Grammar Standards for English

cs -- comma splice
D -- Faulty diction
DM -- dangling modifier
frag -- fragment
FP -- faulty predication
// -- parallel structure
P -- passive voice
pn agr -- pronoun and antecedent agreement
ps -- possessive
Q -- quote and quotation
QM -- quotation marks and quoting
shift -- shift in tense
s/v agr -- subject/verb agreement
T -- title
Thesis X -- incorrect thesis sentence
Tr -- transition or integrating the quotation into your text
vpr -- vague pronoun reference
wc -- word choice
you -- never use you or your in formal writing

D -- Faulty diction: (incorrect word choice) 

Only assumptions can be made as to how their childhood was like me not even being born till they were about two years of age.

In difference to Jeff, Craig did go to the community collage for a semester but quit.

Certain appearances give people an image of what kind of person a particular individual is like.

While religion and foods have a great comparison between the two races, also family gatherings do as well.

They look at life in view point that suggests that they are not afraid of the actual crime that exists.

"In God We Trust," this statement can be found on any American bill, and many of the political monuments inside Washington D.C. The statement simply means, we trust God to that our decisions are correct.

Some people believe that the law should have nothing to do with deciding weather or not it's the people may live or die.

 

FP -- Faulty predication: (problem in logic; for instance, price can't cost)

The price of the host costs $100,000.

The reason I'm not going is because I'm too tired.

The meaning of the essay urges the workers to revolt.

Ways to tell a homeless person from any other individual are homeless individuals are usually very dirty and rough looking on the outside.

 

frag -- Fragments: lack subject or verb; or they are not complete thoughts. (fragments underlined)

Back then, people did not see divorce as an option, unless it was under extreme circumstances. Such as abuse or excessive cheating.

I can think of a great many reasons for taking school seriously.

Which means I need to study harder and work at Burger King fewer hours.

Golf is a game governed by one book of rules, yet it is played by two separate types of golfers. The country club golfer and the municipal golfer.

 

 cs -- Comma Splices: (2 independent clauses joined by a comma) 

Jim is going to the dentist, he has a doctor's appointment later in the week.

Corrected: Jim is going to the dentist. He has a doctor's appointment later in the week.
    Jim is going to the dentist, and he has a doctor's appointment later in the week.
    Jim is going to the dentist; he has a doctor's appointment later in the week.

 

DM -- Dangling modifier: (underlined) 

In viewing these topics between the fifties and the nineties, it seems that our society is heading for a drastic change.

Corrected: In viewing these topics between the fifties and the nineties, we can see that our society was headed for a drastic change.

By legalizing the drug "B-Euthanasia' for human use leads us ever closer to looking at humans as a statistic rather than life.

 

pn agr -- Pronoun-antecedent fail to agree:  

Everybody complained about their assignments.

(Everybody is singular; the pronoun, their, is plural.)

Correct: The students complained about their assignments.

 

shift -- Shifts in tense: (when writing about literature, stay in the present tense) 

If a person who has weak knees kept on doing sit-ups, a serious injury could have occurred.

The movie character is a kitchen maid when she first appears on the screen, but she

was acting in Hollywood when the movie ends.

 

ps -- Incorrect apostrophes:

The baby boom generation will soon be this countries elderly.

Correct: The baby boom generation will soon be this country's elderly.

Correct uses of the apostrophe:

The boss' order; the women's lounge; the manager's organizational plan; the ladies' coats; the workers' lockers; every dog has its day; it's going to rain.

 

// -- Parallel structure:

Correct use of parallel structure:

The superintendent praised the workers for their productivity and their excellent safety record.

The basement was not only poorly lighted but also foul smelling.

The banner was old, faded, and ripped.

 

s/v agr -- Subject/verb disagreement:

Correct:

John hopes to make the first team.

Each of the players hopes to make the first team.

There on the table is my wallet.

There on the table are my wallet and key chain

 

vpr -- Vague pronoun reference: 

He will play at least three or four times a week. This in his mind proves that he is successful in style off and on the course.

 Corrected: He will play at least three or four times a week. This attention to the game, proves that he is successful in style . . .

P -- Passive voice: 

The balls are found by him at previous outings in the rough or ponds.

Correct: He found the balls at previous outings in the rough.

The clubs are bought from a barrel at the local golf shop that has a large red and white sign attached stating "Fire Sale."

Correct: Shoppers buy the clubs from a barrel at the local golf shop that has . . .

 

W.C. -- Incorrect word choice:

The dying love of the characters in the stories by Raymond Carver exemplifies his own relationships. (The word should be parallels.)

 

T -- Titles:

Titles of works you may be writing about: anything long, an epic poem, novel, is underlined. Short works such as short stories, short poems are in quotation marks.

The title of your essay should not be underlined or in quotation marks; the first letter of each word, other than a preposition or article, should be capitalized; your title should be specific to the subject of your essay. An essay on feuds in Beowulf, for instance, should not be titled Beowulf.

 

You and Your:

Avoid using 2nd person (you, your) in formal writing.

 

Q -- Quotation and Quote:

'quotation' is a noun; when you are referring to a passage, you are referring to a quotation; 'quote' is a verb; you quote; do not refer to quotations as 'quotes.'

 

QM -- Quotation Marks: Examples:

Example of integrating a short quotation into your sentence. Put slash marks where the end of each line comes in a poem. Please note the punctuation.

She values love above all else, even closeness to God; she writes "what bitter wrong / Can the earth do to us, that we should not long / Be here contented" ( 4-6).

Example of using a longer quotation.

Do not put quotation marks around a block quotation (a quotation of 4 or more lines needs to be indented. Notice that punctuation is different at the end of a block quotation.


I sometimes hold it half a sin
To put in words the grief I feel;
For words, like Nature, half reveal
And half conceal the Soul within. (In Memoriam, 5, 1-4)

The 5 after In Memoriam is the number of the poem in this larger work.

 

 

 

 

TR -- transition or integrating the quotation into your text

To help you understand this error, the part of the example sentence below that provides transition, integration, context, or explanation of the quotation is underlined.

The reader can sense the pangs of guilt in the mother's words even though she had no other choice because of her situation.  "When she saw me she would break into a clogged weeping that could not be comforted, a weeping I can hear yet" ("I Stand Here Ironing"  241).

 

Thesis X -- thesis is incorrect

The thesis presents the focus and the organizational plan of the essay:
Example 1:

The First World War, the Second World War, and the Vietnam Conflict were caused by economic factors.

or

Wars in the twentieth century were caused by economic reasons.

(In the organizational plan of the essay, the writer will have separate body paragraphs on 1)the First World War; 2) the Second World War; 3) and the Vietnam Conflict.)

Example 2: 
In his short story, "Battle Royal," Ellison uses the situations of the naked woman, the fight, and the speech to show how white southern men in the first half of the twentieth century preserved an unjust social order.

or

In his short story, "Battle Royal," Ellison uses several situations to show how white southern men in the first half of the twentieth century preserved an unjust social order.

(In the organizational plan, the writer will have separate body paragraphs on 1)the naked woman; 2) the fight; 3) and the speech.)