29 November 2013


Not only you and you’re brother’s, but also your sister’s needs altaring there plans and being home early: too clean a house preparing for our dinner’s  party and you will have to make the appetizers instead of laying on the couch for watching TV .

1. Word confusion: 

(a)“you’re means “you are”; here it should be “your” the possessive pronoun.
(b) “altar” is noun; don’t confuse it with the verb “alter” needed here. 
(c) “lay” is a transitive verb (it needs a direct object: hens lay eggs); “lie”  is the intransitive verb (no direct object: lying on the couch). 
(d) “there” means a place; “their” is a possessive pronoun.* 
(e) “to” is a preposition or part of an infinitive; “too” is an adverb of intensity.

* It’s better to use “your” than “their” so it includes and refers to everyone (you, your brother and your sisters)

2. Plural or apostrophe: 

An apostrophe signals possession or a missing letter; plural nouns end in an “s”. There is no apostrophe unless they are also possessive. In this sentence use the plural form (“brothers” and “sisters”). Also, when a noun is used as an adjective, it cannot change its form, e.g. dinner party.

3. Subject verb agreement: 

“you …your brothers … your sisters” is a plural subject, so the verb must be plural: need.

4. Infinitive or gerund: 

In this sentence, following “need”, use infinitives and not gerunds: “to alter … to be”. After “to clean”, parallel construction demands the same form with the next verb “prepare”. Because of the parallel construction, “to” is optional with the second verb.

5. Parallel construction:  

Further use of parallel construction means that “you will have to” should be omitted before “make”.

6. Article usage: 

It’s not just any house that needs to be cleaned but a specific one (their house), so use “the” instead of “a”.

7. Unnecessary word: 

Omit “for” after “lying on the couch”. 

8. Punctuation: 

There is no comma before “but” unless it separates 2 independent clauses (not the case here); a colon is a strong division between 2 parts of a sentence; don’t separate the cause and the effect here. However, a comma is needed before “and” as it does separate 2 independent clauses.

Suggested solution

Not only you and your brothers but also your sisters need to alter your plans and be home early to clean the house, prepare for our dinner party, and make the appetizers instead of lying on the couch watching TV.

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