Academic English workshop (Health Care) 2009-2010 Session 1 (Part II) – Paragraph Writing

Consultation Hours: - 3:30-4:30p.m. (Mon) 11:30-12:30a.m. (Thu

CC0040

ccwience@hkcc-polyu.edu.hk 3746-0170 HHB 1630

Wience Lai

contents
• Paragraph writing • Topic sentence • Transitional words

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Paragraph writing
Effective communication of ideas usually comprises two parts: 1. Main idea (Topic sentence– the general point being made by the author usually expressed in one sentence). 2. Evidence - Specific details (e.g. reasons, details and facts) supporting or developing the main idea. Most textbook paragraphs are made up of this two-part structure.
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Topic Sentence
The main idea is • Often in the first sentence. • Sometimes at the end or in the middle. • Sometimes not directly stated at all.

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finding the main idea
Get into the habit of asking this question: “Does most of the material in the paragraph support or develop the main idea I have identified?”
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Transitional Words
• Transitional words give readers signals about the direction of a writer’s thoughts. Some examples are as follows:
Textbook p.189

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EAS0809Wk8L(WL)

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CC2040 Academic English workshop (Health Care) 2009-2010 Session 2 – Common ESL Errors 1 (Subject-Verb Agreement)
ccwience@hkcc-polyu.edu.hk 3746-0170 HHB 1630

Wience Lai

Part A: Diagnostic Test
• Some sentences in the given text are not correct. In groups, identify the mistake and write the correct form of verb in the space provided. Put a “√” if no mistake is found.

Part B: Key Points Review (Subject-verb agreement)
Basic principle: • In English, subjects and verbs must agree in person (first/second/third) and number (singular/plural).

Part B: Key Points Review (Subject-verb agreement)
Remember the following rules when you write:
SUBJECT-VERB SEPARATION. When the verb is not immediately preceded by the subject, make sure the verb agrees with the subject, not the intervening nouns and/or prepositional phrases, of the sentence. For example, the girl in red pants is my younger sister. SUBJECT-VERB INVERSION. In questions and in inverted sentences like those starting with Here and There, the verb agrees with the subject that follows. For example, there are over 15 tutorial schools in our neighborhood.

Part B: Key Points Review (Subject-verb agreement)
COMPOUND SUBJECT (1). Plural verbs are needed where two subjects are conjoined by And. For example, meanness and selfishness are qualities that repel most people. COMPOUND SUBJECT (2). When two subjects are joined by Either…Or, Neither…Nor, the verb agrees with nearest subject. For example, either Jack or I am responsible for chairing the coming marketing meeting.

Part B: Key Points Review (Subject-verb agreement)
INDEFINITE PRONOUNS. • Indefinite pronouns that end with -body, -one, or -thing (e.g. somebody, someone, something) always take a singular verb. • Similarly, the indefinite pronouns each, either, neither take a singular verb. • However, the indefinite pronouns both, few, many, and several always take a plural verb. For example, although many have signed up for the marathon, nobody was seen at the race. COLLECTIVE NOUNS. • Collective nouns like committee, class, crew, family, staff , etc. take a singular verb when the group is regarded as a unit; • they take plural verbs if individual members of the group are considered as acting independently. For example, the committee are uncertain of what to do next. (The members of the committee are…)

Part B: Key Points Review (Subject-verb agreement)
VERBAL NOUNS AND NOUN CLAUSES. Verbal nouns (i.e., gerunds and gerund phrases, infinitives and infinitive phrases) and noun clauses used as subjects always take a singular verb. For example, that Gillian won a scholarship to study in Japan is an opportunity envied by others. PLURAL FORM NOUNS. Some nouns are plural only in form; they take a singular verb. Examples include economics, mathematics, means, measles, mumps, news, physics, AIDS , etc.

Subject-verb agreement
Circle the correct form of the verb in parentheses. 1. Misconceptions about apes like the gorilla (has, have) turned a relatively peaceful animal into a terrifying monster. 2. In my opinion, a few slices of pepperoni pizza (make, makes) a great evening.

The prepositional phrase that comes between the subject and the verb does not affect subject-verb 3. Here (is, are) the notes from yesterday’s anthropology lecture. agreement.
4. At the very bottom of the grocery list (was, were) an item that meant a trip all the way back to aisle one.

A verb agrees with its subject even when the verb comes before the subject e.g. in a clause beginning with here or there, or in a question.
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2.2 Verbs (know, knows) that the 5. Not only the assistant managers but also the secretary
company is folding. 6. Either the trash can or those socks (smell, smells) horrible.

When subjects are joined by either . . . or, neither . eighteenth-century France, makeup and high the verb agrees 7. In . . nor, not only . . . but also, heels (was, were) worn by men. with the subject closer to the verb.
8. Neither of those hairstyles (suit, suits) the shape of your face. A compound subject resulting from joining 10. One of these earrings (fall, falls) constantly off my ear.

two subjects with and generally takes a plural verb.

9. Both of the puppies (is, are) cute in their own ways.

Indefinite pronouns such as neither, either, one, someone, everybody, anything , nothing always take singular verbs.
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Exercise C1 Identify and underline the subjects and the main verbs in the following sentences. 1. For people who have asthma, strenuous exercise can be fatal. 2. My friend, who will get his PhD degree this month, wonders why finding a job outside the academia is so difficult. 3. That Sherry took her life last month devastated everyone within her group. 4. Being able to listen to others is an important quality of a successful social worker. 5. Among the important qualities of being a successful fashion designer is the courage to explore new things. 6. When a divorce happens, either a betrayal or financial issues are often the cause.

Part C: Concept Boosting Exercises

Part C: Concept Boosting Exercises
Exercise C2 The following paragraphs contain subject-verb agreement errors. (1) Read through the paragraphs. (2) Underline only the subjects related to the mistakes found. (3) Correct the errors found, if any. Some sentences are error-free.

CC0040 Academic English workshop (Health Care) 2009-2010 Session 3 – Common ESL Errors II (Pronoun Agreement and Reference, Articles and Nouns)
ccwience@hkcc-polyu.edu.hk 3746-0170 HHB 1630

Wience Lai

Part A: Diagnostic Test
• Ten grammatical mistakes in the given passage have been underlined. Correct the mistakes in the space between the lines.

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Part B: Grammatical principles - Review

Pronoun Agreement Articles and Nouns

1.1 Pronoun agreement
A pronoun must agree in person (first/second/third) and number (singular/plural) and gender (feminine/masculine/neuter) with the noun it replaces/refers to.

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1.1 Pronoun agreement
Circle the correct pronoun. 1. Neither of the potential buyers had really made up (his or her, their) mind. 2. Not one of the new cashiers knows what (he or she, they) should be doing. 3. Each of these computers has (its, their) drawbacks. 4. Anyone trying to reduce (his or her, their) salt intake should avoid canned and processed foods. 5. If anybody calls when I’m out, tell (him or her, them) I’ll return in an hour. 6. The group had (its, their) seminar last week.
Collective Noun
(Langan, 2008, p.358)
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Error What’s the problem? Sexis in m • If a student wants to get an A in his exam, you person

1.1 Pronoun agreement

should study not only the notes but also the textbook. both masculine and feminine pronoun Use If a student wants to get an A in his or her exam, he or she should study not only the notes but also the textbook. Use the plural If students want to get an A in their exam, they should study not only the notes but also the textbook. Eliminate the pronoun If one wants to get an A in an exam, one should study not only the notes but also the textbook. 32

1.2 Pronoun Reference
• A sentence may be confusing and unclear if a pronoun may refer to more than one word or does not refer to any specific word.

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1.2 Pronoun Reference
Rewrite each of the following sentences to make clear the vague pronoun reference. Add, change, or omit words as necessary. 1. Dad spent all day fishing but didn’t catch a single one. 1. Dad spent all day fishing but didn’t catch a single fish. 2. At that fast-food restaurant, they give you free glasses with your soft drinks. 2. At the fast-food restaurant, the waiters give you free glasses with your soft drinks.
(Langan, 2008, p.359)
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1.2 Pronoun Reference
3. Ruth told Denise that her bouts of depression were becoming serious. 3. Ruth told Denise, “My bouts of depression are becoming serious.” Ruth told Denise, “Your bouts of depression are becoming serious.” 4. Dipping her spoon into the pot of simmering spaghetti sauce, Helen felt it slip out of her hand. . . . 4. Dipping her spoon into the pot of simmering spaghetti sauce, Helen felt the spoon slip out of her hand. 5. Pete visited the tutoring center because they can help him with his economics course. 5. Pete visited the tutoring center because its staff can help him with his economics course.
(Langan, 2008, p.359)
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2. Articles
Articles • are used to mark nouns. • can be classified into definite (the) and indefinite articles (a/an).
– Use a or an for singular nonspecific count nouns; – Use the with all specific nouns – specific singular, plural, and noncount nouns; – Omit articles with generic nouns – generic plurals and noncount nouns.

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2. Articles
Circle the correct form of the noun in parentheses. 1. Put (a M, an M) if you are male but (a F, an F) if you are female. 2. Has he graduated from (a university, an university) with (a honours degree, an honours degree)?

Use a before a word that begins with a consonant sound and use an before a word beginning with 3. This morning, the mail carrier brought me (a letter, the letter) a vowel sound. from my cousin. As I read (a letter, the letter), I began to laugh at what my cousin wrote. Use a with the first mention and use an with the 4. Children should treat their parents with (the respect, respect). second mention. Omit articles with abstract nouns (see Langan, 2008, p. 362 for other types of noncount nouns).
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2.1 Articles
5. My son would like to eat (the spaghetti, spaghetti) at every meal.

Omit articles for foods , a kind of noncount 6. nouns). (The accident, Accident) was caused by ice on the highway. Use the with identity known from the general 7. context. My neighbor’s son attends college in (the Chicago, Chicago).
8. A hurricane crossed (Atlantic Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean) before it hit the United States.

Skip the with cities but use the with seas or oceans (see Langan, 2008, pp.364-365 for the 5. Computers have been programmed to play (the chess, chess) and use of articles with proper nouns).
can now beat most human players. 6. Omit night we have to general reference. Every articles for do lots of (homework, homeworks).

Omit articles uncountable nouns. 11/05/09

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Exercise C1 The following are some ungrammatical sentences. Identify (i) the mistake(s) and (ii) correct the mistake(s). Some sentences may have more than one error. 1. Either the servers or the manager must give their permission for you to return that half-eaten dish. 2. It was easy quiz. However, because I have never been good at Accounting, it still took me a long time to complete the paper. 3. My brother’s son, in a way resembling many young kids, believes in everything they come across in tabloids. 4. If you want to take leave during the Lunar New Year, they had better indicate their wish as soon as possible.

Part C: Concept Boosting Exercises

5. Even with the most effective tattoo removal procedure, a person’s skin can hardly be restored to their original condition. Thus, a person should think twice before having tattoos. 6. The ideas put forth by Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud had no doubt made its mark on twentieth-century life. 7. Ben is the most pessimistic person I have come across. He likes to look on dark side of things. When he encounters problems, he always dramatizes it. Indeed, these days I find him so intolerable that his grumbles always madden me. 8. What did teacher say about your performance in recent test? 9. You can always understand a person by looking at company they keep. 10. When people are in love, they tend to downplay problem found in their partners. It is only when lovers are no longer so much in love that minor problems escalate into major mistakes.
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Part C: Concept Boosting Exercises Exercise C2
Add an appropriate article (a/an, the, or φ) in the blanks. There can be more than one possible answer. 1. I didn't bring ____________ alcohol you asked for. I completely forgot about it. 2. Did you tip _____________ magicians at your party? Their performance suggested that they certainly didn't deserve our tipping. 3. Christina wanted to purchase ______________ gift for her grandmother, but she ended up buying things for herself. 4. I know Galen’s character. He will not like to share ___________ problems with others. However, he wouldn't mind mentioning his problems once they were resolved. 5. Would you like ______________ cold iced tea?

Exercise C3 Add appropriate personal pronouns (she, it, etc.) or articles (a/an, the) in the blanks. 1. Mary got a new car for ________ birthday. She is glad that her parents gave ________ to her for _________ car will be much more practical than other gifts. 2. The essay that Michele submitted received an F grade. For one, ______________ didn't include any of the components Dr. Killah had explained when he assigned __________ essay. For the other, Dr Killah retrieved _________ replica of Michele’s work in the Internet.

Part C: Concept Boosting Exercises

Part C: Concept Boosting Exercises
Exercise C4 Select one of the following topics and write a 100-word paragraph in response to the chosen topic by applying the language skills learnt in these three sessions. Question i Friends are indispensible to our life. However, conflicts are unavoidable even amid the best friends. In your opinions, how can we maintain a harmonious relationship with others? Question ii "Teenage models like Chrissie Chau, Angelababy, Lavina etc have caused heated discussion among the "netizens" or the public these days. Do you think that these models have cast a bad influence on youngsters? Why or why not?"

Draft an outline as follows before writing the paragraph:

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CC0040

academic English workshops
2009-2010 Session 4– Fragments

ccwience@hkcc-polyu.edu.hk 3746-0170 HHB 1630

Wience Lai

Part A: Diagnostic Test
• Identify and underline the sentence fragments (incomplete sentences) in the following passage. Then, correct the sentence errors in the space between the lines.

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Part B: Grammatical principles Review
Complete Sentences Phrases Clauses Sentence fragments

Complete Sentence
• A complete sentence consists of three components: (a) a subject, (b) a main verb, and (c) a complete thought. • A complete sentence can be very short as long as it has all the above components: Example: John came.
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Phrase
• A phrase is a sequence of two or more words that cannot stand alone as a complete sentence but only as a unit in one sentence. Example: A presentation with interesting points.

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Clause
• A clause contains a subject and a main verb. • An independent clause is a complete sentence. Example: Emily studied in the library. • A dependent clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb and begins with subordinating conjunctions like if, before, although, etc. Example: After she had finished all her classes. Any more examples of subordinating conjunctions/ dependent words?
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Conjunctions/ Dependent Words
after

(Langan, 2008, p.304)
if, even if in order that since that, so that unless until what, whatever

when, whenever where, wherever whether which, whichever while who whose
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although, though as because before even though how

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Sentence Fragments
• A sentence fragment is an incomplete sentence, lacking a subject, a verb, or a complete thought. • A phrase and a dependent clause are sentence fragments.
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Sentence Fragments
• To convert a phrase into a sentence, we may need to add a subject or verb. Example: A presentation with interesting points.  A sentence fragment Revision: She delivered a presentation with interesting points.

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• To change a dependent clause into a sentence, we have to complete its meaning. Example: After she had finished all her classes.  A sentence fragment Revision: After she had finished all her classes, Emily studied in the library.
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Part C: Concept Boosting Exercises
Exercise C1: Identify and underline the sentence fragments (incomplete sentences) in the following passage. Then, correct the sentence errors in the space between the lines.

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Part C: Concept Boosting Exercises
Exercise C2: Identify and underline the sentence fragments (incomplete sentences) in the following passage. Then, correct the sentence errors in the space between the lines.

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CC0040

academic English workshops
2009-2010 Session 5– Run-ons

ccwience@hkcc-polyu.edu.hk 3746-0170 HHB 1630

Wience Lai

Part A: Diagnostic Test
• Identify and underline the run-on sentences in the following passage. • Then, correct the sentence errors in the space between the lines.

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Part B: Grammatical principles Review
Run-on Sentences
(Fused Sentences, Comma Splice)

Combining Sentences
(Compound Sentences, Complex Sentences)

Run-on Sentences
• Fused sentences: Two sentences joined together as one without a proper conjunction or punctuation. Example: Girls like playing dolls boys like playing toy cars. Correction: Girls like playing dolls; boys like playing to cars.
(A period “.” can also be used here for correction.)

Run-on Sentences
• Comma-splice: Two sentences joined together as one with only a comma. Example: It will rain soon, we better bring an umbrella. Correction: It will rain soon, so we better bring an umbrella.
(A coordinating conjunction “so” is used for correction.)

Correction: As it will rain soon, we better bring an umbrella.
(A subordinating conjunction “as” is used for correction.)

Combining Sentences
• Compound Sentences: A compound sentence structure shows that two thoughts are of equal importance and connected by linking words (coordinating conjunctions) like for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so (= fanboys). Example: He likes to eat, but he never gains weight.

Combining Sentences
• Complex Sentences: A complex sentence has an independent clause and a dependent clause joined by a subordinating conjunction like because, if, when, before, after, although. Example: When she finished her homework, she turned on the TV. Example: As it’s raining, we had better stay at home.

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Part C: Concept Boosting Exercises
Exercise C1: Identify and underline the run-on sentences in the following passage. Then, correct the sentence errors in the space between the lines.

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Part C: Concept Boosting Exercises
• Exercise C2: Identify and underline the sentence fragments and run-ons in the following passage. Then, correct the sentence errors in the space between the lines.

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CC0040

academic English workshops
2009-2010 Session 6– Parallel Structures

ccwience@hkcc-polyu.edu.hk 3746-0170 HHB 1630

Wience Lai

Part A: Diagnostic Test
• Identify and underline the nonparallel structures in the following passage. • Then, revise these sentences to eliminate errors in parallel structure in the space between the lines.

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Part B: Grammatical principles Review

Parallel Structures
Using words in parallel form Using phrases in parallel form Using clauses in parallel form Using parallel forms with correlative conjunctions* (paired words)

Using words in parallel form
• Put words of the same grammatical form in a series. Example (nouns): Disciplinary action will be taken if a student is found plagiarizing others’ ideas or words. Example (verbs): I have read and chosen an article about the 2008 financial tsunami in the last reflective writing practice. Example (adjectives): A good English learner should be active, diligent and uninhibited. Example (adverbs): No bonus mark will be given to works completed sloppily, untidily and late.

Using phrases in parallel form
• Put phrases of the same grammatical form in a series. Example (infinitives): Our lecturer reminded us to submit an essay outline before the deadline and to schedule an appointment with him for essay consultation. Example (gerund): Writing assignments, doing group projects, and reading course texts are the common tasks all college students need to do. Example (participles): Having participated actively in the class activities and asked the teacher for constant feedback, Jonathan was able to perform exceptionally well in this challenging subject. Example (prepositional phrases): To support our argument more adequately, we had better locate other sources of references from the library and on the Internet.

Using clauses in parallel form
• Put words of the same grammatical form in a series. Example (active voice): Men and women speak the same language, yet they communicate very differently. Example (passive voice): The division of work in the College is very clear. Student enquiries are handled at the Information Kiosk; staff enquiries are dealt with in the service counter of the General Office.

Using parallel forms with correlative conjunctions* (paired words)
• Put words of the same grammatical form in a series. *Correlative conjunctions (paired words): not only… but (also); either… or, both… and, neither… nor; whether… or; not…but. Example: Both mature candidates and overseas applicants are required to write a written test.

Part C: Concept Boosting Exercises
Exercise C1: Identify and underline the nonparallel structures in the following passage. Then, revise these sentences to eliminate errors in parallel structure in the space between the lines.

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Part C: Concept Boosting Exercises
• Exercise C2: Complete the following sentences with parallel items.

Part C: Concept Boosting Exercises
Exercise C3: A title and three supporting sentences are provided for the outline of an essay. Using the techniques of parallelism, write an appropriate thesis statement and a plan of development for an essay based on the information.

CC0040

academic English workshops
2009-2010 Session 7– Misplaced Modifiers

Wience Lai
ccwience@hkcc-polyu.edu.hk 3746-0170 HHB 1630

Is this sentence ambiguous? What are the possible meanings that you can think of? The manager announced that two employees had resigned before the meeting.

Is this sentence ambiguous? What are the possible meanings that you can think of? She likes the music box on the book cover which is nicely decorated.

Is this sentence ambiguous? What are the possible meanings that you can think of? I just teach in the daytime.

What is a Misplaced Modifier?
• A misplaced modifier is inappropriately positioned in a sentence. • It makes the sentence unclear which word, phrase, or clause is modified.

Part A: Diagnostic Test
• Identify and underline the misplaced modifiers in the following paragraphs. • Then, revise these sentences to eliminate errors of misplaced modifiers in the space between the lines by putting “^” in the correct position.

Part B: Grammatical principles Review
Modifiers
Modifiers of Nouns Modifiers of Verbs

Misplaced Modifiers
How to correct misplaced modifiers

Modifiers
• A modifier is a word or groups of words which describes or identifies another word or group of words in the same sentence. • It can be a single word, a phrase, or a clause.

Modifiers of Nouns
• A modifier may provide more information about a noun. • More technically, they could be called “adjectivals”. Hong Kong is an international city [single word]. Firms from all over the world establish offices in Hong Kong [phrase]. Only those applicants who have passed the English proficiency test will be shortlisted for a second interview [clause].

Modifiers of Verbs
• A modifier may provide more information about a verb. • More technically, they could be called “adverbials”. Having near-native English proficiency can greatly enhance your job prospects in today’s competitive job market [single word]. In this essay, we will analyse the status of English from multiple perspectives [phrase]. Since the lecturer could establish a friendly atmosphere in the lesson, students participated actively in the class learning activities [clause].

Misplaced Modifiers
• A modifier which is placed in a wrong position can distort the meaning and thus confuse readers. • You may avoid misplaced modifier problems by putting modifiers as close as possible to the words being modified.

How to correct Misplaced Modifiers
Place modifiers such as even, only, merely, almost, nearly, just immediately before the words they modify. Example: Misplaced Modifier: The presenter speaks too soft; the audiences sitting in the front can only hear him. [Only intends to modify the audiences. Nevertheless, because of its position, it appears to modify hear in this sentence.] Revision: The presenter speaks too soft; only the audiences sitting in the front can hear him.

How to correct Misplaced Modifiers
Place clause modifiers beginning with who, which or that immediately after the words they modify. Example: Misplaced Modifier: The student received full marks in the test who is always punctual to the class. [who is always punctual to the class intends to modify the student. Nevertheless, because of its position, it appears to modify the test in this sentence.] Revision: The student who is always punctual to the class received full marks in the test.

How to correct Misplaced Modifiers
Avoid inserting a modifier between “to” and the verb that follows [split infinitives]. Example: Misplaced Modifier: As tropical cyclone signal #8 has just been hoisted, the lecturer asks the students to quickly but calmly leave. Revision: As tropical cyclone signal #8 has just been hoisted, the lecturer asks the students to leave quickly but calmly.

How to correct Misplaced Modifiers
Avoid positioning a modifier in a place where its meaning is ambiguous, i.e. describing both what precedes and what follows them. Example: Misplaced Modifier: Tommy said after the examination he wanted to ask the lecturer for the model answers. [Did Tommy say this after the examination? Or did he have the desire to ask the lecturer for the model answers after the examination?]

How to correct Misplaced Modifiers
Depending on the meaning you want, we may revise this misplaced modifier problem in either way: Revision i): After the examination, Tommy said he wanted to ask the lecturer for the model answers. [after the examination describing said]. Revision ii): Tommy said he wanted to ask the lecturer for the model answers after the examination. [after the examination describing wanted].

Part C: Concept Boosting Exercises
Exercise C1: Identify and underline the modifiers in the following sentences. Then, circle the word(s) being modified. 1. I do not think anyone can succeed without love. 2. If you lack passion for your work, you will not succeed. 3. Falling in love with your work can make a person perform better. 4. Michael Jordan, a famous American basketball player who played 1072 games and ended his career with 32,292 points, said in his retirement, “What is love? Love is playing every game as my last.”

Part C: Concept Boosting Exercises
Exercise C2: Make sentences using the modifiers given. Then, circle the word(s) being modified. 1.silently 2.for several years 3.without hesitating 4.although you would not believe it

Part C: Concept Boosting Exercises
• Exercise C3: Identify and underline the misplaced modifiers in the following paragraphs. Then, revise these sentences to eliminate errors of misplaced modifiers in the space between the lines by putting “^” in the correct position.

CC0040

academic English workshops
2009-2010 Session 8– Dangling Modifiers

Wience Lai
ccwience@hkcc-polyu.edu.hk 3746-0170 HHB 1630

Who swing through the trees?

Swinging through the trees, the children watching the monkeys burst into giggles.

What is a Dangling Modifier?
• A modifier that opens a sentence must be followed immediately by the word it is meant to describe; otherwise it is dangling. • A dangling modifier does not describe what the author intends to describe, thus resulting in an unintended meaning.

How to correct dangling modifiers?
1. Add/Place the subject right after the opening word group .

Swinging through the trees, the monkeys make the children burst into giggles.

How to correct dangling modifiers?
2. Add/Place the subject within the opening word group .

While the monkeys swing through the trees, the children burst into giggles.

Part A: Diagnostic Test
• Identify and underline the dangling modifiers in the passage. • Revise these sentences to eliminate errors of dangling modifiers in the space between the lines.

Part B: Grammatical principles Review
Varying your Sentences with an Opening Phrase Avoiding Dangling Modifiers

Varying your Sentences with an Opening Phrase
• You can make your essay more interesting by varying your sentences. • One method is to open your sentences with introductory phrases, e.g.
– -ed words (past participle phrases), – -ing words (present participle phrases), – prepositional phrases, – “to” word groups (infinitives), etc.

Opening sentences with –ed words (Past Participle Phrases)
Example: Sentence 1: Mike was awarded the Outstanding Postgraduate Student Award. Sentence 2: He thanked his supervisor for his continuous support. Awarded the Outstanding Research Student Award, Mike thanked his supervisor for his continuous support.

words (Present Participle Phrases)
Example: Sentence 1: Katie had put extra efforts and time in her study this semester. Sentence 2: She received straight A’s in all subjects. Having put extra efforts and time in her study this semester, Katie received straight A’s in all subjects.

Opening sentences with prepositional phrases
Example: Sentence 1: We were in the discussion room. Sentence 2: We reviewed the paragraphs written by our team members. In the discussion room, we reviewed the paragraphs written by our team members.

Opening sentences with “to” word groups (infinitives)
Example: Sentence 1: The students want to get five bonus marks for the research essay. Sentence 2: They will complete all project preparation steps before the deadlines. To get five bonus marks for the research essay, the students will complete all project preparation steps before the deadlines.

Avoiding Dangling Modifiers
• Dangling Modifiers - A modifier that describes or identifies another word or group of words which is NOT STATED in the same sentence. • The writer’s intended meaning is distorted as the reader attaches the modifier to another word or group of words which appears in the sentence. • Dangling modifiers take several forms: – Opening sentences with -ed words (past participle phrases), – Opening sentences with -ing words (present participle phrases), – Opening sentences with prepositional phrases, – Opening sentences with “to” word groups (infinitives)

Opening sentences with –ed word (Past Participle Phrases)
Dangling Modifier: Awarded the Outstanding Postgraduate Student Award, Mike’s supervisor congratulated him. [It was Mike but not his supervisor who was awarded the Outstanding Postgraduate Student Award.] Revision: As Mike was awarded the Outstanding Postgraduate Student Award, Mike’s supervisor congratulated him.

word (Present Participle Phrases)
Dangling Modifier: Having obtained straight A’s in all subjects, a $10,000 scholarship was received. [It was not a $10,000 scholarship but Katie who has obtained straight A’s in all subjects.] Revision: Having obtained straight A’s in all subjects, Katie received a $10,000 scholarship.

Opening sentences with prepositional phrases
Dangling Modifier: In the discussion room, the paragraphs written by our group members were reviewed. [It was not the paragraphs but we who were in the discussion room reviewing the paragraphs.] Revision: In the discussion room, we reviewed Revision the paragraphs written by each other.

Opening sentences with “to” word group (infinitives)
Dangling Modifier: To get five bonus marks for the research essay, all project preparation steps should be completed before the deadlines. [It was not the project preparation steps but the students who want to get five bonus marks.] Revision: To get five bonus marks for the research essay, we need to complete all project preparation steps before the deadlines.

Part C: Concept Boosting Exercises
Exercise C1: Combine the following pairs of sentences by using the opener shown in the bracket. 1. (Opening with an –ed word) (a) Most of the music recording companies in Hong Kong are concerned about the appearance rather than the voice of a potential singer. (b) They give preference to candidates who are good-looking.

Suggested answer: Concerned about the appearance rather than the voice of a potential singer, most of the music recording companies in Hong Kong give preference to candidates who are good-looking.

2. (Opening with an –ing word) (a) Many Hong Kong people know that having babies incurs a large sum of expenses. (b) Many married couples do not plan to have babies. Suggested answer: Knowing that having babies incurs a large sum of expenses, many married couples do not plan to have babies. 3. (Opening with a to word group) (a) Our group wants to finish the project on time. (b) Regular meetings have been scheduled every week. Suggested answer: To finish the project on time, our group has scheduled regular meetings every week.

Part C: Concept Boosting Exercises

Part C: Concept Boosting Exercises
• Exercise C2: Make sentences using the modifiers given to you. Then, circle the word(s) being modified. 1. Having grown up in the 21st century, … 2. To receive an outstanding result in this academic English course, … 3. Upon graduating from the associate degree programme, … 4. Tired and exhausted, …

Part C: Concept Boosting Exercises
Exercise C3: Identify and underline the dangling modifiers in the passage. Then, revise these sentences to eliminate errors of dangling modifiers in the space between the lines.

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