Sentence 1: Dangling Modifier

Sentence: Having worked at Pfizer, I knew Dr. Smith was familiar with the company.

Explanation: Who worked at Pfizer? You? Or Dr. Smith? You'll learn how to identify the dangling modifier and avoid ambiguous sentences.

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Sentence 2: Misuse of "Which" Clause

Sentence: These products suggest that systemically administered CP-89,470 may be capable of attentuating the production of lipoxygenase products in the liver, which may play a central role in the pathophysiology of hepatitis.

Explanation: What may play a role in the pathophysiology of hepatitis? Does the "which" clause in the sentence above modifiy the noun "production ," "products," or "liver?" Because the "which clause" can modify any of these nouns, the reference is unclear. Learn how to avoid these ambiguous references in sentences.

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Sentence 3: Commas and Semicolons

Sentence: The academic centers participating in the research are the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas.

Explanation: Keep your writing clear with proper punctuation. Semicolons after the words "California" and "Maryland" would clearly separate the geographic locations. In this sentence, semicolons can function to group items in a list with commas. Learn how punctuation affects the meaning of a sentence.

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Sentence 4: Abstract Nouns

Sentence: The introduction of standardization for the institution of multi-drug therapy for chronic suppression and possible eradication of HIV is imminent.

Explanation: The overuse of abstract nouns (such as nouns ending with -ion) leads to overly long sentences. These sentences also frequently involve use of the verb "to be" ("is"). Learn how to edit these sentences to create a stronger prose style.

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Sentence 5: Parallel Structure

Sentence: The use of protease inhibitors for treating HIV-infected persons is recommended for diminishing viral load, for increasing T cell numbers and function, and for the prevention of disease progression.

Explanation: This sentence lacks parallel structure. Which word is not parallel to (or similar in grammatical structure to) other elements in this sentences? The word "prevention" is written as a noun instead of verb form in the sentence and should be rewritten as "for preventing." Learn how parallel structure helps readers follow the logic of your sentence.

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