Grammar |
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Whoever vs. Whomever

Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2007, at 9:41 pm

In the "English Rules" section of our website,, you will find our simple explanation for determining whether to use who or whom. Briefly, this is the trick: who = he (subject pronouns) whom = him (object pronouns) Example: Who/Whom is at the door? He is at the door. Example: For who/whom should I vote? …

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When to Add s to a Verb

Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2007, at 8:44 pm

Our review of English verbs has included discussion of when to add es to a verb. You might also wonder when to add s to the end of a verb. With verbs, only those with a third-person singular noun or pronoun (he, she, boat, courage) as a subject add an s to the end. Verbs with plural nouns and …

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Writing Numbers

Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2007, at 4:33 am

Deciding whether to write numbers as numerals or as number words is a matter of style. The style for a literary publication may differ from the style for a journalistic publication. The key in all cases is to use a consistent style throughout your writing. Many publishers of literary works, such as literary journals and …

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Good vs. Well

Posted on Friday, April 6, 2007, at 11:07 pm

Good is an adjective while well is an adverb answering the question how. Sometimes well also functions as an adjective pertaining to health. Examples: You did a good job. Good describes job, which is a noun, so good is an adjective. You did the job well. Well is an adverb describing how the job was …

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You Could Look It Up

Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007, at 2:06 pm

I hope you enjoy this. Thanks to Peter H. for sending it. There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that word is up. It's easy to understand up, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, …

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What Is a Gerund and Why Care?

Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007, at 6:00 pm

What is a gerund and why do you need to know? Maybe it would be better to answer the second part of the question first so that you have some motivation to identify gerunds. If you are able to pick the gerund(s) out in your sentence, you will avoid a grammar gaffe that often goes …

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Quotations Within Quotations

Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007, at 1:18 am

Almost all of us have found ourselves confused with double and single quotation marks. When do we use single quotation marks? Where does the punctuation go with single quotation marks? With just a few rules and examples, you will feel surer about your decisions. How to Quote a Quote Rule: Use single quotation marks inside …

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Capitalization of Job Titles

Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007, at 12:14 am

With capitalization of job titles, there are rules and then there is the “rule.” The rules are based on some precedent while the “rule” is based on ego. Let’s go over the rules that have precedent first. Rule: Capitalize job titles immediately preceding the name when used as part of the name. Example: We asked …

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Continual vs. Continuous

Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007, at 12:05 am

Continual means repeated but with breaks in between; chronic. Example: The continual problem of our car's not starting forced us to sell it. Continuous means without interruption in an unbroken stream of time or space. Example: The continuous dripping of the faucet drove me crazy.

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