Extraneous or Missing Words Exercise (738)

For each sentence, delete superfluous words or phrases or insert missing ones.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: Volkswagen has said a total of eleven million cars worldwide have the software.
Correct : Volkswagen has said eleven million cars worldwide have the software.

The phrase "a total of" sometimes helpfully indicates that two or more numerical figures are being combined, but the phrase is unnecessary here.

2.
Original: Officers on bicycle patrol spotted him by his unmistakable facial hair and also noted that his bike matched one seen in the video of the attack, police said.
Correct : Officers on bicycle patrol spotted him by his unmistakable facial hair and noted that his bike matched one seen in the video of the attack, police said.

"Also" is redundant to "and."

3.
Original: Some sixty species of large mammals died out in North America since that time.
Correct : Some sixty species of large mammals have died out in North America since that time.

The context requires the present perfect tense, which describes that at the present moment, something has occurred in the past. (The original sentence is erroneously referred to in the simple past: something happened.)

4.
Original: Plans are under way to convert the hall into a 4,000-capacity music venue.
Correct : Plans are under way to convert the hall into a 4,000-person-capacity music venue.

Specify what the music provides capacity for. Better yet, simplify the phrasal adjective to "4,000-seat" (but confirm that the venue includes seating, rather than simply provides room for that many people to stand or seating for some and standing space for others).

5.
Original: Observers recorded whether or not drivers followed laws requiring them to yield to pedestrians.
Correct : Observers recorded whether drivers followed laws requiring them to yield to pedestrians.

The phrase "or not" is superfluous because "whether" alone already denotes that the choice is yes or no.

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