Grammar Quick Fix

It’s vs. Its

I suppose I never thought it was necessary to do this post before, but after seeing so many of my students not knowing that “its” actually exists and after seeing how many people look up the difference between the two words, it became clear that this is a necessary post. I can see how these two words are confusing, and they will most likely be a bit difficult to remember. However, this should be a pretty easy explanation, so let’s get started.

It’s

“It’s” is a contraction, which means it is a combination of two words that are made into one with More >

Cousin Itt

It vs. He/She vs. They

(For those of you who don’t know, this is Cousin Itt from the Addams Family. :-D)

My boss gave me an awesome article about pronouns and how English does not have a gender-neutral singular pronoun. It’s been a problem that has annoyed grammar-junkies everywhere. In typical conversation, these things don’t matter–and we’ll use the plural “they” as a gender neutral singular noun. In writing, this becomes problematic. You can’t use a plural pronoun to replace a singular noun. But then again, you also don’t want to omit a gender. So what do we do? How do we know what to use?

Why More >

Assume

Assume vs Presume

I tend to like using the term “presume” because I think it makes me sound smart or something silly like that. However, I couldn’t help but wonder if what I was doing was actually correct, so I decided to make a post on assume and presume. These words are used almost interchangeably now, but there are still some subtle differences between the two.

Assume

To assume is to essentially presuppose something without actually having proof of it. For example, “I assume you’ll attend the party next week.” There’s no proof that you WILL go to the party next week, but maybe you like parties or More >

who-vs-whom1

Who vs. That

I don’t know how I never thought of this topic, but luckily a friend thought of it for me, so it’s being made. This is going to be a pretty short and sweet post. These words aren’t too difficult, it’s just that many people don’t know you’re not always supposed to use “that.” So let’s begin!

Who

You use “who” when referring to a single person: “Kelly, who likes ice cream, went to the store.” Notice that the dependent clause (“who likes ice cream”) can be removed from the sentence without changing the meaning.

That

You use “that” when referring to a group or an More >

Sit Down After You Set the Table

Sit vs. Set

I had a request for “sit vs. set,” and to be honest, I’ve never thought about the two words before. I thought everyone knew the difference but apparently not, so here I am, helping you out. I can’t think of anything fun for an introduction, so let’s get right to the material.

Sit

Sit is an intransitive verb, meaning it does not need an object. I can tell a dog “Sit down” and it is a complete sentence. As such, when you say it–hopefully–the dog will plop its little booty down. You don’t need to say “I sit my butt on the More >

seesawmain

Saw vs. Seen

I had a request to do “saw” and “seen.” Most people tend to inherently know when to say “seen” or “saw.” For example, I’m sure several of you know enough not to say “I seen that movie.” The issue comes in when people try to explain WHY they don’t say that. This post is to help you better understand the difference and to help you explain it to others!

NOTE: The picture is of a see-saw! Get it?

Saw

“Saw” is the simple past tense form of “see.” It is something that happened in the past and is over and done with. More >

Uh-oh! Incorrect Possessive Usage!

Possessive Apostrophe Usage (Possessive Nouns)

I find that a lot of people understand that you use apostrophe-s to make something possessive, but there’s still a lot of confusion over how to use this combination correctly–especially with plural nouns. This post should help clear this problem up for you, and it will make me feel a little less guilty for being a horrible blogger as of late. I have a term paper due in a few days, so obviously something has to give! Read on, make me feel less guilty and learn a little something in the process!

The image…

is wrong! “Booths” is a plural noun! It’s More >

Illicit Activities!

Illicit vs. Elicit

Sorry I’ve been a little…absent…lately. I’ve been completely inundated with schoolwork for the past week and probably will be for the next two weeks. However, trying to be the wonderful little blogger that I am, I’ve managed to squeeze in some time to do a post about illicit and elicit. Let’s be frank, these words are very easy to mix up. As a matter of fact, my husband mentioned how a coworker mixed these up for an important presentation. Nothing like hearing your company is doing illicit activity! Read on to see what the person SHOULD have said. (more…)

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...Proceed.

Precede vs. Proceed

I was working on an assignment for school when I realized there was a green little squiggle under the word proceeds in Microsoft Word. Me? Make a grammatical mistake? Noooo! Never (end tongue-in-cheek humor). Ok, so anyway. I realized I used proceeds incorrectly and thus decided to do a post! Keep reading to find out if you’re making mistakes too! (more…)

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Punctuation

Punctuation and Quotations

Punctuation? Quotations? Inside? Outside? I had a friend message me recently, almost in a panic, after he saw a question mark outside quotation marks. Is that wrong? Is it right? Well what about periods, commas, colons, etc.? Today we’ll discuss the basic rules of punctuation in relation to quotation marks, and hopefully we can clear up some of those nagging questions. (more…)

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