Grammar ick

<p>Grammar q's from Rocket Review!</p>

<p>The two pieces of woodwork by the apprentice carpenters were each so finely sanded that it took the trained eye of their teacher to determine that the oak tabletop was more nearly flat than was the pine tabletop.</p>

<p>This is from the RR Grammar section, and while the focus was on the end of the sentence, no point was mentioned about "their." I do not see how we can know that their refers to the carpenters rather than the wood carvings. The woodwork is the subject, isn't it (how do you know that for sure anyways?)?</p>

<p>Fire officials attributed the large amount of property damage to the fact that not one of the hotel's more than two thousand rooms were equippped with thelateset sprinklers or smoke detectors. </p>

<p>Again, while RR shows that "not one' doesn't agree with "were," I don't see how you come the conclusion about which subject to use. Officals, or not one (room)?</p>

<p>How do you choose the "main" subject, or choose the subject to make something agree/disagree with?</p>

<p>First: well most teachers teach people and not pieces of wood. It's just one of those questions that people would have to figure out logically.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Fire officials attributed the large amount of property damage to the fact that not one of the hotel's more than two thousand rooms were equippped with thelateset sprinklers or smoke detectors.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>That sentence can be broke into seperate clauses (groups of words that have both a subject and a verb):
[Fire officials attributed the large amount of property damage to the fact that] [not one of the hotel's more than two thousand rooms were...]
the subject of the 2nd clause is "not one of the hotel's more than two thousand rooms." Not one basically means none, and, conversely, when none is used to mean not one or not any, it takes a singular verb. "Was" would be correct.</p>

<p>
[quote]
How do you choose the "main" subject

[/quote]

Subjects are not arbitrarily chosen; determining the subjects of complex sentences is usually done by locating the subjects clauses and what the predicates of those clauses modify.</p>

<p>On another note, Berkeley? Impressive, but why are you still messing with the SAT lol?</p>

<p>Lol, when I say Berkeley, I mean I literally live a block from campus. I attend the lame-o highschool downtown :P . How do you identify ambiguity when you use logic though?</p>

<p>
[quote]
How do you identify ambiguity when you use logic though?

[/quote]

There's no way that 2 wooden sticks can have a human teacher, but "he" can refer to either John or Steve in "John told Steve that he should..." Just think about it. If that beginning of a sentence had read "John told Mary that she should...," there's no ambiguity, right? If you can logically assign a modifier to one word or phrase in the sentence and be certain of your assignment, then the ambiguity is eliminated.</p>

<p>Oooh, thank you!</p>

<p>Another suggestion: When you are trying to identify the subject, ask yourself what or who is "doing" the verb. In this case, when you are looking at "were equipped," that's a feature of the rooms, and not the officials. More accurately, it's a feature of "not one of the hotel's rooms." The word "rooms" is the object of the preposition "of," so that's out. That leaves "not one," which is singular.</p>

<p>In the case of a passive verb, for example "was called," the subject is the one who is being acted on. (Normally, with an active verb, the person/thing being acted on would be the object.)</p>