It seemed that hardly any vote was cast on the Senate or House floor without some calculation as to how
it might affect the midterm election.
As we always begin, let's first get the meaning of the sentence
. The sentence means that not a single vote was cast without calculating its effect on the midterm election. Pretty simple.
Now let’s begin the Error Analysis
1. “without some calculation” is a prepositional phrase as correctly pointed out by @Onell
. Now prepositional phrases can modify a noun as well as verb
. In this sentence “without some calculation” is modifying the verb “was cast”.
How hardly any vote was cast? Hardly any vote was cast “without some calculation”.
So, the context of the sentence always reveals whether a prepositional phrase in the sentence should modify a noun or a verb. Logically, it does not make sense for this prepositional phrase to modify the closest noun “floor”.
2. “as to how” is a common phrase that is basically used to question the “how” aspect of an action. Following are the few examples taken from different articles published in nytimes.com:
a. There were also clues as to how Mr. Holmes might have paid for the weapons and other materials he acquired.
b. “People simply do not trust the administration’s vague promises as to how their gas tax dollars will be spent,” said Ken Orski, editor of Innovation NewsBriefs, a transportation newsletter.
This phrase has been correctly used in this sentence. Hence there are no errors in this sentence.POE:
A. without some calculation as to how: Correct
for the reasons stated above.
B. without there is some calculation as to how: Incorrect.
The use of present tense is incorrect in this sentence. The sentence talks about past events. Also, this choice is wordy.
C. without that there is some calculation as to how: Incorrect.
This choice repeats all the errors of the previous choice. Also, use of “that” is incorrect.
D. without some calculation as how: Incorrect.
The correct idiom is “as to how”. Here “to” is missing.
E. without some calculation to how: Incorrect.
The correct idiom is “as to how”. Here “as” is missing.
Hope this helps.
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