31 January 2014


The silver, new, shiny car was drove by Tim and I when we  had gone to Western Canada seeing the Rocky mountains and some of tourist traps along the Highway; but we seen little wild animals and not a single bear: however the wild flowers had been blossoming.

1. Adjective word order: 

Adjectives usually occur in the following order: (1) evaluation or opinion, (2) appearance, (3) age, (4) colour, and (5) origin. This  gives us: shiny, new, silver … (see the online resources page in the sidebar for more information).

2. Spelling: 

words that end in “e” drop that letter before adding a “y” to form an adjective.

3. Verb tense and form: 

The correct form of the passive voice in the simple past tense is “was driven”. Also, be consistent with the verb tense when possible: change the past perfect “had gone” to “went”. Also note that “seen” is the past participle; the simple past is “saw”. Finally, instead of the past perfect progressive, use the past progressive: change “had been blossoming”  to “were blossoming” or “were in bloom”.

4. Pronoun usage: 

If the verb changes to the active voice, the construction is “Tim and I,” as it would form the subject of the verb; however, in the passive voice, these become the object, and must therefore take the objective case, “Tim and me”.

5. Infinitive/gerund: 

After the construction “go somewhere” use the infinitive, not the gerund.

6. Idiomatic usage: 

“tourist trap” is an idiom that refers to places that attract a lot of tourists.

7.  Few/Little: 

Use the word “little” with non-count nouns; with count nouns, such as “animals”, use “few”.

8. Punctuation: 

before a coordinating conjunction that separates independent clauses use a comma: change the semicolon to a comma. Unless you are expanding on an idea do not use a colon. Wild flowers are not a type of animal, so use a semicolon to separate these two independent clauses.

9. Capitalization: 

“Western” is not part of a proper name, so it should not be capitalized. You should also not capitalize “highway” unless you are referring to a specific highway. For the same reason, you should capitalize “mountains” here, as it is part of the official name of the mountain chain.

Suggested solution

The shiny, new, silver car was driven by Tim and me when we went to western Canada to see the Rocky Mountains and some of the tourist traps along the highway, but we saw few wild animals and not a single bear; however, the wild flowers were in bloom.

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