PART I SENTENCE STRUCTURE

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1 3 Though experienced writers may, from time to time, purposely use an incomplete sentence down a reader should be avoided. for emphasis or effect, the accidental sentence fragment that can either confuse or slow thought because it lacks either a subject or a verb or, possibly, both a subject and a verb. DEFINITION: An incomplete sentence is a group of words that does not convey a complete 1. AN INCOMPLETE SENTENCE exercises and writing samples that are found on the pages that follow. periods (.) should be used by noting how they have been employed in the various practice improve your understanding of how commas (,), semi-colons (;), colons (:), dashes ( ), and Although this workbook does not contain any specific instruction on punctuation, you can 5. Faulty pronoun reference. 6. Faulty subject-verb agreement. 3. A misplaced modifier. 4. A dangling modifier. 7. Faulty parallel structure. 2. A run-on sentence (sometimes called a comma fault). 8. Redundant subordination/coordination. I. An incomplete sentence. by name but are asked to recognize where in the sentence an error has been made. The sentence structure. As you will see when you turn to Practice Exercise 1, you do not have to identify these errors tested on each version of the LPI are selected from the following: On this part of the LPI, you will be asked to identify some common errors involving sentence The Eight Sentence Errors Tested PART I SENTENCE STRUCTURE

2 this phrase must be followed by a comma and then by the noun or pronoun that is performing the action conveyed by the participle. the golf course ), or a past participial phrase (such as Worried about my friend s health ), DEFINITION: If a sentence begins with a present participial phrase (such as Running across use. Each speaker as allowed only five minutes to present his point of view on land use. Each speaker allowed only five minutes to present his point of view on land LMX OF AGREEMENT Cars is ), and in person ( I am, not I is ). DEFINITION: The subject and the verb of a sentence should agree in number ( Cars are, not 6. FAULTY SUBJECT.VERB AGREEMENT If you live near the ocean, there are many different types of boats that you might like to own, but owning a boat is a very expensive hobby. like to own, but j, is a very expensive hobby. If you live near the ocean, there are many different types of boats that you might UNCLEAR REFERENCE: sentence or paragraph in which it is found. If the reference is in any way in doubt, it is faulty, and should be made unambiguous. DEFINITION: A pronoun should clearly refer to one noun or pronoun that precedes it in the 5. FAULTY PRONOUN REFERENCE Worried about my friend s health,! sent a get-well card to the hospital. Worried about my friend s health, a get-well card was sent to the hospital. [The get-well card wasn t worried.] DANGLiNG: Running across the golf course, h was nearly hit on the head by a ball. Running across the golf course, a ball nearly hit him on the head. [The ball wasn t doing the running.] DANGLING: 4. A DANGLING MODIFIER

3 I may even try to ski. The next time I take my children to their skiing lessons, I m going to get involved. Perhaps even try to ski. 4 over the snow after moose. The sport called biathlon, which combines cross-country skiing with rifle shooting, is thought to have developed during a time when hunters on skis raced The sport called biathlon, which combines cross-country skiing with rifle shooting, is thought to have developed during a time when hunters raced over the snow after moose on skis. MISPLACED: sentence so that it clearly modifies what it is intended to modify. that it is supposed to modify is said to be misplaced. It should be repositioned in the DEFINm0N: A word, a phrase, or a clause that does not clearly modify the noun or pronoun 3. MISPLACED MODIFIER they don t seem especially interesting the way she describes them. She likes to tell you in detail about the television programs she fmds interesting. ALSO corrected: They don t seem especially interesting the way she describes them. She likes to tell you in detail about the television programs she fmds interesting. thy don t seem especially interesting the way she describes them. She likes to tell you in detail about the television programs she finds interesting. RUN-ON: comma, rather than by some stronger punctuation such as a period (.), a colon (:). or a semi colon (;). DEFINITION: A run-on sentence occurs when two complete sentences are joined together by a 2. A RUN-ON SENTENCE (SOMETIMES CALLED A COMMA FAULT) This is a good thing. His marks were much better this year than last year. His marks were much better this year than last year. Which is good. INcOMpLETE: The next time I take my children to their skiing lessons, I m going to get involved. INCOMPLETE:

4 I think I deserve a better mark on this course than he I think I deserve a better mark on this course than he LACK OF AGREEMENT:, I 6 same format as you will find on all forms of the LPI examination. NOTE: The Practice Exercises that are found in Parts I, II, and III of this booklet are in the year. Margaret has never visited eastern Canada, she plans to study in Toronto next ALSO CORREcTED: next year. Although Margaret has never visited eastern Canada, she plans to study in Toronto corrected: Toronto next year. Although Margaret has never visited eastern Canada.} she plans to study in REDUNDANT: although is followed by a main clause that begins with the coordinate conjunction but. DEFINm0N: This occurs when a sentence that begins with the subordinate conjunction 8. REDUNDANT SUBORDINATION/COORDINATION Dennis has three main ambitions in life: he wants to become a lawyer, an alderman, and a novelist. Dennis has three main ambitions in life: he wants to become a lawyer, an alderman, and be able to write novels. NOT PkRALLEL If you want to become a good athlete, you must be motivated, have selfconfidence, and be willing to practice regularly. CoRREcTED: If you want to become a good athlete, you must be motivated, have selfconfidence, and willing to practice regularly. NOT PARALLEL: of the same grammatical structure. A word is parallel only to another word: a phrase is parallel only to another phrase; a clause is parallel only to another clause. DEFiNITIoN: All parts of a sentence that are joined in an equal (or coordinate) way should be 7. FAULTY PARALLEL STRUCTURE a

5 PART II ENGLISH USAGE The Nine Usage Errors Tested On this part of the examination, you will be asked to identify various common errors in English usage. The majority of the errors tested are of the type often made by people for whom English is a second language. You do not have to identify the errors by name. The usage errors to be tested are selected from the following categories: 1. Incorrect use of an article. 2. Incorrect number of a noun. 3. Incorrect form or use of a noun. 4. Incorrect case of a pronoun. 5. Confusion between an adverb and an adjective. 6. Incorrect form of a verb. 7. Incorrect tense of a verb. 8. Incorrect preposition. 9. A non-standard English expression or idiom. Once again, you are reminded to pay attention to how punctuation is used in the following examples. 13

6 INCORRECT USE OF AN ARTICLE INCORRECr: When Sara looked out the window that morning, she discovered that completely covered her car. snow had CORREcrED: When Sara looked out the window that morning, she discovered that th snow had completely covered her car. ALSO CORRECFED: When Sara looked out the window that morning, she discovered that snow had completely covered her car. INCORRECr: Most visitors to British Columbia agree that it is lh big and beautiful province. Most visitors to British Columbia agree that it is big and beautiful province. When people go on their summer holidays, they hope to have pleasant weather. When people go on their summer holidays, they hope to have pleasant weather. 2. INCORRECT NUMBER OF A NOUN ENCORRECr: After a very cold and wet March, the weathers in April turned out to be exceptionally warm. After a very cold and wet March, the weather in April turned out to be exceptionally warm. [Ncoucr: One of the major problem faced by Canadians at the present time is the huge national debt. One of the major problems faced by Canadians at the present time is the huge national debt. 3. INCORRECT FORM OR USE OF A NOUN INCORRECT R)RM: Political stableness is necessary if the economy is to prosper. Political stability is necessary if the economy is to prosper. 14

7 time in our lives. When my family moved to Vancouver, we lived in a two storey house for the first CoRREcTED: time in our lives. 15 Saturdays. In order to helping her family, Maureen works in a dress shop in the mall on In order to help her family, Maureen works in a dress shop in the mall on Saturdays. INCORREcT: Although Howard would rather in, he still gets up at six o clock every day. Although Howard would rather sleep in, he still gets up at six o clock every day. If! am happened to be on the bus during rush hour, I will more than likely not get If! on the bus during rush hour, I will more than likely not get a seat. ALSO If I happen to be on the bus during rush hour, I will more than likely not get a seat. a seat. 6. INCORRECT FORM OF A VERB Andrew golfs quite ll. considering that he has only been playing for a couple of CoRREcTED: summers. summers. Andrew golfs quite good, considering that he has only been playing for a couple of 5. CONFUSION BETWEEN AN ADVERB AND AN ADJECTIVE For thy to have established this business on their own is very commendable. For them to have established this business on their own is very commendable. 4. WRONG CASE OF A PRONOUN When my family moved to Vancouver, we lived in a two floors house for the first INCORRECT USED

8 I couldn t believe that our boss was going to us on such a difficult job. INCORREcr: 11 Using a word processor is a very convenient way to work on an essay. Using a word processor is a very convenience way to work on an essay. 9. A NON-STANDARD ENGLISH EXPRESSION OR IDIOM music best. If I am asked yh kind of music I like best, I always say that I like classical music best. If I am askedfwhat kind of music I like best, I always say that I like classical she goes to a restaurant. Jessie admits that she likes to eavesdrop on other people s conversations when goes to a restaurant. Jessie admits that she likes to eavesdrop other people s conversations when she INCoRRECT: conditions in a large city. In several ways, the living conditions in a small town differ fr the living conditions in a large city. In several ways, the living conditions in a small town differ y.jth the living INCORRECr: 8. INCORRECT PREPOSITION instead of in physics. I often wonder what would have happened if Ih decided to major in chemistry instead of in physics. I often wonder what would have happened if Ihi decided to major in chemistry I couldn t believe that our boss was going to us on such a difficult job. 7. INCORRECT TENSE OF A VERB

9 Some inhabitants of the city do not own a car because they are able to walk to work. 17 o want to becoming a doctor, lawyer, or an engineer. 3. You will have to spend several years at a university if you 0 changing in a tremendous speed As you look around you, you cannot help hut see that the world is 0 place on a golf course Of all the activities I have participated in, the most disenjoyable one took of English usage illustrated above. Darken the circle beneath the underlined portion of the sentence that you think contains the error. If you think the sentence is correct, darken the circle on the right. (Correct answers are found on pages 73 to 74.) INSTRUCTIONS: Some, though not all. of the ten following sentences contain one of the errors PRACTICE EXERCISES Games like squash and tennis are a goodyto keep in good physical condition. Games like squash and tennis are a good method to keep in good physical condition. Once I become a social worker, I will spend my time devoting to young adults. Once I become a social worker, I will devote my time to young adults. Reading a good book or seeing an inspirational movie can really rti your spirits when you feel bored. Reading a good book or seeing an inspirational movie can really higher your spirits when you feel bored. Some inhabitors of the city do not own a car because they are able to walk to work.

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