Confused by the freeway signs, the exit ramp was passed up. 

6.  Singing a popular song, her bicycle could be seen speeding down the street with her astride it.

     Singing a popular song, she sped down the street on her bicycle.

7.  Traveling in Europe, I was amazed by the number of polyglots.

     Traveling in Europe, the number of polyglots I observed amazed me.

8.  Searching frantically through my desk, the report suddenly appeared.

     Searching frantically through my desk, I found the report buried beneath some old folders.

9.  Running down the street, I saw the bus go right by me.

     Running down the street, the bus passed right by me.

10. Staring out the window, the cityscape was enchanting.

      Staring out the window, the man found the cityscape an enchanting sight.*

The easiest way to make the best grammatical choices in sentences like these is to ask, “Who or what are they talking about in the beginning of the sentence?” Then ask, “Is that the same person or thing being talked about in the second half of the sentence, after the comma?” If so, the sentence is written correctly, and readers will be able to comprehend it easily.

Grammar indeed has power. It is a power you will want to impart to your child to help facilitate his or her transitions to various stages of learning...and of life.

*Answers: 1. second sentence 2. first 3. second 4. second 5. first 6. second 7. first (An introduction of the word polyglot provides another opportunity for vocabulary expansion. Explore other words with the poly– prefix, which means “many.” For a quick science lesson, research the “glottis.” A polyglot, your child will soon see, is a person who is conversant in more than one language.) 8. second 9. first 10. second

Copyright, 2011. Used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine, Winter 2010-11. Read the magazine free at or read it on the go and download the free apps at to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

Marlene Caroselli, Ed.D. is a prolific author, keynoter, and corporate trainer. You can reach her at Additional language arts learning tips can be found in blogs at

Publication date: December 21, 2012