Step 7 Self-assessment exercises: using appropriate grammar, punctuation and spelling

7.1 Task 1: Grammar and punctuation

Please read each of the following sentences, decide how each needs to be changed, and then rewrite it correctly.

Sentence 1

Each candidate who applies to the college has individual interview.

Answer

Each candidate who applies to the college has an individual interview.

‘Interview’ is countable. It requires an article – ‘an’.

Sentence 2

There are a number of ways of keeping informed about current affairs. Reading the newspaper. Listening the radio.

Answer

There are a number of ways of keeping informed about current affairs: reading the newspaper; listening to the radio.

‘Reading the newspaper.’ This is not a complete sentence as it has no main verb, so a full stop wouldn't be appropriate. Similarly, ‘Listening the radio’; this is not a complete sentence as it has no main verb. Also, the preposition ‘to’ is needed after listen.

Sentence 3

It known that exhaust emissions are the major cause of pollution in large cities.

Answer

It is known that exhaust emissions are the major cause of pollution in large cities.

The verb ‘know’ is in the passive tense. This involves the use of the verb ‘to be’ (is) + past participle (known).

Sentence 4

Caxton introduced the printing press into England, the first texts were printed in English at the end of the C15th.

Answer

It is not correct to link two sentences with a comma. You can use a full stop:

Caxton introduced the printing press into England. The first texts were printed in English at the end of the C15th.

or a semicolon:

Caxton introduced the printing press into England; the first texts were printed in English at the end of the C15th.

(Notice that there is a capital letter after a full stop but not after a semicolon.)

Sentence 5

What the major reasons for inflation have been?

Answer

The word order (or syntax) of this sentence is wrong. It should be:

What have been the major reasons for inflation?

Sentence 6

Hospital waiting lists will be shorter if more doctors and nurses were recruited.

Answer

Either:

Hospital waiting lists will be shorter if more doctors and nurses are recruited.

or

Hospital waiting lists would be shorter if more doctors and nurses were recruited.

The first sentence describes a situation that is more likely to happen than in the second sentence.

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7.1.1 Self-assessment