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The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Category: Definitions

Mood vs. Tone in Writing

Posted on Friday, May 7, 2021, at 6:00 am

Those who study the art of composition are likely to hear references to mood and tone along the way. The terms may seem or sound synonymous, but they identify different aspects of substance in writing. If you're looking to further develop the style and impact of your writing, particularly as emotional depth is concerned, you …

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i.e. vs. e.g.: How to Use i.e. or e.g.

Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, at 6:00 am

We've probably all either seen or written the abbreviations i.e. and e.g. Some of us may have understood them, and some of us may have not been sure. For example, perhaps we've come across a statement such as: Please bring something to the potluck dinner (i.e., salad, appetizer, dessert). The context of that statement doesn't …

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Apart vs. A Part: Do You Know the Difference?

Posted on Monday, March 29, 2021, at 9:00 am

There are some aspects of American English that can be fairly described as "confusing." That's certainly the case when one word can be separated into two and result in a different meaning. Even native speakers of American English can be puzzled by the difference between apart (one word) and a part (two words). Do you …

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Aid or Aide: Which One Do You Mean?

Posted on Friday, March 26, 2021, at 9:00 am

The words aid and aide are spoken the same way, and the only difference in their spelling is a single e. Does that mean you can use either one? Actually, the two words have entirely different meanings and uses. We will explain them in today's short post. How to Use the Word Aid The word …

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Catalog or Catalogue: Which Is Correct?

Posted on Friday, March 19, 2021, at 9:00 am

Have you seen the word catalog spelled two ways—with and without a u—and wondered which is correct? Here we'll aim to clarify the distinction by explaining the spelling differences and discussing how to use the word in both of its forms. How Do You Spell It? In the U.S., we typically spell catalog without a …

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Anytime vs. Any Time: Which Is Correct?

Posted on Monday, March 15, 2021, at 9:00 am

This question comes up often, and for good reason. You frequently see both anytime and any time used in written sentences, and when spoken, they sound the same. Because the pause that would go between the two-word version is passed over, it's tough to tell if it should be there in the first place. So, …

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Continually vs. Continuously

Posted on Wednesday, March 10, 2021, at 6:00 am

Writers and speakers of English use the verb continue to communicate the idea of something's going or keeping on, as in "We hope the good weather continues." The concept of the English word continue comes from the Latin root continuāre, meaning "to join together or connect, to make all one." We further understand the idea …

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For All Intents and Purposes vs. For All Intensive Purposes

Posted on Monday, March 1, 2021, at 9:00 am

You've probably heard this expression used a couple of different ways. You may also have wondered which one is correct and where the confusion comes from. Let's break down what you should write and say, what the phrase means, and why there is confusion about it. Is For All Intents and Purposes Right, or Is …

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What Are Irregular Plural Nouns?

Posted on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, at 6:00 am

In the English language nouns are commonly made plural by adding s or es. For example, car becomes cars and house becomes houses. In this discussion, we'll consider what irregular plural nouns are. With irregular plural nouns, an s or es is not used to create the plural. This can sometimes cause confusion for users …

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Sarcastic vs. Facetious: What’s the Difference?

Posted on Monday, February 22, 2021, at 9:00 am

One of the most entertaining facets of communication can also be one of the most frustrating: That's because people don't always mean exactly what they say. We refer not to lies or falsehoods, but to statements that aren't aimed to be accepted or understood by their literal meaning. For example, if a friend tells you …

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