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Jo O.
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Writing
TutorMe
Question:

Find the grammatical error in the sentence below, and write a corrected sentence. "During the interview, the comedian spoke about traveling to South America, how to cook decent scrambled eggs, and her five dogs."

Jo O.
Answer:

The sentence above does not follow parallel construction. Parallel construction is the idea that in a list or conjunction, each item in the list/conjunction must be constructed in the same way grammatically. For example, all items in the list can be gerunds, all items can be infinitive verb phrases, all items can be plural nouns--but there should never be one item that is a gerund and one that is a plural noun. The list above is a list of topics the comedian spoke about, and each item is constructed differently--i.e. "traveling [to South America]" is a gerund, but "her five dogs" is a noun phrase. Let's try turning all three items into parallel noun phrases: "During the interview, the comedian spoke about her trip to South America, her favorite way to cook eggs, and her five dogs."

Linguistics
TutorMe
Question:

Consider this sentence: "Olena saw a giraffe with a telescope." This sentence can be interpreted in two different ways. Explain the two interpretations as well as where the syntactic ambiguity arises, and write out the sentences using phrase brackets to denote how the underlying syntactic structure differs between the two meanings.

Jo O.
Answer:

The syntactic ambiguity arises from the prepositional phrase "with a telescope" being able to modify either the verb phrase or the object noun phrase. In the first interpretation, the prepositional phrase modifies the verb phrase "saw a giraffe" and leads to the understanding that Olena was using a telescope and saw a giraffe through it--"with a telescope" is how Olena saw the giraffe. We can represent this with brackets as follows*: [NP[Olena]VP[vP[saw a giraffe]PP[with a telescope]]] (Note PP is in VP, but outside vP.) In the second interpretation, the prepositional phrase modifies the object noun phrase "a giraffe" and leads to the understanding that Olena saw a giraffe, and that giraffe had a telescope--"with a telescope" is describing the giraffe, not the seeing. We can represent this with brackets as follows*: [NP[Olena]VP[vP[saw NP[a giraffe PP[with a telescope]]]]] (Note PP is within NP in vP.) (*Bracketed phrase structures are simplified here for clarity.)

Algebra
TutorMe
Question:

Chaltu bought a sweater from a thrift store for $6. The sweater was marked half off from its original price, then put on the clearance rack for $10 off. What was the sweater's original price?

Jo O.
Answer:

Let's write an equation! We'll let the original price be x, since that's the number we're trying to find. We'll set the equation equal to 6, since that's the price Chaltu paid for it. We know that $6 is the amount of half the original price, minus ten (for $10 off). To put that last sentence into equation format, we'll make the word "is" into the equal sign. So we have: 6 = (1/2)x-10 Our goal is to get the x alone by cancelling out everything else on its side of the equation. Remember that anything we do to one side of the equation, we have to do to BOTH sides. We'll start "furthest" from the x---meaning addition and subtraction happen before multiplication or division. So let's add 10 to both sides to cancel out the "-10": 6+10 = (1/2)x-10+10 Simplify to get to: 16 = (1/2)x Great, we only have one more thing in the way of the x being alone on its own side of the equation! The opposite of cutting something in half is doubling it, right? So to cancel out the "(1/2)", let's multiply both sides by 2. (Note that * is the multiplication symbol here.) 2*16 = (1/2)x*2 Simplify to get to: 32 = x So our answer is that the original price of Chaltu's sweater was $32! (And she got it for $6--a pretty good deal if you ask me.)

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