Category: Prepositions

Year-End Quiz 2018

Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, at 11:00 pm

Another year of grammatical exploration has concluded with linguistic miles behind us. What we’ve learned and discussed with you along the way has been illuminating, and we are grateful for the thought and insight it has inspired. We hope you gathered even more sharpened tools for communicating in concise and eloquent English. A year-end review …

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What Is a Gerund and Why Care?

Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2018, at 11:00 pm

What is a gerund and why do you need to know? Maybe it would be better to answer the second part of the question first so that you have some motivation to identify gerunds. If you are able to pick the gerund(s) out in your sentence, you will avoid a grammar gaffe that often goes …

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Staying on Target with Ranges

Posted on Tuesday, December 4, 2018, at 11:00 pm

Writing often brings us to spots in sentences where we need to convey the extent of something, such as locations, distances, or durations. Most of these constructions will include between or from. The question then becomes how to be grammatically correct in connecting the range being specified. For example, we wish to communicate where to find a bakery, …

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Don’t End a Sentence with a Preposition—Where Did This Myth Come From?

Posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2018, at 11:00 pm

We've written a newsletter article about it (Problems with Prepositions), and in Rule 1 of Prepositions we state, "One of the undying myths of English grammar is that you may not end a sentence with a preposition." Yet, we still receive admonitions from well-meaning readers who think we've made an error when ending a sentence with a …

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Year-End Quiz 2017

Posted on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, at 12:01 pm

Review is good for retention. That’s why GrammarBook.com likes to start the new year with a jumbo quiz that spans the last twelve months of topics we’ve covered with you. In 2017 we explored an array of ways to enhance your grammar and writing. We hope what you learned follows you well into 2018 as …

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Diving Back Into Different From and Different Than

Posted on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, at 11:15 pm

It’s déjà vu for linguistic purists and caretakers of American English: We’re reading an article, having a chat, listening to the radio, or watching TV, and we receive the expression that something is different than something else. We close our eyes, lower our chin, softly sigh, and shake our head. No matter what we do, we just can’t …

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In Behalf Of vs. On Behalf Of

Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, at 3:24 pm

Sometimes in writing and speaking we arrive at a phrase that forms a fork in the road to expression. Ideally, we can distinguish one path from the other, even if by subtlety. Other forks pose a greater challenge. Each way looks the same, and the sounds from both are familiar. We pick our path and …

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Proper Prepositional Pairing

Posted on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, at 8:23 am

Like any other language, English functions best when its parts are correctly connected. During grammatical evolution, parts of speech have bonded with certain prepositions for concise expression. An exacting writer observes these couplings and upholds their intended use and integrity. The noun “affinity” (a natural connection or attraction to a person or thing) is but …

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Among vs. Between

Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2017, at 11:48 am

Many of you sent in comments on last week’s Year-End Quiz. The question receiving the most comments was: 7. James is trying to decide between three college majors; accounting, finance, or economics. Our point with this question was to demonstrate that the semicolon should instead be a colon. We didn’t anticipate the many comments exemplified …

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Attention-Span Blues

Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2016, at 11:50 pm

Fewer and fewer of us curl up with a good book anymore. Who can read nonstop for more than an hour, if that? I won’t bore you with my deep thoughts on why this is—not when I can bore you with so much other nerdy stuff. But I will say this: American attention spans started …

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Media Watch: Pronouns, Prepositions, Danglers and More

Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, at 7:46 am

Here is another set of recent flubs and fumbles from usually dependable journalists. • “Yet my relationship with the game was simple and uncomplicated.” How did this one get by the editors? One of those two adjectives has to go. • “He is accused of fleeing to London in March while owing more than $1 …

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Ain’t That a Shame

Posted on Tuesday, January 12, 2016, at 2:14 pm

We are gratified that our readers are uncompromising about the English language. Over the course of fifty articles annually, we get our share of lectures, challenges, and rebukes. We welcome all your comments, but before you write, keep in mind the final edict in last week’s Stickler’s Ten Commandments: Be sure you are correct before …

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Year-End Quiz 2015

Posted on Tuesday, December 15, 2015, at 2:31 pm

To close out 2015 we have put together a comprehensive pop quiz based on the year’s GrammarBook.com grammar posts. The quiz comprises twenty-five sentences that may—or may not—need fixing. Think you can fix the ones that need help? You’ll find our answers directly below the quiz. Each answer includes, for your convenience, the title and …

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Compare To vs. Compare With

Posted on Tuesday, August 18, 2015, at 8:39 pm

Is there a difference between comparing A to B and comparing A with B? The answer is yes, and it is a difference worth maintaining; but these days, compare to and compare with are in danger of becoming interchangeable. This looks like yet another fight that the grammar patrol is about to lose. When we …

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The Lowdown on Different Than

Posted on Tuesday, June 23, 2015, at 11:04 am

Those who care about language sometimes discover they’ve been misled. Teachers, parents, or other trusted authority figures have been known to proclaim as rules what turn out to be myths, opinions, or whims about English usage. In recent years we have debunked some of these baseless “rules,” and gotten a lot of heat from frustrated …

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