Grammar & Usage

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Choosing When to Use Who and Whom

The whole topic of pronouns is enough to give you a headache, but the time has come to put to rest one of the peskiest pronoun problems once and for all. [more…]

Using Apostrophes to Show Possession

Apostrophes are those little curved marks you see hanging from certain letters. They look harmless enough, so why do even well educated people throw them where they don't belong and leave them out where [more…]

Setting Down the Spelling Rules

Some rules make life hard for your child. She wants to feel the soft grass under her toes, but the sign says to keep out, or she wants to bomb into the blue water, but the lifeguard warns her against any [more…]

Living Better with Better Grammar

Stuck in English class, you probably thought that grammar was invented just to give teachers something to test. But in fact grammar — or to be more precise, formal grammar instruction — exists to help [more…]

Using Em Dashes and En Dashes Properly

Although they are each a simple horizontal line, hyphens and the various dashes have their own appearances and specific uses. The shortest and most common is the hyphen, which is used for clarifying open [more…]

Committing a Few Number-Editing Rules to Memory

Most rules are rife with exceptions in the publishing industry, but a few are so standard and ubiquitous that they're well worth memorizing. One set of rules that are pretty standard is how to deal with [more…]

Quoting Correctly

A quotation is a written repetition of someone else's words — just one word or a whole statement or passage. You see quotations in almost all writing: newspapers, magazines, novels, essays, letters, and [more…]

How to Identify the Parts of Speech

If you’re increasing your vocabulary and adding new words to your repertoire, you need to know the part of speech the words belong to so that you can use them correctly. The following list shows the eight [more…]

Pronoun Tips for Proper English Grammar

The Beatles sang of “I, Me, Mine,” but understanding pronouns takes a little practice. Pronouns can be objective or subjective, and can show possession. You, me, him, her, them, us . . . everyone can speak [more…]

English Grammar Tips for Subject-Verb Agreement

Someone or something must be present in a sentence, and that someone or something doing the action or being talked about is the subject. Verbs are the words that express the action the subject is doing [more…]

Placing Proper Punctuation

Can you imagine what a sentence without any punctuation would be like? Without proper punctuation, it would be unreadable. Knowing when and how to use the period, comma, colon, semicolon, and other punctuation [more…]

Verb Tense Tips in English Grammar

Besides showing the action or state of being in the sentence, the verb also indicates the time the action or “being” took place. By learning about the different kinds of simple, perfect, past, and present [more…]

Parts of Speech in English Grammar

Every time you write or speak, you use nouns, verbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and other parts of the English language. Knowing how to use these parts of speech can help you speak more eloquently, write [more…]

English Grammar Basics: Parts of a Sentence

After you get a good grip on the different parts of speech, it’s time to put them all together to form the proper sentence. The right words and punctuation in the right order can make all the difference [more…]

English Grammar For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Whether you’re engaging in everyday speech or writing the perfect paper, you need to be familiar with the various parts of English grammar. Knowing how to correctly use nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns [more…]

Punctuating Sentences Correctly

Here are some quick tips and handy hints for when and how to use the grammatical marks that most often trip people up when they’re writing, plus some guidance on improving your writing. [more…]

Commonly Confused Words and Descriptions

It’s easy to mix up similar sounding words. Refer to this handy list to help you out if you need a helpful reminder of the most commonly confused words: [more…]

Sorting Out the Finer Points of English Grammar

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: [more…]

English Grammar Workbook For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

Grappling with English grammar problems, clearing up confusion caused by similar-sounding words, and improving your writing skills in general is made easier with this handy Cheat Sheet. [more…]

How to Form Present and Past Participles of Regular English Verbs

When you are doing your English grammar homework, your struggles with participles may give you grey hairs. But feat not! Although the word sounds ominous, participles [more…]

Past and Past Participles of Common Irregular English Verbs

Dozens and dozens of English verbs have irregular past tense forms, as well as irregular past participles. If you are studying English grammar you may want to memorize the common irregular past and past [more…]

How to Conjugate the Verb To Be

The verb to be is possibly the weirdest verb in the English language, but you have to know it because you will use it all the time. Not only do you want to tell other people all about you, you need to [more…]

How to Find the Subject of a Sentence

English grammar teachers like to torture students by asking them to find the subjects of sentences. But why does it matter whether you can find the subject of a sentence? [more…]

How to Form Plural Nouns

If you are a native English speaker, you probably already know how to form plural nouns in English. But just because you know how to form plurals doesn’t mean you can articulate the rules. You can wow [more…]

How to Form Complete Sentences

As any English grammar teacher will tell you, a complete sentence has at least one subject-verb pair. They’re a pair because they match. They match because, well, they work smoothly as a team. One half [more…]

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