The navy seals soon dispersed, some entering the shallow waters at the beach while others venturing out onto the rocks to access deeper waters.

Is this sentence grammatically correct? The book says that this is the answer but I don't trust the book. It sounds wrong. It sounds like it should be "while others ventured out onto the rocks"

  • I agree that it's wrong as written, but you could also fix it with "... while others were venturing...".
    – Hellion
    Nov 27, 2017 at 16:42
  • @BillJ no. this is from a book.
    – HeyDoeFarm
    Nov 27, 2017 at 17:06
  • Well, it should be right, presumably having been checked by an editor. But it looks ungrammatical to me. The simplest fix is to replace "while" by "and".
    – BillJ
    Nov 27, 2017 at 17:08
  • @BillJ Yes, I agree. I told a student the same thing too. "and" would be better.
    – HeyDoeFarm
    Nov 27, 2017 at 17:16
  • It also seems like there might be a capitalization error in the sentence: is it actually talking about "navy seals", as in pinnipeds, or is it meant to refer to "Navy SEALs"?
    – herisson
    Nov 27, 2017 at 21:05

1 Answer 1


The sentence is not grammatical, because 'while' is a subordinating conjunction that requires a clause as its object. There are numerous alternatives:

  • Change the parenthetical "venturing" to a tensed verb such as "ventured" or "were venturing" (using past tense to match "dispersed")

  • Change 'while' to a preposition such as 'with'

  • Change 'while' to a coordinating conjunction 'and' (it coordinates with the existing parenthetical "some entering ... at the beach"


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