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Frequently Seen Writing Errors Goble. Noun-Pronoun Agreement.

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Presentation on theme: "Frequently Seen Writing Errors Goble. Noun-Pronoun Agreement."— Presentation transcript:

1 Frequently Seen Writing Errors Goble

2 Noun-Pronoun Agreement

3 Nouns and their pronouns are a set of teammates who must agree not only on the direction in which they are going to run, but on the type of play they are going to use to score a point. That is, they need to agree on two things: 1. Number (singular/one or plural/more than one) 2. Gender (male, female, neutral)

4 For example, the following sentences do not make sense since the pronouns do not agree with their nouns in number (1st sentence) or gender (2nd sentence): Examples Elvis sightings have occurred more abundantly in the last two years; he has been occurring at the rate of ten per month. I know a woman who likes Elvis Presley's music so much, he trained her dog (named Elvis) to thump her tail and bark in rhythm to all of its tapes.

5 The sentences do make sense when the pronoun gender and number is straightened out: "Sightings" is the noun to which the pronoun refers; it is plural and thus requires the plural pronoun "they" to make sense. Note that the verb changes as well since verbs have to agree with their nouns [or pronouns]. Examples Original (incorrect) SentenceCorrected Sentence Elvis sightings have occurred more abundantly in the last two years; he has been occurring at the rate of ten per month. Elvis sightings have occurred more abundantly in the last two years; they have been occurring at the rate of ten per month.

6 DIY (Do it Yourself) Correct the following sentence making sure that the pronoun’s gender and numbers are straightened out: Original (incorrect) SentenceCorrected Sentence I know a woman who likes Elvis Presley's music so much, he trained her dog (named Elvis) to thump her tail and bark in rhythm to all of its tapes.

7 Corrected Version Original (incorrect) SentenceCorrected Sentence I know a woman who likes Elvis Presley's music so much, he trained her dog (named Elvis) to thump her tail and bark in rhythm to all of its tapes. I know a woman who likes Elvis Presley's music so much, she trained her dog (named Elvis) to thump his tail and bark in rhythm to all of her tapes. "Woman" is a feminine noun, so it requires the feminine pronoun "her." You can assume, because of its name, that the dog is male, so it would be more correct to say "his" tail. If you don't know the dog's gender, you could say "its" tail. Yet "its" does not make sense when referring to the tapes, since the neutral pronoun "its" implies that the tapes belong to the dog. So you could say "her tapes," to show that they belong to the woman, or "his tapes" to refer to the tapes of Elvis' singing.

8 Trick-Singular Pronouns

9 Everyone took their umbrella except Justin and Ernesto. Revenge is when someone does something bad to you and you want to get back at them so that they can suffer for what they did to you. The swap meet was organized by someone who wanted their name to remain anonymous. Not one of the children were planning on going home empty- handed. Examples of Commonly Seen Trick-Singular Pronoun Errors

10 Trick-Singular Pronouns The following words make a noun or pronoun singular: anybodyeveryno one someoneanyoneeverybody nobodysomethingeach everyonenoneeither neithersomebody You need to use singular pronoun forms with these words.

11 DIY Each eight-year-old brought their best junk to the school- sponsored swap meet in the gym on Saturday morning. Where is the error? What is the trick-singular pronoun? "Their" is the word that needs correction into "his or her.“ "Each" is the trick singular; "their" is a plural pronoun. You don't know the gender of the eight-year-olds (so you have to assume that there are both boys and girls), so you need to use the singular to cover both genders, "his or her.“

12 DIY Not one of the children were planning on going home empty- handed Where is the error? What is the trick-singular pronoun? "Were" is the word that needs to be corrected into "was." "One" is the trick singular that functions as the pronoun with which the verb must agree. The verb is irregular, so it changes form from plural (were) to singular (was).

13 Writing Rules!

14 Do not abbrev. A writer must not shift your point of view. Verbs has to agree with their subjects. About sentence fragments. Check to see if you any words out. Be carefully to use adjectives and adverbs correct. Writing Rules!

15 Do not never use no double negatives. Do not, use commas, that are not, necessary. In letters compositions reports and things like that we use commas to keep a string of items apart from one another so that the reader can pause as he or she reads without running out of air before the sentence is complete and the period comes. Writing Rules!

16 Only Proper Nouns should be Capitalized (this includes names of literary works – i.e. book names) Do not write a run-on sentence you've got to punctuate it so that it makes sense and is “reader friendly.” 1 important point is to never start a sentence with a number. lastly, a sentence should begin with a capital letter and end with a full stop Writing Rules!

17 DON’T begin sentences with “Because” / “And” / “But” as these are connective or joining words. With the use of proper punctuation, these should be occurring in the middle of your sentences, not at the beginning of them. Writing Don'ts!

18 DON’T Cut your thoughts in half for the sake of producing sentences. Just because your paragraph contains five sentences (standard practice), does NOT mean that your paper is complete! It is important to use punctuation and stream your thoughts seamlessly into sentences that flow and are not choppy. Try reading your sentences and overall paper out loud to get a better feel for what your writing sounds like. Remember that it is never too late to edit or redo it! Cheating the System

19 Use grade-level appropriate (advanced!!) vocabulary words to enhance your writing. Remember that you are an educated, high school student and not a 3 rd grader. Words such as like / thing / a lot / many or other words commonly used by a 10 year old are not appropriate! Always have a thesaurus handy during writing exercises to ensure that your paper is written to the best of your ability. Side note: using vocabulary words from the year will greatly impress the reader (Mrs. Goble!) and show that your vocabulary is developing as the year progresses. Word Choice 101

20 INFORMALFORMAL you (people in general) we / one / people startbegin / commence somebody / anybody everybody / nobody someone / anyone / everyone / no one guyman / gentleman / young man / boy kidchild / youth / boy / young man ladywoman a lota great deal / much / very much / greatly / immensely a lot ofseveral / a number of / a great deal of Word Choice 101

21 INFORMALFORMAL very / really / extremely (adverbs of enhancement) highly / quite / exceedingly / excessively kind of / sort of / pretty (adverbs of moderation) somewhat / rather / moderately tooalso / as well totallycompletely / entirely / thoroughly / utterly mom / dadmother / father But (sentence starter) However And (sentence starter) Furthermore / Additionally / In addition to So (sentence starter) Therefore / As a result Word Choice 101

22 INFORMALFORMAL stuffitems / belongings / possessions / materials be going to (future tense) will / intend to have tomust / be required to / be compelled to right now / right awayat once / immediately like (as a comparison) such as towardstoward pretty muchessentially / for the most part / virtually Word Choice 101 Know them. Use them. Quizzes are imminent.

23 The following slides are dedicated to helping you (the student) avoid killing your English teacher (me). They will also aid in curbing the academic suicide some of you are attempting to commit every time you turn in a writing assignment. Please, pay special attention.

24 Dialect versus Language Unlike the British, who generally speak using proper English grammar and usage, Americans have invented whole new sub- languages to speak which are clearly different from formal, standard written English. We must understand that street-slang belongs on the street where it is spoken, not on the written page. We must not write our compositions in street-slang. If you're writing a story, it's perfectly alright for your characters to use street-slang, but the narrative itself should be in standard, formal, proper English. Most of the issues below are related to the differences between spoken dialect and written language.

25 Pronoun Problem: “You” PROBLEM: Using the second-person pronoun you to refer to people in general. Unless you're addressing the reader directly (which you really shouldn't do), you must not refer to the general public as "you.“ In an essay, using we is preferable ("In Steinbeck’s novel, we see examples of…" instead of "…you see examples of…) The pronoun you is also misused with indeterminate subjects. For example, if you (the student) were to write: "If you walked past the old woman's house, she would scream at you," what you mean is, "If anyone walked past the woman's house, she would scream at that person." The pronoun "you" does not match the noun; the correct pronoun would be him (...she would scream at him) or her.

26 lj

27 LIKE no. This may be the single worst, lamest, most meaningless, and most consistently misused word in the English language. As a verb, it's weak and meaningless: For example: I like ice cream. Susie likes Steve. I like this PowerPoint presentation. It is also used incorrectly in numerous contexts. For example: The man was like six feet tall. As I saw Marvin walk by, I was like, "Where have you been?“ I was like walking to school one morning, and I was like late, so I ran like four blocks and was like, totally like tired when I got to class. The only way to use this word effectively is in creating a simile: Her eyes were like the stars. Or use it as a noun in place of etc.: The carnival had rides, games, shows, and the like.

28 Homophone Horrors Just because two words sound the same, that doesn't mean they are the same. The words there, their and they're represent one of the most common and egregious errors of this type. There is an adverbial of place; Their is a possessive pronoun; They're is a contraction of they are. These three words have absolutely nothing in common except the sound; they have different meanings and serve different functions. Other examples of this maddening phenomenon include: to/too/twowhen/went no/knoware/our here/hearred/readled/lead right/write through/threwway/weigh

29 One Last Word on Word Choice … A guy is a wire or cable that keeps a tall structure from falling over; it is only informally or conversationally used to refer to a male adult or adolescent. A kid is a baby goat; it is only informally or conversationally used to refer to a human child, adolescent, or someone younger than the speaker. Cool as an adjective refers to relatively low ambient temperature; as a verb, it means to lower the temperature; it is only informally or conversationally used to express a favorable opinion. Stuff is a verb meaning to fill a space to or beyond its capacity; it is only informally or conversationally used to refer to numerous indeterminate objects or possessions.

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31 YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Revise your Revenge responses Highlight the corrections that were made based on the original responses previously turned in. Both the original + the revised versions must be turned in for credit. DUE: next class


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