Does grammar and mechanics matter? Of course, they do. Grammar is the vehicle through which we communicate ourselves with others, build and share ideas, even make those ‘not a care in the world’ posts on Facebook. Imagine if what you said did not make sense to anyone.
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What would happen? So, learning the bedrock of language is important, no matter how we communicate, whether written or spoken, to effectively get through with people around us. One slip in grammar can ruin the impression of your essay. You can come across as careless, unintelligent and inexact. Bad impression to have if you want a high score.
Below are some the common errors which students repeatedly make in their answer sheet. All PCAT prep books will caution against grammar faux pas.
1. Subject-Verb Agreement
To cut the long story short, subject-verb agreement is where singular subjects take singular verbs and plural subjects take plural verbs.
A case in point is this:
a.Foster walks to the store. Foster is a singular subject, so we need to match it with the singular verb “walks.”
b. Foster and Felipe walk to the store. “Foster and Felipe” is a plural subject, so we need to match it with the plural verb “walk.”
2. Pronoun reference:
Because a pronoun REFERS to a noun or acts as a replacement of that noun, be clear which noun the pronoun is referring to. The pronoun should not be ambiguous and subject to equivocal references.
For instance, if you say, whenever Johnny and Richard sit down at a buffet, he eats way more. Who eats more? Johnny or Richard? In a sentence like this, avoid using the pronoun at all. Simply refer by name, that is, whenever Johnny and Richard sit down at a buffet, Johnny eats way more.
Sometimes called a fused sentence and can happen when two independent clauses are joined into one rather than writing two independent sentences or correctly punctuating them. The following is the example of a comma splice where two independent clauses are connected only by a comma.
The sun is blazing, open your umbrella.
This sentence should be rewritten with a conjunction.
The sun is blazing, so open your umbrella.
The modifier is simply a word or a group of words that can be employed to describe another part of the sentence. Modifiers should be as close as possible to the word it is modifying
After missing an easy goal, the crowd booed the soccer player. ( it seems the crowd missed the goal)
Decorated with colorful silver bells and ornaments, we took pictures by the Christmas tree. ( we were not decorated with silver bells, the Christmas tree was)
The balance that exists amongst two or more similar words, phrases or clauses is known as parallelism .
I respect his honesty and that he is brave(bravery).
Kristin likes to shop and jogging.
Can be written either as:
Kristin likes shopping and jogging.
Kristin likes to shop and to jog.
Additional resources can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/grammar_challenge/