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sentence coherence

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maureen Biason

on 8 July 2013

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Transcript of sentence coherence

Sentence Coherence
A. Achieving Coherence through Proper Placement of Modifiers
C. Achieving Coherence by Clear Reference of pronouns
Achieving coherence by Avoiding Dangling Modifiers
What is a Dangling Modifier?
It is a phrase or clause that is not clearly and logically related to the word or words it modifies
Quiz

A modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that describes, strengthens, or clarifies another word (or group of words) in a sentence. When a modifier is placed in its proper position in a sentence, a sense of clarity is established for the reader.

Coherence means the quality of sticking together. a sentence has coherence when the sentence elements are so arranged as to show their relationship. Clarity in the sentence depends largely on proper word order
What is a Modifier?
Modifiers should be placed directly before the word(s) they are meant to modify. When they aren’t, the intended meaning may be changed.
Note!
examples:


He barely kicked that ball twenty yards.
Correction: He kicked that ball barely twenty yards.
Pronoun-A pronoun refers to or replaces a noun, a noun phrase, or a pronoun already mentioned. The word the pronoun replaces is known as the pronoun's antecedent. A pronoun should always refer to a clear and definite antecedent.
Make every pronoun refer unmistakeably to a definite antecedent. leave no doubt as to what noun the pronoun stands for
1. Wrong reference
Avoid using a pronoun such as they or it without an explicit antecedent.
Faulty
When Rivera applied for a resident alien card, they put him through many bureaucratic procedures.
[The sentence does not have a clear antecedent for the pronoun they.]

Revised
When Rivera applied for a resident alien card, government officials put him through many manybureaucratic procedures.

Before government officials issued Rivera a resident alien card, they put him through many bureaucratic procedures.
Make sure that a pronoun refers to a specific noun, not a possessive noun or a noun within a prepositional phrase.

Faulty
In George Orwell's essay "Shooting an Elephant, " he reports an incident that shows the evil effects of imperialism.
[The pronoun he cannot refer to the possessive noun Orwell's.]


Revised
In his essay "Shooting an Elephant," George Orwell reports an incident that shows the evil effects of imperialism.
[The possessive pronoun his can refer to the subject noun Orwell.]

2. Ambiguous reference
Your readers should never be left wondering which this, they, or it is being discussed.

Faulty
My husband told my father that he should choose the baby's name.
[Does he refer to husband or to father ?]
Revised
My husband told my father to choose the baby's name.
My husband wanted to choose the baby's name and told my father so.

Changing the oil every 3,000 miles, the car seemed to run better.

Changing the oil every 3,000 miles, Fred found he could get much better gas mileage.
To keep the young recruits interested in getting in shape, an exercise program was set up for the summer months.
To keep the young recruits interested in getting in shape, the coaching staff set up an exercise program for the summer months.
A. Avoiding Misplaced modifiers
B, Avoiding Squinting Modifiers
1.

When we went to the motor vehicle division to register our car, they kept us waiting for nearly an hour.

When we went to the motor vehicle division to register our car, the clerk kept us waiting for nearly an hour.
2.
Elizabeth's mother and father are both pilots; however, Elizabeth is not interested in it.
Elizabeth's mother and father are both pilots; however, Elizabeth is not interested in flying.
3.
It says in the recipe that one must use butter, not margarine.
According to the recipe, one must use butter, not margarine.

4.
We prefer the kind of gas stations where hot food is sold.
We prefer the kind of gas stations where they sell hot food.

5, Tammy applied for a scholarship, but her advisor told her that her parents make too much money.
Tammy applied for a scholarship, but they told her that her parents made too much money.

Raised in Nova Scotia, it is natural to miss the smell of the sea.
For a person raised in Nova Scotia, it is natural to miss the smell of the sea.
Although nearly finished, we left the play early because we were worried about our sick cat.
Although the play was nearly finished, we left early because we were worried about our sick cat.
How to correct a Dangling Modifier
1. Change the main clause of the sentence so that it begins with the word actually modified
2. Change the dangling modifier phrase to a subordinate clause, creating a subject and a verb
3. No Reference
Grace pulled out a napkin, blew her nose, and put it in her bag,
Grace pulled out a napkin, blew her nose, and put the napkin in her bag
Ted told Hanz that he was hungry.
Ted told Hanz that the former was hungry
or
Ted told Hanz, " I am hungry."
Misplaced Modifiers
a word, phrase, or clause that is improperly separated from the word it modifies
How to correct a misplaced modifier:
Place the modifier close to the word it modifies
Squinting modifier:
a phrase or clause that seems to modify two words at a time
Students who miss classes frequently fail the course.

two possible meanings:
Students who miss class frequently
or
frequently fail the course.

Correct a squinting modifier error by repositioning the modifier to place it next to the word it modifies.
Cycling up hills quickly strengthens your quadriceps.

It is not clear whether "quickly" pertains to "Cycling up hills" or "strengthens".

Sylvia told her mother, "I need a new wardrobe."
Sylvia told her mother that she needed a new wardrobe
I brought the dress from that store that I really wanted.
I brought the dress that I really wanted from that store.
1. Mother loves the bungalow which she inherited from her grandfather.
(Spanish- style, maternal)

2. The bride walked down the aisle on the arm of her father.
(slowly)
Full transcript