Secondary School Educators/English/grammar/structure

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Question
Dear Dan,


Which is the correct way to write the sentence?

That they had no representatives in Parliament was seen as a violation of their rights as Englishmen.



A     Because they had no representatives in Parliament was seen as a violation of their rights as   Englishmen.
B     If they had no representatives in Parliament was seen as a violation of their rights as Englishmen.
C     No representatives in Parliament was seen as a violation of their rights as Englishmen.
D     Correct as it is

The answer is suppose to be D but I do not understand why.  The answer has to do with parallel structure, but I do not see how that is correct.

Answer
I can't claim to be an expert, but here's how I see it.

"Because" and "if" set up dependent clauses (the dependent clauses end with the word "Parliament"), so you would need to follow them with an independent clause.  However, there is no subject in the clause that follows.  

The third option is pretty common usage, but technically it makes "representatives" the subject of the sentence, so you'd need to change "was" to "were," and it completely changes the meaning of the sentence.

"That they had no representatives in Parliament" forms a noun clause.  The lack (of representatives) becomes the subject of the sentence.

A and B are not parallel because they have a dependent clause with no independent clause.  C is not parallel because the subject is plural, the verb singular.

I hope that clarifies things a bit.  

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Dan Riordan

Expertise

I am an expert in the E-Rate, the Schools & Libraries portion of the Universal Service Fund. I can answer questions for school districts on all topics related to applying for the program and receiving funds.

Experience

When the E-Rate was first implemented, I was trained by the NJ Department of Education to assist schools in obtaining funding. Since then, I have worked inside school districts and as a consultant, getting funding for a wide range of schools and libraries.

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E-Rate Management Professionals Association (E-mpa™), Founding Board Member, first Ethics Committee Chairman New Jersey Association of School Business Officials (NJASBO), Associate Member Monmouth County Association of School Business Officials, Associate Member Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO), Associate Member Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials International (PASBO) New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA), Allied Member International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Member Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), Individual Member Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA), Private Sector Non-Attorney Member Society for Telecommunications Consultants (STC), Consultant Member New Jersey Library Association (ALA), Corporate Member New Jersey Library Association (NJLA), Commercial Member New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), Member

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Keypost, July 2003

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Certified E-Rate Management Professional

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