July 6, 2020

The Two Biggest Grammar Myths

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If you ever hear anyone say it's wrong to split an infinitive or end a sentence with a preposition, don't believe them. Here's why they're mistake .

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June 29, 2020

'I feel bad' or 'I feel badly'?

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If you apply what you learned in school about adverbs, you might conclude "I feel badly" is more proper than "I feel bad." But you'd be wrong. "Feel" is special type of verb called a copular or linking verb that takes an adjective as its complement. Here's the full story.

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June 22, 2020

Why Some People How You Use 'Hopefully' and 'Importantly'

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Some people will tell you it's wrong to use "hopefully" to mean "I hope" and that it's wrong to use "more importantly" to underscore a point. They're wrong. Here's why.

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June 15, 2020

Can 'like' mean 'as'? Can it mean 'such as'?

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There's a popular view that like can't mean such as, as in, "Enjoy activities like hiking and biking." Another popular view is that like can introduce a whole clause the way as can, as in, "Winston tastes good, like a cigarette should." Both these views are wrong. Here's why.

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June 8, 2020

Over and Under

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There's a common belief that you can't use "over" to mean "more than," as in, "We saw over 20 species of birds on our trip." Good news. It's not true. Here's what you should know about "over" and "under" in the senses of "more than" and "less than."

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June 1, 2020

Errant Apostrophes in Plurals

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Two taco's for $1!

We enjoyed meeting the Miceli's!

Try the pancake's!

Apostrophes used wrongly to form plurals are everywhere. Here's how to avoid this mistake.

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May 25, 2020

James' job or James's job?

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The boss's hat or the boss' hat?

James' job or James's job?

Making possessives out of words that end in s is tricky and complicated by the fact that major editing styles disagree on the rules. Here's what you need to know.

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May 18, 2020

It's, Let's, Who's, They're

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Anyone can mess up using its and it'slets and let'swhose and who's, and their and they're — even if you know better. Here's a quick reminder.

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May 11, 2020

Compose and Comprise

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The difference between compose and comprise isn't important to everyone. If you're not worried what discerning readers will think of your prose, then there's no need to note that they're adamant comprise doesn't go with of. Per the strict view, you can say something is composed of its parts, but you can't say it's comprised of its parts. Here's the full story.

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May 4, 2020

None Is vs. None Are

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Of all the applicants, none is as qualified as you.

Of all the applicants, none are as qualified as you.

Some people feel strongly that none is singular because it means no one or not one. And if it were exclusively singular, the singular verb is would be the only correct choice. But in fact, both forms can be correct. Here's the full story.

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