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The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Category: Definitions

How Do You Write Percentages?

Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, at 6:00 am

Percentages are common in our daily communication. They express groups of numbers in ways that let us quickly interpret them and relate them to one another. At the same time, we might wonder how we should present these figures in our writing. Do we use 10 per cent, 10 percent, or 10%? Let's review some …

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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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What Are Anagram Words? (With Examples)

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

You may have heard of an anagram or anagram words. They may appear in puzzles and quiz questions, as well as on the occasional game show. So what are they and how do they work? Anagrams are words or phrases that can be formed from the letters of other words. For example, both night and …

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What Are Correlative Conjunctions?

Posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, at 6:00 am

A conjunction is a part of speech that connects words, phrases, or clauses. The two types of conjunctions are coordinating conjunctions and subordinating conjunctions. Correlative conjunctions are coordinating conjunctions used in pairs. They connect two items of equal rank and grammatical unit. Some common correlative conjunctions include: either…or neither…nor both…and not only…but also as…so rather…than …

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Have Patience or Be Patient: Which One Should You Use?

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

Patience is a virtue, but it can also be a grammatical snag. That's because even though we know the importance of waiting for the best things in life, we might at times be unsure of how to express that practice. Specifically, a writer might wonder when or whether to use the phrases have patience or …

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Is It Doctoral Degree or Doctorate Degree?

Posted on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, at 6:00 am

Among the many style items involved in American English, references to academic degrees remain a common source of uncertainty. Do we write doctoral degree or doctorate degree? What is the difference between a Ph.D. and an M.D., and when should the credentials appear in our writing? We'll address such questions to provide direction you can …

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What Is an Idiom? (With Examples and Usage)

Posted on Friday, December 10, 2021, at 6:00 am

Idioms are a big part of language—as well as a common source of confusion, particularly for non-native speakers. Because idioms are used so often in communications from emails to text messages to daily conversations, understanding them is important to mastering American English. In today's post we'll explain what idioms are and how they work, as …

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Coordinating Conjunctions

Posted on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, at 6:00 am

A coordinating conjunction is a word that connects other words or phrases as well as clauses of equal rank. The seven coordinating conjunctions are for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so. (One way to remember them is by using the acronym FANBOYS as a mnemonic device: For And Nor But Or Yet So.) We …

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What Is a Phrase?

Posted on Monday, December 6, 2021, at 6:00 am

Some writers and speakers of American English may have a basic understanding of what a phrase is but may not always be able to define one or identify it in a sentence. In today's post, we'll further explore and explain what a phrase is. How Do You Define a Phrase? A phrase is a sequence …

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