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Eliminating Grammatical Errors: Writing Review Practice Exercises

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Updated on Aug 25, 2011

Review the lesson for Eliminating Grammatical Errors: Writing Review Study Guide.

Practice Exercises

Identify the following sentences as correct or incorrect.

  1. My friend and I like to go down by the lake and played catch.
  2. Joe and me share the same sense of humor.
  3. Because I love dogs, I want to adopt one from the shelter.
  4. Roger laughs at the joke, because he thinks its funny.
  5. The cat was licking its face.
  6. The movie hasn't started yet it's still the opening credits.
  7. It was raining so hard that everyone had gone indoors.

Rewrite the following incorrect sentences to fix the grammatical mistakes.

  1. At four years old, my mother taught me how to tie my shoes.
  2. I'm reading a funny book it makes me laugh out loud.
  3. All of the plants pots are made out of plastic.
  4. Everyone put on their coat before they left.
  5. Because its getting dark outside Bill and me decide to head home.
  6. The chicken could have been hit by a truck crossing the road.
  7. My parent's made my brother and I dinner.
  8. The mans umbrella was losing its shape in the wind.

Answers

  1. incorrect
      There is a verb tense shift in this sentence. The first part of the sentence says My friend and I like, while the second part of the sentence says played. The sentence should read, My friend and I like to go down by the lake and play catch.
  2. incorrect
      If you read the sentence with each subject individually, you'll see that Joe can share something, but me cannot share something. I share something. To be correct, the sentence should read, Joe and I share the same sense of humor.
  3. correct
      Because I love dogs is an introductory clause and is, therefore, correctly offset by a comma at the beginning of the sentence.
  4. incorrect
      The comma in the sentence is in the correct place, but the its at the end of the sentence is incorrect. Its without an apostrophe is possessive, and in this case, it is supposed to be used as a contraction for it is. So it should be it's, instead of its. The sentence should read, Roger laughs at the joke, because he thinks it's funny.
  5. correct
      In this case, its is used correctly to indicate the possessive form. The face belongs to the cat.
  6. incorrect
      This is a run-on sentence. These two completely separate sentences need to be separated by either a period or a semicolon. It would be correct to write it as The movie hasn't started yet; it's still the opening credits.
  7. correct
      This sentence contains the past participle of the verb to go. Go is an irregular verb and changes form when used as a past participle. Had gone is the correct past participle form of the verb.
  8. When I was four years old, my mother taught me how to tie my shoes.
  9. This sentence has a misplaced modifier. It is unclear who was four years old, me or my mother. By saying when I was four years old, the confusion is eliminated.

  10. I'm reading a funny book; it makes me laugh out loud.
      This is a run-on sentence and needs to be divided. The semicolon separates the two distinct thoughts.
  11. All of the plants' pots are made out of plastic.
      Plants is meant to be possessive in the sentence. Because plants is plural and we're talking about the pots belonging to all of the plants, the apostrophe needs to go after the s.
  12. Everyone put on his or her coat before he or she left.
      Everyone is singular. It is the same as saying every one person. And every one person puts on his or her coat, not their coat. So their and they in the sentence both need to be changed to the singular forms of the pronoun: his/her and he/she.
  13. Because it's getting dark outside, Bill and I decide to head home.
      This sentence has three errors. One is its. In this case, its should be used as a contraction for it is, not a possessive, so it's is correct. The second error is the missing comma after the introductory clause. Because it's dark outside sets up the rest of the sentence and needs to be set apart. The third error is the pronoun in the phrase Bill and me. You wouldn't say, Because it's getting dark outside, me decide to head home. That doesn't make sense. You'd say, I decide to head home. So the sentence should read Bill and I.
  14. When crossing the road, the chicken could have been hit by a truck.
      This is another case of a misplaced modifier that confuses the meaning of the sentence. The incorrect version makes it seem as if the truck, not the chicken, were crossing the road. By rewriting the sentence to create an introductory clause, you can make the meaning much clearer.
  15. My parents made my brother and me dinner.
      This sentence has two errors. One is the apostrophe in parent's. This word is meant to be not possessive, but plural, so it does not need an apostrophe. The other error is the pronoun in the phrase my brother and I. The phrase should read my brother and me, because my parents would make me dinner. They wouldn't make I dinner.
  16. The man's umbrella was losing its shape in the wind.
      In this sentence, mans should be possessive, because the umbrella belongs to the man. To make mans possessive, you need to add an apostrophe after man. The pronoun its is correct as is in the sentence.
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