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The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Here Is vs. Here Are

Posted on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, at 6:00 am

Many of us have probably written or spoken statements such as: Here's the keys to the car. Here are those toothpicks you asked for. Here's the ten baseball cards I owe you. Here is the article I told you about. They are common forms of expression in American English. When spoken, most of these remarks …

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Cumulative Sentence: Definition and Examples

Posted on Wednesday, November 1, 2023, at 6:00 am

Writers focused on pacing, mechanics, and style have many tools at their disposal in English. One such technique is the placement of a main clause at the beginning or end of a sentence. Placing a main (independent) clause at the end of a sentence creates what is referred to grammatically as a periodic sentence. Examples …

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Anastrophe

Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, at 6:00 am

Writing allows us extra room to infuse our expressions with an eloquence that would otherwise sound ill-suited when we're speaking. Where simple, declarative language often favors comfort and trust in conversation, techniques that are more affecting can infuse written language with style, voice, and even emotion when applied properly. One such structure is what is …

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Past Progressive Tense: Definition and Examples

Posted on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, at 6:00 am

We use verb tense in English to communicate when an action or state of being occurred. We also combine verb tense with grammatical aspect, which further indicates time-related characteristics such as the tense's duration, completion, or repetition. English has three tenses (past, present, future) and four aspects (simple, perfect, progressive, perfect progressive), creating twelve primary …

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Single Quotation Marks: Uses and Examples

Posted on Wednesday, October 4, 2023, at 6:00 am

Punctuation allows us to express ourselves to readers in clear and structured ways. It is the system by which we organize, pace, and contain written language so it does not become a chaotic crowd of loose and random thoughts. Within punctuation, the single quotation mark has particular functions. It is also a mark that can …

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What Is Aspect in Grammar?

Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, at 6:00 am

We use verbs to communicate actions. We also express their timing in the present, past,¬†or future through their tense: e.g., practice, practiced, will practice. Beyond establishing timing, we further treat verbs to indicate their open or closed nature within their tense. In other words, how does the action extend or not extend during a particular …

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Periodic Sentence: Definition and Examples

Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2023, at 6:00 am

Many of us will write for different reasons, such as to convey information, enjoy and maintain relationships, or journal our distinctive experience perceiving the people, places, and things that we see. Some of us also write from a desire to explain or create. Beyond applying good grammar, one's writing can develop its own texture and …

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Past Perfect Progressive

Posted on Wednesday, August 23, 2023, at 6:00 am

We use verb tenses in English to express if an action is in the past, present, or future. We also use what is referred to as grammatical aspect, which indicates time-related traits such as the repetition, completion, or length of an action. The four aspects are the simple tense, the perfect tense, the progressive tense, …

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Balanced Sentences: Usage and Examples

Posted on Wednesday, August 9, 2023, at 6:00 am

Expressing ourselves with words is as much nuanced art as it is refined precision and clarity. One can wield superior knowledge of grammar and verbal construction but not always reach readers with compelling rhythm and voice. The same can be said about our arrangements of words when we speak. Consider the following statements: We are …

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Criteria vs. Criterion: Is Criterion Plural?

Posted on Monday, August 7, 2023, at 6:00 am

Many of us may be aware that criteria are factors used in making a decision or ruling. At the same time, while this word is common among us, we might not always recognize the distinction between it and its singular form, criterion. If you've ever found yourself volleying between criteria and criterion, you're in the …

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