Mr. Smith is young, energetic and a man you can rely on.

xuliang

Senior Member
Chinese Mandarin
This is an item from an examination paper of the course "English Grammer".

Correct the one error in each of the following sentences:
"Mr. Smith is young, energetic and a man you can rely on."

It is from Grammer test. The error is related to grammer. According to normal rule, I can only correct only one area. However, I just see this sentence is normal and don't find any errors. Could you please help find out the error, thank you. ("young" and "energetic" are adjectives, "a man" is a noun. Can they be linked together? I am thinking if this is a mistake.)
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I believe that you have pointed out the basis of the problem:
    Young and energetic are adjectives, and they go with Mr Smith. 'Man' is a noun and goes with the part that follows. I would use a comma before 'and' to indicate that it introduces a new construction.
    .
    Mr. Smith is young, energetic, and [Mr. Smith is] a man you can rely on.

    Mr. Smith is young, energetic, and a man you can rely on.

    Cross-posted. I see that Thomas Tompion rejects the construction I allow. It is likely that he's right.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Yes, I agree with Cagey about the comma. The thing is, can a missing comma be seen as a fundamental grammar error for the purposes of this test. I surely think it is no big deal but perhaps the test setter is not as lenient as I am. :)
     

    xuliang

    Senior Member
    Chinese Mandarin
    The comma certainly helps, Cagey. I wouldn't so much mind Mr. Smith is young and energetic, and a man you can rely on.

    Cross-posted with Boozer.
    THank you, all. This is from exam paper, so I have to point out the error, if there are no other major mistakes.


    << This will be a different error, and will need its own thread. :) >>
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    That's simply not an error. It's perfectly standard English to combine adjective phrases and noun phrases like this. The comma is a matter of style, and makes no difference to the grammar. In my work I have to pass (or fix) a lot of sentences that combine things badly, but this isn't one of them: this is what I might change a badly written sentence to. Your exam is wrong if it's expecting you to change this.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    That's simply not an error. It's perfectly standard English to combine adjective phrases and noun phrases like this. The comma is a matter of style, and makes no difference to the grammar.
    I entirely agree.
    I believe the answer which the examiners are looking for is: 'Mr. Smith is young, energetic and a man on whom you can rely'.
     

    Silver_Biscuit

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    I entirely agree.
    I believe the answer which the examiners are looking for is: 'Mr. Smith is young, energetic and a man on whom you can rely'.
    Why? That sentence is also correct, but the first one is not wrong. If the exam is trying to make out that you can't end a sentence with a preposition, well that's utter nonsense.

    I don't see any error whatsoever in the original sentence. An added comma may or may not improve the style, depending on your taste, but there's nothing the matter with it.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Why? That sentence is also correct, but the first one is not wrong. If the exam is trying to make out that you can't end a sentence with a preposition, well that's utter nonsense.

    I don't see any error whatsoever in the original sentence. An added comma may or may not improve the style, depending on your taste, but there's nothing the matter with it.
    It's mighty infelicitous.

    A good editor wouldn't pass it. That's not to say it's suitable in the context of the question.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I agree with everybody else, especially the 'infelicitous' description but I doubt I would write this sentence myself. I'd prefer to use another adjective, or perhaps an adjectival phrase, because ' ... a man + (whatever)' clause is unnecessary.

    Perhaps 'reliable' by itself seems too short but it is crisp and punchy. Since this is being read and not spoken we might feel the need to emphasis 'reliable'.
    "Mr. Smith is young, energetic and a man you can rely on."
    Mr Smith is young, energetic, and reliable.

    Mr Smith is young, energetic, and (totally) reliable.

    But, like Boozer, I think the test will be looking for something simple, and to the tester's mind obvious, so it must be the missing comma.

    By the way xuliang, you must practise spelling grammar.
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top