Grammar

  1. How Do I Use Commas In Greetings And Sign-offs?

    Oh, the comma, that little punctuation mark that packs a potent punch. It has the power to thoroughly transform the meaning of sentences and can single-handedly send grammarians into fits of rage. We won’t even get into the damage that one’s feelings about the Oxford comma can do to a relationship.  One area in which the comma often gets overlooked, however, is greetings and sign-offs. …

  2. Is Veterans Day A Big Grammar Mistake?

    What do apostrophes have to do with this federal holiday? Well, there’s a confusing apostrophe in Veterans’ Day—or is there? Veterans Day is often incorrectly written as “Veteran’s Day” or “Veterans’ Day.” But, in fact, it’s apostrophe free. “Veteran’s Day” would definitely be incorrect because it means a day for only one veteran. While “Veterans’ Day” does encompass multiple veterans, that spelling is incorrect according …

  3. What Are Present, Past, And Sometimes Perfect Participles?

    Participles. They’re verbs, they’re adjectives, they’re perfect and progressive! Is there anything they can’t do? If you’re wondering what a participle does, you’re not alone. These mighty verbs take many forms and can be tricky to master. Let’s explore the different types. To start, participles are words derived from verbs that can function as adjectives or as parts of verb phrases to create verb tenses. …

  4. “Their” vs. “There” vs. “They’re”: Do You Know The Difference?

    The trio of their, there, and they’re can flummox writers of all levels. It’s confusing; they are homophones, meaning they have the same pronunciation (sound) but differ in meaning and derivation (origin). Even though they sound the same, they aren’t spelled the same … cue the noticeable errors! Let’s explore the correct usages of the three. How do you use their, there, and they’re? These three words serve many …

  5. Why Is “Ain’t” Such A Controversial Word?

    What’s all the fuss over ain’t about? Is it “bad English”? Is it really a word? What does ain’t even stand for? Let’s break down this controversial—but very misunderstood—term. What does ain’t mean? Ain’t is a contraction that can mean am not, are not, and is not. It can also mean have not, has not, do not, does not, or did not. We ain’t joking: …

  6. Getty

    What’s The Difference Between “Piqued,” “Peeked,” And “Peaked?”

    English has a rich, extensive vocabulary. Problem is, sometimes those words run into each other, resulting in a tangled set of homophones, words that are pronounced the same but have different meanings. The word set we’re examining today can send writers into a spiral of uncertainty when it comes to word choice, particularly in the context of one expression: piqued my interest, peaked my interest, …

  7. The Origin (And Grammar) Of Father’s Day

    While Mother’s Day became an official holiday in 1914, Father’s Day took a little longer to be considered a national holiday. And its origin, sadly, lies in two, unrelated tragic events. How did Father’s Day begin? About six months after the Monongah mining disaster of 1907, in which the small West Virginia town lost over 350 men, Grace Golden Clayton organized an event to honor the …

  8. English Affixes From A To Z: A One-Stop List Of Suffixes, Prefixes, and Combining Forms

    In English, we love to make new words by adding all sorts of bits to the front and back of existing terms. These are called affixes, and they are added to the base or stem of a word. When attached to the end of word, the affix is called a suffix. And to the beginning? A prefix. Then there are combining forms, which can be …

  9. Getty

    Why Do We Capitalize The Pronoun “I”?

    Even though it feels natural to English speakers, capitalizing I is unusual. In fact, English is the only language that does it. Germanic and Romantic languages typically have some conventions for capitalizing proper nouns, like Deutschland (in German) or Place de la Concorde (in French), but English is the only one that insists on capitalizing the personal pronoun. Still don’t think it’s weird … then …

  10. How Do You Change Passive Voice Into Active Voice?

    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. What is passive voice? The subject of a sentence is the person or thing that sentence is about. The passive voice is when an action happens to the subject. In …

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