How to read complex sentence?

 

Many of you have trouble reading complex sentences and identifying the grammar errors.  The trick is the method of peeling onions, layer by layer.

 

I came across the following question at Yahoo Knowledge.  What the asker was asking was not whether there was grammar error within the sentence she provided.  However, it does trigger some conversation around whether the sentence is grammatically accurate.

 

This sentence is truly grammatically incorrect and I will tell you why.

 

This is the sentence:

Transaction risk is the risk that transactions already entered into, or for which the firm is likely to have a commitment in a foreign currency, will have a variable value.   

 

Don’t get confused by the long sentence.  If you break apart the sentence, it is actually made up of three clauses.

 

1.        Transaction risk is the risk that transactions already entered into

2.      The firm is likely to have a commitment for the transaction risk in a foreign currency

3.      The transaction risk will have a variable value.

 

We all know that to join the three clauses together as a sentence, you need conjunctions, or participles, or etc.   

The grammar error of the original sentence is having two verbs without some sort of conjunctions or participles, or etc.
  

Corrections to the original sentence would be:

1.  Adding a conjunction:

Transaction risk is the risk that transactions already entered into, or for which the firm is likely to have a commitment in a foreign currency, and will have a variable value.

 

2.  Changing the clause to participial phrase

Transaction risk being the risk that transactions already entered into,
for which the firm is likely to have a commitment for in a foreign currency, will have a variable value.

 

3.  Changing the clause to appositive

Transaction risk, the risk that transactions already entered into,
for which the firm is likely to have a commitment for in a foreign currency, will have a variable value.

 

 

Let's look a simpler example.

He is the man I love.
Everyone is likely to fall in love with him
He is truly a great man.

 

 

He is the man I love and is truly a great man.

He, the man I love, is truly a great man.
He being the man I love is truly a great man.

 

He is the man I love, with whom everyone is likely to fall in love and is truly a great man.

He, the man I love, with whom everyone is likely to fall in love, is truly a great man.
He being the man I love, with whom everyone is likely to fall in love, is truly a great man.

 

Now lo0k at the following sentences, can you tell why it is wrong?

He is the man I love, is truly a great man.  

 

Transaction risk is the risk that transactions already entered into, will have a variable value.

The error is having two verbs without some sort of conjunctions or participles, or etc.


Now look at this sentence. 

Malnutrition is a problem that poor people may get into, or in which people in underdeveloped countries are likely to turn, and will have a huge impact to human race.

 

1.        Malnutrition is a problem that poor people may get into,

2.      or people in underdeveloped countries are likely to turn in malnutrition, 

3.      and malnutrition will have a huge impact on human race.

 

Is it easier now for you to analyze the complex sentence?  I hope this article helps you to reduce your grammar errors in writing long sentences.

 

P.S.  If you are wondering if it is accurate to use "or for which ...", please see this article about US Code.

... or services for which such individual is entitled to have payment made under this subchapter (or for which he would be so entitled ....

 
See http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode42/usc_sec_42_00001395--cc000-.html  

From US Dept of Education:

they cannot supply the required matching share, or for which there are insufficient funds available ...

http://www.ed.gov/programs/ctearc/index.html?exp=0

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