January 24, 2022

Is That 'Ing' Word a Verb, a Noun or an Adjective?

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Q: Is the word "running" a verb, a noun or an adjective? A: All of the above. Here's how to identify "ing" forms.

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January 17, 2022

'Could Of'

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Just because "I could've sworn" sounds like "I could of sworn" doesn't mean there's an "of" in there.

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January 10, 2022

Drive Slow?

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Flat adverbs, which drop their "ly" endings, are actually fine — especially if they're already listed as adverbs in the dictionary.

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January 3, 2022

I Could Care Less?

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The negative "couldn't" is the logical and traditional choice in this expression, but "I could care less" isn't necessarily wrong.

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December 27, 2021

'Also' Plus an Adjective Can Be a Lame Way to Start a Sentence

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A sentence like "Also delicious is the apple pie" puts the adjective in the subject position. Nothing wrong with that grammatically. But this structure is often a crutch for writers who don't have much to say.

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December 20, 2021

'Continual' vs. 'Continuous'

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'Continual' and 'continuous' are similar — but not quite the same.

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December 13, 2021

When to Hyphenate Prefixes and Suffixes

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Co-worker or coworker, antiAmerican or anti-American, pre-1950 or pre1950? There's no one-size-fits-all rule for hyphenating prefixes and suffixes. But the rules are flexible.

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December 6, 2021

All About the En Dash

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What's longer than a hyphen, shorter than an em dash and can do some jobs better than either? Meet the en dash.

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November 29, 2021

'Firstly' and 'Secondly'

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Some people say it's wrong to use adverb forms of "first" and "second." Not true. Here's why these two words are OK.

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November 22, 2021

Copular Verbs and Their Complements

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Grammatically, what's the difference between "Joe saw the CEO and "Joe is the CEO"? In the first one, you have a classic case of a verb, “saw,” with its direct object, the CEO. But in the second one, the verb “is” is not so much an action as a reflection back on the subject. Verbs that are all about being are called copular verbs or linking verbs and the word that follows is called the complement. Here's everything you need to know.

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