LPI Tip #1: Grammar
List the Grammar Structures that You Need to Know
There is good news for those who are studying LPI sentence correction section. The list of grammar structures that are tested is finite, meaning that you can make a complete list of them and master them. Each grammar structure follows a certain principle
1. Parallel Structures
This involves and/but/ or conjunctions that link two sentences (i.e. a compound sentence ) It requires parallel grammar, which just means that it should follow the same verb/gerund arrangement. Basically you just need to make sure that what is on one side of the grammar equation is the same as the other
2. Faulty Pronoun Reference
1. Clearly refer to a noun
2. Match plural or singular
3. Faulty Verb/ Subject Agreement
These are a big source of errors. Watch in particular collective nouns (e.g. friendship) and sentences beginning ‘there’ or ‘it’
• Each speaker were allowed only 5 minutes
• All people is created equally.
• There is a lot of people
• Our supply of water were finished
Watch the Do/Does/Did distinction Often at the end
• I deserve a better mark on this course than he do.
Watch plural versus singular verbs
• Many studies shows that it is impossible.
Watch gerunds with plural nouns
• The time indicate that we are finished
• Watching movies are fun
• Drinking and driving is bad
• Showing manners and behaving well are good habits
• One of - singular
• Each of – singular
• A handful of – can be plural or singular
• All of the – can be both singular and plural
• A group of – plural
4. Incomplete Sentences
There are generally two kinds of incomplete sentences, those with:
• The next time I take my children to their skating lessons, I’m going to get involved. Perhaps even try to ski. (no subject)
• Everyone is coming. John included (no verb)
• His marks were much better this year than last year. Which is good. (no main clause)
• While it is helpful. It is very expensive. (While…has no main clause)
• Those who agree. They are mistaken (Those…..has no main clause)
• When it is done. Please speak to me (When….has no main clause)
5. Dangling Modifiers
Never trust an adjective clause with a present or past participle far from what it is modifying.
• Growing up as a hockey player, the games were very competitive (The games were growing up as a hockey player"?)
• Running across the golf course, a ball nearly hit him on the head (a ball was running?)
• Worried about my friend’s health, a get well card was sent to the hospital (a card worrying?)
• Eating as much as possible, the food was finished immediately (the food was eating?)
6. Redundant Subordination/Conjunction
• Do not use these at the beginning of sentences:
– Also, (ok for speaking)
• Do not use these as conjunctions in the middle of sentences
– I like it, however, it is too expensive
One conjunction for two clauses
One conjunction is enough to join two clauses – we do not usually use two.
7. Run-on sentences
Having two main clauses not linked
• She likes to tell you in detail about the tv programs she finds interesting, they don’t seem especially interesting the way she describes them.
• I like the smell of spring, it is so fresh.
• He offered to help, luckily we did not accept
2. Period or semicolon
3. Make one a subordinate clause
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Nevin Blumer (MA Applied Linguistics, B.Ed., B.Mgmt, TESL Dip) has been teaching LPI for 4 years and is the Director of TPS