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Correct the following sentences and explain where the sentences are grammatically incorrect: 1. The downslide country of the economy is a on 2. If i had known, i will not have told him  3. The price of cars have escalated

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1. The downslide country of the economy is a on

In this sentence, the words are simply in the wrong order. If our job was to rearrange the exact words from the original sentence into a clear sentence, we could write it this way:

"The economy of the country is on a downslide."


2. If i had known, i will not have told him 

This should say:

"If I had known, I would not have told him."

(Use a contraction if you prefer: "If I had known, I wouldn't have told him.")

The error is in the verb "will not have," which is incorrectly written in a future tense in the original sentence. We'll correct it to "would not have," a past tense, so that the whole sentence refers to the past.

The concept here is sometimes called "verb tense consistency." Rather than jumping around randomly in verb tenses, you should try to stick to one verb tense.


3. The price of cars have escalated

This should say:

"The price of cars has escalated."

The error is that the verb, "have," doesn't agree with the subject, "price." "Price" is singular, so it needs a singular verb. You would say, for example, "The price is too high" or "The price changes all the time." (But you wouldn't say "The price are too high" or "The price change all the time.")

"Wait!" you might say. "But the word 'cars' is right next to the verb. So shouldn't I say 'cars have escalated'?"

Actually, no. The difficult task with sentences like this is to recognize that subjects aren't always written right next to their verbs, and in this case, "cars" is not the subject of the verb "have escalated."

Ask yourself, what escalated? Not the cars! The price escalated. So, match the verb to the real subject, "price."

One way to help avoid mistakes in subject-verb agreement is to ignore or cross out any prepositional phrases that get in the way of the subject and verb. Here, in the original sentence, you could cross out "of cars." That would help you see the sentence should really be saying "The price...has escalated."

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