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    #1

    the clasp of a bag?

    When I was walking on a crowded street, the clasp of someone's bag caught my cardigan and it got a hole.

    Could anyone please correct the sentence so it flows better? Thank you.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: the clasp of a bag?

    It is not bad. I would change "got" to "made".

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: the clasp of a bag?

    Quote Originally Posted by herbivorie View Post
    When I was walking on a crowded street, the clasp of someone's bag caught my cardigan and it got a hole.
    The clasp didn't get a hole; the cardigan did. Mike's suggestion is one way of solving this problem; note that the change of verb changes the grammar. The cardigan got the hole, but the clasp made the hole.

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    #4

    Re: the clasp of a bag?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    The clasp didn't get a hole; the cardigan did. Mike's suggestion is one way of solving this problem; note that the change of verb changes the grammar. The cardigan got the hole, but the clasp made the hole.
    I meant "the cardigan", not "the clasp", by "it", because I was told by someone before that an "it" like this refers the closest noun ("cardigan" in this case).
    Is what this person said wrong?

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: the clasp of a bag?

    Quote Originally Posted by herbivorie View Post
    I meant "the cardigan", not "the clasp", by "it", because I was told by someone before that an "it" like this refers the closest noun ("cardigan" in this case).
    Is what this person said wrong?
    In a compound sentence like yours ("the [noun phrase] [did something] and it [did something]") my default is it assume the pronoun refers to the original SUBJECT, even if there is an object that is closer.

    An "ambiguous antecedent" is a problem in writing. "Susan told Mary that she thought she was ugly and she laughed." -- Who does Susan think is ugly? Who laughed? You don't know.

    Naturally we apply logic to situations. We can guess that the sweater got the hole in it, not the clasp, but grammatically, the same subject is the default.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: the clasp of a bag?

    Quote Originally Posted by herbivorie View Post
    Is what this person said wrong?
    Yes, to be blunt. S/he was probably half right. But unfortunately you've applied the wrong half.

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