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Sentence Correction: Parts of Speech - Articles

A teachers committee proposed that lessons contain less pupils.

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect: the article less can describe only non-count nouns whereas the noun pupils is a count noun.

What helps us identify this mistake is the following Stop Sign:

much, (a) little, less, the amount of

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect and repeats the original Parts of Speech error: the article less can describe only non-count nouns whereas the noun pupils is a count noun.

What helps us identify this mistake is the following Stop Sign:

much, (a) little, less, the amount of

Although this answer choice corrects the original Parts of Speech error by using fewer to describe the plural count noun pupils, it is grammatically incorrect. Propose is one of the nine verbs to which the Subjunctive rule applies (if it is followed by that). This means that the next verb after proposed that should be in base form. However, have been containing is not in base form.

What helps us identify this question as a Subjunctive question as well as identify the mistake is the following Stop Sign:

propose/recommend/require/request/insist/suggest/mandate/ask/demand that

Whenever you come across this Stop Sign, make sure that the following verb is in its base form.

Although this answer choice corrects the original Parts of Speech error by using fewer to describe a plural count noun, it is grammatically incorrect. Propose is one of the nine verbs to which the Subjunctive rule applies (if it is followed by that). This means that the next verb after proposed that should be in base form. However, contained is not in base form.

What helps us identify this question as a Subjunctive question as well as identify the mistake is the following Stop Sign:

propose/recommend/require/request/insist/suggest/mandate/ask/demand that

Whenever you come across this Stop Sign, make sure that the following verb is in its base form.

That's right!

This answer choice corrects the original Parts of Speech error by using the article fewer to describe a plural count noun (pupils). It also correctly follows the Subjunctive rule by keeping the noun following proposed that in base form (contain).

contain less pupils
have been containing fewer pupils
contain fewer pupils
contained fewer pupils
have less pupils