Grammar

  1. Coordinating Between Independent and Dependent Clauses

    You might have seen these terms floating around. Clauses are the building blocks of sentences. They’re groups of related words (phrases) that contain both a subject and a verb. When a clause can stand alone as a complete sentence with a clear meaning, it’s considered independent. If it only makes sense when you join it with another clause, it’s dependent (or subordinate). For example, “in …

  2. 3 Action-Packed Types of Verbs

    Verbs do a lot of things. There are 3 types of verbs: verbs of being, linking verbs, and action verbs. Most verbs are either action or linking verbs, depending how they’re used in a sentence. Verbs of Being Verbs of being demonstrate a state of existence. Yes, your yoga teacher was right: you can just be. The major verbs of being are to be and …

  3. How Long Should My Paragraph Be?

    There isn’t really a required number of sentences to make a paragraph, but there are some guidelines you might want to consider. A typical paragraph consists of 3 to 6 sentences. Paragraphs are meant to express a central idea. They can be made of any number of sentences as long as they meet the structural requirements. The basic structure of a paragraph has three parts: …

  4. 5 Types of Nouns that You Use All the Time

    Nouns come in a lot of different shapes and sizes. The major ones are common nouns, proper nouns, abstract nouns, possessive nouns, and collective nouns. A noun is a person, place, or thing. The category of thingsmay sound super vague, but in this case it means inanimate objects, abstract concepts, and activities. Phrases and other parts of speech can also behave like nouns, and be …

  5. Gettin’ Short and Sweet with Apostrophes

    An apostrophe (’) can show possession or indicate that letters or numbers have been omitted. They can also indicate ownership. Possessive Nouns When a singular noun doesn’t end in S, you just need to add an apostrophe and an S to make it possessive. Examples include “the boy’s bike,” “the dog’s leash,” and “Bob’s house.” If a singular noun does end in S, you should …

  6. Stand Apart from the Crowd (with Parentheses)

    Parentheses offset text that isn’t important to the meaning of a sentence. Things like extra information, clarifications, asides, or citations. The information inside the parentheses can be as short as a number or a word, or it can be as long as a few sentences. Parentheses always appear in pairs. They’re often used where commas would also be appropriate. Clarifying and Adding Extra A sentence …

  7. Active vs. Passive Voice: Hear and Be Heard

    First, a quick overview, in case all you need is a reminder: In active voice, the subject performs the action of the verb. In passive voice, the subject receives the action of the verb. If you feel like you need a little more than that, keep reading. Passive Voice The subject of a sentence is the person or thing that sentence is about. You can …

  8. Irregular Plural Nouns: People Change, but Aircraft Don’t

    Irregular plural nouns are nouns that become plural in a way other than adding -s or -es to the end. It can be tough to remember which nouns are irregular, but here are a few guidelines for how to handle the ones that are. Regular Nouns First off, a noun is a person, place, or thing. Nouns are singular when they represent one item and …

  9. Custom-Made Descriptions with Hyphens

    The shortest of the dashes, hyphens (–) link words and parts of words. They can connect prefixes or break up a word at the end of a line of text. They can also combine two or more words that describe a noun. For example, in George Orwell’s 1984, hyphenated words help create unusual descriptive phrases: “He felt deeply drawn to him, and not solely because …

  10. En Dashes from A–Z

    You don’t hear as much about them as other dashes, but you’ve most likely seen them around. En dashes (–) can denote a range or connect the endpoints of a route. They can also show a contrast or connection between two words. You can use them to replace the words to, and, or versus. An en dash is longer than a hyphen (–) and shorter …

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