Writing: Improving Sentences

Part or all of the following sentence is underlined; beneath the sentence are five ways of phrasing the underlined material. Select the option that produces the best sentence. If you think the original phrasing produces a better sentence than any of the alternatives, select choice A.  

Read the entire original sentence to yourself, listening for errors.  Then evaluate the underlined portion using the Big 8 Grammar Rules.

About 35 percent of the world’s orange juice is produced by Florida, comparing it with nearly 50 percent produced by Brazil, the world’s largest orange producer.

There are two things that you should immediately notice about the underlined portion of the sentence.  The first is that one of the underlined words ends in “-ing,” but does not have any reason to do so.  The second is that you have an unassociated “it.”  The “it” is intended to refer to the percent of juice, but “it” seems to refer to Florida within the context of the sentence.  Your Knowsys book specifically tells you to watch for both of these things and avoid them.  Look down at your answer choices.

(A) comparing it with
(B) but
(C) whereas
(D) although
(E) compared with

(A) You already found two problems with the original sentence.  This choice always matches the original sentence, so eliminate it without reading it.

(B) The word “but” sets up a contrast; however, the original sentence sets up a comparison.  This answer changes the meaning of the original sentence.  In addition, if you read the whole sentence, you will notice that the portion after the comma is missing the verb “is.”  The verb “is” would be necessary for parallelism because you have “is produced” and then only “produced.”  When there is a comma before the word “but,” a complete sentence with subject and verb should follow.  Eliminate this choice for any of these reasons.

(C) This answer choice has the same parallelism and sentence structure problem as the previous choice.  Eliminate this choice.

(D) The word “although” sets up a contrast rather than a comparison.  It also has the same parallelism and sentence structure problem as the previous two choices.  Eliminate this choice.

(E) This choice eliminates both of the problems that you found in the original sentence and produces a sentence that is clear in meaning.  It does not have the parallelism or sentence structure problem that other choices had because those words, when preceded with a comma, are meant to link complete sentences, but “compared with” does not indicate that a complete sentence is coming.

The correct answer is (E).

On, 57% of the responses were correct.

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