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Common flaws and fixes

by on
in Workplace Communication

Four sentences that need repair, along with fixes:

1. Subject/verb agreement. Seek out your true subject to match it to the correct verb.

Example:

One of the five members of our group, which meets monthly, get to attend the award ceremony.

Fix the sentence by using “gets” instead of “get” because it refers to one member of the group, and one takes a singular verb.

2. Actionless, dull sentences. Whenever possible, replace “there are” and passive verbs with action-oriented words.

Example:

There are three awards being handed out this year, and the top award is being given to one of the members of our group, Tom. That is quite an honor, so we congratulate you, Tom.

Rewrite the sentence this way:

This year’s award ceremony honors three well-deserving recipients. And the top award goes to Tom, one of the members of our group. What an honor! Congratulations, Tom!

3. Negative structure. Rewrite sentences built around the word “not” to include strong, positive verbs.

Example:

Because the copier has not been fixed, I cannot distribute hard copies of the improvement plan to every department manager.

Rewrite the sentence this way:

When the copier is fixed, I will distribute hard copies of the improvement plan to every department manager. In the meantime, I’m circulating a digital version.

4. Comma splice. Commas help link sentences, but they need help from words like “and,” “but” and “yet.”

Example:

John ran out of the office, his boss chased after him.

Rewrite the sentence this way:

John ran out of the office, and his boss chased after him.

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