Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Common Mistakes/Common Mistakes 8


Academic English Structures - Common Mistakes.








The following are examples from students’ essays. Re-write them correctly. The number in brackets indicates how many mistakes or problem areas there are.


1) It is the danger for old people that they may become deaf. (two)

Please write your answer here:[ANSWER]



2) I have nearly never seen things of this type advertised on internet. (two)
[ANSWER]



3) The type of features are used by this system are easily described. (one)
[ANSWER]



4) It will make the users to touch the cellphones screen by mistake and not let them to operate successfully. (three) [ANSWER]



5) Most users are preferred this model, as shown in the chapter 2. (two)
[ANSWER]



Do you need some hints and clues (pieces of helpful information)? Then scroll down...................







[ADVERT]








Hints and clues:




1) It is the danger for old people that they may become deaf. (two)

1) "It" is a "backward reference" and must refer to something we have already talked about. What could be used instead?

Also:

There is a definite article ("the") used here in a situation where the indefinite article would probably be more usual. [ANSWER]



.


2) I have nearly never seen things of this type advertised on internet. (two)

2) "nearly never" is not an acceptable collocation. Use a suitable collocation with "ever".

Also:

Look for a problem connected with articles. [ANSWER]




.

3) The type of features are used by this system are easily described. (one)

3) Note, "subject + are used + are described" is not possible. The first verb needs to be included in a "defining relative clause": that is one which tells us what type of features are being talked about. A defining relative clause needs to start with a "w...." word, and is not marked by any sort of punctuation (unlike a "non-defining relative clause", which gives us extra information and is separated off by commas [, ,] or dashes [- -] or brackets [()].[ANSWER]



.


4) It will make the users to touch the cellphone's screen by mistake and not let them to operate successfully. (three)

4) What pattern is usually used with verbs "make" and "let"? Do they go with a gerund or an infinitive? What is unusual about them?

Also:

"operate", as it is used here, is a transitive verb, which needs an object, so.....? [ANSWER]



.


5) Most users are preferred this model, as shown in the chapter 2. (two)

5) Who performs the main verb here? If you know this, you know whether the verb should be active or passive voice.

Also:

When you use a number, you generally don't need an article. [ANSWER]






When you've rewritten the sentences, check further down the page to see if they're the same as the suggested answers..............








[ADVERT]











Answers:




1) It is the danger for old people that they may become deaf.

1) There is a danger for old people that they may become deaf.

Note:

"There" acts as an artificial subject for purposes of correct grammar. It does not reference forwards or backwards, unlike "it". Also there are (unfortunately) many dangers for old people, and becoming deaf is only one of them. So use "a", meaning "one".




2) I have nearly never seen things of this type advertised on internet.

2) I have hardly ever seen things of this type advertised on the internet.

Note:

"Hardly ever" is a common collocation. "Almost never" is also possible. Also "internet" for "the internet" is a very common error.





3) The type of features are used by this system are easily described.

3) The type of features which are used by this system are easily described.

Or :

The type of features used by this system are easily described.


Note:

"used" can be substituted for "which are used". The past participle or the present participle can both be used in this way. For examples of the present participles used similarly, see the examples in the gap fill exercise further down the page.





4) It will make the users to touch the cellphone's screen by mistake and not let them to operate successfully.

4) It will make the users touch the screen by mistake and not let them operate it successfully.

Note:

The grammar pattern is "make + object + naked infinitive". The verbs "let" and "help" can be used in the same way. "Help" can sometimes be used with a full infinitive. Also the verb "operate" must have an object. You must operate something.





5) Most users are preferred this model, as shown in the chapter 2.

5) Most users (-) preferred this model, as shown in (-) chapter 2.

Note:

The noun before the verb (most users) performs the verb, so the verb should be in the active voice. See "General Grammar Exercises" for more on active and passive voices. Also "the" isn't needed because we have "2" to identify the chapter.










Photo Album:


Can you supply the missing words?

This picture by Banksy (Royal Gallery Bristol, August 2009) shows a small boy ___________ (what is he doing?) two overweight tourists in a ____________ . The couple, ____________ and ____________ photos (what two things are they doing?), are shown in colour, __________ contrasts with the colourless world __________ which the boy is forced to live.






Suggested answers:


This picture by Banksy (Royal Gallery Bristol, August 2009) shows a small boy pulling two overweight tourists in a carriage (or "rickshaw"). The couple, smiling (or grinning) and taking photos, are shown in colour, which contrasts with the colourless world in which the boy is forced to live.


Grammar Note

pulling - short form of "who is pulling"

carriage - used for transporting people. A cart is used for moving things. A carriage pulled by a person often has the specialist name of "rickshaw")

smiling (or grinning) - short form of "who are smiling"

taking - short form of "who are taking"

which - a link which provides a noun for the verb "contrasts". Writing a verb without an associated subject is a common mistake.

in - preposition + which is often needed. For example in which, on which, through which.







Do you get it?








Vocabulary:

chauffeur - driver (for a rich person?). It's a French word.

mayor - most senior (important) official position in a town

vintage - very old (car)


a mile - a measure of distance (1.609344 kilometers!)

wail of sirens - (noise made by) warning device on a police car, ambulance, etc.


to pull over - to go to the side of the road and stop your car (see also: pull off - start moving / pull up - stop moving / pull out - move into the road and join the traffic)

to do a double take - to look twice, suggesting you can't quite believe what you saw the first time

reckless - very careless

Chief Constable - most senior policeman in a district or county

good grief! - expression of surprise






The royal chauffeur went to Buckingham Palace to pick up the Queen of England and take her to an official dinner with the Mayor of London. He drove up in his vintage Rolls Royce Silver Cloud and the queen said, "Ooh - I've always loved this car. I'll tell you what, my man," (because that's how the queen talks) "why don't you sit in the back and let me drive it for a mile or so?"

Of course the chauffeur had little choice but to accept, so he climbed into the back of the car and the queen raced off at high speed. But she had only gone a couple of blocks when there was a wail of sirens and a police car pulled the Rolls Royce over to the side of the road. The queen lowered the window and the policeman began to speak as he bent down to the window.

"Do you realise what speed you were doing, Ma.... er, Madam?" said the policeman, doing a double take as he saw the queen and the chauffeur sitting in the back.

"Oh, I do apologise," said the queen. "Please forgive me for this disgraceful display of reckless behaviour."

"Hm, well, I'm afraid I'll need to talk to my superior about this matter, Madam," answered the fellow. Moving away from the car he got on his radio to the chief constable. "Sir - I'm afraid I've just stopped someone for speeding, and the truth is it's someone very important, and I don't know what to do."

"Oh really" responded the Chief Constable. "And exactly how important is this person?"

"Very important, Sir," came the reply

"More important than the Mayor of London?"

"Yes, Sir, more important than the Mayor of London.

"Hmmm. Well are they more important than the Prime Minister?"

"I'm afraid so, yes."

"Good grief! Well, tell me man - is this person more important than the Queen of England?"

"I think he must be, Sir...... he's sitting in the back of the car and the Queen is driving him around!"

2 comments:

  1. 愛情不是慈善事業,不能隨便施捨。.........................

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello - i don't know what you said, so I'll need to get a Chinese (Mandarin?) speaker to translate it for me. Luckily I know a few! Why don't you take a look at this website? / teflresources.co.uk

    ReplyDelete