Assorted Grammatical Problems Exercise (720)

In each sentence, identify and correct the grammatical error.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: They watched the show from the front row that was set to a soundtrack of retro pop songs.
Correct : From the front row, they watched the show, which was set to a soundtrack of retro pop songs.

The sentence contains a misplaced modifier that incorrectly implies that the front row was set to a soundtrack of retro pop songs. To repair the sentence, the modifying phrase should be moved from the middle of the sentence to become an introductory phrase.

2.
Original: Much like 2012, the team failed to win a postseason berth.
Correct : Much like in 2012, the team failed to win a postseason berth.

The original sentence erroneously compares the team’s failure to advance to the postseason to a year. However, the comparison is between the team’s performance one year and its record in a previous year, so the insertion of "in" is required to clarify that the resemblance is between two situations.

3.
Original: Like most of Smith’s movies, I expect that his latest flick could be reduced to a hilarious eight-minute film.
Correct : As with most of Smith’s movies, I expect that his latest flick could be reduced to a hilarious eight-minute film.

In this sentence, the writer mistakenly compares himself or herself to most of Smith’s movies. The revision clarifies that the comparison is between the film being discussed and previous movies made by the film’s director.

4.
Original: In a short essay published in "Marketing World" this week, a newsletter co-created by Smith, Jones opens up with her thoughts on how the gender gap in pay has affected her career.
Correct : In a short essay published this week in "Marketing World," a newsletter co-created by Smith, Jones opens up with her thoughts on how the gender gap in pay has affected her career.

The parenthetical phrase "a newsletter co-created by Smith" should appear immediately after the noun phrase it refers to: the name of the newsletter, not "this week."

5.
Original: It’s ironic that Hastert became Speaker of the House following widely publicized revelations of US representative Robert Livingston’s extramarital affairs, who was initially the presumptive heir to then speaker Newt Gingrich.
Correct : It’s ironic that Hastert became Speaker of the House following widely publicized revelations of the extramarital affairs of US representative Robert Livingston, who was initially the presumptive heir to then speaker Newt Gingrich.

The pronoun "who" should immediately follow the name of the person it refers to.

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