Determining the subject of a sentence


The subject of this sentence is "presentation" , not tools and methods. Please advise why Grammarly is trying to force and changed based on the wrong subject.


See example:

The presentation of the value in seeking compatibility of these ideas, tools and methods is cohesive and very detailed, but not impossible to grasp or follow.
asked Sep 09 '12 at 15:14 Joy Carter New member

1 answer


Remember, Grammarly is only software. But first, this disclaimer -- this forum is not for questions about the software. We are all volunteers here, and we do not work for Grammarly.  You should contact Grammarly Support (see the link at the bottom of the page).


Clearly, the software is confused. And that confusion is the result of a problem with your sentence. In good writing, the subject and verb want to be closely associated. Your sentence separates the subject and verb with three prepositional phrases (12 words). One of the phrases includes a serial list.


Just as the computer cannot link the subject and the verb, the reader has a similar problem. You need to rewrite your sentence (or possibly divide into several sentences) to express a closer link between the subject and verb.


Also, despite what you may have been taught, the comma before the conjunction "and" (sometimes called the Oxford comma) in a serial list is not optional. When you forget this comma, the meaning can be confused -- as the computer did when it thought "tools and methods" was a compound subject. Please don't think I'm being old-fashioned in this advice. There are real-world implications. In construction contracts, the courts have repeatedly held that "tools and methods" in a serial list are one item, not two -- with multi-million dollar consequences.  these ideas, tools, and methods 


I hope this helps.

link comment edited Sep 09 '12 at 20:13 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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