English Grammar Review
Sentences and Choices
With every sentence you write, you make choices. Being correct and being clear should be your highest priorities.
A common error of writing is a mismatch, either a verb not correctly matching its subject or a pronoun not correctly matching its antecedent.
Problem 1: A group of words between the subject and the verb.
Our CEO, in consultation with four of our VPs, have approved the move to Kyiv.
Our CEO, in consultation with four of our VPs, has approved the move to Kyiv.
Problem 2: Verb before the subject.
On a shelf in my cubicle was a coffee mug and two photos.
On a shelf in my cubicle were a coffee mug and two photos.
Problem 1: Singular nouns joined by or or nor.
Neither Kateryna nor Ulyana will be re-assigned unless they request it.
Neither Kateryna nor Ulyana will be re-assigned unless she requests it.
Problem 2: Indefinite pronouns and adjectives that are singular (anyone, everyone, anybody, everybody, nobody, each, every, either, neither).
Every office and cubicle had their new nametag.
Every office and cubicle had its new nametag.
A common problem of writing clearly is the ambiguity that results when things that should agree are not quite written that way.
Problem: Agreement between an introductory phrase and the subject of a sentence.
Having read Yegor's report, several questions occur to me about the conclusions.
Having read Yegor's report, I would like to ask him several questions about the conclusions.
As director of the Mykolaiv project, we think you should attend the next meeting.
We think that as director of the Mykolaiv project you should attend the next meeting.
Modifiers out of place
Problem: Ambiguity about what a modifier should be modifying.
Here are some suggestions for protecting our IT infrastructure from our security consultants.
Here are some suggestions from our security consultants for protecting our IT infrastructure.
People who click on email links frequently have virus problems.
People who frequently click on email links have virus problems.
People who click on email links have virus problems frequently.
Lesson: Choose Clarity
Module: Sentences and Choices
Course: English Grammar Review