Grammar

  1. What Are 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 can act as the subject of a sentence, as the object of a preposition, or as the object of a verb. When a gerund has …

  2. 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 word for so or thus) when they’re quoting material from another source. The use of sic lets the writer off the hook for any spelling …

  3. Everything You Need To Know About Prefixes And Suffixes

    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 that’s added to the end of a word. Prefixes modify the meaning of a word. They can make a word negative, show repetition, or indicate …

  4. How To Get 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 plural. The subject of a sentence is a noun (a person, place, or thing) that tells what the sentence is about, and the verb is …

  5. Present, Past, And Sometimes Perfect Participles

    Participles are words derived from verbs that can function as adjectives or as parts of verb phrases to create verb tenses. The two main types of participles are the present participle and the past participle. The perfect participle depends on the past participle for its forms. Participial phrases function as adjectives that modify the subjects or other nouns in sentences. The Present Participle Adding -ing …

  6. Verb Tenses: Past, Future, And Even Perfect

    The six basic verb tenses are past, present, future, past perfect, present perfect, and future perfect. Verb tenses identify the time period when an action occurs. They also show relationships between events that happen at different times. The simple tenses (past, present, and future) are the most basic forms. Simple Tenses Present tense describes events happening now. It’s also useful for describing a direct action …

  7. When To Capitalize President

    Have you ever worried about when president should be capitalized? You should only capitalize president as a title before an individual’s name or when directly addressing a person in that role (e.g. “President George Washington”). Variations of the word, such as presidential, should not be capitalized unless they begin a sentence or are used as part of a proper name (e.g. “Presidential Medal of Freedom”). …

  8. What Are Irregular Verbs?

    Verbs (the action words in sentences) are grouped as either regular and irregular, based on whether they follow standard rules of conjugation. Some common irregular verbs include go, have, make, say, take, and know. Regular Verbs To form the past tense of a regular verb, just add -d or -ed to the end of it. For example, learn becomes learned in the past tense. Irregular …

  9. The FANBOY Conjunctions

    What are coordinating conjunctions, and how are they used? Coordinating conjunctions join words, phrases, or clauses that have the same grammatical function. You can remember the seven coordinating conjunctions by using the mnemonic device FANBOYS: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so. The coordinating conjunctions and, or, and but are most commonly used. They’re often essential for forming complete sentences because they balance related …

  10. How To Find Adverbs

    What does an adverb do? An adverb is “a word that modifies or describes verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.” Adverbs typically answer questions like how or when in relation to the action of a sentence. Many common adverbs end in -ly, like quickly, usually, and completely, but not all adverbs do, such as very, now, here, and sometimes. How do adverbs modify verbs? As their name implies, adverbs describe or modify verbs. A verb is the action word in a …

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