Grammar GrammarBook.com |
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Category: Pronouns

Media Watch: Subjects and Verbs, Pronouns, Vocabulary

Posted on Thursday, August 7, 2014, at 8:13 am

• From a review of an exhibition: “The society had in their possession a card imprinted with a 1872 photograph.” Two booby prizes in one sentence: society is singular, so make it “had in its possession,” not “their.” As for “a 1872 photograph,” is that the way you would say it? The misguided decision not …

Read More

Based Off Is Off Base

Posted on Monday, June 23, 2014, at 4:13 pm

Enough is enough. It’s time to blow the whistle on an obnoxious faux idiom that has the popular culture under its spell. The offending usage is based off and its alternate form, based off of. Both are everywhere. One hears and sees them constantly over the airwaves, in print, and online. A Google search yields …

Read More

When They Is a Cop-out

Posted on Monday, April 28, 2014, at 6:40 pm

Ours is a language of traps and pitfalls. Anyone serious about writing in English has to take on problems no one has ever quite solved. One of the most obstinate of these, as inescapable as it is confounding, concerns singular pronouns that have plural connotations (everyone, nobody, anyone, somebody, etc.). Even fine writers on occasion …

Read More

Media Watch: Pronouns, Effective Writing

Posted on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at 1:59 pm

Let’s zero in once more on cringe-inducers culled from recent dailies and periodicals … • Newspaper headline: “New look for a old test.” One of the principles of English you would think we all learned in third grade is that the article a goes before consonants (a pen, a hat), and the article an goes …

Read More

The Future of English?

Posted on Wednesday, January 22, 2014, at 10:57 am

The New York Times has called the author Jess Walter “ridiculously talented.” “His sentences nearly sing,” says the Los Angeles Review of Books. “One of my favorite young American writers,” says fellow novelist Nick Hornby. We agree with the critics. Walter’s 2012 best-seller Beautiful Ruins is a masterpiece. But today we’ll do a different kind …

Read More

Look Who’s Talking

Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, at 12:27 pm

On Nov. 15, a high-level government official caused quite a stir when he disparaged “white suburban moms” for resisting efforts to elevate teaching and learning in U.S. schools. “All of a sudden,” he said, “their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they …

Read More

Yet More Pronoun Pitfalls

Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013, at 1:29 pm

This is part five in a loose series detailing the difficulty of mastering pronouns. Even simple sentences can include snares that distract us from distinguishing between subjects and objects. Two weeks ago, we showed that pronouns linked by any form of the verb to be wrongly become objects in everyday English, which prefers It’s me …

Read More

Whoever Would Use Whomever: Read On

Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013, at 12:39 pm

Last week 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 …

Read More

Whom Abuse Is Rampant

Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2013, at 12:32 pm

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 tell her mother, “Me ’n’ Annie saw a walrus!” Whereupon her mom would say, “ ‘Annie and I,’ dear.” …

Read More

Its vs. It’s

Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2012, at 5:35 pm

Would you like to know the number one grammatical error? Hint: The word involved is small and it's contained in this sentence. That's right: its vs. it's Yet the two rules are actually quite easy to remember. Rule 1: When you mean it is or it has, use an apostrophe. Examples: It's a nice day. …

Read More

1 5 6 7 8