Sentence Structure Terms Explained

Cat and dog sentence

Tom is an avid golfer and he likes spaghetti.

This sentence is grammatically incorrect because it deals with two unrelated ideas: golfing and spaghetti.

Dangling participle

Peering into the abyss, nothing could be seen.

This sentence has a phrase peering into the abyss which does not refer to anything or anybody. Who is peering into the abyss?

Misplaced modifiers

A man was walking down the street with long gray hair.

The phrase with long gray hair is modifying street instead of man because of its location in the sentence.

Faulty parallel structure

Tom is an avid golfer, a great chef, and he likes to play the guitar.

The three phrases an avid golfer, a great chef and he likes to play the guitar are not equal grammatical expressions.

Pronoun-antecedent disagreement *Major problem for writers*

Everyone has to make their own decision about which model of car to purchase.

The pronoun their, which is plural, refers to the antecedent everyone, which is singular.

Run-on sentence

Tom is an avid golfer, his score is usually under par.

This sentence consists of two sentences joined by a comma.

Tom is an avid golfer his score is usually under par.

This example is really two sentences that are fused together without the appropriate punctuation.

Sentence fragment

Because everyone on the team did his part.

This is not a complete sentence but a fragment of a sentence.

Subject-verb disagreement *Major problem for writers*

We can see that greed and dishonesty knows no bounds.

The subject greed and dishonesty is plural, yet the verb knows is singular.



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