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  1. rachel21321

    rachel21321 Member

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    commas+pronoun agreement (ASAP plz)

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by rachel21321, Sep 14, 2010.

    I have a few questions about the following sentence, so grammar-aholics have fun!
    In order to hold true to our nation’s core value, freedom of choice, and prepare students for a world (life?) outside of the classroom, teachers must bestow upon their students the knowledge and tools needed to think for themselves enabling them make their own conscious decisions, rather than inflict values of their own. ​

    1. What is the best way to utilize commas and/or em-dashes, without breaking this up in to multiple sentences?
    I know I could write it like this:
    "In order to prepare students for a world outside the classroom, and hold true to our nation’s core value, freedom of choice, teachers must bestow upon their students the knowledge and tools to think for themselves —enabling them make their own conscious decisions, rather than inflict values of their own."
    But, I think —given the context, and fact that it's part of a thesis statment— it reads best with the "nation" part 1st and "classroom" part 2nd.

    2. I feel like who I'm talking about gets lost in the nouns/pronouns. Thoughts? Suggestions? :confused:

    Any other tips on noun/pronoun-agreement and comma/em-dash usage in long sentences would also be helpful. Thanks so much y'all!
     
  2. Thanshin

    Thanshin Active Member

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    Sorry, I couldn't reach a good result while following the limitations.


    In order to hold true to freedom of choice, and prepare students for the world, teachers, rather than transmit their own values, must impart the knowledge and tools necessary to enable them to make their own decisions.

    And I don't really like this version. I'd rather break this up.
     
  3. Trilby

    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    I may not be a grammar-aholic but, this sentence is far too long.
    I'd break it up for clarity.
     
  4. Horizon Noise

    Horizon Noise Member

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    I think the length of the sentence is OK at a push. Just. I'd go with

    In order to hold true to our nation’s core value, this being freedom of choice, and to prepare students for the world outside the classroom, teachers must bestow upon their students the knowledge and tools they need to think for themselves, enabling students to make their own conscious decisions rather having values inflicted upon them.
     
  5. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Not only is the sentence too long, it suffers from non-parallel structure. It begins with a list of three ideals to bolster:

    our nation's core values (noun phrase)
    freedom of choice (noun phrase)
    [to] prepare students for life ... (infinitive)

    All three elements of the list should have the same form.

    There are no prizes for crowbarring the whole mess into one bulging, jagged sentence.
     
  6. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    amen to that!
     

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