Let’s Spot the Grammar Error

I got one of my midterms back last night.  The TA posted comments on the midterm, specifically regarding common errors that she came across while she was marking the exams.  I couldn’t believe how horrible her English was.  I just can’t imagine how she’s planning on writing her Ph.D. thesis.  I hope she has a really, REALLY good and patient friend whose first language is English. I’ve taken some details out for the TA’s and my sake.

Some students couldn’t understand the meaning of the question. For example, they couldn’t get it that when the question asks “…” mathematically means “…”.

Since when is “get it” an appropriate substitute for “understand”?  Also, “mathematically means” doesn’t connect to the rest of the sentence.  I think adding an “it” to the beginning of the phrase would correct that.

Miscalculation of the rating of the system, since some students didn’t get that is a x system.

It’s like two sentences in one, but really it’s no sentence at all.  There’s a sentence “That is a x system.”  Again, adding an “it” would fix this.  The beginning of the sentence with the two “of the”s make the voice too passive.

Most students didn’t use approximate calculation, so they couldn’t reach to any simplified and even correct form for F1 and F2. Consequently, they couldn’t answer the other parts as well.

I’m just going to resort to writing the correct sentence, because I can’t handle it anymore.

Most students didn’t use the approximation calculation, so they couldn’t reach to any simplified and or even a correct form for F1 and F2. Consequently, they couldn’t answer the other parts as well either.

Alright, the next one is my favourite sentence.  I especially love the triple exclamation marks on a quasi-official document.

Despite it was an open-book exam, some students even didn’t copied a correct form of equations from their textbooks or notes!!!

And, I won’t even bother correcting this one, because it’s just funny to mock the sentence.

Perhaps I’m a bad person for taking jabs at someone whose English is clearly not her first language.  However, I’m only doing it because it was posted online as something that she considered to be acceptable for public consumption.  I would never criticize someone who was writing casually or speaking extemporaneously, unless asked.  If my work was to be posted on the course website, I would review it multiple times to make sure it was as close to perfect as possible.  I guess that’s too much to ask for some people.


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