Presentation on theme: "English Errors Explained. No Big Deal Do not freak out. Most grammar errors can be put into three categories: agreement, tense, and ambiguity. You."— Presentation transcript:
No Big Deal Do not freak out. Most grammar errors can be put into three categories: agreement, tense, and ambiguity. You don’t need to be an expert in this stuff! If you can spot basic errors and label the error type, you are doing well. Knowing these errors can greatly increase your SAT/PSAT score.
Errors of Agreement “Agreement” basically means that the nouns and verbs in a sentence match. There are a few ways things can go wrong: Subject-Verb Agreement – the number of things in the subject doesn’t match the verb. Ex. The school are nice. Because the subject is ‘school’, the verb should be ‘is’. This is an example of an agreement error. Pronoun/Noun and Noun/Noun Agreement – this can happen when the numbers of nouns/pronouns in a sentence don’t match. Check it out… ex 1. Every student should know their part. ex 2. My roommates both want to be an engineer. More agreement problems here – in example one, the word student is singular, so the proper pronoun should be either his, her, or his/her. In example two, the word roommates is plural, so the companion word, engineers, should be plural too.
Parallelism is similar to Agreement In a list, all items should be in the same form – especially verbs. This is called parallelism. ex. As a boy scout, one can go camping, learn to make things, and everyone can practice conservationism. In this example, it is clear that the last part of this list does not fit. This is an example of a parallelism error.
Speaking of Agreement… Be careful, these words all take the singular verb “is” Either Neither None Each Anyone/Anybody No one Everyone Everything
Errors of Tense These are usually easy to spot. Errors of tense happen when the verb in a sentence are in the wrong time. They can also happen when the time changes in a sentence. ex. My grandfather works in the factory when he was a kid. ex. When I saw the test, I have forgotten the answers. Both of these examples contain tense errors. In the first one, the verb ‘works’ should be in the past, not present tense. In the second example, the second verb should be ‘forgot’ so that it matches ‘saw’.
Errors of Ambiguity Ambiguous means ‘unclear’. If a sentence has more than one possible meaning, it suffers from errors of ambiguity. ex. John told his father he wasn’t a nice man. Who is ‘he’ in this sentence? We can’t say for sure. Therefore, this sentence is an example of pronoun ambiguity. Sometimes an important phrase is misplaced. This is called a misplaced modifier. ex. Walking down the road, my mood started to change. This sentence make it sound like “my mood” was walking down the road. Ambiguity can also happen in comparisons. Check out the following examples: ex. The people at Microsoft work harder than Dell. ex. Americans drink more wine than France. In the first sentence, the people at Microsoft are being compared to Dell. Because you can’t compare a person to a company, this is an error. The second sentence implies that France, the country, can drink wine.
Word Choice Issues Sometimes errors are made in word choice. These can include incorrect idioms, incorrect connected phrases, and adjective/adverb confusion. Incorrect Idioms happen when the incorrect word is used in a standard phrase. For example, ‘I have been waiting for see you’ should instead be ‘I have been waiting to see you.’ Incorrect Connected Phrases are very similar. One word in a standard phrase will be gone. For example, ‘No sooner had he entered the house but he was attacked’ should instead read ‘No sooner had he entered the house than he was attacked. ’ Adjective/Adverb Confusion can be hard to spot, as it is a common habit in spoken English. If I say, for example, that ‘Shauna drives dangerous,’ I should instead say ‘Shauna drives dangerously’, as the word ‘dangerously’ modifies the VERB ‘drives’.
One More Time… Agreement – verbs and nouns in a sentence should match in number. If there is a list, things should all be in the same form (parallelism). Tense – verbs should be in the correct time and should not switch Ambiguity – Sentences should only have one possible meaning Word Choice – when the wrong word is used in a phrase, or when the wrong part of speech is used (adjective for adverb).