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Sentence Correction: Subject Verb Agreement Questions - Overview

In his writings on evolutionary robotics, Rodney Brooks, arguing against the emphasis on symbolic processing as a model of artificial intelligence, stressed the importance of an organism's interaction with the physical world.

Incorrect.

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While this answer choice is grammatically correct, it is stylistically flawed. Placing one modifier before the subject and the other modifier after the subject creates an interruption in the flow of the sentence that is confusing. Look for an answer choice that places these two statements together.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice repeats the original stylistic flaw. Placing one modifier before the subject and the other modifier after the subject creates an interruption in the flow of the sentence that is confusing. Look for an answer choice that places these two statements together.

Incorrect.

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While this answer choice is grammatically correct, it is stylistically flawed. The placement of the modifier arguing immediately after robotics creates ambiguity, as it is not clear what or whom arguing refers to (Brooks, his writings, or evolutionary robotics).

Generally speaking, placing two modifying clauses that modify the same noun one after the other creates wordiness and awkwardness.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice is grammatically incorrect. It changes the modifier arguing [...] to the conjugated verb argued, leading to two conjugated verbs in the main clause (argued and stressed). However, there is no connector (e.g. and) between these two verbs creating a broken parallelism.

Moreover, the modifier in his writing on evolutionary robotics should be separated from the rest of the sentence by two commas. However, this answer choice lacks a comma after robotics. Remember that a single comma will NEVER separate the subject from the verb.

Well done!

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This answer choice corrects the original stylistic flaw and achieves greater clarity by turning one of the modifiers into a relative clause (in which he argues, etc.) to accurately indicate the connection between the two modifiers.

In his writings on evolutionary robotics, Rodney Brooks, arguing against the emphasis on symbolic processing as a model of artificial intelligence,
Arguing against the emphasis on symbolic processing as a model of artificial intelligence, Rodney Brooks, in his writings on evolutionary robotics,
Rodney Brooks, in his writings on evolutionary robotics, arguing against the emphasis on symbolic processing as a model of artificial intelligence
Rodney Brooks, in his writings on evolutionary robotics argued against its emphasis on symbolic processing as a model of artificial intelligence
In his writings on evolutionary robotics, in which he argues against the emphasis on symbolic processing as a model of artificial intelligence, Rodney Brooks