17 January 2014


I wasn’t understanding what he means when in a speech he has given Mr Harper was saying the funding will help them suffering from mental illness and their family’s.

1. The underlying meaning: 

What were people suffering from? The current wording suggests that both the mental illness and their families were the cause of suffering. Add some wording after “and” -- for instance: “and also help their families.”

2. Verb tense: 

Instead of the past progressive tense, which indicates that something continued to happen over time, use the simple past tense, indicating that it happened at a point in time. Change “wasn’t understanding” to “didn’t understand”.

3. Tense consistency: 

With the first verb in the simple past, keep others in the simple past, too, unless there is a good reason to change. Instead of “means” (simple present tense) use “meant” (simple past tense); instead of “has given” (present perfect) use “gave” (simple past); and instead of “was saying” (past progressive) use “said” (simple past).

4. Modal: 

For future possibility use “would”, not “will.”

5. Pronoun: 

“Them” is the 3rd person plural, direct object pronoun. In this case, use “those” to refer to people already mentioned or “understood”.

6. Plural: 

Use the plural form “families”, and not the possessive “family’s.”

7. Punctuation: 

Remember to set off a non-essential (not grammatically needed) clause such as “in a speech he has given”, and remember to use a period after the abbreviation "Mr." 

Suggested solution

I didn’t understand what he meant when, in a speech he gave, Mr. Harper said the funding would help those suffering from mental illness and also help their families.

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