How to make this better?


I am not sure how to rewrite this sentance so that it does not have a confusing modifier.

See example:

In the very foreseeable future, our hospital will start to treat patients with severe heart disease that require a machine to artificially function as the left ventricle.
asked Feb 03 '13 at 18:29 Alison Waggoner New member

1 answer


Yes, it is a very confusing sentence.  Do the patients require a machine, or does the heart disease require a machine?  Your wording also indicates that the hospital does not currently treat patients that have severe heart disease.  Is that true, or are you trying to say that they will treat them with a new machine in the future?


With all of that confusion, it is difficult to determine what you intended to say.  I guessed that it is more like Tolley’s rewritten sentence.  Notice that he deleted the word “very” from the sentence as well.  It is unnecessary.  I suspect that you used it to emphasize that you strongly believe that future will happen.  However, if this is formal writing, “foreseeable” is enough. If you feel the need to further convince the reader of the strong likelihood, then there should be an additional sentence with supporting evidence. 


After I wrote the above paragraphs, I was curious about this machine that artificially functions as the left ventricle, so I looked it up.   If you are talking about a Ventricular Assist Device, I would not refer to it as “a machine” in this sentence.  Your wording makes it sound like it is something a patient is hooked up to only while in the hospital, like a kidney machine.  But it is a very small device that is implanted in a person’s body, much like a pacemaker.  If that is what you are talking about, then I would completely change what you wrote with the sentence below, followed by an explanation of the VAD.


Our hospital’s cardiology department will soon earn certification to offer Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD) to patients. 

link comment answered Feb 03 '13 at 23:59 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

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