The finer points of English grammar can be tricky to get your head around but use the following reminders to brush up your writing skills.

Tricky singular/plural situations:

  • Companies are singular; they take a singular verb and pronoun (it, not they or their).

  • In sentences that contain neither/nor or either/or, match the verb to the closest subject.

What to capitalise:

  • Proper names

  • The first word in a sentence

  • Titles before and attached to names

  • Titles used as substitutes for names

  • The first word and all other important words in a title or subtitle

  • Each letter in an acronym

  • Some abbreviations

What to put in lower case:

  • Years in school (primary 4, second year, and so forth)

  • School subjects, except for languages (history, science and algebra, for example)

  • Titles not attached to or used as names (she’s a professor)

  • Directions (north, south, inward, up and so on)

  • General terms for geographical features (canyon, river, mountain and the like)

  • Academic degrees (a master’s, a bachelor’s degree)

To use possessive nouns and pronouns properly, follow these rules:

  • Make a possessive noun by adding an apostrophe and the letter s to a singular noun

  • Add an apostrophe to a plural noun that ends in the letter s to create a possessive

  • To show possession, add an apostrophe and the letter s to a plural noun that doesn’t end in the letter s

  • Possessive pronouns (my, his, theirs, whose and so forth) never contain apostrophes

  • Place a possessive noun or pronoun in front of an -ing verb form used as a noun (her drawing, Kate’s running, and the like)