Phrases

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					Common Usage
    Problems

  Areas where you may
        have trouble. . .
Affect vs. Effect

    Affect is commonly used as a verb,
     meaning “To influence.”
 •   Did that movie affect you?
    Effect is commonly used as a noun,
     meaning “the result of some action” and
     sometimes a verb, meaning “to
     accomplish.”
 •   What effect did the rain have on the garden?
 •   New glasses effected a remarkable change in his
     vision.
Agreement:
Pronoun/Antecedent
  Pronouns must agree with the antecedent
   (noun it replaces) in gender and number.
 Did Alice remember her assignment?

  The words: each, either, neither, one,
   everyone, everybody, no one, nobody,
   anyone, anybody, someone, somebody,
   are referred to by a SINGLE pronoun.
 Each of the students should take out his/her
   homework.
   Note: The use of a phrase after the
    antecedent does not change the number of
    the antecedent!

 Two or more antecedents joined by or or
  nor take a singular pronoun.
Either Laura or Yvonne will join her class after
  lunch.

 Two or more antecedents joined by and
  should take a plural pronoun.
Laura and Yvonne will join their class after
  lunch.
Agreement: Subject/Verb

    The subject of a sentence or clause must
     agree in number with the verb of the
     sentence or clause.
    The subject of a sentence is never in a
     prepositional phrase or appositive phrase.
    If Either. . .or, Neither. . . Nor, or, or nor
     join a singular subject and plural subject,
     the verb agrees with the nearer subject.
    Singular subjects joined by or or nor take
     a singular verb.
    Compound subjects joined by “and” take a
     plural verb.
Other Rules

    The pronouns some, all, any, most and
     none can be either singular or plural
     depending on the meaning of the
     sentence.
    Collective nouns can either take a plural
     OR singular verb.
    “Every” and “many a” followed by a series
     of words take a singular verb.
    When the subject follows the verb, as in
     sentences beginning with “there” and
     “here,” anticipate the subject and make
     sure the verb agrees with it.
Other rules. . .

    Phrases such as together with, as
     well as, and along with are not the
     same as and. The phrase introduced
     by as well as or along with will
     modify the earlier word (mayor in this
     case), but it does not compound the
     subjects (as the word and would do).
And still others. . .

    Fractional expressions such as half of, a
     part of, a percentage of, a majority of are
     sometimes singular and sometimes plural,
     depending on the meaning. (The same is
     true, of course, when all, any, more, most
     and some act as subjects.) Sums and
     products of mathematical processes are
     expressed as singular and require
     singular verbs. The expression "more than
     one" (oddly enough) takes a singular verb:
     "More than one student has tried this."
Pronoun Case - Why get on
my case?!
   Some pronouns have three different forms
    (cases):
 Nominative - used as subject of a verb OR
    the predicate noun after a linking verb.
 I will go with you. It is I, Hamlet the Dane!
 Objective - used as object of a preposition or
    verb.
 Larry helped ME do the math problem.
    Between you and ME, I feel the novel by
    HER was excellent.
Possessive - used to show possession
 of something.
She was washing her convertible.
Some problems of case:

 1. In compound structures, where there
    are two pronouns or a noun and a
    pronoun, drop the other noun for a
    moment. Then you can see which
    case you want.
 NOT: Bob and me travel a good
    deal.
(Would you say, "me travel"?)NOT:
 He gave the flowers to Jane and I.
(Would
    you say, "he gave the flowers to I"?)
 NOT: Us men like the coach.
(Would you
    say, "us like the coach"?)
2. In comparisons. Comparisons usually
  follow than or as:He is taller than I (am
  tall).This helps you as much as (it helps)
  me.She is as noisy as I (am).

Comparisons are really shorthand
 sentences which usually omit words,
 such as those in the parentheses in the
 sentences above. If you complete the
 comparison in your head, you can
 choose the correct case for the
 pronoun.
3. In formal and semiformal writing:

Use the subjective form after a form of the
  verb to be.

FORMAL: It is I.
INFORMAL: It is me.

Use whom in the objective case.

FORMAL: To whom am I talking?
INFORMAL: Who am I talking to?
Dangling and Misplaced
Elements. . .
 A phrase or a modifier that does not clearly
   and sensibly modify (describe) a word in
   the sentence is a DANGLING
   MODIFIER/ELEMENT
 Sitting in the back row of the theatre, the
   actors could hardly be heard.
 SHOULD READ:
 Sitting in the back row of the theatre, I could
   hardly hear the actors on stage.
Misplaced Element or
Modifier
 Did you see a person on the bus with a
   brown cap?
 SHOULD READ
 Did you see a person with a brown cap
   sitting on the bus?
Parallelism

    Parallel structure means using the
     same pattern of words to show that
     two or more ideas have the same
     level of importance.
    This can happen at the word, phrase,
     or clause level.
    The usual way to join parallel
     structures is with the use of
     coordinating conjunctions such as
     "and" or "or."
Parallelism Continued. . .

    Words and Phrases

 • With the -ing form (gerund) of words:
 Parallel: Mary likes hiking, swimming,
   and bicycling.

 • With infinitive phrases:
 Parallel: Mary likes to hike, to swim,
   and to ride a bicycle.ORMary likes to
   hike, swim, and ride a bicycle.
Parallelism continued. . .

    2. Clauses

      A parallel structure that begins
     with clauses must keep on with
     clauses. Changing to another
     pattern or changing the voice of
     the verb (from active to passive
     or vice versa) will break the
     parallelism.
Not Parallel: The coach told the players
 that they should get a lot of sleep,
 that they should not eat too much,
 and to do some warm-up exercises
 before the game.

Parallel: The coach told the players that
  they should get a lot of sleep, that
  they should not eat too much, and
  that they should do some warm-up
  exercises before the game.
And Finally. . .

    Lists after a colon. Be sure to keep all
     the elements in a list in the same form.

 Not Parallel: The dictionary can be used
   for these purposes: to find word
   meanings, pronunciations, correct
   spellings, and looking up irregular
   verbs.
 Parallel: The dictionary can be used for
   these purposes: to find word
   meanings, pronunciations, correct
   spellings, and irregular verbs.
Feeling a little tense? Verb
tenses. . .

    Present - used to express action that is
     occurring now, at the present time.

    Past - used to express action that has
     happened but did not continue into the
     present.

    Future - used to express action which will
     occur at some time in the future.
So far, so good? Perfect!

  Present perfect - used to express action
   which occurred at no definite time in the
   past.
 She has spoken often of this before.

  Past perfect - used to express action
   completed in the past before some other
   past action or event.
 After she had stayed for two weeks, she
   moved on.
Where have you seen this
before?
  Future perfect - used to express action which will
   be completed in the future before some other
   future action or event.
 By the time I finish this test, I will have used up
   three sheets of paper.


 BE SURE TO KEEP YOUR TENSES
   CONSISTENT! DO NOT SHIFT IN THE MIDDLE
   OF A PAPER OR PARAGRAPH.
Who and Whom

 Who is the nominative case and Whom is
  the objective case.
John was with whom?
Who spoke to the assembly last night?

The use of who and who in a subordinate
 clause is determined by the pronoun’s
 function in the clause.
Mae was the reporter who wrote the story.
Mae was the reporter whom the critics
 praised. (Whom is often omitted in a
 subordinate clause).
Some practice

   Problem: Peter is the boy (who,
    whom) discovered the fire.
 Solution:
 1. The subordinate clause is (who,
    whom) discovered the fire.
 2. The pronoun is the subject of the
    clause.
 3. Since it acts as the subject, it must
    be the nominative case (who).
  Problem:
That is my friend Carol (who, whom) I met at
   camp.
Solution:
1. The subordinate clause is (who, whom) I
   met at camp.
2. The pronoun is the object of the verb met.
3. Since it acts as the subject, it must be the
   Objective case (whom).

				
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