Assorted Grammatical Problems Exercise (649)

In each sentence, identify and correct the grammatical error.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: This means that if oil use continues at the same rate as in 2010, the world would run out of oil in just over forty years.
Correct : This means that if oil use continues at the same rate as in 2010, the world will run out of oil in just over forty years.

The tense form of "will" must match the tense form of "continues"; "would" would be correct if the subjunctive phrase "were to continue" were employed.

2.
Original: The playoffs included two hard-fought, seven-game series.
Correct : The playoffs included two hard-fought seven-game series.

The phrasal adjectives "hard-fought" and "seven-game" are noncoordinate; they are not interchangeable. "Hard-fought" modifies "seven-game series," not just "series," so the two phrasal adjectives should not be separated by punctuation.

3.
Original: This offers an opportunity to ascertain diagnosis much quicker.
Correct : This offers an opportunity to ascertain diagnosis much more quickly.

The comparative form of "quick" as an adverb requires an "-ly" ending.

4.
Original: The boy’s name includes both parents’ last name.
Correct : The boy’s name includes both parents’ last names.

The reference is to the names of both parents, so the plural of "name" is correct.

5.
Original: Administration officials had no initial comment Wednesday on GAO’s latest findings.
Correct : Administration officials had no initial comment Wednesday on the GAO’s latest findings.

"GAO," the abbreviation for "Government Accounting Office," just like the spelled-out form of the name, requires the article "the" preceding it. ("GAO" is an initialism, pronounced "gee-ay-oh," not an acronym, pronounced "gow.")

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