EDITING ESSAYS read txt - E D I T I NG ESSAYS Pa r t Four...

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EDITING ESSAYS Part Four The Four Most Serious Errors 22. The Basic Sentence 385 23. Fragments 401 24. Run-Ons 418 25. Problems with Subject-Verb Agreement 434 26. Verb Problems 452 ? ? 385 22 The Basic Sentence An Overview The Four Most Serious Errors This book emphasizes the four grammar errors that people most often notice. These four errors may make your meaning harder to understand, and they give readers a bad impression of you. It’s like going for a job interview in pajamas. People will notice. 1. Fragments (see Chapter 23)
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2. Run-ons (see Chapter 24) 3. Problems with subject-verb agreement (see Chapter 25) 4. Problems with verb form and tense (see Chapter 26) If you can edit your writing to correct the four most serious errors, your sentences will be clearer, and your grades will improve. Learning how to correct these errors will make a big difference in your writing. This chapter will review the basic elements of the sentence; the next four chapters cover the four most serious errors. The Parts of Speech There are seven basic parts of speech in English: 1. A noun names a person, place, or thing. Heroin is a drug. IDEA JOURNAL Write about any problems you have had with grammar in the past. In the examples in this chapter, subjects are underlined once and verbs are underlined twice.
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? EDITING ESSAYS 386 Part Four • The Four Most Serious Errors 2. A pronoun replaces a noun in a sentence. A pronoun can be the subject of a sentence ( I, you, he, she, it, we, they ), or it can be the object of a sentence ( me, you, him, her, us, them ). A pronoun can also show possession ( mine, yours, his, her, its, our, their ). It causes addiction. 3. A verb tells what the subject does, or it links a subject to another word that describes it. Heroin causes addiction. [The verb causes is what the subject Heroin does.] It is dangerous. [The verb is links the subject It to a word that describes it: dangerous .] 4. An adjective describes a noun or pronoun. [Heroin is dangerous . [The adjective dangerous describes the noun Heroin .] It is lethal . [The adjective lethal describes the pronoun It .] 5. An adverb describes an adjective, a verb, or another adverb. Many adverbs end in - ly . Heroin is very dangerous. [The adverb very describes the adjective dangerous .] Addiction occurs quickly . [The adverb quickly describes the verb occurs .] Addiction occurs very quickly. [The adverb very describes the adverb quickly .]
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6. A preposition connects a noun, pronoun, or verb with some other information about it ( across, at, in, of, on, around, over , and to are some prepositions). Dealers often sell drugs around schools. [The preposition around connects the noun drugs with the noun school .] 7. A conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so) connects words. ? EDITING ESSAYS Chapter 22 • The Basic Sentence 387 Language Note: Any idea that ends with a period needs a subject and a verb to be a complete sentence. For a review of subjects and verbs, see pages 388–94.
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