Proofreading Pointers…Presto!

Use this “proofreading pointers” checklist for impressive writing in no time flat! Do subjects and verbs agree in number (singular vs. plural)? Do verb tenses correctly indicate timing and completion of actions? Do pronouns and the nouns they replace (antecedents) agree in number (singular vs. plural)? Do pronouns reflect the right gender and form (subjective vs. objective…

Who vs. Whom

“Who” is a 1st-person subjective pronoun that completes/does the action. “Whom” is a 3rd-person objective pronoun that is the object of the verb (action) or preposition. Here is quick trick to use when figuring out whether to use “who” or “whom”: If you can substitute “he” (another 1st-person pronoun), then use “who,” and if you…

Independent & Dependent Clauses vs. Phrases: Know the Parts of a Sentence

A clause must have a subject and a verb, whether it is independent or dependent. An independent clause expresses a complete idea that can stand alone (example: “Tony jumped the fence.”). A dependent clause does not express a complete idea; although it has a subject and a verb, it needs additional information to complete the…

Commonly Used Words with Alternate Spellings: Take Your Pick!

There are many words that can be spelled multiple ways, adding to the confusion that surrounds the English language. Usually, one version is preferred over or used more commonly than the other, making alternate spellings appear wrong. Most of the preferred versions are simply shorter, which is not surprising with today’s language trends to write…

Is It Okay to End a Sentence with a Preposition?

Many of us learned that it is incorrect to end a sentence with a preposition. Prepositions generally establish a relationship between other words or clauses, such as a relationship in time or position, an explanation of how something is done, the reason behind something, or possession (above, after, beneath, beside, during, for, with, up, etc.)….

What Is Grammar Anyway?

National Grammar Day is a U.S. holiday that comes every March 4th. Most people do not know and probably do not care about this holiday that pales in comparison to other late winter/ early spring festive holidays such as Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and even Groundhog Day. However, when it comes to academic…

How to Use the Semicolon

Think of the semicolon (;) as an alternative to using a period or comma. It is a bit weaker than a period and a bit stronger than a comma when it is used to connect two independent clauses. Most people either use a period to write the two independent clauses as separate sentences (example: “Thick…

Is It Okay to Start a Sentence with “And” or “But”?

Is it okay to start a sentence with “and” or “but”? The answer is yes, provided you follow these pointers. From the time we learn to write, many teachers have drummed into our heads that it is incorrect and unacceptable to begin a sentence with “and” or “but,” but the majority of grammar and usage…

Quick and Easy Writing Improvements

Whether you are writing for personal or professional purposes, these simple improvements will perk up your presentation. When your writing is precise, polished, and to the point, your message will be better delivered and received. The following pointers will improve your business content, blog posts, resumes, bios, and academic writing. As you will see, most…

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