past participle usage recomended by Grammarly defies the spoken word


The Dæmons even flew into the citadel, but they have no weapons and the only power they have is to scare those fearful, most warriors simply swatted them away, and they soon left and returned to the gathering storm of humanity at the border of Prince Michaels' domain.


This is my original sentence - past participle usage is recomended for is in:

  the only power they have is to scare


Changed to simple past

 the only power they have was to scare - past participle still recomended


Changed to past participle:

 the only power they have been to scare  - which construction makes no sense.

asked May 11 '13 at 04:00 David Lisle New member

This entire paragraph is intended to be in the present tense. Grammarly is incorrectly correcting my phrasing.

David LisleMay 11 '13 at 04:13

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2 answers


Most of your passage is written in the past tense, David.  There are quite a few errors. I don’t work for Grammarly, but I have noticed that many errors in one sentence confuses the software.  It can’t understand context – it is software.  So it looks for patterns to fit into the rules of grammar.  When many rules are broken, the recommendation doesn’t always make sense because the software can’t make sense of the sentence.


This should be at least two sentences.  “The only power they have is to scare those fearful” really doesn’t make a lot of sense.  Those fearful what?  You probably mean those who are fearful.  The way you wrote it makes one look for a noun, such as warriors.  But one can’t keep following the thought being written because “those fearful, most warriors” makes even less sense.  You have instead left us hanging after fearful and started a new thought without the benefit of ending the first sentence.  You continue with adding to the run-on sentence with a third thought.


Unless the Prince is named Michaels, not Michael, the apostrophe should be before the s.  

link answered May 11 '13 at 13:49 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

Thanks for the tip, I repaired the incorrect apostrophe throughout the document.Thank you as well for bringing the issue of syntax to my attention, it had not occurred to me that the software is just software. Grammarly did not complain about my revised sentence, but I guess that doesn't mean it is a good one.

David LisleMay 11 '13 at 19:31

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they have no weapons their power is to scare those most fearful  

link comment answered May 11 '13 at 19:21 David Lisle New member

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