Grammar Blog

Welcome to the GrammarBook.com 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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Everyday vs. Every Day

Posted on Friday, January 22, 2021, at 9:00 am

You have probably seen the word everyday and the phrase every day used interchangeably. You might have wondered which is correct in a sentence, as well as how you can use it more accurately. We’ll help you answer those questions. Everyday vs. Every Day: The Basics The single word everyday is an adjective describing an …

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The Present Perfect Tense

Posted on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, at 12:00 am

The English language has three verb tenses to indicate the time an action took place: present, past, and future. Each tense is then further categorized as simple, progressive, perfect, and perfect progressive, resulting in twelve total tenses. In this discussion, we'll review the present perfect tense. The present perfect is used to communicate occurrences or …

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Me Either vs. Me Neither: Which Is Better?

Posted on Monday, January 18, 2021, at 9:00 am

You have probably come across the phrases me either and me neither in both writing and conversation. Have you ever wondered which is correct? Let’s look at the grammar behind these expressions. Note that unlike pairs such as either vs. neither, these two phrases don’t have precise meanings. Although widely used, they are idiomatic as …

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Either vs. Neither

Posted on Friday, January 15, 2021, at 9:00 am

Have you ever wondered whether either or neither is the right word to use when you’re writing or speaking? Either and neither are similar words, but they have separate meanings. Let’s review either vs. neither and consider a few examples. When to Use Either The word either separates two choices, outcomes, or possibilities: We could …

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What Is Hyperbole?

Posted on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, at 12:00 am

We had at least a thousand interruptions today. Theo ran the race with winged feet. This crème brûlée is to die for. We all at some point exaggerate to emphasize our thoughts or feelings. When doing so, we are often using what is known as hyperbole. Originating from the Greek huperbolḗ (hupér "above, beyond" and …

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Year-End Quiz: 2020

Posted on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at 12:00 am

We conclude each twelve-month grammatical trip with a review of what we’ve studied and learned together. The 2020 master quiz features twenty-five items inspired by the year’s many different GrammarBook articles.

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The Diversity of American Dialects

Posted on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, at 11:00 pm

Americans share a common language, but as in other countries, not all people speak it the same way. The U.S. has its own family of dialects that differ by region within its 3.8 million square miles. People establish a dialect when they live together within set social or geographical boundaries over time. As they use …

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The Spell of the Holidays

Posted on Tuesday, December 8, 2020, at 11:00 pm

The year-end holidays are an alternate reality. People dress differently, act differently … and even talk differently. This time of year has its own vocabulary, and some of these old-fashioned words have eccentric spellings. So here is our holiday spelling quiz. You'll find the answers directly below. 1. ___ the night before Christmas. A) T'was …

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Are Euphemisms Useful?

Posted on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, at 11:00 pm

Governments, businesses, and private people alike often look to soften an idea they think may hurt, offend, or dishearten another. For that reason, they develop and use alternate phrasing intended to sugarcoat certain connotations. For example, a company reducing staff is not "firing people"; it is "downsizing." People aren't "poor"; they are "economically disadvantaged." We …

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That’s nyooz to me

Posted on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, at 11:00 pm

Today we are repeating an article from January 2016 as we mourn the demise of the traditional pronunciation of the word electoral. Like many of you, we word nerds at GrammarBook.com have been surfing the TV news networks as we follow pre- and post-election coverage. We can't count the number of times we’ve heard the …

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Restoring the Meanings of Misused Words

Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2020, at 11:00 pm

Words give us an array of ways to express what we're thinking or feeling with boldness or nuance. The more we use them in the proper context according to their definitions, the more settled they become in our eloquence. Within American English, some words continue to operate as people wearing another's attire. One can ponder …

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Dangling Phrases and Clauses

Posted on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, at 11:00 pm

With all of the shouting and controversy surrounding the election, we thought it might be a good time for a lighter—but still instructive—grammar topic this week. Today, we are repeating a classic from GrammarBook.com's founder, Jane Straus, from March 2008. When phrases or clauses are misplaced in a sentence, such that they don't agree with …

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Clipping Syllables to Sizes We Like

Posted on Tuesday, October 27, 2020, at 11:00 pm

The two following excerpts express the same thing. Which might you rather read or listen to? Today I went to the doctor's office for an exam because I thought I might be getting the flu. I skipped going to the gym after that. I stopped for gas and went home. Beth wanted me to help …

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We the People, or…?

Posted on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, at 11:00 pm

For much of the last two months, we have been analyzing why the subject pronouns I, he, she, we, they and the object pronouns me, him, her, us, them are chronically misused and confused. In this final installment, we'll deal with flawed sentences like Politicians should respect we the people and It's a happy outcome …

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Expressing Possession of Gerunds

Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, at 11:00 pm

A gerund is the present participle (-ing) form of a verb functioning as a noun in a sentence. Example: He responded by laughing. (The gerund "laughing" is the noun object of the preposition "by.") A gerund phrase is a gerund plus another element such as an adverb, an adjective, or a noun. Example: Saving money …

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