Lecture 36
This presentation is the property of its rightful owner.
Sponsored Links
1 / 10

Lecture 36 Language Review: Sentences PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 55 Views
  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

Lecture 36 Language Review: Sentences. In this lecture you will learn. Stacked Modifiers and Nouns Wordiness Passive Voice and Active Voice Nominalizations Unnecessary Repetition Unnecessary Words and Phrases Overloaded Sentences Sentence Fragments. Comma Splice

Download Presentation

Lecture 36 Language Review: Sentences

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript


Lecture 36 language review sentences

Lecture 36

Language Review: Sentences

In this lecture you will learn

  • Stacked Modifiers and Nouns

  • Wordiness

    • Passive Voice and Active Voice

    • Nominalizations

    • Unnecessary Repetition

    • Unnecessary Words and Phrases

  • Overloaded Sentences

  • Sentence Fragments

  • Comma Splice

  • Fused Sentences

  • Stringy Sentences

  • Agreement

    • Subject-Verb Agreement

      • Two or More Nouns

      • Sentences Beginning with There

      • Indefinite Pronouns

      • Collective Nouns

      • Quantifiers

  • Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement

Stacked Modifiers and Nouns

  • Avoid using long strings of modifiers or nouns.

  • These stacked modifiers and nouns can be hard to read and sometimes create ambiguity.

  • Add a few words (especially prepositions and conjunctions) to make the relationships between nouns clear to the reader.

Example

  • Weak

    • Previous work has shown that a purified pro-oxidant, vitamin E-deficient fish oil diet protects mice against malaria parasites.

  • Improved

    • Previous work has shown that feeding a pro-oxidant diet containing fish oil, but devoid of vitamin E, protects mice against malaria parasites.


Lecture 36 language review sentences

Example

  • Weak

    • We have analyzed low-energy, interplanetary charged, sun-sourced particle flux time series.

  • Improved

    • We have analyzed the time series of fluxes of low-energy interplanetary charged particles, whose ultimate origin is the Sun.

  • Weak

    • The system uses a high peak power single frequency low divergent light beam produced by pulsed lasers. [The modification of beam is difficult to sort out.]

  • Improved

    • The system uses pulsed lasers that operate under high peak power to produce a single-frequency light beam with low divergence.

Wordiness

  • Say what you have to say in as few words as possible without sacrificing clarity or omitting vital information.

  • Conciseness is desirable in all writing, but especially so in technical writing.

  • Excessive use of the passive voice, excessive nominalization, unnecessary repetition, and unnecessary words and phrasesare some common causes of wordy writing.

Passive Voice and Active Voice

  • Use the active voice whenever the passive voice is not appropriate.

  • Active verbs make for concise prose;sentences with passive verbs use more words.

  • Moreover, passive verbs de-emphasize or even eliminate mention of the performer of the action conveyed by the verb.

Example

  • Weak

    • In this project, three psychological experiments were performed by the authors so that the technical problems for the auralization of a sound field could be clarified.

  • Improved

    • In this project, the authors performed three psychological experiments to clarify the technical problems for the auralization of a sound field.


Lecture 36 language review sentences

Nominalizations

  • Where possible, use verb forms instead of noun forms.

  • Excessive or unnecessary nominalization (turning verbs into nouns) can make your writing wordy because it requires a noun and a verb instead of just the verb form.

Example

  • Weak

    • A winglet may cause the introduction of a discontinuity in the lift distribution curve.

  • Improved

    • A winglet may introduce a discontinuity in the lift distribution curve.

  • Weak

    • Regeneration of the resin bed is achieved by a calcium chloride solution. [Note that the main action of the sentence is located in the nominal subject.]

  • Improved

    • The resin bed is regenerated with a calcium chloride solution. [The main action of the sentence is now in the verb.]

Unnecessary Repetition

  • Avoid unnecessary repetition.

  • One of the most common types of unnecessary repetition involves modifiers that repeat information given in the word modified.

  • In the slides that follow we discuss a few examples of recognizing and eliminating repetition.

Example

  • Unacceptable

    • Currently, aircraft must be kept a minimum of at least three miles apart in the horizontal plane.

  • Improved

    • Currently, aircraft must be kept a minimum of three miles apart in the horizontal plane.

  • Weak

    • In 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered for the first time that Penicillin mold could kill Staphylococcus bacteria in petri-dishes. Fleming named the lethal antibacterial chemical secreted by the deadly Penicillin mold,dubbing it "penicillin."

  • Improved

    • In 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered that Penicillin mold could kill Staphylococcus bacteria in petri-dishes. He dubbed the lethal anti bacterial chemical secreted by the mold "penicillin."


Lecture 36 language review sentences

  • Weak

    • Ability to separate from water is an essential prerequisite for a hydraulic oil to be used in plant systems where contamination of the hydraulic system by water is likely to form sludge emulsions of oil and water. [There is much repetition of phrases and terms in this sentence.]

  • Improved

    • Plants with hydraulic systems routinely exposed to water should use hydraulic oils that are immiscible with water.

Unnecessary Words and Phrases

  • Make sure that each word and phrase in your sentences contributes to meaning and clarity.

  • Try to avoid the two commonly used constructions There is/are . . .  And It is . . . .

  • Delete superfluous material when you revise your first draft.

Examples

  • Weak

    • It is expected that by the year 2000, the Library of Congress will have digitized 5 million books and images.

  • Improved

    • By the year 2000, the Library of Congress expects to have digitized 5 million books and images.

  • Weak

    • There is an electronic Beowulf project at the British Library that is preserving the original manuscript of the 11th century Anglo-Saxon epic.

  • Improved

    • An electronic Beowulf project at the British Library is preserving the original manuscript of the 11th century Anglo-Saxon epic.

  • Weak

    • Are the detection systems and secondary containments periodically performance testable to verify operability in the event that they are called upon to function? [A very long-winded way to ask a simple question.]

  • Improved

    • Can the detection systems and secondary containments be performance tested periodically?


Lecture 36 language review sentences

Overloaded Sentences

  • Avoid sentences that contain more information than the reader can easily follow.

  • Instead, divide such sentences into more manageable pieces that can be easily grasped.

Examples

  • Weak

    • Because researchers interested in speech synthesis and automatic recognition need to find rules that improve intelligibility of speech, they need to study the psychological determinants more closely before they can solve what has become a complex set of questions.

  • Improved

    • Researchers interested in speech synthesis and automatic recognition need to find rules that improve intelligibility of speech. Consequently, they need to study the psychological determinants more closely before they can solve what has become a complex set of questions.

  • Weak

    • In response to the leak history of the pipe made of 304-L stainless steel,a work request, IJ-117, was prepared by Plant Maintenance in August of 1989 tore place approximately 55 feet of the HLD 304-L pipe--the entire segment running from the "cells" area to the point in the drainage system that turns south to exit the building--with pipe made of a different material, Iconel 600 (see Figure N).

  • Improved

    • Plant Maintenance responded to the leak history of the stainless steel pipe(304-L) with a work request in August 1989 to replace a 55-foot section with Iconel 600 pipe. This section made up the entire pipe segment running from the"cells" area to a point where the drainage system turns south to exit the building (see Figure N).

Sentence Fragments

  • A sentence fragment is missing a subject, a verb, or both, but is punctuated as if it were a complete sentence.

  • In the following slides we examine a few examples of such sentences which do not make sense and at the same time correct them as well.

Example

  • Unacceptable

    • By virtue of their prevalence alone. It is clear that mood disorders do not necessarily breed genius. [By virtue of their prevalence alone contains neither a subject nor a verb.]

  • To repair a sentence fragment, add the missing element (subject or verb), or merge the fragment with a clause that does contain a subject and a verb.


Lecture 36 language review sentences

  • Acceptable

    • By virtue of their prevalence alone, it is clear that mood disorders do not necessarily breed genius.

      "Manic-Depressive Illness and Creativity,"Scientific American

Comma Splice

  • Never link two independent clauses with just a comma; this is known as a comma splice error.

  • You can correct a comma splice in four ways:

    • Separate the independent clauses into two separate sentences. Punctuate both sentences with periods.

2. Replace the comma with a semicolon or with a semicolon and a conjunctive adverb such as however or furthermore. (The conjunctive adverb is then normally followed by a comma.)

3. Replace the comma with a comma and a coordinating conjunction.

4. Make one of the clauses into a subordinate clause.

Example

  • Unacceptable

    • In 1931 Oppenheimer attempted to find an equation for the photon that would be an analogue to Dirac's equation for the electron, he failed in this effort.

  • Acceptable

    • In 1931 Oppenheimer attempted to find an equation for the photon that would be an analogue to Dirac's equation for the electron. He failed in this effort.

  • Acceptable

    • In 1931 Oppenheimer attempted to find an equation for the photon that would be an analogue to Dirac's equation for the electron; he failed in this effort. [or ". . . electron; however, he failed . . ."]

  • Acceptable

    • In 1931 Oppenheimer attempted to find an equation for the photon that would be an analogue to Dirac's equation for the electron, but he failed in this effort.

  • Acceptable

    • Although in 1931 Oppenheimer attempted to find an equation for the photon that would be an analogue to Dirac's equation for the electron, he failed in this effort.


Lecture 36 language review sentences

Fused Sentences

  • Do not allow two independent clauses to run together without a conjunction or punctuation between them.

  • This error produces a fused sentence.

  • To join two main clauses, follow the options listed under comma splice.

Example

  • Unacceptable

    • A remote control for a car alarm works better held up at arm's length than at waist level but works best when held under the chin physicists suggest that the body may be acting as an extension of the antenna.

  • Acceptable

    • A remote control for a car alarm works better held up at arm's length than at waist level but works best when held under the chin;physicists suggest that the body may be acting as an extension of the antenna.

Example

  • Unacceptable

    • Lenticular clouds frequently form one above the other like a stack of pancakes at a distance they may resemble a fleet of hovering spacecraft.

  • Acceptable

    • Lenticular clouds frequently form one above the other like a stack of pancakes; at a distance they may resemble a fleet of hovering spacecraft.

Stringy Sentences

  • Avoid stringing several clauses that would be easier to read and understand if they were broken up into separate clauses.

  • The following example make the point of how incoherent, the language becomes with the use of stringy sentences.

  • Weak

    • We must accept the facts and our enormous energy requirements, but it is also important not to forget that attempts to economize on safety provisions in such hazardous industries result in increased risk, and these increased risks may result in terrible tragedy, even in disasters whose consequences exceed national boundaries, although it is certainly true that a nuclear power station working safely, without accident, is ecologically one of the cleanest of all industrial plants.


Lecture 36 language review sentences

  • Improved

    • We must accept the facts and our enormous energy requirements, but it is also important not to forget that attempts to economize on safety provisions in such hazardous industries result in increased risk. And these increased risks may result in terrible tragedy, even in disasters whose consequences exceed national boundaries. It is certainly true, however, that a nuclear power station working safely, without accident, is ecologically one of the cleanest of all industrial plants.

Agreement

  • Agreement between subjects and verbs and between pronouns and their antecedents is important for paragraph coherence, as well as for style and grammar.

  • Whenediting your document, check for agreement, paying close attention to subjects, verbs, and pronouns.

  • Make sure your subject agrees with your verb (subject-verb agreement).

  • Make sure your pronouns agree in gender and number with their antecedents (pronoun-antecedent agreement).

  • Make sure the form of your pronoun is appropriate for how you are using the pronoun in the sentence (pronoun case).

  • For the sake of clarity, make sure your pronouns are closely linked to their antecedents (pronoun reference).

Subject-Verb Agreement

  • Your verb must agree with your subject in number and person.

  • If your subject is singular, your verb must be singular; if your subject is plural, your verb must be plural.

  • If your subject is in the first person, your verb must be in the first person.

  • If your subject is in the second or third person, your verb must agree.

Example

  • Unacceptable

    • For more than a century, researchers has known that exposure to high pressure can injure or kill living organisms.

  • Acceptable

    • For more than a century, researchers have known that exposure to high pressure can injure or kill.


Lecture 36 language review sentences

Subject-Verb Agreement

  • In general, you can think of subject-verb agreement as requiring one –s per clause, either on the subject or on the verb, but not on both.

  • Of course, this rule applies only with present tense verbs and nouns that do not have irregular plural forms.

  • Do not be led astray by modifying phrases that separate the subject and the verb.

  • If you are not sure about the subject-verb agreement, test the sentence by leaving out the modifiers.

Example

  • Unacceptable

    • A mixture of materials were used to withstand high temperatures. [The subject is mixture, not materials.]

  • Acceptable

    • A mixture of materials was used to withstand high temperatures.

Two or More Nouns

  • If your subject consists of two or more nouns, you need to pay special attention to subject-verb agreement.

  • If the nouns are connected by the coordinating conjunctionand, use a plural verb.

Example

  • Unacceptable

    • Although accidents and congestion results from driving itself rather than from fuel use, much of urban air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and the economic burden of oil imports can all be tied directly to fuel consumption.

  • Acceptable

    • Although accidents and congestion result from driving itself rather than from fuel use, much of urban air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and the economic burden of oil imports can all be tied directly to fuel consumption.

  • Unacceptable

    • Your advisor or your course instructor are required to sign the form.

  • Acceptable

    • Your advisor or your course instructor is required to sign the form.

  • Unacceptable

    • Both your advisor and your course instructor is required to sign the form.

  • Acceptable

    • Both your advisor and your course instructor are required to sign the form.


Lecture 36 language review sentences

Example

  • Unacceptable

    • Either your course instructor or three fellow students who know your ability is required to sign the form.

  • Acceptable

    • Either your course instructor or three fellow students who know your ability are required to sign the form.

  • Unacceptable

    • Either three fellow students who know your ability or your course instructor are required to sign the form.

  • Acceptable

    • Either three fellow students who know your ability or your course instructor is required to sign the form.

In this lecture you learnt

  • 6.1 Stacked Modifiers and Nouns

  • 6.2 Wordiness

    • 6.2.1 Passive Voice and Active Voice

    • 6.2.2 Nominalizations

    • 6.2.3 Unnecessary Repetition

    • 6.2.4 Unnecessary Words and Phrases

  • 6.3 Overloaded Sentences

  • 6.4 Sentence Fragments

  • Comma Splice

  • Fused Sentences

  • Stringy Sentences

  • Agreement

    • Subject-Verb Agreement

      • Two or More Nouns

      • Sentences Beginning with There

      • Indefinite Pronouns

      • Collective Nouns

      • Quantifiers

  • Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement


  • Login