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The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Category: Pronouns

So Tell Me—When Is It Correct to Use So

Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2018, at 11:00 pm

So: It’s among the shortest words in English, and use of it abounds. So, when are we going to meet up? That movie was so good. I so much want to be there. He’s not feeling well, so he probably won’t go to the meeting. The word has become a versatile agent for our language …

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Shall I or Will I Use the Right Auxiliary Verb?

Posted on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, at 11:00 pm

Few will ever forget the words spoken by Winston Churchill in June 1940 under the thickening shadow of Nazi aggression: “We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and strength in …

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Grasping the Grammatical Expletive

Posted on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, at 8:45 am

There is/are…, It is…: We often use these constructions in communicating, perhaps without being aware they have a grammatical classification, the expletive. Expletives introduce clauses and delay sentence subjects. Unlike nouns and verbs, which have well-defined roles in expression, expletives do not add to sense or meaning; rather, they let us shift emphasis in sentences …

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Whoever vs. Whomever Revisited

Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2018, at 7:15 pm

In the "English Rules" section of our website, GrammarBook.com, you will find our simple explanation for determining whether to use who or whom. Briefly, this is the trick: who = he (subject pronouns) whom = him (object pronouns) Example: Who/Whom is at the door? He is at the door. Example: For who/whom should I vote? …

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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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Whoever Would Use Whomever: Read On

Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2017, at 11:31 pm

Two weeks ago we discussed Americans’ odd fondness for whom. It’s a word that few really understand, but it just sounds so darned cosmopolitan. If we’re infatuated with whom, we’re over the moon about whomever. You hear it everywhere. People love saying it—right or wrong. Just recently, a major American newspaper ran a headline that said “… whomever …

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Whom Abuse Is Rampant

Posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2017, at 9:17 am

To continue our series on who, whom, whoever, and whomever, today we bring you a Tom Stern classic from September 2013. Consider the humble pronoun. It seems that fewer and fewer Americans know when to say “she” or “he” or “me” instead of “her,” “him,” or “I.” It used to be that little Gloria would run home and …

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Sentence Subjects: Looking Past Nouns and Strict Verb Agreement

Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, at 12:58 am

Sentence subjects are typically obvious in English grammar. Many are nouns, and they take corresponding plural or singular verbs. How then do we identify and explain the parts of speech in the following sentences? 1. Buying houses and flipping them has been netting him a small fortune. 2. To be alone is to find true …

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Whoever vs. Whomever

Posted on Wednesday, November 8, 2017, at 11:36 am

In the "English Rules" section of our GrammarBook.com website, and in our blog post Who vs. Whom, you will find our simple explanation for determining whether to use who or whom. Briefly, this is the trick: who = he (subject pronouns) whom = him (object pronouns) Example: Who/Whom is at the door? He is at the door. Example: For who/whom should I vote? …

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Commonly Confused Words That Bring Bumps to Writing

Posted on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, at 9:07 am

The English language—its words, its structure, its stylistic possibilities—is rich, descriptive, and versatile. It can communicate with precision and convey vivid, persuasive thoughts and ideas. At times, it can also confuse. Those not familiar with the nuanced or multiple meanings of many English words and the finer points of grammar can sometimes trip where they’re …

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