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Grammar Blog

Welcome to the blog, where you’ll find a wealth of information about grammar and writing in American English. Bookmark this page for quick and easy access to our most current newsletter as well as recent articles. You can also search for your subject of interest or choose from our popular grammar and punctuation categories.

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Nominative Case: Usage and Examples

Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, at 6:00 am

Case in English concerns the function that a word performs in relation to other words in a sentence. In older English, grammar referred to the nominative case (subject), the accusative case (direct object), the dative case (indirect object), and the genitive case (possessive form). (Current English refers more often to three cases: subjective, objective, and …

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Theatre vs. Theater: Which Spelling Is Correct?

Posted on Monday, November 28, 2022, at 6:00 am

Suppose you have a date coming up and want to take your partner to a place where live actors will perform in a play. If you are writing your note in American English, should you invite that person to the theatre or the theater? We'll give you a quick answer to the theatre vs. theater …

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Check in or Check-in: Which Version Is Correct?

Posted on Monday, November 21, 2022, at 6:00 am

Let's say you need to speak with a boarding agent about your flight. Or perhaps you're interested in an associate's progress on a project, or you just want to see how a friend's day is coming along. Any of these inquiries might be described as “checking in.” It's an easy concept to understand and to …

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Elliptical Sentence Constructions

Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, at 6:00 am

Mr. Burns is wiser than I. Tara knows more about football than baseball. Yama's thinking seeks truth; his writing, the expression of it. Many of us are familiar with these types of statements in English. They are elliptical sentence constructions, which omit sentence components without losing clarity. Those components can be words, phrases, or clauses. …

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What Are Verbs? (With Examples)

Posted on Monday, November 14, 2022, at 6:00 am

Verbs are words that describe a mental or physical action, a state of being, or an occurrence. By doing so, they often give us the most information among the parts of speech in a sentence. A sentence can exist without a noun, but it cannot without a verb. Verb Definitions and Verb Examples A verb's …

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Subject Complements: Usage and Examples

Posted on Wednesday, November 9, 2022, at 6:00 am

The word complement in English means "something that completes or makes perfect; either of two parts or things needed to complete the whole." A subject complement in English describes or renames a sentence subject and completes the sense of the verb by means of an adjective, a noun, a pronoun, a possessive noun or pronoun, …

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Elfs or Elves: Which Word Is the Correct One?

Posted on Monday, November 7, 2022, at 6:00 am

Imagine you're taking a walk through the forest. From the corner of your eye, you spot a quick movement followed by a mischievous giggle. Moments later you see through the brush a small, childlike creature sitting and smiling. You have discovered an elf! Just as you are thinking how you will explain this sighting to …

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Interjections: What They Are and Examples

Posted on Wednesday, November 2, 2022, at 6:00 am

Way to go! If you're engaging this discussion, you have a sincere interest in understanding how specific parts of speech function in American English. Congrats! An English interjection communicates a writer's or speaker's feeling or focus in emphasizing a statement or drawing someone's attention to it. It is a reaction to someone or something. Interjections …

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What Is the Plural of Fish?

Posted on Monday, October 31, 2022, at 6:00 am

There might be plenty of fish in the sea, but that doesn't mean they are all easy to describe. If we're trying to describe more than one, a common question in English can be what is the plural of fish? You may have been taught that it's simply fish or maybe fishes. Both sound like …

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When to Use (and Not Use) a Comma Before Which

Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2022, at 6:00 am

Writing and speaking in American English often includes the relative pronouns which and that. We use these words to provide essential and nonessential (also known as restrictive and nonrestrictive) information that further explains or identifies. The distinction between which and that was once more established within daily formal writing. The word which was used for …

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