Sentence in question:

To begin with, for students lacking determination or easily change their mind, a gap year may lure them away from future studies as many could lose interests in study during this period.

The sentence meant to express two kinds of students would be affected by the gap year before attending university. One are those who "lack of determination", the other are those who could "easily change their mind".

Is the phrase in bold correct? If not, what is the correct way to express the phrases in bold?

  • If there is one particular usage about which you have a question, please use the edit link to narrow your question down to that single item. There are multiple problems in this sentence, and proofreading questions are usually off-topic here. Jul 24, 2017 at 4:17
  • @P.E.Dant Updated. Jul 24, 2017 at 4:49
  • Hint: your English dictionary will tell that there is a verb to lack and a noun lack. Do they take the same preposition? Jul 24, 2017 at 5:45
  • @P.E.Dant Thanks for pointing the incorrect use of the word "lack". I have one more question to ask, if you could bear with me. Does the phrase before and after "or" looks right? They don't sound parallel to me. Jul 24, 2017 at 10:31
  • There seems to be no subject in the clause following "or". Jul 24, 2017 at 18:33

1 Answer 1


The compound postmodifier of the noun "students" is lacking in parallelism. Actually, the second part is incorrect, as "change" is either in the infinitive or in the present simple there, and you need a present participle (V-ing) just as in the first part. That phrase should then be as follows:

  • ... students lacking determination or easily changing their minds ...

Note: I have only corrected the phrase in bold. The sentence is objectionable in other aspects but, as you have been told, this site is not supposed to be used for proofreading, but just to answer specific questions or doubts that you bring our attention to.

  • 1
    easily changing their minds, with an s.
    – Lambie
    Dec 18, 2023 at 19:04

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