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…

Awhile vs. a While

“Awhile” is an adverb that means to do something for some amount of time. The job of an adverb is to add meaning to verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. For example, “I will work awhile and then take a break.” “A while,” on the other hand, is a noun meaning “a time.” The “a” is…

Much vs. Many

Much is an adjective used to describe mass nouns. Mass nouns, or non-count nouns, are nouns that are always plural and not counted individually. These include certain foods, liquids, materials, and items made up of tiny individual particles (like flour, rice, water, and sand). To show a larger quantity of these items, use much. For example,…

Bimonthly vs. Semimonthly

Bi- is a prefix meaning two or twice; semi- is a prefix meaning half. There is debate surrounding the actual definition of bi- being both two and twice, although semi- is always half. Assuming bi- can be two or twice, bimonthly can be every two months or twice a month, which is a bit confusing…

Between vs. Among

What’s the difference between among and between? Put simply—a bit too simply—among is used for choices involving more than two people or items, and between is used for choices involving two people or items. However, to make the simple a bit more complicated, between can be used with more than two choices when the choices…

Hanged vs. Hung

The past tense verbs for “hang” are hanged and hung, which can get a bit confusing when deciding the right form to use. Hanged is used when referring to an execution or death by hanging (example: As punishment for trying to escape, captured slaves were often hanged. Hung is used for suspended objects, such as…

Principal vs. Principle

Do you confuse principal and principle? Here’s help! Principal (a noun) ends in “pal” and generally refers to people in leadership positions that you want to be your “pals” (a leader of a school, a company, or other entity). Principal can also mean the amount of a loan before interest is charged; if you need…

Plural vs. Possessive: Getting Rid of Too Many Apostrophes!

Guilty of adding too many apostrophes?  This is one of the most common punctuation errors, and one that is easy to fix if you know the difference between plural vs. possessive. Just driving around, I see many expensive trucks, billboards, and store signs lettered with that extra apostrophe thrown in, such as “The best plumber’s…

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