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folks! So, I was training for a test, but I just can't figure out two questions. In them, I have to identify one excerpt with a grammar mistake. I have the test final results, so I know which sentences are wrong, but I don't know why. Could you please help me? I'm taking this test on June 8 :/

1 - Where is the mistake in the sentence

Yet in the years since the late 1980s, gyrating oil prices – with the exception of a brief spike during the Gulf War – have become a thing of the past.

2 – What about this one?

The tower, built in Tokyo's eastern ward of Sumida, will replace the existing Tokyo Tower in 2012.

Thank you so much!!

closed as off-topic by Tonepoet, Edwin Ashworth, Hot Licks, marcellothearcane, Laurel Jun 2 at 18:56

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Proofreading questions are off-topic unless a specific source of concern in the text is clearly identified." – Tonepoet, Edwin Ashworth, Hot Licks, marcellothearcane, Laurel
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    These are both complicated sentences, and there are plenty of problems with them, but not any grammatical ones. So we'd need to know what kind of beliefs your teacher has been filling you with, about what's grammatically correct and incorrect in English, and why. There is a lot of nonsense out there. – John Lawler Jun 2 at 18:02
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    Well, for (2), you can't use will replace for something that happened seven years ago. But maybe it's an old exercise. – Peter Shor Jun 2 at 18:05
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    Sorry, but we can't: We don't do proofreading unless a source of concern is identified in the text, so we can specifically address the principles regarding that. – Tonepoet Jun 2 at 18:40
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    @Tonepoet but the OP doesn't know where the error is. They only know that the sentences are supposedly wrong. It is not asking whether the examples are grammatically correct or if we can correct it for them. The question is asking "where?". – Mari-Lou A Jun 2 at 18:48
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    @Mari-Lou A There is no ungrammaticality in the second example. This is proofreading. And the equivalent of homework. Which is why I've answered in a 'comment'. And close-voted. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 2 at 18:55
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  1. Yet, in the years since the late 1980s – with the exception of a brief spike during the Gulf War – gyrating oil prices have become a thing of the past.

The parenthetical is there to add extra information about the time and not about the prices and so it should be moved closer to what it describes.

  1. The tower – built in Tokyo's eastern ward of Sumida – will replace the existing Tokyo Tower in 2012.

Apart from the illogicality of something that has already come into existence replacing something else only in the future, I would say that since the location of the tower is not the most important point of the sentence, em dashes are the stronger parenthetical mark and will serve to set this extraneous piece of information apart better.

  • Much better +1... – Cascabel Jun 2 at 20:36
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    Something can be already built and scheduled to replace another thing in the future. For example the tower may be built, but will only take over roles currently performed by the Tokyo Tower at a later date. In any case that's a semantic not a grammatical error. – DJClayworth Jun 2 at 20:48
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Both the sentences have the same grammar mistakes: the actions denoted by the verbs have been completed at a certain point of time in the past. So, the verbs should be in the simple past tense form. The sentences can be corrected as:

  1. Yet in the years since the late 1980s, gyrating oil prices – with the exception of a brief spike during the Gulf War – became a thing of the past.

  2. The tower, built in Tokyo's eastern ward of Sumida, replaced the existing Tokyo Tower in 2012.

  • "…have become a thing of the past" refers to the (past) 1980s up until the present day, it is ongoing. The Present Perfect is acceptable in this instance. But you may well be right where #2 is concerned. – Mari-Lou A Jun 2 at 19:00
  • @Mari-LouA Then, the OP's first sentence is without any error in it, isn't it? Or, perhaps is the error in the subject NP? the gyrating/gyration of oil prices has become? – mahmud koya Jun 2 at 19:22
  • But "oil prices" is plural, the auxiliary verb "have" is appropriate and correct. – Mari-Lou A Jun 2 at 19:32
  • @Mari-LouA if the subject is "gyrating or gyration of oil prices", the head noun is singular (gyrating/gyration). – mahmud koya Jun 2 at 19:45
  • What pronoun would you use to replace "gyrating oil prices" (please keep to the original wording) it or they? – Mari-Lou A Jun 2 at 19:50

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