More grammar funsies! Mixed Constructions…

Here is some information from John Langan and Janet M. Goldstein’s English Brushup, 5th edition

Chapter 23 English Brushup- Mixed Constructions

These are sentences whose parts do not logically fit together

 To correct one, try the following:

1.  Turn the first part of the sentence into something that can be the subject

Mixed: By practicing six hours a day helped Sasha become a champion skater.

Corrected: Practicing six hours a day helped Sasha become a champion skater.

2.  Turn the second part of the sentence into a complete statement.

Mixed: Just because you got your learner’s permit does not automatically give you permission to drive the car.

Corrected: Just because you got your learner’s permit, you do not automatically get permission to drive the car.

There are 3 word groups that lead to mixed constructions:

-is when

-is where

-IS (along with other forms of to be) is a linking verb so it needs to be followed by a subject complement (a noun), and not a dependent word like where, when, or because.  It’s really just best to avoid using is when oris where altogether in definitions or when giving examples

Mixed: An approach-avoidance conflict is when someone is both attractedto and repelled by the same goal.

Corrected: An approach-avoidance conflict is a situation in which (or occurs when) someone is both attracted to and repelled by the same goal.

-reason is because

-To correct reason is because, eliminate reason or because

Mixed: The reason Tanya was promoted is because she is a hard worker.

Corrected: Tanya was promoted because she is a hard worker.

This must be a bear for ELLs as I know it is tough for many a native English speakers.  I use mixed constructions often and probably will continue to do so if not paying attention when speaking.

Practice activities:

http://wps.pearsoncustom.com/wps/media/objects/3388/3469470/ch15.pdf

 http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/quizzes/niu/niu11.htm

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