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Check Your Sentence Sense.

Here are the questions, answers, and explanations for the problems about five common sentence errors.

Wearing a bright pink tutu, elderly Dame Dotty walked a poodle.

Gracious me, Dame Dotty surely wasn't wearing a bright pink tutu! This sentence has a dangling modifier. The describing phrase needs to be moved next to "poodle."

Elderly Dame Dotty walked a poodle wearing a bright pink tutu.


I knew the boy Ben Dover Spanx, he quite deserved his name.

This sentence is a type of run-on. The two ideas that the speaker knew the boy and that he deserved his name are joined with a comma only. They should be joined with a comma and a coordinating conjunction like "and."

I knew the boy Ben Dover Spanx, and he quite deserved his name.


Barry the Baritone who sings “I Am a Pirate King” off-key.

This sentence is a fragment. Barry is described but is not said to have done anything. The word "who" begins the description. Eliminating it would correct the mistake.

Barry the Baritone sings “I Am a Pirate King” off-key.


For most ballroom dancers like Phresh Stepper love to twirl and spin.

This sentence is mixed in its construction. It begins with two prepositional phrases but then never names a subject before beginning a statement. The easiest way to correct it is to delete the preposition so that the subject is clearly identified:

Most ballroom dancers like Phresh Stepper love to twirl and spin.


The Roadrunner was my favorite Saturday show, and it was a hilarious cartoon.

The defect of this sentence lies in its faulty coordination. The idea that the program was a cartoon is less important than its being "my favorite Saturday show." The second idea needs to be subordinated.


The hilarious Road Runner cartoon was my favorite Saturday show.

A drawing of a pink and aqua gift box with a bright yellow medallion emerging from it emblazoned with a "1" and accented with stars.

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The contest closes May 31, 2023. The winner will be notified by email or phone June 1, 2023.

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