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Results 1 to 10 of 20 (page 1 of 2)

Correlative conjunctions: Parallel or not?

A quiz on the use of parallel structure with common correlative conjunctions.Errors in parallel structure can slip into our writing all too easily—and that’s especially true with correlative, or two-part, conjunctions such as both … and, not … but, not only … but also, neither … nor or either … or. When using one of these two-part conjunctions, we have to be sure to use the same part of speech (noun, verb, etc.) or the same grammatical structure (phrase, clause) after each part.In each question below, see if you can tell whether the sentence is parallel or not.1. The translator must be familiar with the culture of both the source and target languages.parallelnot parallel2. To get to the lake, you can go either to the left or turn right.parallelnot parallel3. Neither the manager nor her staff realized they had been nominated for the award.parallelnot parallel4. Ontario wines not only win awards nationally but also abroad.parallelnot parallel5. We must fight not with our fists but with our words.parallelnot parallel6. Josianne is not only a great cook, but she also loves to sing.parallelnot parallel7. Greg is either studying in the library or working out at the gym.parallelnot parallel8. The caller’s remarks were both insulting to the radio host and caused offence to listeners.parallelnot parallel  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 30,296

Correlative conjunctions: Parallel structure

A quiz on the use of parallel structure with common correlative conjunctions.Errors in parallel structure can slip into our writing all too easily—and that's especially true with correlative, or two-part, conjunctions. When using one of these two-part conjunctions, we have to be sure to use the same part of speech (noun, verb, etc.) or a similar structure (phrase, clause) after each part.In each question below, see if you can tell which sentence contains structures that are parallel.1. Question 1Not only did I have to run 20 km, but I also had to cross rough terrain.I not only had to run 20 km, but I also had to cross rough terrain.I not only had to run 20 km but also cross rough terrain.2. Question 2Either Rita is in the library or the cafeteria.Rita is either in the library or the cafeteria.Rita is in either the library or the cafeteria.3. Question 3Michaela both hopes to earn a promotion and get a raise.Michaela hopes both to earn a promotion and get a raise.Michaela hopes both to earn a promotion and to get a raise.4. Question 4The news report was neither accurate nor written fairly.The news report was neither accurate nor fair.The news report was neither accurate nor was it fair.5. Question 5You can go either with Jorge or with Carina.You can either go with Jorge or Carina.You can go either with Jorge or Carina.6. Question 6The dog not only broke his chain, but he also barked at the neighbours.The dog not only broke his chain but also barked at the neighbours.The dog broke not only his chain but also barked at the neighbours.7. Question 7The comedian responded to the question both quickly and with wit.The comedian both gave a quick response and a witty one to the question.The comedian responded to the question both quickly and wittily.8. Question 8Neither scolding the child nor attempts at bribery did any good.Neither scolding the child nor bribing him did any good.Neither a sound scolding nor trying to bribe the child did any good.  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 28,582

“That” is a tricky one

An English post about when to use or omit “that” in a sentence.Which of the two sentences below is correct? I believe that I mentioned that yesterday. I believe I mentioned that yesterday. And how about these two? The woman that you saw me with was my sister. The woman you saw me with was my sister. The answer in each case is that both sentences are correct! The reason has to do with subordinating conjunctions, relative pronouns, rhythm and clarity. Let me break it down into digestible steps! Subordinating conjunctions and relative pronouns When you say “I believe that I mentioned that yesterday,” the first “that” acts as a subordinating conjunction. It creates a dependent clause (“that I mentioned that yesterday”) and joins it to a main clause (“I believe”). So why is the second sentence correct, too? Because you have the option to omit the subordinating conjunction (the first “that”). So it’s equally acceptable to say “I believe I mentioned that yesterday.” (And many people would prefer this sentence, to avoid repeating “that.”) Now for the second pair of sentences. In the sentence “The woman that you saw me with was my sister,” “that” is a relative pronoun. Its role is very much like the role of “that” in the first pair of sentences: it creates a dependent clause (“that you saw me with”) and joins it to a main clause (“The woman was my sister”). The relative pronoun “that,” like the subordinating conjunction, can be omitted in many cases. So it’s fine to say “The woman you saw me with was my sister.” Here’s what the Oxford Guide to Canadian English Usage (second edition) has to say: Especially in spoken English, “that” is often omitted.... In the eighteenth century, usage writers condemned the omission of “that” in written English. Now some usage guides maintain just the opposite, that it is better to omit “that” whenever possible. Since both structures are grammatically correct, rhythm and clarity should guide your choice. In terms of rhythm, the Guide says to omit “that” if the sentence sounds better without it. With regard to clarity, the Guide says to use “that” to avoid misunderstanding. So here are some guidelines to help you make the decision. When to omit “that” You may omit “that” after common verbs of speech or thought (like “say,” “believe,” “claim,” “hear,” “think,” “feel,” “know”). Lloyd thinks that I can pass my Level 1 instructor certification. You may omit “that” to avoid unnecessary repetition. I believe that I mentioned that yesterday. Meryl thinks that that hill is too steep for her. In both the above examples, one “that” is better than two. So should you strive to omit “that” whenever possible? Not necessarily. There are times when “that” should not be omitted. When to use “that” Use “that” when the pronoun is the subject of its own clause. The book that you dropped belongs to the library. BUT The book that fell off the shelf belongs to the library. In the first sentence, “that” can be omitted. But it can’t be omitted in the second sentence, because it is the subject of the verb “fell” and the sentence wouldn’t make sense without it. Use “that” if there is a danger of misreading. For example, consider this sentence: During the lockdown, the teachers found two-thirds of the students needed assistance. When people first begin reading this sentence, they might expect to read something like “During the lockdown, the teachers found two-thirds of the students cowering in the gym.” In other words, without the subordinating conjunction “that,” readers might think at first that “two-thirds of the students” is the object of the verb “found.” So they might do a double take when they get near the end, and have to read the sentence over again. If you use “that,” they can’t misread what follows. They will expect to read a subordinate clause: During the lockdown, the teachers found that two-thirds of the students needed assistance. Use “that” to introduce two or more parallel clauses. The sentence below contains a very common error: Rashid said he had prepared the PowerPoint presentation and that the boss would show it at the next meeting. In this sentence, there are two dependent clauses; and with a series of two or more clauses, it’s important to maintain parallel structure. But only the second dependent clause starts with the conjunction “that,” so the clauses aren’t parallel. To keep the structure parallel, use “that” before both dependent clauses: Rashid said that he had prepared the PowerPoint presentation and that the boss would show it at the next meeting. Use “that” after the verbs “shout” and “reply.” Someone shouted that one of the children needed help. The teacher replied that he was on his way. Use “that” in a noun clause that follows a noun. Her statement that she was quitting took me by surprise. I disagree with their opinion that the product is safe. Use “that” when an introductory or interrupting element comes between “that” and the subject of the dependent clause. The cardiologist feels that, in my case, the heart murmur is more pronounced because of my age. Use “that” if you’re in doubt. When in doubt, don’t throw it out. It’s safer to use “that” if you’re not sure. So, that’s that with “that”! Now you know when you can omit this tricky little word and when you have to use it. Want to practise what you’ve learned? Try our quiz!
Source: Our Languages blog (posts from our contributors)
Number of views: 13,420

When to use or omit “that”

An English quiz in which the user must choose whether to use or omit the subordinating conjunction or relative pronoun that.In many sentences, the subordinating conjunction or relative pronoun "that" can be omitted. But it's not always easy knowing when you need to use "that" and when you can leave it out. In the sentences below, decide whether to use or to omit this tricky little word.1. During the fire drill, the staff found several students were unaccounted for.Use "that"Omit "that"both are correct2. I'm sure we discussed that at last week's meeting.Use "that"Omit "that"both are correct3. You said I could go.Use "that"Omit "that"both are correct4. Claire hopes that proposal will be turned down.Use "that"Omit "that"both are correct5. No one believed Danny's claim he was framed.Use "that"Omit "that"both are correct6. The letter I received from my sister mentioned her daughter's upcoming marriage.Use "that"Omit "that"both are correct7. One of the bystanders shouted an ambulance was on its way.Use "that"Omit "that"both are correct8. The parcel arrived today is from head office.Use "that"Omit "that"both are correct9. Luca promised he would drive us to the airport and that the car would be ready by 4:30.Use "that"Omit "that"both are correct10. Bianca understood , given her heavy workload, the deadline was flexible.Use "that"Omit "that"both are correct  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 8,747

The parts of speech: Introduction

An article listing the various parts of speech with links to other articles.
Traditional grammar classifies words based on eight parts of speech: the verb, the noun, the pronoun, the adjective, the adverb, the preposition, the conjunction and the interjection. Each part of speech explains not what the word is, but how the word is used. In fact, the same word can be a noun in one sentence and a verb or adjective in another. The next examples show how the part of speech of a word can change from one sentence to the next. Following these examples is a series of sections on the individual parts of speech and an exercise. Example Explanation Books are made of ink, paper and glue. In this sentence, books is a noun, the subject of the sentence. Joe waits patiently while Bridget books the tickets. Here books is a verb and its subject is Bridget. We walk down the street. In this sentence, walk is a verb and its subject is the pronoun we. The letter carrier stood on the walk. In this example, walk is a noun that is part of a prepositional phrase describing where the letter carrier stood. The town council decided to build a new jail. Here jail is a noun, which is the object of the infinitive phrase to build. The police officer told us that if we did not leave immediately he would jail us. Here jail is part of the compound verb would jail. The parents heard high-pitched cries in the middle of the night. In this sentence, cries is a noun acting as the direct object of the verb heard. Their colicky baby cries all night long and all day long. Here cries is a verb that describes the actions of the subject of the sentence, i.e. the baby. The next sections explain each of the parts of speech in detail. When you have finished looking at them, you might want to test yourself by trying the exercise. The details Verb - Next Page Noun Pronoun Adjective Adverb Preposition Conjunction Interjection Review exercise: Parts of speech
Source: HyperGrammar 2 (basics of English grammar)
Number of views: 7,432

Whether or not

A quiz on how to use whether or not.Do the words or not always follow the conjunction whether? Here's the rule: When the clause beginning with whether is acting as a sentence adverb modifying the main clause, it must express two possibilities: Whether I go or stay home, you can attend.If only one possibility is stated, include or not as the second possibility: Whether I go or not, you can attend; Whether or not I go, you can attend. (Tip: In this case, whether or not is equivalent to regardless of whether.)In all other cases, or not is either incorrect or unnecessary and can be omitted. Now that you know the rule, you can decide when to omit the words or not in the sentences below.1. I don't know I can support John's suggestion.whetherwhether or not2. Virginia takes the bus or cycles to work, her commute will take one hour.whetherwhether or not3. Virginia cycles to work, her commute will take one hour.whetherwhether or not4. We have to talk about we can afford this purchase.whetherwhether or not5. That child is eating whatever I make for supper, she likes it.whetherwhether or not6. Masha can't decide she should go to the party.whetherwhether or not7. Grigor can win the election is the question.whetherwhether or not8. Michael plans to start university his mother agrees.whetherwhether or not  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 6,164

verb agreement: compound subjects with “and”

A writing tip on subject-verb agreement with compound subjects joined by and.
When two subjects are joined with the conjunction and or both…and, the compound subject is usually plural and takes a plural verb: The hiker and the cyclist enjoy the great outdoors. [1 hiker + 1 cyclist = 2 people; the verb enjoy is plural] Both Gina and I are planning a trip to Sicily. [Gina + I = 2 people; the verb are planning is plural] Both tourism and history await you on the Champlain Route! [tourism + history = 2 things; the verb await is plural] However, it sometimes happens that two subjects joined by and form a singular subject: Drinking and driving is dangerous. [Drinking and driving is a single activity; the verb is is singular.] The senior writer and editor was promoted to the position of editor-in-chief. [The senior writer and editor is a single person; the verb was is singular.] Macaroni and cheese seems to be popular among students in residence. [Macaroni and cheese is a single dish; the verb seems is singular.]
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 4,569

correlative conjunctions: either … or

An English-language writing tip on how to use the correlative conjunction “either … or”
On this page Parallelism with “either … or” Agreement in “either … or” Additional information Parallelism with “either … or” The correlative conjunction either … or co-ordinates two or more words, phrases or clauses. Note that the constructions following these correlatives should be parallel in structure. That is, if you use a noun after one, you must use a noun after the other; if you use a prepositional phrase after one, you must use a prepositional phrase after the other; and so on. Either she goes or I go. I did not communicate with the deputy minister either by telephone or by letter regarding this matter. For dessert, you can have either ice cream, lemon pie or chocolate cake. Agreement in “either … or” When you use this conjunction to join two or more subjects, make sure that the verb agrees in number with the nearest subject. Either you or your brother needs to leave early to pick Dad up at the airport. Either my mom, my dad or my grandparents drop me off at school. Additional information Correlative conjunctions
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 4,535

correlative conjunctions

An English-language writing tip explaining correlative conjunctions and how to make them parallel
On this page Definition of “correlative conjunction” Parallelism with correlative conjunctions Agreement in correlative conjunctions Additional information Definition of “correlative conjunction” The word conjunction comes from a Latin root meaning “join.” In grammar, a conjunction is a joining word. A correlative conjunction is a two-part conjunction: it consists of two words or phrases that are used to join sentence elements of equal value. Here are some of the most common ones: both … and Both Ryan and Meg like skiing Whistler. either … or Luis will live either in Spain or in Portugal. neither … nor Neither you nor I have to work tomorrow. not only … but also Maria not only sings but also plays guitar. Parallelism with correlative conjunctions Since the elements joined by correlative conjunctions are of equal value, it’s important to make them parallel in structure—that is, to use the same grammatical structure for each element. Here are some examples of parallelism with correlative conjunctions: two noun phrases You should enter both the date and the time. two prepositional phrases My keys are either on my desk or in my coat pocket. two verbs The candidate who missed the appointment neither called nor emailed to explain his absence. two verbal phrases It is vital not only to know the law but also to follow it. Here is an example of a poorly structured sentence: Lise either went to the weight room or the sauna. As you can see, the above sentence isn’t parallel. Because either is followed by an entire predicate (went to the weight room) and or is followed only by a noun phrase (the sauna), the two halves of the structure are not balanced. To make the structure parallel, we could rewrite the sentence in any of the following ways: Lise went either to the weight room or to the sauna. [two prepositional phrases] Lise went to either the weight room or the sauna. [two noun phrases] Lise either went to the weight room or had a sauna. [two predicates] Agreement in correlative conjunctions When correlative conjunctions are used to join two or more subjects, the verb should agree in number with the nearest subject. Either Ashley or her assistants are accepting the award. “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Additional information Correlative conjunctions: Both … and Correlative conjunctions: Either … or Correlative conjunctions: Neither … nor Predicate Quizzes Correlative conjunctions: Parallel structure Correlative conjunctions: Parallel or not?
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 3,661

Conjunction

An article on co-ordinating, subordinating and correlative conjunctions.
You can use a conjunction to link words, phrases and clauses, as in the following examples: I ate the pizza and the pasta. Call the movers when you are ready. Co-ordinating Conjunctions Use a co-ordinating conjunction (and, but, or, nor, for, so or yet) to join individual words, phrases and independent clauses. Note that you can also use the conjunctions but and for as prepositions. Each of the highlighted words below is a co-ordinating conjunction. Lilacs and violets are usually purple. In the above example, the co-ordinating conjunction and links two nouns. This movie is especially interesting to feminist film theorists, for the screenplay was written by Mae West. In the example above, the co-ordinating conjunction for links two independent clauses. Jack claimed that he spent most of his youth dancing on rooftops and swallowing goldfish. In the above example, the co-ordinating conjunction and links two participle phrases (dancing on rooftops and swallowing goldfish). Subordinating Conjunctions A subordinating conjunction introduces a dependent clause and indicates the nature of the relationship(s) between the independent clause(s) and the dependent clause(s). The most common subordinating conjunctions are after, although, as, because, before, how, if, once, since, than, that, though, till, until, when, where, whether and while. Each of the highlighted words in the following examples is a subordinating conjunction. After she had learned to drive, Alice felt more independent. The subordinating conjunction after introduces the dependent clause after she had learned to drive. If the paperwork arrives on time, your cheque will be mailed on Tuesday. Similarly, the subordinating conjunction if introduces the dependent clause if the paperwork arrives on time. Gerald had to begin his report again when his computer crashed. The subordinating conjunction when introduces the dependent clause when his computer crashed. Midwifery advocates argue that home births are safer because the mother and baby are exposed to fewer people and fewer germs. The dependent clause because the mother and baby are exposed to fewer people and fewer germs is introduced by the subordinating conjunction because. Correlative Conjunctions Correlative conjunctions, which always appear in pairs, link equivalent sentence elements. The most common correlative conjunctions are both . . . and, either . . . or, neither . . . nor, not only . . . but also, so . . . as, and whether . . . or. (Technically, correlative conjunctions consist simply of a co-ordinating conjunction linked to an adjective or adverb.) The highlighted words in the following examples are correlative conjunctions. Both my grandfather and my father worked in the steel plant. In this sentence, the correlative conjunction both . . . and links the two noun phrases that act as the compound subject of the sentence (my grandfather and my father). Bring either a Jello salad or a potato salad. Here the correlative conjunction either . . . or links two noun phrases (a Jello salad and a potato salad). Corinne is trying to decide whether to go to medical school or to go to law school. Similarly, the correlative conjunction whether . . . or links the two infinitive phrases (to go to medical school and to go to law school). The fire destroyed not only the school but also the neighbouring pub. In this example, the correlative conjunction not only . . . but also links the two noun phrases (the school and the neighbouring pub) that act as direct objects. Note that some words that function as conjunctions can also act as prepositions or adverbs.
Source: HyperGrammar 2 (basics of English grammar)
Number of views: 3,482