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The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Category: Nouns

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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Is None Plural or Singular?

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

If you have friends and family members with an interest in grammar, asking whether the word none is singular or plural is a good way to start a spirited discussion (and if you have this kind of social circle, we would enjoy knowing how the discussion concluded, but we digress). For many, the presumed wisdom …

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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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Is It Eachother or Each Other?

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

When we want to express a reciprocal relationship between two things, should we write eachother as one word or each other as two words? Plenty of American English speakers ask this question, including many who grew up with the language. Fortunately, this area of grammar is rather simple to sort out. The short answer is …

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Past or Passed: Which Word Is Correct?

Posted on Monday, February 8, 2021, at 9:00 am

The past is many things—but it’s not the same as passed. Passed: gone ahead of; approved. Past: a former time; beyond. If you ever find yourself struggling with the grammatical difference between the two, you aren’t alone. They sound identical when spoken aloud and have somewhat related definitions. However, they do have different meanings, and …

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Lead vs. Led: Do You Know the Difference?

Posted on Friday, February 5, 2021, at 9:00 am

The English language is filled with tricky words. One such word is lead. With just four simple letters, it can have different pronunciations and distinctive meanings based on use and context. Let’s look at why that is, and how you can use lead correctly in its different forms. What You Should Know About the Word …

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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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Affect vs. Effect: Should I Use Affect or Effect?

Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007, at 3:57 pm

Affect and effect are similar words with comparable meanings and pronunciations, so it’s little wonder that so many speakers of American English confuse the two. Here we will provide a quick guide for using the two words correctly. Rule 1. Use the verb effect when you mean bring about or brought about, cause or caused. …

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