Grammar

  1. Do You Know When to Capitalize the Seasons?

    As a general rule, when you’re using the name of a season in a sentence as a noun or an adjective, it shouldn’t be capitalized. There are only a few times when seasons should be capitalized, including when they’re used […]

  2. Do Double Entendres Mean What You Think They Do?

    A double entendre is a subtle literary device that uses one statement to convey two very different meanings. Taken literally, a double entendre is usually an innocent statement that has no ironic or inappropriate overtones. Taken another way, the same […]

  3. Let’s Cut to the Chase: Idioms Are a Piece of Cake

    Idioms are expressions whose meanings are figurative and different from the literal meanings of the words within them. For example, the idiom “It costs an arm and a leg” means that something is very expensive. The literal meaning (that something […]

  4. Running, Jumping, and Playing with Gerunds

    A gerund is a verb form that ends in -ing and functions as a noun or object in a sentence or phrase. Though a gerund may look like a verb, it doesn’t behave like one in a sentence. A gerund […]

  5. Quoting Accurately with Sic

    Sic indicates that the word or phrase it follows has been written or spelled in the same way it originally was, even though it appears to be a mistake. Writers often use sic (which comes into English from the Latin […]

  6. Quiz Yourself: Prefixes From the Top

    “First thing’s first.” A prefix is a group of letters added to the beginning of a word to modify its meaning. You’ll probably recognize them from the last time you’ve needed to rewrite an email or undo a typo (thanks, […]

  7. Prefixes and Suffixes from Start to Finish

    Prefixes and suffixes are super useful for customizing the meanings of words, but what are they? A prefix is a group of letters (or an affix) that’s added to the beginning of a word, and a suffix is an affix […]

  8. Having It All Figured Out

    Have and has are different forms of the verb to have. Even though they come from the same word, there are slight differences in the way they’re used. Have is used with I, you, we, and they, while has is […]

  9. Getting Your Subjects to Agree with Verbs

    No one wants a grammar argument, so if your subjects and verbs are fighting, you have a problem on your hands. Subject-verb agreement refers to having the subject and the verb in a sentence match, both being either singular or […]

  10. Quiz Yourself: Do You Use “A,” “An,” and “The” Correctly?

    “Hand me an avocado and a radish for the salad, please.” Articles are words that make it clear whether a noun refers to something specific or something general. The English language has three articles: a, an, and the. You use […]