Grammar |
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Premise or Premises: Which Word Should You Use?

Posted on Monday, June 12, 2023, at 6:00 am

Premise and premises are similarly spelled and, in the midst of writing or speech, can be interchanged in ways that let them weave in and out of our writing and speech with the glide of a professional skier. Can you separate one from the other? If not, you'll gain insight here as we distinguish premise …

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Apocope Definition and Examples

Posted on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, at 6:00 am

We often use language techniques and functions in our writing and speech with such familiarity that we might not even know what they are nor what we're applying. As one more-recognizable example, when we merge will with not to form won't, we are contracting the words. Another operation we use with instinct but perhaps not …

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What Is An Affix?

Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, at 6:00 am

Many of us have heard of prefixes and suffixes along the way in learning English grammar. Prefixes and suffixes both belong to a larger category, the affix. An affix is any bound morpheme attached to a root word to form a new word or word form with a new meaning. Because they are morphemes, affixes …

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Getaway or Get Away: Which Word Do You Want to Use?

Posted on Monday, May 22, 2023, at 6:00 am

Do you know the difference between getaway (one word) and get away (two words)? Even native speakers of American English might get crossed up with these expressions, so we'll look at each version and how to use it precisely. That way, you won't wonder if you're getting away with using the incorrect version. Let's get …

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Nominal Number: Definition and Examples

Posted on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at 6:00 am

We are familiar with numbers and the function they serve: We use and look at them just about every day. Recognizable enough in our checkbooks and calculators, numbers also have their own categories in writing. For example, the following sentences contain both ordinal and cardinal numbers: 1. Donetta took first place in the spelling bee. …

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Burned vs. Burnt: Which Is Grammatically Correct?

Posted on Monday, May 8, 2023, at 6:00 am

If you leave something in the oven for too long, it's probably going to burn. That's frustrating, but even worse is having to make a note about it later. Was your food burned, or was it burnt? What's the distinction between the words? In this quick post, we'll discuss the differences between burned and burnt …

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How to Use Only Correctly

Posted on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, at 6:00 am

Any language has its accepted daily misuses, even as they miff the grammatical purist. In English, we might often deal in statements with solecisms such as: Please inform Sheila and I about the tickets. I must of left my backpack on the bus. Every dog has it's day. We're still in awe of the enormity …

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What Is a Sentence Modifier?

Posted on Wednesday, April 26, 2023, at 6:00 am

A modifier is a word, phrase, or clause used to provide additional information in a sentence. The information is not vital to the sentence's meaning, but it often gives details that offer readers extra clarity. Examples I love when Samantha wears that jacket. Josef waited patiently for two hours. Kathy plans to work as a …

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What Is the Plural of Money?

Posted on Monday, April 24, 2023, at 6:00 am

We all want more money, but having lots of it stuffed into one sentence can become a grammatical issue. A common question we receive concerns how to treat the plural of money. In this review, we'll get to the bottom of how to treat money when we're referring to more than a single bill in …

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Should We Use There Is and There Are?

Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2023, at 6:00 am

There are too many orange M&Ms in this bowl. There is a lot of congestion on I-88 into the city. There's a piece of confetti in your hair. If you're an American communicating in American English, such statements are as common as corn in the Midwest. There is, there are, and the contracted there's are …

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