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Sentence Style and Clarity Practice (page 2)

By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Sep 14, 2011

Written Practice 5

Read the following paragraph. Rewrite any sentences that seem cumbersome. Change passive verbs to active verbs, reveal hidden subjects and hidden verbs, and place important information last in sentences.

This advancement in science is hard to believe unless you see it in action. Thanks to the new Brain Computer Interface, people who are completely paralyzed due to illness or trauma will get help in the future. By connecting patients' brains to a computer, scientists can help these patients make a communication with others and even use their paralyzed limbs. Scientists have done an experiment with several people. It can be done but teaching a patient to move a cursor with his or her mind is neither fast nor fluid.

Written Practice 6

Rewrite the sentences to correct the pronoun reference errors. The first one is done for you.

  1. Don't give new uniforms to employees until they have name tags.
  2. Myrna told Jodi she had a terrible cold and shouldn't go to the PTA meeting.
  3. Our new water tank holds 20 percent less than our old one. It cost 30 percent more, though.
  4. My daughter wrote a report and studied for a spelling test. It was a long one.
  5. The chart at the end of the magazine article was included in its original form.

Written Practice 7

Make the pronoun references clear in the following sentences.

  1. My neighbor frequently buys my family food because they are so kind.
  2. I hammered the nail into the picture hook, and now it is crooked.
  3. Both Gloria and Priscilla played with her children.
  4. The turkey platter was empty, but we were tired of eating it anyway.
  5. The principal was speaking to Jason, and he looked unhappy.
  6. Although Robin likes working at the cake shop, she never eats them herself.
  7. Although the car smashed into the tree, it was not damaged.
  8. After interviewing several teachers, I realized that it was not for me.
  9. I went to see my father and my grandfather, who told me his latest health problem.
  10. White and Smith made his presentation.

Written Practice 8

Clarify the following sentences by placing descriptive phrases where they belong.

  1. The man in his desk found his glasses.
  2. The student hung on the wall of her room a picture of a favorite music group.
  3. The horse belongs to that rider with the brown spots.
  4. The teacher posted the notes for the students covered in class.
  5. My old car has driven 100,000 miles in the driveway.

Written Practice 9

Read the paragraph. Correct any unclear pronoun references, and place the descriptive words correctly. One sentence is correct as written.

When you take your child to the doctor because he is coughing and sneezing, with asthma type symptoms, do you really know what's wrong? Up to now, doctors have depended upon physical exams, symptoms, and the child's history to explain the illness in the office visit. Doctors prescribe antibiotics using their best judgments, but often they don't cure the child because the ailment as far as the cause of it is concerned cannot be pinpointed. Now, however, there is a new test, which gives hope of understanding viruses associated with asthma attacks using the Virochip, A new study has found an unexpected number of viruses and viral subtypes led by University of California–San Francisco scientists in patients with respiratory tract infections (RTIs). The technique used in the study may help identify new viruses associated with human diseases and lead to specific strategies for treatment and prevention.

Written Practice 10

On the lines provided, write a matching expression that eliminates the extra words from the original expression. The first one is done for you.

  1. repeat again repeat
  2. refer back __________
  3. true facts __________
  4. active consideration __________
  5. present status __________
  6. entirely complete __________
  7. past history __________
  8. midway between __________
  9. in ten years from now __________
  10. at that time __________

Written Practice 11

Simplify each of the following sentences by eliminating unnecessary words.

  1. Juana's mother she agreed to bake for her granddaughter's birthday party.
  2. Mickey thought the staging of that play was quite imaginative.
  3. At this point in time, we need to consider a significant budget cut.
  4. My reason for looking for a job is that I heard the company I work for is downsizing.
  5. The department head she said, "We're not giving any bonuses at this time."

Written Practice 12

Delete repetitions and overqualifications in the following sentences.

  1. Your schedule is completely full, so you won't be going out for lunch.
  2. My reason for not returning the book to the library is that I hadn't finished it.
  3. We were perfectly happy not to leave the house on a rainy day.
  4. Upon further reflection, I've decided to adopt a kitten from the local animal shelter.
  5. At this point in time, a vacation is out of the question.
  6. As of that time, we still had our out-of-date computers.
  7. Midway between my house and yours there's a beautiful park.
  8. My car it has 80,000 miles on its odometer.
  9. Before you offer your opinion, at least get the true facts.
  10. We're looking for a new retail facility.

Written Practice 13

In each of the following sentences, look for unnecessary words and illogical statements. Make changes as necessary.

  1. The carriage tour on the carriage around Charleston was fascinating.
  2. The reason I enjoyed the ride was because I love historical architecture.
  3. The carriage driver, he was full of intriguing stories.
  4. The highlight of the tour was when we saw the outdoor crafts market.
  5. Despite the wonderful tour, I signed up for another one for next year.
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