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Unformatted text preview: he antecedent of the pronoun. Additionally, the pronouns must clearly
refer to only one antecedent. The sentence must leave no doubt in the reader’s mind as to what the pronoun refers. Sentences with
multiple nouns are a classic signal of a pronoun reference error.
The attorney argued that students who were denied the use of school facilities for political activities had lost their right of free
In the above sentence, the writer does not make clear to what their refers. It could refer to students, facilities or activities. The
sentence must be constructed so that the reader has no doubt about the antecedent of the pronoun their:
The attorney argued that students lost their right of free assembly when they were denied the use of school facilities for
• Several nouns preceding a pronoun.
The Federalist Papers is a compilation of articles written by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, as well as a few by John Jay,
since each of them were advocates of the Constitution.
(A) since each of them were (B) since they were each (C) since all of them were (D) each of which was (E) because all of the men were www.manhattanreview.com c 1999 - 2008 Manhattan Review Sentence Correction Guide – Sentence Correction 2.3.7 45 Idioms, Usage, and Style Sentence correction questions that revolve around idioms, usage and style generally test subtle errors in expression. Idiomatic
expressions often have no basis in grammar or even logic but have been accepted into the language.
Especially for non-native speakers, some of the trickiest errors in this section are incorrect idioms. This includes using the wrong
preposition with a verb, among many other things. Unfortunately, the only thing to do about this problem is practice, so do as many
practice questions as possible and take note of any examples in which two different versions of an idiom are used. After you check
your answers, make a list of the idioms you did not know and memorize them.
Native speakers often use idioms without thinking about the literal meaning of the words. For example:
We ﬁnished the rest of the tasks in one fell swoop.
The expression in one fell swoop makes little sense literally, but English speakers recognize it as meaning all at once.
Some conventions of Standard English may seem nit-picky, but you should familiarize yourself with some rules which are commonly
tested. For example:
When compared to Greg’s ability to carry a tune, Marsha’s musical skill is unimpressive.
The correct expression in this case is compared with because the items being compared are dissimilar: the relative musical abilities
of Greg and Marsha. The construction using compared with points out the differences.
When compared with Greg’s ability to carry a tune, Marsha’s musical skill is unimpressive.
Use compared to when illustrating similarities. For example:
He compared his teacher to Bruce Greenwald, the esteemed professor famous for his...
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