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Worksheets

Classic Mistakes in Usage


and
The Five Classic Sentence Errors

Mrs.Kitchings
British Literature

Name ______________________
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The Five Classic Sentence Errors Worksheet A


In the sentences below, correct any of the following:

run-on sentence / comma splice


sentence fragment
misplaced or dangling modifier\
faulty parallelism
faulty coordination or faulty subordination

1.

Banquets are frequently thrown to honor guests in a Chinese home, they often feature shark
fin as the main dish.
(A) home, they often feature
(B) home; often feature
(C) home and often feature
(D) home and they often feature
(E) home, these often feature

2. Most western European countries have decreased their consumption of fossil fuels, a number
of eastern European countries, however, have not done so.
(A) fuels, a number of eastern European countries, however, have
(B) fuels, however a number of eastern European countries have
(C) fuels, while on the other hand a number of eastern European countries have
(D) fuels; a number of eastern European countries, however, have
(E) fuels, a number however of eastern European countries have
3.

Mysteriously beautiful, the Nepalese shrine inlaid with semiprecious stones rare enough to
honor the spiritual essence of the Buddha.
(A) inlaid with semiprecious stones
(B) inlaid with semiprecious stones which are
(C) being inlaid with semiprecious stones that are
(D) is inlaid with semiprecious stones
(E) is inlaid with semiprecious stones, these are

4. To ensure that a novel will sell well, it should appeal to currently popular tastes.
(A) it should appeal to currently popular tastes.
(B) a novel should be appealing to currently popular tastes.
(C) a writer should appeal to currently popular tastes.
(D) currently popular tastes should be appealed to.
(E) currently popular tastes should be appealed to by the novel.
5. Most students enter college right after high school, while a few waiting a year or two before
seeking admission.
(A) while a few waiting a year or two before seeking admission.
(B) and a few, waiting a year or two before seeking admission.
(C) but a few wait a year or two before seeking admission.
(D) but a wait of a year or two is sought by a few.
(E) though a few will have begun to wait a year or two before seeking admission.

6. A familiar marketing strategy was reintroduced by a former client that had served the
company dependably in the past.
(A) A familiar marketing strategy was reintroduced by a former client that
(B) By reintroducing a familiar marketing strategy, the former client that
(C) Reintroduced by a former client, a familiar marketing strategy that
(D) A former client reintroduced a familiar marketing strategy that
(E) A former client, by reintroducing a familiar marketing strategy that
7. The great wastes of the southeast quadrant of Saudi Arabia are at once forbiddingly empty,
climatically harsh, and the beauty of them is haunting.
(A) and the beauty of them is haunting.
(B) with haunting beauties.
(C) while their beauties are haunting.
(D) and hauntingly beautiful.
(E) but their beauty is haunting.
8. When the artist first began sketching, she discovered that it is important both to be attentive
to the line of the figure and studying the relationship of one volume to another.
(A) to be attentive to the line of the figure and studying
(B) being attentive to the line of the figure, and studying
(C) be attentive to the line of the figure as well as studying
(D) being attentive to the line of the figure and that one study
(E) to be attentive to the line of the figure and to study
9. Yeats eventually created a unique voice in his poetry, but he was able to shake off the
restricting influences of the British literary tradition.
(A) poetry, but he was
(B) poetry; however, he was
(C) poetry because he was
(D) poetry that he was
(E) poetry only while being
10. For reasons not fully understood, nearly all children on the island gifted with musical ability
so strong they can master any instrument within hours.
(A) gifted with musical ability
(B) gifted with musical ability which is
(C) are gifted with musical ability
(D) being gifted with musical ability that is
(E) are gifted with musical abilities, these are

The Five Classic Sentence Errors - Worksheet B


In the sentences below, correct any of the following:

run-on sentence / comma splice


sentence fragment
misplaced or dangling modifier
faulty parallelism
faulty coordination or faulty subordination

1. That many people believe him to be the most competent and well-informed of all the
candidates currently listed on the ballot.
(A) That many people believe him to be
(B) That many people believe he is
(C) Because many people believe him to be
(D) Many people believe him to be
(E) That many people believe him
2. It would appear that no significant portion of the electorate troubled by doubts substantial
enough to result in the defeat of the incumbent.
(A) troubled by doubts
(B) is troubled by doubts
(C) troubled by doubts which are
(D) are troubled by doubts, these are
(E) being troubled with doubts that are
3. Because the carpenter would not do the work exactly as Jane wanted it done, so she refused
to pay him.
(A) so she refused
(B) but she was refusing
(C) she refused
(D) and this led to her refusing
(E) and she refused
4. After the doctor warned her that she was in poor health, the chairwoman resolved to go on a
diet, stop smoking, and exercising every day.
(A) and exercising every day.
(B) and exercise every day.
(C) and be exercising every day.
(D) and therefore exercise every day.
(E) as well as exercising every day.
5. The general increase in salaries surprised and delighted the employees.
(A) surprised and delighted the employees.
(B) surprised the employees, delighting them.
(C) surprised the employees and they were delighted.
(D) was a surprise and caused delight among the employees.
(E) was surprising to the employees, delighting them.
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6. Many well-off taxpayers pay less than ten percent of their annual income to the Internal
Revenue Service, some middle-income taxpayers pay a much larger percentage annually.
(A) Many well-off taxpayers pay
(B) However, many well-off taxpayers pay
(C) With many well-off taxpayers which pay
(D) Many a well-off taxpayer pays
(E) Although many well-off taxpayers pay
7. Hockneys most arresting work has been produced at his home in Los Angeles, he moved
there from his native Britain.
(A) Los Angeles, he moved there
(B) Los Angeles; he moved there
(C) Los Angeles, but he moved there
(D) Los Angeles and he moved there
(E) Los Angeles he moved there
8. Hoping to receive a promotion, the letter he received instead informed the employee that he
had been fired.
(A) the letter he received instead informed the employee
(B) the letter having been received, instead informing the employee
(C) the employee instead received a letter informing him
(D) information from the received letter instead told the employee
(E) the employee, instead informed by the letter he received
9. A cornerstone of the community since 1925, the fundraising drive did not generate enough
revenue to keep the recreational center operating another year.
(A) A cornerstone of the community since 1925, the fundraising drive did not
generate enough revenue to keep the recreational center operating another year.
(B) The fundraising drive did not generate enough revenue to keep the recreational
center, a cornerstone of the community since 1925, operating another year.
(C) The fundraising drive did not generate enough revenue, a cornerstone of the
community since 1925, to keep the recreational center operating another year.
(D) A cornerstone of the community since 1925, the recreational center did not
generate enough revenue to keep the fundraising drive operating another year.
(E) The fundraising drive, a cornerstone of the community since 1925, did not
generate enough revenue to keep the recreational center operating another year.
10. After practicing for months, auditions went much more smoothly for the young actor.
(A) After practicing for months, auditions went much more smoothly for the young
actor.
(B) Auditions, after practicing for months, went much more smoothly for the young
actor.
(C) The young actor having practiced for auditions for months, auditions went much
more smoothly for him.
(D) The young actor presenting auditions after months of practice, they went much
more smoothly.
(E) The young actor presented auditions much more smoothly after practicing for
months.
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Subject/Verb Agreement
Classic Mistakes in Usage
Rules 1-5

Name ___________________________
Date________________Period________

Directions: Underline the subject and circle the correct verb.


1. According to a noted meteorologist, there (is, are) various explanations for the accelerating
rate of global warming.
2. The fishing industry, along with railroad safety issues, (is, are) of great concern to the state
assembly.
3. Multipurpose vehicles, which can be very useful on rough terrain, (is, are) now banned in
many states.
4. In this critically acclaimed film, there (is, are) a well-developed plot and an excellent cast of
characters.
5. Everyone of the seniors (is, are) going on the field trip.
6. Either the manager or one of his coaches usually (remove, removes) a pitcher from the
mound.
7. Through the locks of the Panama Canal (pass, passes) more than fifty ships each day.
8. The fundamental hitting skills of Rick Reuschel (goes, go) largely unnoticed by the average
fan.
9. There (is, are) a number of state legislatures currently debating strict environmental laws.
10. Both the word scuba and the word radar (is, are) acronyms.
11. A community as diverse as Los Angeles (attracts, attract) immigrants from many countries.
12. If there (is, are) competing proposals, your idea may not be acted upon until next week.
13. Auto exhaust, in addition to industrial pollution, (is, are) a cause of smog in southern
California.
14. One-way tickets for domestic travel (is, are) often more expensive than round-trip fares.
15. There (is, are) at least five types of climbing rose and a unique variety of small fir in the
Botanical Gardens.
16. So-called bullet trains from Tokyo to Osaka (completes, complete) the three hundred mile
trip in about two hours.
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17. Despite numerous professed sightings, there (is,are) still no conclusive evidence of
extraterrestrial beings.
18. Donations to the church-sponsored orphanage (is, are) up by fifty percent over last year.
19. It is said that neither poor weather nor poor health (keeps, keep) a postman from making his
rounds.
20. Einsteins theory of relativity (ranks, rank) with the most developed hypotheses involving
space and time.
21. None of the people in the theater audience (was, were) pleased with the film.
22. Some of the missing material (is, are) here.
23. Some of the regulations (has, have) come about as a result of disasters.
24. Either my sisters or my mom (is, are) going to pick me up from school.
25. The lack of funds (present, presents) a problem.

Pronouns
Classic Mistakes in Usage
Rules 6-10, 24

Name_______________________________

Directions: Choose the correct pronoun.


1. Each of the skiers waxed (his, their) skis before leaving the lodge.
2. Every one of the reporters at the press conference asked (his, their) questions too quickly.
3. As far as I could see, neither of the women made a mistake while presenting (her, their)
argument during the debate.
4. No one brought (his, their) camera to the party.
5. Greg and (I, myself) got our drivers licenses on the same day.
6. My Uncle Bill, (who, whom) I greatly admire, worked in the Peace Corps for two years after
he finished college.
7. If (we, us) voters dont vote, how can we expect the situation to change?
8. Even though we are twins, Julie has always been taller than (I, me)
9. Does anyone know (who, whom) was using this computer yesterday?
10. Sometimes my parents have a low tolerance for (me, my) playing rock music.
11. (Who, Whom) do you wish to see?
12. The teacher greeted (us, we) students with a smile.
13. Does anyone dance better than (she, her).
14. Is it really (she, her) walking down the road?
15. The chess team sent a challenge to Don and (he, him).
16. Mrs. Grant, the Dodges, and (she, her) went to the reunion.
17. Have you lived in this city as long as (they, them)?
18. Both Ruth and (I, myself) take piano lessons.

19. One cannot gauge the immensity of the city until (you stand, he stands) atop one of the
buildings.
20. Two debaters, Ann and (she, her), researched the topic thoroughly.
Read the following sentences and circle the pronouns with ambiguous reference.
1. The company chairman contacted the marketing director after he failed to attend the sales
meeting.
2. Temporary loss of hearing is a common occurrence at rock concerts where they sit too close
to the mammoth speakers.
3. The small claims court lawyer won the case for the defendant once she proved her innocence
with legal documents.
4. Jurors are told to disregard the race of the participants in a trial when they come into the
courtroom.
5. When an old friend came to town last week, he asked what play they were presenting on
Broadway.
6. The manager benched the star player after he criticized the pitchers lack of intensity.
7. Dozens of students rallied against administration officials to protest the music they were
playing on the college radio station.
8. When the painters work on your neighbors laundry room, make sure that they do not get
paint on their clothes.

TROUBLESOME VERBS

Name___________________
Date___________Period____

Give the principal parts of the following troublesome verbs:


Infinitive (Present)

Present Participle
(is)

Past

Past Participle
(have)

lie

______________

______________

______________

lay

______________

______________

______________

sit

______________

______________

______________

set

______________

______________

______________

rise

______________

______________

______________

raise

______________

______________

______________

Circle or highlight the correct form.


1. The necessary tools (lay, laid) in a neat row on the table.
2. The fruit had (laid, lain) too long in the sun.
3. Yesterday, the mayor (lay, laid) the cornerstone for the new city hall.
4. Please dont (lie, lay) your wet coats on the chairs.
5. The books were (lying, laying) on the floor.
6. It is impossible for my dog to (lie, lay) still.
7. The beautiful old chest had (lain, laid) in the attic for years.
8. The company is already (lying, laying) plans for further expansion.
9. The city has (lain, laid) new storm drains along the road.
10. The old dog was (lying, laying) in the middle of the road.
11. Here in the cave, the wounded trapper had (lain, laid) down to die.
12. Early in the day, the wind had (raised, risen).
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13. Farm prices had not (raised, risen) for several years.
14. The proposal for a new airport (rose, raised) a storm of protest.
15. The moon was (raising, rising) in the northeast.
16. The natives (rose, raised) the heavy stone statues by ropes.
17. Will the tuition be (risen, raised) this year?
18. The businessmen expect to (rise, raise) a fund to send the students to Washington.
19. Someone was (rising, raising) a disturbance outside.
20. A sigh of relief (rose, raised) from the waiting crowd.
21. It will be Helens duty to (rise, raise) the flag every morning.
22. The cost of living did not (rise, raise) this year.
23. Several of the guests were (setting, sitting) on the floor.
24. Please dont (set, sit) your glass on the table.
25. The superstitious think it is bad luck to (sit, set) a hat on a bed.
26. We will be (setting, sitting) on these chairs for a long time.
27. You will find it easier to (sit, set) still as you grow older.
28. The artist (sat, set) a fresh canvas on the easel.
29. You can (sit, set) the flower on the hall table.
30. Mr. Donovan (set, sat) two hours today for his portrait.
31. Herb (sat, set) his hat carefully on the back of his head.
32. I wondered how long the coffee pot had been (sitting, setting) on the burner.

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Verb Usage
The Classic Mistakes in Usage
Rules 13-16, 24

Name_______________________________
Date____________________Period_______

Directions: Strike through any incorrect verb form and put the correct form above it. Put a C if the
sentence is correct.
1. The International Olympic Committee does not allow professional tennis players over 21
years of age to competing in the Games.
2. Scientists have noted how coastlines change subtly and land masses will shrink
infinitesimally as the polar ice caps begin to melt.
3. Our directors plan increasing the number of workers in the plant by five hundred.
4. Accounts of their voyage reveal that some of the first Europeans to travel to the North
American continent think they had landed in Asia.
5. Any parent would see the value to set a curfew for his or her child.
6. Questioning a store owners right of carrying a gun is not the purpose of this City Council
meeting.
7. Spending three hours on a review of chemistry, we then worked on irregular French verbs.
8. At art auctions during the last few years, paintings by some acknowledged masters will have
brought prices in the millions.
9. The trade agreement is designed to prevent Japan from limiting the amount of its imports.
10. If Mary was thinner, she would disappear.
11. Through this new ad campaign, we hope for tripling our gross income by the end of the year.
12. The local bands new album was frowned at by many parents because of its suggestive
lyrics.
13. Vernon lost many of his friends because he acted as if he were better than they.
14. As a result of the recent economic recession, many graduating law students have had
difficulty finding jobs even in large, well-established firms.
15. Widespread resistance to the councilmans proposed reforms did not succeed to discourage
his innovative thinking.
16. The teachers union is eager to resolve the contractual disagreement with the school board.
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17. I wish I was rich so that I could buy anything I wanted.


18. To get to the theater, which is on the East Side, wait at the corner until the express bus came.
19. By July, I will be taking piano lessons for one full year.
20. When Harold finally paid the fine, he already had received the third overdue notice.

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Classic Mistakes in Usage


17 - Wrong Word
18 - Number Agreement Problems
19 - Faulty Comparison
20 - Misuse of Adjective or Adverb
21 - Errors in Comparison

Name ________________________
Date_____________Period_______

Insert the correct word in the blanks below.


1. accept to receive something
except to leave out or exclude
A. The employee was upset to learn that everyone had received a pay increase
____________ him.
B. Dad said he would _____________my apology for putting a dent in the car.
2. adapt to change oneself or change something to become suitable for a particular condition
or use
adopt to make something ones own
A. My neighbors decided to ___________ a child.
B. Fred tried to ___________ his Volkswagen for use as a submarine by gluing the windows
shut and attaching a periscope to the roof.
3. affect v. to have an influence on something
effect n. an influence or a result
v. to bring something about or cause something to happen
A. The young activist received an award for ____________a change in her community.
B. The movie had such an __________ on Marie that she began to cry.
C. Al refused to let the rain ____________ his plans for a picnic.
4. afflict - to torment or distress someone or something
inflict to impose punishment or suffering on someone or something
A. Jeff is _____________ with a severe migraine headache.
B. No one dared displease the king, for he was known to _________ severe
punishment.
5. allusion an indirect reference to something, a hint
illusion a false, misleading, or deceptive appearance
A. A magician creates the ___________that something has disappeared.
B. The poets referral to the monster Grendel as the seed of Cain is an _________.

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6. emigrate to leave one country for another (usually used with the preposition
from)
immigrate to enter a country to take up permanent residence there (usually used with the
preposition to)
A. They ________________to North America because land was plentiful.
B. Many people ________________ from Europe in search of better living conditions.
7. eminent a person who is prominent or outstanding
imminent something that is likely to happen
A. The _____________archeologist Dr. Wong has identified the artifact as prehistoric in
origin.
B. The weather forecaster warned that the hurricane was ______________.
Correct the errors in the following sentences.
1. As a manager and a problem solver, the governor was considered as creative as, or more creative
than, writing and painting.
2.The reading list for the course included short stories by five American authors, but most students
found those by Poe more effective.
3. The cost of a year at college these days is greater than a house was when my father was a boy.
4.Many question the validity of laws that do not allow people with a child to rent certain
apartments.
5. Global warming would increase more gradual if solar energy sources were more fully exploited.
6. Archaeologists excavating the ancient Inca site removed soil very slow to protect any buried
artifacts.
7. I think she is more friendlier than any girl I know.
8.Rising stock value and capital liquidity are considered by financiers to be a requirement for
healthy investment.

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The Classic Mistakes in Usage


22- Double Negative
23- Ending a Sentence with a Preposition
24- Confusion with who and whom
25- Possessive Form Before a Gerund

Name________________________
Date______________Period______

Correct any errors in the following sentences. Put a C if the sentence is correct.
1. Your mother cant hardly keep from being proud of you.
2. I was so sleepy after lunch that I couldnt barely keep my eyes open.
3. I hadnt no good reason for being late.
4. I was so upset after the wreck I had on the way to school that I couldnt scarcely remember
where my homework was at.
5. Who should I give the present to?
Choose the correct form.
1. At the party, the two people (who, whom) I enjoyed the most were Will and Amy.
2. Someone called you last night, but I did not know (who, whom) she was.
3. The announcer said that (whoever, whomever) finishes in the top ten can compete in the
final round.
4. Since we did not hear (who, whom) the principal had named, we asked her to tell us again.
5. Anybody (who, whom) orders now will receive a free gift.
6. Neither of the two pianists was the musician for (who, whom) the audience cheered.
7. I have been looking for the person to (who, whom) I can deliver this package.
8. We were flattered by (him, his) giving such praise of our efforts.
9. I followed (him, his) hiking in the woods.
10. The coach tried to understand (Dave, Daves) striking out.

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COMMONLY MISUSED WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS


1. Gary could not (accept, except) that he had lost.
2. Due to the unexpected assembly, the teacher had to (adapt, adopt) her lesson plans for the day.
3. The heat did not seem to (affect, effect) them.
4. This is (all the farther, as far as) we can go.
5. The magician was a master of (allusion, illusion).
6. My parents went to their college (alumnae, alumni) reunion.
7. The (amount, number) of students attending the play was incredible.
8. Please bring your book, pens, paper, (and etc., etc.) to class.
9. The cast was pleased with the audience's enthusiastic response (and which, which) they had not expected.
10. (Anywhere, anywheres) you travel, you will see the same hotels.
11. Where's the main office (located, located at)?
12. Limburger cheese smells very (bad, badly).
13. The reason Haley won best actress was (because, that) her performance was outstanding.
14. (Being that, Since) her grades were high, she received a scholarship.
15. He nervously glanced at the person (beside, besides) him.
16. The basketball team talked (between, among) themselves.
17. Don't forget to (bring, take) your coat with you when you go.
18. It is so dark in here that I (can't hardly, can hardly) see where I am going.
19. Muriel (could of, could have) gone with us.
20. The child gave a (credible, credulous, creditable) excuse for breaking the vase.
21. The census data (was, were) finally published.
22. Many researchers are attempting to (discover, invent) a cure for AIDS.
23. He (did, done) all of his homework in an hour.
24. Mary (don't, doesn't) want to participate.
25. Many people (emigrated, immigrated) to the United States in the nineteenth century.

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26. After Kari starred in our spring play, she acted (like, as if) she were a famous movie star.
27. John Glenn became even more (famous, notorious) after his second trip into space.
28. There are (fewer, less) whales than there used to be.
29. The car ran (good, well).
30. If we (had, had of) asked permission, we could have used the auditorium for our meeting.
31. John fixed the car (himself, hisself).
32. In her speech, the candidate (implied, inferred) that she was for tax reform.
33. She seemed (kind of, rather) bored.
34. I prefer (this, these) kind of book.
35. John was trying in vain to (learn, teach) me some new dance steps.
36. My mother is (likely, liable) to be at my game today.
37. This looks (like, as if) it might be the right place.
38. Jane and (I, myself) are editors of the yearbook.
39. The child was (nauseous, nauseated) after the fair ride.
40. Please take your feet (off, off of) the table.
41. Neither Jane (nor, or) Amy can come.
42. Those events happened in 1949 and 1952 (respectfully, respectively).
43. You (can, can't) scarcely see ten feet in front of you.
44. This medicine will help your cough (some, somewhat).
45. She lives quite a (way, ways) from here.
46. There is the girl (which, who) won the trophy.
47. The (number, amount) of guests on the list comes to forty.
48. The water shortage will (affect, effect) the whole state.
49. Don't you have (no, any) money?
50. Thanks to modern medicine, there are (fewer, less) cases of tetanus and diphtheria nowadays.

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