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The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Cacti or Cactuses: What’s the Plural of Cactus?

Posted on Monday, April 11, 2022, at 6:00 am

Suppose you are writing a science-fiction novel in which spiky plants come to life in the desert. They uproot themselves and begin pursuing your hero. As they bear down, how would you refer to them: as cacti, cactuses, or something else? In other words, what's the plural of cactus? The Plural of Cactus The origin …

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The Plural of Octopus: Are We Using Proper English?

Posted on Friday, April 8, 2022, at 6:00 am

An octopus is a marine cephalopod mollusk that has a soft body and eight arms. What word should we use if we are referring to more than one of these invertebrate animals? Two Ways to Spell the Plural of Octopus Unlike many words in the English language, the word octopus has more than one spelling …

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American vs. British English: Verbs

Posted on Wednesday, April 6, 2022, at 6:00 am

Along the way we've enjoyed exploring some of the colorful qualities of American English and its immediate relatives in the U.K. and Commonwealth countries, such as in our discussions of spelling, vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation. In this review, we'll consider some different ways American and British English use verbs. American vs. British English Verbs: Spelling …

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Possessive Adjectives

Posted on Monday, April 4, 2022, at 6:00 am

If you write and speak in English, you surely use possessive adjectives even if you're not always aware that you are. Further understanding verbal components gives you even greater insight and command in using them. In this discussion, we'll review what possessive adjectives are and look at several proper examples of them. What Are Possessive …

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English Grammar in 2022: Make Way for the March of Emojis

Posted on Friday, April 1, 2022, at 6:00 am

English, like any language, is a body in constant motion. We maintain a system of grammar and syntax to give it an understood structure and clarity, yet we also recognize that language adapts as times and people change. GrammarBook.com has always advocated for proper principles of grammar in daily formal writing. At the same time, …

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What’s the Difference Between a Dash and an Ellipsis?

Posted on Wednesday, March 30, 2022, at 6:00 am

The dash (—) and the ellipsis (…) are two useful tools for writing in English. Each mark gives us the means to add pacing and patterns of thought that follow how we often think and speak. However, one mark's functions can sometimes be confused for the other's. We'll look at how to use the marks …

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What Are Prepositional Phrases?

Posted on Monday, March 28, 2022, at 6:00 am

Many of us may have learned about prepositional phrases in school, but unless we are writers, editors, or teachers, we might not think about them often even though we use them every day. In this brief discussion, we'll review what prepositional phrases are and look at some reinforcing examples. What Is a Preposition? A preposition …

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Commas in Lists

Posted on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, at 6:00 am

American English is rife with details concerning written style. One common item concerns how to punctuate lists and particularly whether to include commas in them. In this review, we'll consider ways you can approach presenting content in lists. Our focus will be on lists in a vertical format as opposed to in sentence form (e.g., …

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You and I or You and Me: Which Is Correct?

Posted on Monday, March 21, 2022, at 6:00 am

Even those who pay attention to grammar can allow certain inaccuracies to slip in, particularly in informal communication. One of the most prevalent grammatical errors appears in how we apply phrases such as you and I and you and me. Writers and speakers might use one or the other to sound articulate and yet be …

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What Are Intensive Pronouns?

Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2022, at 6:00 am

A reflexive pronoun in English is one that refers back to itself: myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, oneself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves. It is used when the subject and the object of a sentence are the same. It can act as either an object or an indirect object: We should finish it by ourselves. (object of a …

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