Study English every day--absolutely free!
(more about these lessons and the teacher)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Fun Grammar Rules 2


GET READY:

Can you think of some "fun" grammar rules like the ones below in your language?

READ THIS:

Read these "Grammar Rules" and try to find out what's wrong with each one.

1. Don't use commas, which are not necessary.
2. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.
3. Check to see if you any words out.
4. In the case of a report, check to see that jargonwise, it's A-OK.
5. As far as incomplete constructions, they are wrong.
6. About repetition, the repetition of a word might be real effective repetition - take, for instance the repetition of Abraham Lincoln.
7. In my opinion, I think that an author when he is writing should definitely not get into the habit of making use of too many unnecessary words that he does not really need in order to put his message across.
8. Use parallel construction not only to be concise but also clarify.
9. It behooves us all to avoid archaic expressions.
10. Mixed metaphors are a pain in the neck and ought to be weeded out.

ANSWERS:

1. PROBLEM: The comma in the sentence below is useless.
CORRECT FORM: Don't use commas which are not necessary.
2. PROBLEM: We DO use commas to set off comments that are not part of the "flow" of the sentence, like "however" in the sentence below.
CORRECT FORM: Parenthetical words, however, should be enclosed in commas.
3. PROBLEM: There's a word missing in the sentence below!
CORRECT FORM: Check to see if you left any words out.
4. PROBLEM: "Jargon" is specialized language, peculiar to a certain job or social group. "Jargonwise" and "A-OK" in the sentence below are jargon.
CORRECT FORM: In the case of a report, check to see that you have avoided jargon. (This is only one of many ways to fix this sentence.)
5. PROBLEM: Certain groups of words, called "constructions," belong together. The one that has been done wrong in the sentence below is "As fgar as [something] go/goes…"
CORRECT FORM: As far as incomplete constructions go, they are wrong.
6. PROBLEM: While some repetition is OK (as in some speeches by Lincoln and others), it is usually better to avoid it.
CORRECT FORM: Some repetition might be effective, as in the speeches of Abraham Lincoln.
7. PROBLEM: It is best to be concise, not wordy, as in the sentence below.
CORRECT FORM: An author should not use too many unnecessary words to put his message across. (This is only one of many ways to improve this sentence.)
8. PROBLEM: "Parallel constructions" require us, for instance, to use articles repeatedly, or infinitive forms.
Example: "The farmer had a sheep, a cow, and horse." Since we used articles the first two times, we must use one the third time. (However, "The farmer had a sheep, cow, and horse" is also OK.)
CORRECT FORM: Use parallel construction not only to be concise but also to clarify.
9. PROBLEM: In the sentence below, "Behooves" is an old-fashioned ("archaic") expression.
CORRECT FORM: It is best for us all to avoid archaic expressions.
10. PROBLEM: If you introduce a metaphor into a sentence, you should carry it through. In the sentence below, it seems that we should "weed out pains in the neck." There are at least two ways to fix this:
CORRECT FORM: Mixed metaphors are a pain in the neck and ought to be massaged until better. OR Mixed metaphors are like noxious plants and ought to be weeded out.

QUESTION FOR DISCUSSION OR WRITING:

Try to think of more examples of "wrong" use of the rules above; then write some correct sentences. For example:

#3 (wrong): "I will back home now."
#3 (right): "I will go back home now."

#8 (wrong): "He was a doctor, a husband, and father."
#8 (right): "He was a doctor, a husband, and a father."

This lesson is ©2012 by James Baquet. You may share this work freely. Teachers may use it in the classroom, as long as students are told the source (URL). You may not publish this material or sell it. Please write to me if you have any questions about "fair use."

No comments:

Post a Comment