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The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

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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Transitional Words and Phrases

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

Each writer's art is the formation of voice and technique over time. The more we write, the more we find and reveal thoughts and words connected only as we might convey them. The more we study and apply the principles for shaping good writing, the more eloquent and precise we can become. Writing differs from …

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Envy vs. Jealousy: What’s the Difference?

Posted on Monday, July 24, 2023, at 6:23 pm

Many of us can agree that envy and jealousy are typically undesirable emotions: The words' mere utterance often indicates that something might be amiss. At the same time, some English speakers might sometimes mistake one word for the other or simply use them interchangeably. We'll explain their differences here. That way, none of us will …

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Verbals: Definition & Examples

Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, at 6:00 am

English includes words that look and sound like verbs but are not serving a sentence as such. You likely hear them often: You said you like skydiving? What about cliff jumping? The door was closed, so I couldn't hear them—their voices were muffled. Alexander said their plan is to escape. Each underlined word is an …

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Inpatient or Impatient: Which Word Is the Right One?

Posted on Monday, July 10, 2023, at 6:00 am

English includes many words with sounds and spellings so similar they become easy to confuse. Impatient and inpatient are one such pair. If you've ever found yourself tripping between impatient and inpatient, you're in the right place. We'll explain what each word means and help ensure you can distinguish the two from now on. The …

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What Is the Plural of Basis?

Posted on Monday, June 26, 2023, at 6:00 am

Can you form the plural of the word basis without scratching your head and turning to Google? Many Americans, including native speakers, may sometimes find themselves wondering about how to refer to more than one basis. In this brief review, we'll establish the correct way to write the plural of basis, as well as how …

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What Is a Cleft Sentence?

Posted on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, at 6:00 am

Clear and expressive writing in English will mainly apply the active voice, in which a lead subject performs an action by means of the verb. In developing style and voice, writers will become proficient in facets such as mood and tone and nimble variation as well. At times we also may find ourselves wanting or …

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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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