Assorted Grammatical Problems Exercise (589)

In each sentence, identify and correct the grammatical error.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: Oakland Police Department’s March quarterly crime report revealed 23 homicides, 930 robberies, and more than 3,000 burglaries in the first quarter of the year citywide.
Correct : The Oakland Police Department’s March quarterly crime report revealed 23 homicides, 930 robberies, and more than 3,000 burglaries in the first quarter of the year citywide.

This sentence requires an article at its head; when referring to the Oakland Police Department in isolation, as here, one uses "the," so it is required when the department name is in possessive form.

2.
Original: The Shroud of Turin is believed by some to be the funeral shroud that Jesus Christ was wrapped in after his crucifixion.
Correct : Some people believe that the Shroud of Turin is the funeral shroud that Jesus Christ was wrapped in after his crucifixion.

The subject of this sentence is "some people," not "the Shroud of Turin," so the sentence should begin with that phrase. The original version is not incorrect, but the sentence construction is weak.

3.
Original: The beach would normally be teaming with Memorial Day weekend campers.
Correct : The beach would normally be teeming with Memorial Day weekend campers.

The verb here is not "teaming," meaning "uniting," but "teeming," meaning "swarming."

4.
Original: If you want to familiarize yourself with local hiking trails, there’s a book by Mary Jones called "Hiking the Coast."
Correct : If you want to familiarize yourself with local hiking trails, read the book by Mary Jones called "Hiking the Coast."

This sentence reads as if the existence of Mary Jones’s book is contingent on the reader’s interest in becoming familiar with local hiking trails, but the book exists regardless of that interest, so the phrase about the book should be revised from notification of its existence to an exhortation to read it.

5.
Original: This type of learning will only bring about surface-level learning.
Correct : This type of learning will bring about only surface-level learning.

The location of "only" in this sentence implies that the bringing about of surface-level learning, not any other action, will be the sole outcome of the specified type of learning. When "only" appears immediately before the pertinent phrase, however, it is clear that the thing, surface-level learning, rather than the action, bringing about, will be the sole outcome.

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