The Three Most Common Mistakes • 1. Fragment: A fragment is an incomplete sentence. • Ex. Incorrect: I didn’t go to the concert. Because I don’t like the band. • Correct: I didn’t go to the concert because I don’t like the band.
The Three Most Common Mistakes • 2. Missing/Incorrect Relative Pronouns: Relative pronouns are words that might appear in multiple phrases and clauses within a single sentence. The most common are “that,” “who,” and “which.” • Ex. Incorrect: William Kellogg was the man which lived in the late 19th century and had some weird ideas about raising children. • Correct: William Kellogg was the man who lives in the late 19th century and had some weird ideas about raising children.
The Three Most Common Mistakes • 3. Dangling or Misplaced Modifier: Modifiers are descriptive words or phrases that change other words. We know them as adjectives and adverbs. A misplaced or dangling modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that is improperly separated from the word it modifies/ describes. • Incorrect: After they had been sharpened, the teachers distributed the pencils. • Correct: The teachers distributed the pencils after they had been sharpened.
Avoid writing sentences that correctly separate nonessential information. • Recognize and fix sentences that incorrectly separate nonessential information.
Fixing Fragments • One method is to connect it to an independent clause to complete the thought. • D,I • ID Incorrect: Because I was running late. Correct: Because I was running late, I missed the bus. Incorrect: Whenever the dog barks. Correct: My little sister cries whenever the dog barks.
Fixing Fragments Cont’d • Another way to fix fragments is to drop the words or phrases that make the sentence a fragment. Incorrect: I missed the bus, was running late. Correct: I missed the bus.
Fixing missing or incorrect Relative Pronouns • THAT is used for things • WHO is used for people • WHICH is used for multiple things or as a more formal version of “that” • WHOSE is used to indicate possession • WHOM is used for people who are objects or after prepositions
Examples • Incorrect: Sally was the one that bought the car. • Correct: Sally was the one who bought the car. • Incorrect: The Senator’s campaign is the one that stands out amongst all the others. • Correct: The Senator’s campaign is the one which stands out amongst all the others.