comma rules for noun phrases; pronoun/antecedent

0

This is the question:

With its combination of powerful long legs, large chest, and its build being aerodynamic,
the greyhound, one of the fastest land mammals, is able to reach speeds of 45 miles per
hour.

(A) its combination of powerful long legs, large chest, and its build being aerodynamic
(B) its combination of powerful long legs, large chest, and aerodynamic build
(C) combining its powerful long legs, large chest, and built aerodynamically
(D) a combination of its powerful long legs, a large chest, and having an aerodynamic
build
(E) a combination of powerful long legs, a large chest, and it has an aerodynamic build

 

This is my rationale on why B is correct:

Choice (A) is incorrect. A pronoun may be placed before its antecedent if each pronoun has a clear referent. In Choice (A), the pronoun “its” is used twice and clearly refers to the antecedent “greyhound.” Therefore, the second use of “its” is unnecessary. The sentence begins with a prepositional phrase and concludes with a comma before the independent clause. The second item to look at is the use of commas to separate a series. Although it looks like you have a series of three noun phrases, the sentence has two noun phrases and a verb phrase. In the prepositional phrase, a comma is incorrectly inserted between the two noun clauses, “powerful long legs” and “large chest.”
Choice (B) is correct. Commas correctly separate the three noun phrases.
Choice (C) is incorrect. The sentence has two noun phrases and a verb phrase. It is incorrect to place a comma between two noun phrases, “powerful long legs” and “large chest.” The coordinating conjunction “and” should be used to connect the nouns. In addition, a verb tense error exists. “Combining” is the present participle of the verb “to combine” and “built” is the past tense of the verb “to build.”
Choice (D) is incorrect. It is incorrect to place a comma between two noun clauses, “powerful long legs” and “large chest.” The coordinating conjunction “and” should be used to connect the noun phrases. In addition, the sentence uses the indefinite articles “a” and “an” instead of the possessive pronoun “its”. An indefinite article before the noun refers to an item in a nonspecific or general way. In this case, the “powerful long legs,” “large chest,” and “aerodynamic build” refer to a specific item—“the greyhound.” 
Choice (E) is incorrect. It is incorrect to place a comma between two noun clauses, “powerful long legs” and “large chest.” The coordinating conjunction “and” should be used to connect the noun phrases. In addition, the sentence uses the indefinite article “a” instead of the possessive pronoun “its.” An indefinite article before the noun refers to an item in a nonspecific or general way. In this case, the “powerful long legs” and “large chest” refer to a specific item—“the greyhound.

 

What grammer errors did I miss? I find it hard to believe that it is just awkward phrasing, incorrect comma use, and pronoun/antecedent issues. It seems like a number of answers have the same grammatical errors.  

2 answers


1

Choice (B) is best because you have maintained a consistency in the three descriptions. There is a problem with 'powerful long legs', though. When two or more adjectives describe a single noun, they should be separated by a comma. The phrase should read 'powerful, long legs'.

With its combination of powerful, long legs, large chest, and aerodynamic build, the greyhound....

This extra comma can cause a little confusion in the sentence by breaking up the flow of the three items in the list. A way around it would be to change the adjective 'powerful' to the adverb 'powerfully' and eliminate the need for the comma.

With its combination of powerfully long legs, large chest, and aerodynamic build, the greyhound....

link answered Aug 22 '13 at 14:03 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

Thanks. I thought so too. Could "powerfully" be treated as a cumulative or non-coordinate adjective that speaks to both "long legs" and "large chest?"

FromagebusAug 23 '13 at 00:43

add comment
-3

Moringa oleifera is the most widely cultivated species of a Moringaceae family originated from India and has become naturalized in many locations in the tropics (Jed, 2005). It is a fast growing, small to medium sized tree ranging between 5 to 12 m in height. The tree is evergreen in tropical, while deciduous in sub-tropical climates (Muhl et al., 2011). It is a drought tolerant tree now widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa, Latin America, Southern and Southeastern Asia. India is the largest producer of Moringa (Mori et al., 2009). In the Sudan, the traditional cultivation of Moringa oleifera had involved cultivation only from seeds, whereas vegetative propagation is very common in India, Indonesia and parts of West Africa. It is a perennial softwood tree with timber of low quality, but which for centuries has been advocated for traditional medicinal and industrial uses.

  
Moringa tree is adapted to a wide range of soil types but it does best in well drained loam soil. It does not withstand prolonged water logging. It is not nitrogen fixing tree but its fruit, flowers and leaves contain 5 to 10% protein on average. All of these parts are eaten widely as vegetables, providing excellent food for humans (Islam et al., 2005). Optimum leaf and pod production require high average daily temperature of 25 to 30°C with an annual rainfall of 1000-2000mm as well as the high solar radiation and well-drained soil. It grows slower under temperature below 20°C (Radovich, 2011). The aim is to develop new techniques of cultivation to optimize production of Moringa oleifera in tropical and subtropical areas.

Initially fast-growing at up to 4.5 m in 9 months, the tree usually grows older than 20 years (Schabel, 1996). It favors alluvial soils in semiarid regions, thriving at elevations of 800 to 1200 m, but occurring from lowlands to about 1,500 m. When grown at 1660 m it fails to develop flowers (Jahn et al., 1990). The species accept a pH of about 4.5 to 8 and grows well in a wide range of soils except those with saline conditions and stiff clay. It grows best in well-drained sandy loam. Moringa oleifera grows well where precipitation is between 760 and 2150 mm, and when it can access ground water, it will tolerate precipitation levels below 300 mm. Moringa (Moringa oleifera Lam.) is a species that grows rapidly and can survive in poor soil, requiring little care for long periods of drought (Allivia et al., 2011).

link comment answered Aug 22 '13 at 12:44 Tshisaphungo Thihangwi New member

Your answer


Write at least 20 characters

Have a question about English grammar, style or vocabulary use? Ask now to get help from Grammarly experts for FREE.