Grammar Notes - Exercise

Exercise – Subject Verb Agreement

Choose the correct verb so that it agrees in number with its subject.
1. The heart, veins, arteries and capillaries (is, are) collectively known as the cardiovascular system.

2. Probably one of the best known success stories in medical history (has, have) been the control of diabetes, which arises from an imbalance of insulin produced by the pancreas.

3. Each group of organisms has certain combinations of features which (is, are) common to it alone and which (separates, separate) it from all other groups.

4. Neither Michelle nor I (am, are) going to the lecture theatre.

5. Proteins, which (is, are) a kind of organic food, are used for cell-building.

6. The teacher concentrates on practical English, which (includes, include) letter-writing and practice for interviews.

7. A feature of invalid vehicles which (concerns, concern) disabled drivers as much as safety is their inability to carry a passenger.

8. The doctor, as well as the nurses, (is, are) coming soon.

9. Each of the lecturers (teach, teaches) well.

10. Highly developed animals including man (relies, rely) mainly on sound and on gestures of the face and body to communicate with each other. Those gestures which convey information about inner emotional states or feelings (is, are) surprisingly similarly in man and his closest evolutionary relative, the chimpanzee.

11. Anatomists have traced two sets of nerves to the heart which, although they are not important in originating the heart beat, (play, plays) a vital role in controlling its rate.

12. Either of us (is, are) available to go for the performance.

13. The team (is, are) on the field.
Exercise – Structural Errors

Incomplete sentences/ Fragments

Read the following paragraph carefully. There are fragments/ incomplete sentences in the paragraph. Please correct the sentences accordingly.


(1) Summer is supposed to be an enjoyable time. (2) Going to the beach. (3) Playing tennis and other games. (4) Even just taking walks during the evening hour. (5) Unfortunately, not everyone can enjoy the season. (6) There are people for whom the summer is pure torture. (7) For instance, my aunt who has anigma. (8) Suffers terribly in the heat. (9) Because her heart just can’t pump fast enough to circulate her blood and to dissipate her body’s heat. (10) The only solution she has found to the problem is to stay in her air-conditioned house for the whole season. (11) As you can imagine, that gets rather boring. (12) Infants and toddlers, too, playing all the time in the summer. (13) They are bothered by the heat. (14) Since their bodies haven’t yet developed the ability to dissipate heat. (15) Mothers find the situation frustrating because they cannot explain the causes to their babies and they cannot force their little ones to slow down. (16) People who live in apartments can’t enjoy the summer either. (17) Frequently, apartments lack cross-ventilation, so the hot air stays in the small, boxy rooms. (18) Furthermore, apartment dwellers don’t own backyards, so they have no place to go to enjoy a fine summer day. (19) Rather than just stepping out on to the lawn. (20) They must plan a major trip to a park or beach for summertime fun.















Exercise:
Each question consists of a sentence followed by a fragment. Correct the error, either by (i) attaching the fragment to the sentence (ii) rewriting the fragment into a complete sentence. Make sure you use the correct punctuation, and give reasons for the structuring of the fragments.

1. All historical events have three basic causes. Once cause being political, one social, and one economic.

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2. Jim has decided to become a soldier. Having realized that jobs for railroad engineers are severely limited.

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3. Lisa wants to buy this antique piano. The piano needing a great deal of expert reconditioning.

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4. My aunt Jenny is an expert on ancient Chinese artifacts. After working in the museum for the past fifteen years.

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5. My new assistant is a very hard-working chap. But, unfortunately, a man who does not work very effectively.

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6. The librarian recently bought a very comprehensive dictionary. The kind of dictionary giving you more information than you really want.

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7. Martha, who manages the local radio station, collects baseball cards. A hobby she began when her husband was a major league player.

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Exercise: Dangling Modifiers
One sentence of each pair contains a dangling modifier. Underline the dangler. Circle the letter (A, B) that identifies the correct sentence.

1. A. Hoping to weld a united front against the administration, a number of resolutions were passed.
B. Hoping to weld a united front against the administration, the opposition passed a number of resolutions.

2. A. Strolling into the lobby of the hotel, the strains of the solo guitar will lift our spirits.
B. As you stroll into the lobby of the hotel, the strains of the solo guitar will lift your spirits.

3. A. When buying a new car, consider the resale value.
B. When buying a new car, the resale value should be considered.

4. A. Seen from a distance, the snow-capped peak might be thought to be a cloud.
B. Seen from a distance, one might think that the snow-capped peak was a cloud.

5. A. To arrive at an intelligent decision, three more problem areas must be explored.
B. If we are to arrive at an intelligent decision, three more problem areas must be explored.

6. A. After leaving Sacramento and heading West, our first sight of San Francisco Bay thrilled us.
B. After leaving Sacramento and heading West, we were thrilled by our first sight of San Francisco Bay.

7. A. If you are using our new international credit card when travelling in Europe, these problems will not come up.
B. Using our new international credit card when traveling in Europe, these problems will not come up.

8. A. Being the oldest of five children, Beth is expected to entertain the younger ones on family outings.
B. Being the oldest of five children, Beth’s parents expect her to entertain the younger ones on family outings.



Exercise: Misplaced Modifiers
From each of the following pairs of sentences, select the one that is clearer and justify your choice.

1. A. Either you pay the fine now or run the risk of being arrested.
B. You either pay the fine now or run the risk of being arrested.

2. A. The group decided to visit the ruined monastery in spite of the long detour.
B. The group decided to, in spite of the long detour, visit the ruined monastery.

3. A. For your required activity course you may either sign up for tennis or swimming.
B. For your required activity course you may sign up for either tennis or swimming.

4. A. Yesterday on a short trip to Sioux Falls I counted fourteen pigeons.
B. Yesterday I counted fourteen pigeons on a short trip to Sioux Falls.

5. A. Eight-year-old Terry is almost as tall as his father.
B. Eight-year-old Terry almost is as tall as his father.

6. A. The chairperson reported on the need for a radical reorganization in her opening remarks.
B. In her opening remarks, the chairperson reported on the need for a radical reorganization.

7. A. I was told that I had been awarded the scholarship by my professor.
B. I was told by my professor that I had been awarded the scholarship.

8. A. Cost-efficient and convenient, many of today’s corporate employees are being trained through computer-assisted instruction.
B. Cost-efficient and convenient, computer-assisted instruction is being used by many companies to train employees.

9. A. When purchasing a cell phone, many people become overwhelmed by the wide variety of calling plans and features.
B. When purchasing a cell phone, the wide variety of calling plans and features overwhelm many people.



Exercise: Parallel Structures
Two or more sentence elements that have the same function should be in the same grammatical form.

Rewrite the following sentences using proper parallel structure.

1. Selena was intelligent, determined and had a dynamic personality.
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2. He was fired not only for his frequent absences but also because he was inefficient.
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3. A person may pursue a goal at college, at a trade school, a military career, or in industry.
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4. Some predictable faults of the average individual are an irresponsible attitude, the inability to see one’s own faults and everyone being basically selfish.
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5. The leopard represents malice, the lion represents violence, unchecked passions are symbolized by the she-wolf.
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6. Dante was terrified of the dark wood, the three beasts, and to see the swarming insects.
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7. We found the film repulsive, offensive, and we thought it was embarrassing.
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8. We have plenty of statutes that forbid people to kill each other and also make it wrong to maim or even just to be threatening with weapons.
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