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# Sentence Correction: Tenses - Past Simple and Progressive

The bicameral system of parliament in the United States, which comprises the Senate and the House of Representatives, resting on the notion that checks and balances are necessary to place limits on the dominance of one branch of government, was essential to the vision of America's Founding Fathers.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

This answer choice is illogical. The modifier resting on the notion [...] is incorrectly placed after the modifier which comprises the Senate [...] and therefore seems to modify the noun House of Representatives rather than the bicameral systemHowever, the House of Representatives is not the one resting on the notion of checks and balances -- the bicameral system is.

The bicameral system ... <-- which comprises the Senate and the House of Representatives <-- resting on the notion that checks and balances

Incorrect.

This answer choice changes the original meaning of the sentence. By changing are to were (checks and balances were necessary), this answer choice changes a generalization or truth (Present Simple) into a fact which was relevant only in the past (Past Simple).

Did you spot this change?

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

While this answer choice corrects the original logical mistake, it introduces a new one. This answer choice creates a parallelism of the Dangling Modifiers describing the bicameral system (resting... and comprising), but these items are not logically parallel and do not belong in a list: the first describes the origins of the system, while the second describes its structure.

There is an answer choice which better organizes the relationship between the noun and its modifiers, making the sentence more readable. Find it!

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

While this answer choice corrects the original logical mistake, it introduces a new one. This answer choice creates a parallelism of the Dangling Modifiers describing the bicameral system (resting... and comprising), but these items are not logically parallel and do not belong in a list: the first describes the origins of the system, while the second describes its structure.

There is an answer choice which better organizes the relationship between the noun and its modifiers, making the sentence more readable. Find it!

Well done!

[[snippet]]

This answer choice corrects the original logical mistake by placing the Dangling modifier Resting on the notion [...] directly before the noun it modifies (the bicameral system...) and placing the relative clause which comprises the Senate [...] directly after the same noun.

Next time, keep an eye out for the small details! This could make or break your performance on Sentence Correction questions.

And did you realize the tense changed from Present Simple to Past Simple?

Changing a verb usually also carries a change in tense, and since tenses are used to convey different time positions of the verb action, this usually indicates a change of meaning.

Sometimes an answer choice changes a verb into the correct tense, while in other times it changes it to the incorrect one. Stay alert to the meaning behind the tenses.

In this case, you should have noticed also the change in meaning. Next time, follow the Sentence Correction Work Order more closely -- it will help you remember other reasons for elimination beyond grammatical correctness and stylistic considerations.

The bicameral system of parliament in the United States, which comprises the Senate and the House of Representatives, resting on the notion that checks and balances are necessary to place limits on the dominance of one branch of government,
The bicameral system of parliament in the United States, comprising the Senate and the House of Representatives, rests on the notion that checks and balances were necessary to place limits on the dominance of one branch of government, and
Resting on the notion that checks and balances are necessary to place limits on the dominance of one branch of government, the bicameral system of parliament in the United States, which comprises the Senate and the House of Representatives,
Resting on the notion that checks and balances are necessary to place limits on the dominance of one branch of government and comprising the Senate and the House of Representatives, the bicameral system of parliament in the United States
Resting on the notion that to place limits on the dominance of one branch of government checks and balances are necessary and comprising the Senate and the House of Representatives, the bicameral system of parliament in the United States
Yes
No
Yes
No