I was just typing up a document in MS word and it seemed to take umbrage with the following:

Key tasks tackled by this group are understanding and allaying fears, determining suitable and unsuitable use cases and weighing advantages and disadvantages for certain classes.

Word underlined the word "understanding" and instead suggested I should try and use the simplest form of the verb: understand.

Can anyone explain this?

  • 6
    Word doesn't understand English syntax. – StoneyB Nov 15 '15 at 20:21
  • It should read "to be tackled" or "key tasks tackled.... were", and perhaps add a colon before understanding since the rest is essentially a list. – Misneac Nov 15 '15 at 20:58
  • 1
    No there does not need to be some punctuation after are except the commas in the list. – NES Nov 15 '15 at 21:30
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    I ran it through the spelling and grammar checker and it got the all clear. I can't see anything wrong with the participle "understanding", or the sentence in general, except that I might consider treating the 3 participial clauses as a list by inserting a colon before "understanding" and then replacing the comma with a semi-colon. But I'd say that was optional rather than obligatory. – BillJ Nov 15 '15 at 21:54
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    The linguist Geoffrey K. Pullum has argued that they [grammar checking algorithms] are generally so inaccurate as to do more harm than good: "for the most part, accepting the advice of a computer grammar checker on your prose will make it much worse, sometimes hilariously incoherent." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammar_checker – Minnow Nov 16 '15 at 0:23

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