March 1, 2021

Where Do You Put Quotation Marks Relative to Other Punctuation?

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In American English, a period or comma always comes before a closing quotation mark, like "this." That's true regardless of what the quotation marks contain — quoted speech, a noted word, a movie title. But not all punctuation marks have the same relationship with quotation marks. Here's the full story.

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February 22, 2021

Among or Between?

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Can you share something between three friends? Or Is "between" only for groups of two, with "among" the required term for three or more? Some people will tell you it's the latter. But it's not quite that simple. Here's what you need to know.

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February 15, 2021

Compliment and Complement

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Knowing the difference between compliment and complement is the mark of a professional — a must-know for anyone concerned about looking their best in print. Here's how to keep them straight.

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February 8, 2021

Palette, pallet, palate

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All it takes to keep these homophones straight is a quick overview of the difference. Here it is.

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February 1, 2021

Why You Shouldn't Use Participial Phrases as a Crutch

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Reaching into her purse, Mary pulled out her phone …

Participial phrases like "reaching into her purse" are an indispensable part of the English language. But they're also common culprits in bad prose — inserting unnecessary or obvious information or linking ideas in ways that don't quite make sense. Here's how to make sure you're using participial phrases for the best effect.

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January 25, 2021

Bring and Take

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Do you bring a friend to the movies or do you take a friend to the movies? The answer isn't always clear.

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January 18, 2021

Good Things Come to He or Him Who Waits?

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Do good things come to he who waits? Or do good things come to him who waits? When a pronoun has a relationship with two different clauses, it can be hard to know whether it's a subject or an object. Here's what you need to know.

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January 11, 2021

Indexes or Indices? How to Make Plurals of Irregular Nouns

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Most nouns form their plural by adding s or, in some cases, es. But lots of words, especially words adapted from foreign languages, don't follow that pattern. Some of them give you a choice. For example, indexes and indices are both correct in English. But how do you know where to find answers? Here's what you need to know..

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January 4, 2021

How to Peruse Intensely

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If you think peruse means to casually skim or browse, you're not wrong. But you don't have the full picture. The main definition is practically the opposite of that: to study carefully and closely. Here's the full story.

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December 28, 2020

A Variety Is or a Variety Are?

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With some nouns, it's hard to decide whether you need a plural verb or a singular verb. Here's how to handle plural-seeming, singular-seeming nouns like "variety."

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