31 January 2013


My sons teacher talked to my husband and I about the difficulty he was having with reading, writing and he couldn’t complete the math homework. He said some testing is required.
1. Possessive noun: an apostrophe is missing from son’s.
2.  Pronoun: “my husband and I” are the object of the verb “talked”, so the pronoun needs to be in the objective case—“me”.
3. Ambiguity: who does the first usage of the pronoun “he” refer to? The nearest appropriate antecedent is the noun “husband”, but that doesn’t make sense. The noun “son”  needs to be specified.
4. Parallel construction: reading, writing and ?? these are gerunds, and  next noun needs to be a gerund, too: “completing math homework” would work.
5. Ambiguity: The second usage of “he” is also ambiguous. It should refer to the teacher.
6. Direct or indirect speech: The final sentence can be either direct speech in which case quotation marks are needed (The teacher said, “Some ….”) or indirect speech (The teacher said that some ….”).
Possible Answer: My son’s teacher talked to my husband and me about the difficulty our son was having with reading, writing and completing the math homework, The  teacher said that some testing is required.

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