1

Could you help me check whether my combined sentences are correct or not?

She was carrying a tray.

The tray was filled with cakes.

The cake were homemade.

They were very delicious.

  1. She is carrying a tray of delicious homemade cake.

  2. She is carrying a tray filled with delicious homemade cake.

  3. She is carrying a tray with delicious homemade cake.

3

Your original sentences contain an error, prior to combining. This sentence contains an instance of disagreement between subject and verb number: one is singular, the other plural:

The cake were delicious

The combined sentence uses the singular "cake", which means that you're treating "cake" as something uncountable. While this is possible and grammatically correct, it has a different nuance. Uncountable "cake" refers to an undifferentiated quantity of cake material, such as many cakes crumbled or mashed together, or simply a viewpoint of not caring about distinction between individual cakes (because there are so many, or because the perspective is one of indiscriminate consumption, or voluminous production, or something like that):

Joe's stomach was so full of cake he could hardly move. That was the most cake he had ever eaten.

Mom sure baked a heck of a lot of cake over the holidays last year.

A change to this nuance is inappropriate; the original sentences that are to be combined refer to a tray containing individual cakes.

The sentences are each a good combination of the originals if "cakes" is pluralized.

  • It's my error. I forgot to add an"s" after the cakes were delicious. So it should be "She is carrying a tray of delicious homemade cakes."right? – nkm Nov 19 '13 at 3:01
  • 1
    That is right. Or "filled with" or "with". – Kaz Nov 19 '13 at 3:37
1

If there is more than one cake, then "cake" should be plural throughout. Besides that, all your examples look fine to me.

  • 2
    I agree that the sentences should be consistent throughout, but it's worth noting that cake can be used as a mass noun: She is carrying a tray of delicious cake can work even when the tray is filled with slices from two or three different cakes. – J.R. Nov 18 '13 at 17:10
  • 2
    But only #2 carries through the filled with part. So I think #2 is better than 1 and 3. – Jim Nov 18 '13 at 23:39
  • @J.R. Oh, absolutely. "She was carrying a tray filled with cake" and "She was carrying a tray filled with cakes" are both grammatically correct. My comment was just on consistency with the original sentences, not the grammatical correctness of the final sentences. – Jay Nov 19 '13 at 16:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.