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QUICK-AND-DIRTY-GRAMMAR. Correcting the basic mechanical errors from your papers. Contents. Frequently misused words Fragments Comma splices, fused and run-on sentences Agreement . Frequently Misused Words.

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Quick and dirty grammar

QUICK-AND-DIRTY-GRAMMAR

Correcting the basic mechanical errors from your papers


Contents
Contents

  • Frequently misused words

  • Fragments

  • Comma splices, fused and run-on sentences

  • Agreement


Frequently misused words
Frequently Misused Words

  • Similarity of spelling or pronunciation: a/ an/the, affect/effect, accept/except, to/too/two, principal/principle, loose/lose, passed/past, etc.

  • Irregular verbs: lie/lay, set/sit, raise/rise

  • Possessive pronouns/pronoun-verb contractions

  • Consult my List of Frequently Misused Words for definitions and examples.


Fragments
Fragments

  • Cause: one or more necessary elements missing from a sentence—subject, verb, or complete thought

  • Example: Because Gwen went to UMBC.

  • Solutions:

    • Supply the missing element.

    • Attach the fragment to the preceding or following sentence if the meanings are similar.


Comma splice
Comma Splice

  • Cause: a comma placed between two main clauses

  • Example: Clint made many movies, he is both an actor and a director.

  • Solutions:

    • Place a comma and conjunction (and, but, or, so, nor, for, yet) between the clauses.

    • Place a semicolon between the clauses.


Fused and run on sentences
Fused and Run-on Sentences

  • Cause of fused sentence: no punctuation between main clauses

  • Cause of run-on sentence: conjunction without its comma between main clauses

  • Solutions:

    • See previous slide.


Agreement
Agreement

  • Cause: subjects, verbs, and pronouns don’t agree in gender and number

  • Example: Northrop Grumman are hiring for their R&D department.

  • Solutions:

    • Write in 3rd person plural and the past tense rather than in 3rd person singular and the present tense.


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