If Only Grammar Were The Problem

Respect

Can you spot the errors in the following sentences?

  1. The Republican National Committee prefers that anybody but Donald Trump is the nominee.
  2. Hillary doesn’t wear eye shadow because it makes her eyes water.
  3. Check and see if Rick Perry dropped his glasses in the cat’s box.
  4. When Bernie arrived, he received a hardy welcome from his young supporters.
  5. 200 students who enrolled in Trump University are suing Donald Trump for fraud.
  6. Anyone who gives $200 dollars or more to the campaign will receive an autographed picture of the candidate.
  7. The flight attendant had smiled at Donald, so he assumed she wouldn’t object to him stroking her cheek.
  8. The amount of falsehoods in the candidate’s speech was astounding.
  9. Having lived in Canada for three years, Cruz’s eligibility to run for President has been called into question.
  10. Of the two candidates, Sanders is by far the most likeable.

Answers:

    1. The Republican National Committee prefers that anybody but Donald Trump be the nominee. Here “be” is a subjunctive. The subjunctive form of the verb is the basic form and doesn’t change for persons. The subjunctive form of the verb “to be” is “be” for all persons: I be/ you be/he be/she be, etc. It is used to express commands, requests, and motions.
    2. Sentences with a negative verb in the main clause followed by a dependent clause that begins with “because” are ambiguous. The sentence has to be recast to make the meaning clear. There are three possible meanings: 1) Eye shadow makes Hillary’s eyes water, and that is the reason she doesn’t wear it. 2) Eye shadow makes Hillary’s eyes water, but that isn’t the reason she doesn’t wear it. 3) Hillary avoids wearing eyes shadow not because it makes her eyes water (it doesn’t) but for some other reason.
    3. Check to see if Rick Perry dropped his glasses in the cat’s box.
    4. …he received a hearty welcome. Hardy means “being robust or in good health.” Hearty means “expressed warmly, exuberantly, and unrestrainedly.”
    5. Two hundred students who enrolled… Numbers that begin sentences are written as words. If the number is expressed in more than two words, it shouldn’t begin the sentence: A total of 200 students enrolled…
    6. Any one who gives $200 or more… The word “dollars” is redundant.
    7. …she wouldn’t object to his stroking. It’s Donald’s stroking, not Donald, that the flight attendant wouldn’t object to.
    8. The number of falsehood’s in the candidate’s speech… Use “number” for things you can count and “amount” for things you can’t count: the amount of idiocy in the campaign.
    9. Having lived in Canada for three years, Cruz has found his eligibility to run for president questioned.. It’s Cruz who lived in Canada for three years, not his eligibility.
    10. Of the two candidates, Bernie Sanders is by far the more likeable. When comparing two persons or things, use “more.”

 

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