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The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Category: Verbs

Is Stupider a Word?

Posted on Friday, June 4, 2021, at 6:00 am

A leading principle in learning grammar is that there are no stupid questions. However, there can be questions about the word stupid. That brings us to the topic of today's post: Is stupider really a word? Or would it be better grammar to say more stupid? Neither is very polite, and the answers might surprise …

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Alternate vs. Alternative: Which Word Do You Need?

Posted on Monday, May 24, 2021, at 6:00 am

You are probably familiar with the words alternate and alternative. You may have even used them interchangeably. Many native speakers of American English think the words mean the same thing, but they have slightly separate definitions and uses. Which word do you need in a particular sentence? In this article we'll give you the answers …

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Helping Verbs: Examples of Helping Verbs

Posted on Friday, May 14, 2021, at 6:00 am

Helping verbs (also referred to as modal and auxiliary verbs): Are you familiar with what they are and how they help other verbs? Whether you are or not, this grammar post will further clarify them for you. What Helping Verbs Are It's easy to pick up the verb in a simple sentence. You just look …

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Loose vs. Lose: What You Need to Know

Posted on Monday, May 3, 2021, at 6:00 am

Although they may have nearly identical spellings, loose and lose have different pronunciations and entirely separate meanings. In today's post, we will break down the meaning and usage of each word. The Meaning of Loose Loose is an adjective that means "not tight" or "not contained." Here are a few examples of loose being used …

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Transitive Verbs: What Is a Transitive Verb?

Posted on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, at 6:00 am

Most people understand what a sentence verb is: a word that expresses an action performed by a subject. English verbs are further categorized into transitive and intransitive verbs. In this discussion, we'll review what a transitive verb is and how it functions in a sentence. A transitive verb is one that expresses an action that …

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Subjunctive Mood: What Is the Subjunctive Mood?

Posted on Monday, April 19, 2021, at 6:00 am

A GrammarBook reader came across this sentence: If I were very lucky, I would get the chance to go. She asked, "Shouldn't I be followed by was, not were, since I is singular?" This is type of question is common within English grammar, particularly because it walks the line between the conditional tense and the subjunctive mood when a dependent if clause is …

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Compound Predicates

Posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, at 6:00 am

The two main components of English sentences are subjects and predicates. Together, they form clauses. The complete subject is the main part of the sentence that contains at least one noun (or noun equivalent) and all of its modifiers. The complete predicate contains at least one verb and its auxiliaries, modifiers, and completing words if …

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Aid or Aide: Which One Do You Mean?

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

The words aid and aide are spoken the same way, and the only difference in their spelling is a single e. Does that mean you can use either one? Actually, the two words have entirely different meanings and uses. We will explain them in today's short post. How to Use the Word Aid The word …

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Was vs. Were

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

While some of our articles focus on minor grammar points or innocent, common mistakes, here we want to tackle a bigger issue. Many people may struggle with the difference between was and were. Because these are both frequent words that might be used throughout the day, understanding how and when to apply each one can …

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Simple Predicates

Posted on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, at 6:00 am

The basic building blocks of an English sentence are the subject and the predicate. Together, the subject and the predicate form a clause. A Quick Review The complete subject is the main part of the sentence that contains at least one noun (or noun equivalent) and all of its modifiers. The complete predicate contains at …

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