile now consequently
for instance for example moreover
nevertheless
   

comma splice:

We usually think of children as innocent, however, they can be cruel.

Example or explanation in second clause

Run-together:

Martin looked out the window in astonishment he had never seen snow before.

Pronoun as subject of second independent clause.

Run-together:

Claudia was full of energy and enthusiasm she joined several clubs.

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