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Error 12: Faulty Predication (fp)

Faulty predication occurs when the subject and the verb do not make sense together. In other words, the subject can’t “be” or “do” the verb. (A predicate is the part of the sentence or clause, including the verb, that expresses what the subject is or does.)

  • Faulty predication example: The purpose of movies was invented to entertain people. (The purpose was not invented. Movies were invented.)
  • Correct: The purpose of movies is to entertain people.
  • Correct: Movies were invented to entertain people.

Faulty predication can also occur when a writer uses the construction is when or is where. Definitions require nouns on both sides of verbs that are forms of be.

  • Faulty predication example: A waterspout is when a tornado is over water. (A waterspout is not a time.)
  • Correct: A waterspout is a tornado occurring over water.
  • Faulty predication example: Anorexia nervosa is where young women refuse to eat and gradually starve themselves to death. (Anorexia is not a place.)
  • Correct: Anorexia nervosa is a disorder suffered by young women who refuse to eat and gradually starve themselves to death.

The construction the reason is because… is redundant. Because means for the reason that, so the reason is because means the reason is for the reason that.

  • Faulty predication example: The reason for low sales is because prices are too high.
  • Correct: The reason for low sales is that prices are too high.
  • Correct: Sales are low because prices are too high.

Prepositional phrases cannot be the subject of a sentence.

  • Faulty predication example: In the glacier’s retreat created a valley.
  • Correct: The glacier’s retreat created a valley.

Exercise

Please print this exercise, mark the correct answers, and check your work against the version with answers.

Exercise on Faulty Predication

Exercise on Faulty Predication with Answers

 

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