Question for you English majors :o)

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Sweetlady75
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Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:25 pm

Question for you English majors :o)

Postby Sweetlady75 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:44 pm

"I believe that watching my father be so giving and compassionate put a drive in me to do the same with my life."


The above sentence is apart of my personal statement. Microsoft Word says there is a grammatical error. (be is the supposed mistake) But, it sounds correct to me and everyone else I had read the statement. So, please let me know if this is grammatically correct before I submit. Your help is greatly appreciated.

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mg7
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Re: Question for you English majors :o)

Postby mg7 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:47 pm

Even if it's grammatically correct, it sounds a bit awkward. I would rewrite it as "I believe that witnessing my father's giving and compassionate nature created my drive to follow suit" or something like that.

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Typhoon24
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Re: Question for you English majors :o)

Postby Typhoon24 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:51 pm

"put a drive in me" just sounds so awkward/wrong.

just say inspired me or drove me.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Question for you English majors :o)

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:51 pm

IME MS Word tends to flag "to be" and all its forms as part of a general bias against the passive voice - it's not usually grammatically wrong. Also, "put a drive in me" is kind of awkward - how about "inspired me"? (Also, maybe "witnessing my father's generosity and compassion" rather than "giving and compassionate nature".)

Sweetlady75
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:25 pm

Re: Question for you English majors :o)

Postby Sweetlady75 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:57 pm

Thank you all for your help! The consensus seems to be that "put a drive in me” sounds awkward. I will definitely change the sentence using your suggestions. I'm actually glad I posted this because I got some great feed back.

cgw
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Re: Question for you English majors :o)

Postby cgw » Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:40 am

Passive voice is not always wrong, per say, but there's almost always a better way to express the thought. The use of "giving", however, was the sentence's worst offense, in my opinion. I would suggest:

Witnessing my father's generosity and compassion has inspired similar qualities in my own character and actions.

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Leaborb192
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Re: Question for you English majors :o)

Postby Leaborb192 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:04 pm

Sweetlady75 wrote:"I believe that watching my father be so giving and compassionate put a drive in me to do the same with my life."

My father's philanthropic and compassionate nature drove me to do the same.

The above sentence is apart of my personal statement. Microsoft Word says there is a grammatical error. (be is the supposed mistake) But, it sounds correct to me and everyone else I had read the statement. So, please let me know if this is grammatically correct before I submit. Your help is greatly appreciated.




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