Language Arts

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Making Irregular Comparisons in English

Whenever English grammar gives you a set of rules that make sense, you know it’s time for the irregulars to show up. Not surprisingly, then, you have to create a few common comparisons without [more…]

How to Avoid Writing Incomplete Comparisons

When you are writing comparisons, you have to compare at least two things. Something has to be compared to something else otherwise it is not complete. That might sound confusing. But read this sentence [more…]

How to Avoid Writing Illogical Comparisons

Not all comparisons make sense. Some comparisons seem complete, but if you are not careful you can ask your readers to compare apples with oranges. You can avoid writing these illogical comparisons by [more…]

Maintaining the Same Verb Tense in Your Sentences

If you shift tense when you're writing a sentence, you can stall your communication. (Consider this analogy: If you’ve ever ridden in a car with a stick shift, you know that smooth transitions require [more…]

Keeping to One Point of View in Your Writing

Grammarians count three points of view in writing and speaking. In first person, the subject narrates the story: In other words, I or we acts as the subject of the sentence. In [more…]

Improve Your Writing by Using a Consistent Voice

The voice of a verb — not baritone or soprano — is either active or passive. The voice of the verbs in a sentence should be consistent unless there’s a good reason for a shift. A shift in voice is not [more…]

How to Avoid Common Errors in Your Comparisons

The grammar police will arrive, warrant in hand, if your comparisons aren’t parallel. There are lots of pitfalls when making comparisons in English. You can avoid common errors, by watching out for the [more…]

Using English Language Verb Moods

Verbs in modern English have three moods: indicative, imperative, and subjunctive. Indicative is the most common; almost all verbs are in the indicative mood. The two other moods — imperative and subjunctive [more…]

Using the Subjunctive Mood in English

Although uses for the subjunctive mood in English are rare, they are difficult enough to make a grown man cry. You can form subjunctives with were, had [more…]

Common Double Negatives to Avoid in Writing

In some lucky languages, the more negatives the better. In English, however, two negatives are a no-no. Some double negatives are obvious, but here you learn about some of the sneaky double-negatives that [more…]

Knowing When to Use Who and Whom

Even native English speakers have trouble knowing when to use who versus whom. These words are pronouns. Whois the subject pronoun and whom is the object pronoun. The rule for knowing when to use [more…]

How to Write Balanced Sentences

In art class, you draw parallels. In math class, you plot them on a graph. In grammar, you create parallel constructions. Parallel constructions in grammar, aren’t about lines that look like train tracks [more…]

How to Stop Vocalizing and Become a Speed Reader

Stopping yourself from vocalizing is an essential first step to becoming a speed reader. Vocalizingis hearing words as you read — you may even move your lips and quietly pronounce each word. If you're [more…]

See Where You Stand as a Speed Reader

If you're challenging yourself to become a speed reader, you may be curious to know how you compare to others in the speed-reading department. (And who wouldn't be?) Roughly speaking, readers fall into [more…]

Defining Speed Reading

Speed reading isn't a whole different way of reading; it's just a more focused way of reading. Reading engages the eyes, ears, mouth, and, of course, the brain. Speed reading engages these senses even [more…]

Journey of Your Romance Novel, from Sale to Bound Book

The fun isn't over after you've written and submitted manuscript for your romance novel. After you or your agent finds a publisher for your book, you still have a number of steps to go through before your [more…]

Reader Expectations for a Romance Novel

Writing a romance novel is a creative process and far from formulaic. But romance readers pick up each and every novel with certain expectations firmly in place. To write a winning romance, you have to [more…]

Tips for Preparing for and Writing a Romance Novel

Writing a romance novel is a process. You need to prepare, manage the writing, and pay attention to the details. Before you sit down to start writing, make sure you have the following list covered. Accomplishing [more…]

How to Target Romance-Genre Publishers and Editors

Knowing which publishers and editors to target can help get your romance novel published. The chances of getting your romance novel published increase significantly if you determine key publishers and [more…]

Technical Writing For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Write a technical brief as your important first step in the technical-writing process — whether you're an experienced technical writer or a beginner. A technical brief helps you identify and organize important [more…]

How to Punctuate Sentences Correctly

Punctuation creates meaning by helping your reader understand where one thought ends and another begins, what's quoted or possessed, when a list follows, and a host of other things. Use these grammar quick [more…]

How to Add Variety to Sentences

One easy way to add flair to your writing style is to vary the pattern of your sentences. Try these strategies that add interest without sacrificing meaning or correct grammar: [more…]

How to Use Commonly Confused Words Correctly

Some words create trouble everywhere they appear, but this list will help you understand these commonly confused words and how to use them correctly: [more…]

Tricky Grammar: Is It Singular or Plural?

Usually, it's pretty clear whether a noun is singular or plural. Some words, however, can be tricky — and figuring out if you should pair a singular or plural verb or pronoun with them is essential. Follow [more…]

Possessive Rules of English Grammar

Who owns what? An apostrophe helps answer that question. Here's how to place an apostrophe in the right spot to show possession: [more…]

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