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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


Correcting the basic mechanical errors from your papers

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.