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SAT2写作试题分享(Grammar)

发布日期:02-06 18:31 分类:英语 阅读次数:29

摘要ENGLISH REVIEW Grammar 1. Subject-Verb Agreement As you know, a subject must agree wi ...

ENGLISH REVIEW

 

Grammar

 

1. Subject-Verb Agreement

 

As you know, a subject must agree with its verb.

 

EXAMPLE:

 

The professor were traveling in Europe when she received notice of her promotion.

 

The construction were traveling is an error. The subject is professor, a singular noun. The verb were traveling should be was traveling. The sentence should read: “The professor was traveling in Europe. . . .” This example is very simple; the error is easy to spot because the subject and verb are next to each other. Most errors occur when the subject and the verb are separated, when the sentence structure is inverted, or when you cannot recognize whether the subject is singular or plural.

 

A. When the subject and the verb are separated.

 

EXAMPLES:

 

The professor voted Teacher of the Year by the students were traveling in Europe when she received notice of her promotion.

 

Professor is singular, yet the verb were traveling is plural. This is more difficult to spot in this version of the sentence because of the proximity of the noun students, which might be mistaken for the subject of the verb. The sentence sounds correct to the ear: “. . . students were. . . .” The sentence should read: “The professor voted Teacher of the Year by the students was traveling in Europe when she received notice of her promotion.”

 

Most teachers, unless they have an appointment to a prestigious university, earns relatively less as a teacher than they might in business.

 

The subject of earns is teachers. Teachers earns is incorrect. The correct construction is “teachers earn.” But it’s easy to mistake university for the true subject of the sentence. The sentence should read: “Most teachers, unless they have an appointment to a prestigious university, earn relatively less as a teacher than they might in business.”

 

Many nutritionists now believe that a balanced diet and not large doses of vitamins are the best guarantee of health.

 

The true subject of the verb are is diet. The phrase not large doses is not part of the subject. The correct construction is: “diet . . . is.” The corrected sentence should read: “Many nutritionists now believe that a balanced diet and not large doses of vitamins is the best guarantee of health.”

 

Television comedies in which there is at least one really detestable character captures the interest of viewers.

 

The true subject of the verb captures is comedies. The correct construction is “comedies . . . capture.” The correct sentence is: “Television comedies in which there is at least one really detestable character capture the interest of the viewers.”

B. When the sentence structure is inverted. An inverted sentence is one in which the verb comes before the subject.

 

EXAMPLES:

 

Although this is the wealthiest country in the world, within a few blocks of the White House there is scores of homeless people who live on the streets.

 

The subject of the verb is is not there but scores, which is plural. The correct construction is: “there are scores.” The sentence should read: “Although this is the wealthiest country in the world, within a few blocks of the White House there are scores of homeless people who live on the streets.”

 

Just a few miles from the factories and skyscrapers stand a medieval castle that looks exactly as it did in the 12th century.

 

The subject of the verb stand is castle. The correct construction is: “stands a medieval castle.” The sentence should read: “Just a few miles from the factories and skyscrapers stands a medieval castle that looks exactly as it did in the 12th century.”

 

C. When the subject is tricky.

 

EXAMPLES:

 

Either the governor or one of his close aides prefer not to have the senator at the head table.

 

When a subject consists of two or more parts jointed by or, the verb must agree with the element that follows the or. So for the purpose of agreement, the subject of the sentence is one. The correct construc-tion is: “one . . . prefers.” The sentence should read: “Either the governor or one of his close aides prefers not to have the senator at the head table.”

 

Because they were surrounded by layers of excelsior, none of the crystal goblets were broken when the workers dropped the crate.

 

The subject of the verb were broken is none, and none is singular. The correct construction is: “none

 

. . . was broken.” The corrected sentence is: “Because they were surrounded by layers of excelsior, none of the crystal goblets was broken when the workers dropped the crate.”

 

John, his wife, and the rest of his family plans to attend the awards dinner to be given by the company for the employees with the most seniority.

 

A subject consisting of two or more elements joined by and is plural. The correct construction is: “John, his wife, and the rest of his family plan to attend the awards dinner to be given by the company for the employees with the most seniority.”

 

2. Pronoun Usage

 

There are three areas of pronoun usage that frequently cause problems and should be reviewed: whether a pronoun has a proper antecedent, agreement between pronoun and antecedent, and choice of pronoun case.

 

A. A pronoun should have a clear antecedent (also called a referent). The antecedent is the word for which the pronoun substitutes. Setting aside certain idioms—such as It’s raining, in which the it does not have an identifiable antecedent—a pronoun that lacks a clear antecedent is used incorrectly.


EXAMPLES:

 

During her rise to fame, she betrayed many of her friends; and because of it, very few people trust her.

 

A pronoun must have an antecedent, but it doesn’t refer to anything. It “wants” to refer to the woman’s behavior, but that word doesn’t appear in the original sentence. Corrected, the sentence reads: “During her rise to fame, she betrayed many of her friends; and because of her behavior, very few people trust her.”

 

In New York City, they are brusque and even rude but quick to come to one another’s assistance in a time of crisis.

 

This construction might be called the “ubiquitous they.” “They” are everywhere: In New York, they are rude; in Chicago, they like the Cubs; in Atlanta, they speak with a southern accent; in California, they like parties. “They” do get around! The trouble with this use of “they” is that “they” has no antecedent.

 

In conversation, the “ubiquitous they” may be acceptable, but not in standard written English. The sentence above is corrected by using the word people in place of they. So the sentence should read: “In New York City, the people are brusque and even rude but quick to come to one another’s assistance in a time of crisis.”

 

Ten years ago, the United States imported ten times as much French wine as Italian wine, but today Americans are drinking more of it.

 

Here, the antecedent of it is unclear. Does the sentence mean to state that Americans are drinking more French wine or more Italian wine? It could be either. The sentence is corrected by specifying which. Corrected, the sentence reads: “Ten years ago, the United States imported ten times as much French wine as Italian wine, but today Americans are drinking more Italian wine.”

 

B. A pronoun must agree with its antecedent, both in number and person.

 

EXAMPLES:

 

Although a police officer used to be a symbol of authority, today they receive little respect from most people.

 

In this sentence the pronoun they refers to police officer, which is singular. The best way to correct it is to say “he or she.” So, the sentence should read: “Although a police officer used to be a symbol of authority, today he or she receives little respect from most people.”

 

The Abbot was an effective administrator who attempted to assign each monk a task particu-larly suited to their talents and training.

 

In this sentence, their refers to each monk. But their is plural and each monk is singular. The sen-tence is corrected by changing their to his: “The Abbot was an effective administrator who attempted to assign each monk a task particularly suited to his talents and training.”

 

After three years of college education, a person should be allowed to apply to graduate school, because by that time you are ready to choose a profession.

 

In the sentence above, you refers to person. But you is a second person pronoun and person requires a third-person pronoun. This is called the error of shifting subject. The sentence could be corrected by


changing you are to one is or vice versa: “After three years of college education, a person should be allowed to apply to graduate school, because by that time one is ready to choose a profession.”

 

If one wishes to apply for a scholarship, you must submit a completed application by March 1.

 

The error can be corrected by eliminating the incorrect pronoun altogether: “If one wishes to apply for a scholarship, a completed application must be submitted by March 1.”

 

C. Pronouns have case, and a pronoun’s function in a sentence determines which case should

 

be used. Subjective case (also called nominative case) pronouns are used as subjects of sentences; objec-tive case pronouns are used as objects (direct objects, indirect objects, and objects of prepositions); and possessive case pronouns are used to show possession.

 

EXAMPLES:

 

The judges were unable to make a final decision on a single winner, so they divided first prize between John and he.

 

In this sentence, he cannot serve as the object of a preposition since it is a subject pronoun. The correct pronoun here is the object pronoun him. Corrected, the sentence reads: “The judges were unable to make a final decision on a single winner, so they divided first prize between John and him.”

 

Although Peter had been looking forward to the debate for weeks, a sore throat prevented him taking part.

 

In this sentence, him modifies taking, but the correct choice of pronoun is his. (When a pronoun modifies a gerund, the -ing form of a verb, you must use the possessive case.) The sentence should read: “Although Peter had been looking forward to the debate for weeks, a sore throat prevented his taking part.”

 

3. Adjective versus Adverb

 

Adjectives are used to modify nouns. Adverbs are used to modify verbs and to modify adjectives.

 

EXAMPLES:

 

Some psychologists maintain that a child who has seen violence on television is more likely to react violent in situations of stress.

 

Violent is intended to modify to react, a verb form. So the adverb violently is required. The sentence should read: “Some psychologists maintain that a child who has seen violence on television is more likely to react violently in situations of stress.”

 

The recent created commission has done nothing to address the problem except to approve a new brand of stationery.

 

In this sentence, recent is intended to modify created, which is itself an adjective form modifying commission. So recent should be recently. The corrected sentence reads: “The recently created commis-sion has done nothing to address the problem except to approve a new brand of stationery.”

4. Double Negatives

 

Double negatives are not acceptable usage in standard written English.

 

EXAMPLES:

 

Not hardly a sound could be heard in the auditorium when the speaker approached the dais to announce the result of the contest.

 

In this sentence, not hardly is a double negative. The sentence must read: “Hardly a sound could be heard in the auditorium when the speaker approached the dais to announce the result of the contest.”

 

Although she had been hired by the magazine to write book reviews, she knew scarcely nothing about current fiction.

 

Scarcely nothing is a double negative. The sentence must read: “Although she had been hired by the magazine to write book reviews, she knew scarcely anything about current fiction.”


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