I do not know what's wrong with 'were treated'

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workers in the factory were treated like a slave, and they could not improve their comditions of work, and their pay was so low to live.

See example:

Workers in the factory were treated like a slave, and they could not improve their conditions of work, and their pay was so low to live.
asked Oct 30 '12 at 13:58 yjsajesus New member

2 answers


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In this sentence, nothing is wrong with "were treated." The incorrect part(s) of this sentence is the part where you say they were treated like "a slave," and it's a "run-off-at-the-mouth" sentence and a little awkward in parts.

 

For the first part, it should be instead, "Workers in the factory were treated like slaves," or "A worker in the factory was treated like a slave." You have to have agreement between the subject and the object of the sentence if they are talking about the same thing.

 

Secondly, there are a few awkward wordings in this sentence. "Conditions of work" and "their pay was so low to live" are bulky and awkward. Change "conditions of work" to "work conditions," and try changing "their pay was so low to live" to something along the lines of "their pay was so low according to society's standards of living." It creates more fluidity through the sentence.

 

Finally, this sentence is kind of a "run-off-at-the-mouth" sentence. Try throwing a period or semi-colon in there. "Workers in the factory were treated like slaves. They could not improve their work conditions, and their pay was low according to society's standards of living." Or if you wanted to, you could use a semi-colon instead. "Workers in the factory were treated liked slaves; they could not improve their work conditions, and their pay was so low according to society's standards of living." It also helps with the fluidity, and you don't over-use a bunch of commas.

 

:)

link edited Nov 01 '12 at 15:43 Lindsey New member

You got the solution right, but not the problem. The sentence properly uses comma + conjunction -- so it is not a run-on -- however, the result is stylistically awkward. See my answer.

Jeff PribylOct 30 '12 at 17:38

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Technically, the sentence is not a run-on -- because it properly uses a comma + conjunction ("and" in this case) to join independent clauses. It is, however, stylistically awkward to join three independent clauses in the same manner.

 

As Lindsay suggests, either separate one of the clauses with a period or replace one comma + and with a semicolon. Remember, a conjunction (such as and) is not used after a semicolon.

link comment answered Oct 30 '12 at 17:36 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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