Assorted Grammatical Problems Exercise (728)

In each sentence, identify and correct the grammatical error.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: Those turn of phrases sent social media buzzing.
Correct : Those turns of phrase sent social media buzzing.

The key word in the noun phrase "turn of phrase" is "turn" ("of phrase" merely describes what kind of turn it is), so the plural form of the phrase is "turns of phrase" (more than one turn), not "turn of phrases" (more than one phrase).

2.
Original: Drug Policy Alliance and Marijuana Policy Project are reportedly backing the proposal.
Correct : The Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Policy Project are reportedly backing the proposal.

Articles are generally required before the names of organizations.

3.
Original: Smith, now an outspoken critic of Jones, ironically recruited him to join the city government in 1991.
Correct : Ironically, Smith, now an outspoken critic of Jones, recruited him to join the city government in 1991.

This sentence has a misplaced modifier: Jones was not recruited in an ironic manner; it is ironic that Smith, who now is a critic of Jones, recruited him. The easiest solution is to insert a comma after "ironically" to make it a parenthetical interjection, but having two consecutive parentheticals is awkward, so "ironically" is best placed at the head of the sentence.

4.
Original: Like any other skill, the only way to look like a true natural on stage is through disciplined practice.
Correct : As with any other skill, the only way to look like a true natural on stage is through disciplined practice.

The sentence erroneously suggests that "the only way . . . disciplined practice" is a skill compared with others. However, the meaning is that looking like a true natural on stage, like all other skills, requires disciplined practice; "as with" in place of "like" correctly suggests the comparison between skills.

5.
Original: As a member of the company’s marketing organization, the primary objective for this position is for you to drive the go-to-market strategy.
Correct : As a member of the company’s marketing organization, you must have, as your primary objective for this position, the goal of driving the go-to-market strategy.

This sentence contains a dangling modifier: "Primary objective" is mistakenly identified as "a member of the company’s marketing organization." The sentence must explicitly mention the actor of the sentence, so extensive rewriting is necessary.

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