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Journalistic Writing

GRAMMATICAL SENTENCE – ISSUES:SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT

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Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
LECTURE 15
GRAMMATICAL SENTENCE ­ ISSUES
SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT:
G1-a
Make the verb agree with its subject not with a word that comes between.
·
The tulip in the pot on the balcony needs watering.
·
High levels of air pollution cause damage to the respiratory tract.
·
A good set of golf clubs costs about eight hundred dollars.
·
The governor, as well as his press secretary was shot.
G1-b
Treat most compound subject connected by and as plural.
·
Leon and Jan often jog together.
·
Jill's natural ability and here desire to help others have led to a career in the ministry.
With compound subjects connected by or, nor, make the verb agree with the part of the
G1-c
subject nearer to the verb.
·
A driver's license or credit card is required.
·
If a relative or neighbour is abusing a child, notify the police.
·
Neither the real estate agent nor her clients were able to find the house.
G1-d
Treat most indefinite pronouns as singular.
·
Everyone on the team supports the coach.
·
Each of the furrows has been seeded.
·
None of these trades requires a college education.
G1-e
Treat collective nouns as singular unless the meaning is clearly plural.
SINGULAR
The class respects the teacher.
PLURAL
The class are debating among themselves.
·
The scout troop meets in our basement on Tuesdays.
·
The young couple were arguing about politics while holding hands. (focus is on their
individualities)
G1-f
Make the verb agree with its subject even when the subject follows the verb.
There are surprisingly few children in our neighbourhood.
·
There were a social worker and a crew of twenty volunteers.
·
At the back of the room are a small aquarium and an enormous terrarium.
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Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
G1-g  Make the verb agree with its subject not with a subject complement.
·  A tent and a sleeping bag is the required equipment.
·
A major force in toady's economy is women ­ as earners, consumers, and investors.
G1-h
Who, which, and that take verbs that agree with their antecedents.
·
Take a suit that travels well.
·
Our ability to use language is one of the things that set us apart from animals.
·
Dr. Barker knew Frank was the only one of his sons who was responsible enough to handle the
estate.
G1-i
Words such as athletics, economics, mathematics, physics, statistics, measles, and news are
usually singular, despite their plural form.
·
Statistics is among the most difficult courses in our program.
G1-j
Titles of works and words mentioned as words are singular.
·
Lost Cities describes the discoveries of many ancient civilizations.
·
Controlled substance is a euphemism for illegal drugs.
PROBLEMS OF PRONOUNS:
G3-a
Make pronouns and antecedents agree.
SINGULAR
The doctor finished her rounds.
PLURAL
The doctors finished their rounds.
·
When someone has been drinking, he/she is more likely to speed.
Generic Nouns
·
Every runner must train rigorously if her or she wants [not they want] to excel.
·
A medical student must study hard if he/she wants to succeed.
Compound antecedents
Treat compound antecedents jointed by `and' as plural.
·
Joanne and John moved to the mountains, where they build a log cabin.
·
Either Aroma or Viola should receive first prize for his sculpture.
G3-b
Make pronoun references clear.
Ambiguous references
Ambiguous reference occurs when the pronoun could refer to two possible antecedents.
·
When Gloria set the pitcher on the glass-topped table, it broke. (What broke?)
·
Tom told James, that he had won the lottery. (Who won?)
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Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
G1-c  Use personal pronouns in the proper case.
Subjective case (I, we, you, he, she, it, they)
·
Sandra confessed that the artist was she.
Objective case (me, us, you, him, her, it, them)
·
Bruce found Tony and brought him home.
·
Alice gave me a surprise party.
·
Jessica wondered if the call was for her.
·
Joel ran away from home because his stepfather and he (him) had quarrelled.
·
Geoffrey went with my family and me (not I) to King's Dominion.
Appositives
·
At the drama festival, two actors, Christina and I (not me), were selected to do the last scene of
King Lear.
·
The reporter interviewed only two witnesses, the shopkeeper and me (not I).
We or us before a noun
·
We (not us) tenants would rather fight than move.
Comparisons with, than or as
·
My husband is six years older than I (not me).
·
We respected no other candidate as much as her (not she).
Subjects of infinitives
·
We expected Chris and him (not he) to win the doubles championship
Possessive case to modify a gerund
·
My father and mother always tolerated our (not us) talking after the lights were out.
G3-d
Use who and whom in the proper case.
In subordinate clauses
·
He tells that story to whoever (not whomever) will listen.
·
You will work with our senior engineers, whom (not who) you will meet later.
In questions
·  Who (not whom) is responsible for this dastardly deed?
·
Whom (not who) did the committee select?
Source: Hacker, Dianna. `A Writer's Reference' Boston: St. Martin's Press. 1992.
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Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION TO JOURNALISTIC WRITING:Practical, THINGS TO KNOW
  2. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITERS
  3. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITERS
  4. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITING:Achieve appropriate readability:
  5. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITING:Be concise, Be creative, Be correct
  6. THE PROCESS OF WRITING:INVENTION, WHEN YOU START TO WRITE
  7. THE PROCESS OF WRITING II:ORGANIZING, DRAFTING, REVISING
  8. ALL ABOUT WORDS:HOW WORDS ARE FORMED?:SUFFIXES
  9. DICTIONARY-A WRITER’S LANGUAGE TOOL:KINDS OF INFORMATION
  10. PARTS OF SPEECH:Noun Gender, Noun Plurals, Countable Nouns
  11. BASIC CLAUSE PATTERNS
  12. ACTIVE AND PASSSIVE VOICE
  13. MODIFIERS AND SENTENCE TYPES:COMPOUND SENTENCES
  14. REPORTED SPEECH:Indirect Questions, Direct commands
  15. GRAMMATICAL SENTENCE – ISSUES:SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
  16. GRAMMATICAL SENTENCE – ISSUES II:SENTENCE FRAGMENTS
  17. EFFECTIVE SENTENCE:PARALLELISM, NEEDED WORDS, SHIFTS
  18. STYLE: GUIDELINE AND PITFALLS I:COLLOQUIAL VS FORMAL, CIRCUMLOCUTION
  19. STYLE: GUIDELINE AND PITFALLS II:AMBIGUITY, REDUNDANCY, EUPHEMISM:
  20. PARAGRAPH WRITING: TYPES AND TECHNIQUES:STRUCTURE
  21. PARAGRAPH WRITING: TYPES AND TECHNIQUES:Putting on Our Play
  22. ESSAY WRITING:VARIOUS STRATEGIES FOR ESSAYS, PROMPTS
  23. SIGNAL WORDS:Non word Emphasis Signals
  24. EXPOSITORY WRITING:LOGICAL FALLACIES, APPEAL TO EMOTION
  25. THE WRITING STYLES: REPORT and NARRATIVE WRITING, SHORT REPORTS
  26. THE WRITING STYLES: DESCRIPTIVE AND PERSUASIVE WRITINGS, Observation
  27. RESEARCH WRITING AND DOCUMNETING SOURCES:Handling Long Quotations
  28. Summary and Précis Writing:CHARACTERISTICS OF GOOD SUMMARY
  29. Punctuation:THE PERIOD, THE COMMA, THE SEMICOLON, THE COLON
  30. MECHANICS:ABBREVIATIONS, NUMBERS, SPELLING, THE HYPHEN
  31. READING SKILLS FOR WRITERS:EDUCATED READING, STEPS
  32. PARTS OF A NEWSPAPER:Box-out, By-line, Caption, Exclusive, Feature
  33. THE LANGUAGE OF THE NEWSPAPERS II:BROADSHEET NEWSPAPER
  34. News Writing and Style I:WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A NEWSPAPER
  35. NEWS WRITING II:Accuracy, Clarity, Style, Qualities of Effective Leads
  36. EDITORIAL WRITING:WRITING AN EDITORIAL:STRUCTURING AN EDITORIAL
  37. WRITING FEATURES:GENERATING FEATURE STORY IDEAS
  38. WRITING COLUMNS:Column and a news report, Purpose, Audience
  39. WRITING ARTICLES FOR NEWSPAPERS:The Heading, The Lead
  40. WRITING ANALYSIS:purpose, scope, method, results, recommendations
  41. LETTERS TO EDITORS:Four important aspects about letters, Organizing letters
  42. BROADCAST AND WEB NEWS WRITING:WRITE CONCISELY, BROADCAST STYLE
  43. WRITING PRESS RELEASE, REVIEWS AND OBITUARIES:Summary of Content:
  44. THE ART OF INTERVIEWINGS
  45. FINAL THOUGHTS:Practical, Job-Related, Social, Stimulating, Therapeutic