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A short coursework item involving the design, build, testing and evaluation of a fourth-order low pass filter of IGMF topology, having a maximally flat response with a cut-off frequency of 60Hz and a pass-band gain of 5.

I have been told this sentence is grammatically incorrect. I said, that to my knowledge, I don't think it is. It is, however, a little bit lengthy and could probably be made much more readable if the sentence was broken up.

The person that initially informed me that it's grammatically incorrect is Chinese, so I assume that their grasp of grammar is based off rules, rather than intuition (like mine).

I asked another person and they have told me that it lacks an 'active verb' - I've done some research on this, and I don't think this is the problem.

How exactly would I modify the sentence to make it grammatically correct, if it isn't?


In response to Canis:

Can you point out the subject, verb, and object, along with any modifiers? Specifically, what do you think is the verb, and why? If you put your reply into an edit of your question, it will be read by more people. – Canis Lupus

Verb: involving

Subject: coursework item

Object: low pass filter of IGMF topology

Modifier: with a cut-off frequency of 60Hz and a pass-band gain of 5

  • Welcome to the site. For a question like this, we normally require that you show some of your own effort first, so we can understand where you might have been mistaken. Can you point out the subject, verb, and object, along with any modifiers? Specifically, what do you think is the verb, and why? If you put your reply into an edit of your question, it will be read by more people. – Canis Lupus May 5 '17 at 16:18
  • @CanisLupus sorry, Canis, I'm not a linguist. I'm an engineer. Languages haven't ever been something I've excelled at, but I will make an attempt. – lmsavk May 5 '17 at 16:27
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    That's not a sentence, it's a descriptive phrase. It's got a noun phrase ("a short coursework item") followed by two non-defining relative clauses ("involving..." and "having..."). – Hellion May 5 '17 at 16:30
  • regarding your edit: verbs don't have articles in front of them. Since your phrase says "the design, build, testing, and evaluation" those are not being used as verbs. – Hellion May 5 '17 at 16:33
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    It is not a complete sentence because your "verbs" are incomplete. Using the "ing" forms of verbs requires the helping verbs is/am/are etc before them. Without the helping verbs, the "ing" forms read like adjective phrases. As it stands, it is fine as a descriptive phrase for the course, but if you want a complete sentence, just add something simple to the head like "This is a short coursework item..." – Cascabel May 5 '17 at 17:20
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Your writing...

A short coursework item involving the design, build, testing and evaluation of a fourth-order low pass filter of IGMF topology, having a maximally flat response with a cut-off frequency of 60Hz and a pass-band gain of 5.

seems to me comparable to this writing:

An item involving design, having a response and a gain.

That's no sentence. But these would be sentences:

This is a short coursework item with the design, build, testing and evaluation of a fourth-order low pass filter of IGMF topology, having a maximally flat response with a cut-off frequency of 60Hz and a pass-band gain of 5.

This is an item with design, having a response and a gain.

However, if the short versions are clear to you and the long versions are not, perhaps that suggests that the writings are too long for easy reading.

  • I definitely think the sentence is too long for narrative writing, but this is a document for engineers, so I think its length is perfectly acceptable - because I'm just concatenating information about the filter on. I think it is more akin to: "An item involving the design of a filter, having a response x and a gain y." This seems like a sentence already to me, and I cannot seem to shake my way of thinking! – lmsavk May 5 '17 at 21:25
  • So my second sample, "An item involving design, having a response and a gain," is also a sentence? What about the words "An item involving design"? – Chaim May 7 '17 at 14:56

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