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Business Grammar: Strengthening Preposition Use

 

Error Hunt: What is wrong with this statement?

Dylan Minor, a visiting professor in Harvard Business School, and Michael Housman, chief analytics officer in Cornerstone OnDemand, studied just how costly toxic employees are using a large dataset of 60,000 workers across 11 firms from various industries including communications, consumer services, financial services, health care, insurance, and retail.

Answer: There are preposition errors. Prepositions are words that show location in time or space. They are used heavily in business grammar and can be especially confusing to non-native writers.

Examples are in, or, at, to, from, for, between, above, among, around, with, near, along, before, over, under, etc. 

At is used with location, while In is used in fields of study or locations.

(Note: another problem with this statement is the sentence is too  l...o...n...g, but the length is a style issue, not a grammar error. This long sentence is not grammatically wrong. But, it does make the information harder to absorb.)

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Therefore, the corrected business grammar is:

Dylan Minor, a visiting professor at Harvard Business School, and Michael Housman, chief analytics officer at Cornerstone OnDemand, studied just how costly toxic employees are using a large dataset of 60,000 workers across 11 firms from various industries including communications, consumer services, financial services, health care, insurance, and retail.

The corrected business grammar and sentence length style improvement is:

Dylan Minor, a visiting professor at Harvard Business School, and Michael Housman, chief analytics officer at Cornerstone OnDemand, studied just how costly toxic employees are. They based their study on a large dataset of 60,000 workers across 11 firms from various industries including communications, consumer services, financial services, health care, insurance, and retail.

 

 

Business Grammar Correction Guide

 

Katie Almeida Spencer

About the author

Katie Almeida Spencer

Katie is an experienced Business Writing and English as a Second Language instructor, business writing coach, and teacher trainer. She taught Business and Academic Writing at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Rhode Island and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts Boston.

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