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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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What Are Split Infinitives?

Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at 6:00 am

An infinitive is the root form of a verb before it is conjugated. It contains the main verb and the word "to": to write, to study, to wish, to walk. An infinitive is split when something separates the main verb from its "to." Few grammatical items have received a rougher rap. As with starting a …

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Colloquialism Examples to Help You Learn About Them

Posted on Monday, May 16, 2022, at 6:00 am

You might be familiar with the word "colloquialism." Even if you aren't, there's a good chance you use colloquialisms often, especially in your speech. They're so common to us that we may not even notice them unless we come upon one we don't recognize. Let's review the definition of colloquialisms as well as some examples. …

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Began vs. Begun

Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, at 6:00 am

English verbs are simple to work with when they are regular—i.e., they follow an obvious pattern for conjugating their past tense and past participle. Verb Infinitive Present Tense Past Tense Past Participle to breathe breathe, breathes breathed breathed to dine dine, dines dined dined to jump jump, jumps jumped jumped The pattern is basic and …

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What Is the Plural of Scarf?

Posted on Monday, May 9, 2022, at 6:00 am

We know a scarf can provide some extra warmth on a chilly day. In other cases, it might add a dash of flair to an otherwise lackluster outfit. One thing we might be unsure of, however, is the proper way to write and say the word for more than one scarf. In this post we …

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Mrs., Ms., Miss: Understanding the Difference

Posted on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, at 6:00 am

We all at some point have addressed someone as Ms., Miss, or Mrs. We may also have a general idea about when to use these forms of address in American English, as well as to whom we should express them. At the same time, it's good to further understand the distinction among these references so …

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What Is the Plural of Bus?

Posted on Monday, May 2, 2022, at 6:00 am

You need to get across town and you're not in a hurry. Should you rush to catch your bus, or will there be another one arriving soon after? While you're plumbing this question, other ones jump to mind: What word would you use to identify more than one bus, and how would you spell it? …

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Is It Mother’s Day, Mothers’ Day, or Mothers Day?

Posted on Friday, April 29, 2022, at 6:00 am

As the second Sunday of May approaches, we are reminded again of the importance of motherhood. The holiday dedicated to mothers was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and later made an official U.S. holiday in 1914. Its origin can be traced to the ancient Greeks and Romans, but the foundation of the modern holiday …

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Using Nor Properly

Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at 6:00 am

Those who enjoy and study grammar often do so because they are inspired by the clear and eloquent expression of thoughts. They understand that when we open our mouths, put pen to paper, or begin to type, our minds are on parade. Precision in writing and speech involves the steady acquisition of grammatical details, or …

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Adverbial Examples: What They Are and How to Use Them

Posted on Monday, April 25, 2022, at 6:00 am

Are you familiar with adverbials? If you're interested in knowing more about what they are and how they're used, we can help you refine that part of your grammar. In this discussion we'll review adverbials and provide examples to reinforce your understanding. Let's begin with the definition. What Are Adverbials? A verb is an action …

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Colon vs. Semicolon

Posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2022, at 6:00 am

English provides us with punctuation as a system of symbols and signs that allow us to structure, pace, and clarify communication. When used correctly, punctuation contributes to succinct and persuasive writing (the word punctuation originates from the Latin punctuare, which means “making a point”). When used incorrectly, it can confuse and even repel our readers. …

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