I need help filling out my Work & Travel application. In the personal statement section, I have to write what I hope to experience during my time in the US.

I wrote:

I will experience a new culture, how to overcome my fears and the fact that taking risk is necessary to succeed in life.

I'm struggling with the part that says 'the fact that taking', is this correct or it should be 'the fact that take' instead?

Another question: Should risk be singular or plural?

Thank you in advance.

  • As non-linguistic, language advice to you (since I am a gringa and sympathize with your endeavor), I would avoid that bit about overcoming fears and taking risks. In any case, the grammar is fine..... – Lambie Feb 18 '18 at 19:16

This question involves quite subtle points of English style. The proposed sentence is perfectly grammatical, but the verb "experience" is not the best choice for all three thoughts.

It would be more natural to say I will overcome my fears or I will learn how to overcome my fears. "Learn" is a better choice of word than "experience" in this context. (As Lambie says, suggesting that the visit is raising material fears that may not be possible to overcome is probably unwise as a practical matter.)

It would be more natural to say I will better appreciate that taking risk is necessary to succeed in life than I will experience the fact, which presumably I already recognize as a fact, that taking risk is necessary to succeed in life. (Of course, once again, suggesting that a visit to the US is so risky as to be worthy of comment may send an unintended message to your audience.)

As a matter of style, the lack of parallelism in the originally proposed sentence reflects a poor choice of verb and can be fixed by breaking the sentence into clauses or sentences with more appropriate verbs.

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