Phrase out of Place

rogersgeorge on February 12th, 2018

As a rule, you should put similar parts of a sentence together. For example, if a sentence has two subjects, put them together.

Tom and Dave played tag.
S               S        V       DO

What happens when you don’t put them together? You get confusion!

Tom played tag and Dave
S        V     DO           ?

Huh? Is “Dave” some new kind of game that Tom played? After all, it’s right next to the direct object.

That example is trivial, perhaps, so here’s an example from real life:

Access in divisional and functional areas is too broad in some systems, increasing security risks for potential misappropriation, due to IT [the Information Technology department] owning systems instead of the business areas.

Look at the part after “due to.” “IT” is the subject, “owning” is the verb, and “systems” is the direct object. What is “business areas”? I don’t think IT would be owning business areas, so let’s rewrite the sentence so you can tell that “business areas” is another subject:

Access in divisional and functional areas is too broad in some systems, increasing security risks for potential misappropriation, due to IT instead of the business areas owning systems.

That makes more sense! Go thou and do likewise.

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