Grammar Goodies 2

Parallel Constructions
  • Incorrect: The candidate is a former pumpkin tosser, turkey caller, and served three years in a federal prison.
  • "The candidate is a former . . . served three years in a federal prison" doesn't make sense. Nouns must be matched with nouns and verbs with verbs, etc. The first two elements in this series are nouns; the last element is a separate predicate.
  • Correct: The candidate is a former pumpkin tosser and turkey caller, and served three years in a federal prison.

Prepositions

It's permissible to end a sentence with a preposition:
  • That's the dragon I threw a barbequed hog to.

Pronoun and Antecedent

This is another common type of error:
  • Unclear: Although Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots, were cousins, she signed her death warrant. 
  • Who signed whose death warrant?
  • Clear: Although Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots, were cousins, Elizabeth signed Mary's death warrant.

Pronouns: Me and I

Be careful of me (object) and I (subject):
  • IncorrectOur Sherpa guide led Hillary and I up Mount Everest.
  • Correct: Our Sherpa guide led Hillary and me up Mount Everest.
  • Incorrect: Rowley and me voted against the Frankensalmon bill.
  • Correct: Rowley and I voted against the Frankensalmon bill.

Spelling: Twenty-Six Commonly Misspelled Words

  • accommodate
  • deductible
  • harass
  • license
  • privilege
  • acknowledgment
  • dependent
  • inadvertent
  • occasion
  • proceed
  • argument
  • embarrass
  • misspell 

  • indispensable
  • occurrence
  • separate
  • commitment
  • existence
  • judgment
  • perseverance
  • supersede 
  • consensus
  • foreword
  • liaison
  • prerogative
  • withhold

continued on Grammar Goodies 3 

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