Grammar

  1. “Use To” vs. “Used To”: What’s The Difference?

    Remember as kids when we used to look forward to summer break every year? Unfortunately as we get older, we don’t have this mandated chunk of time off from work every year. But did we use to count down the days until school was out? Or did we used to look forward to the last day of school each year? Despite the minor difference—literally just …

  2. Brackets vs. Parentheses: How to Use Them

    Though these symbols—( ), [ ], { }, and ? ?—regularly appear in our books and screens, they all have odd, unexpected origins. Let’s explore them a bit closer and find out their actual names, too! What are brackets? If you’ve ever seen these keys on your computer: { }, [ ], or < >, well then you know where all of the types of …

  3. Do We Need The Oxford Comma? Here Are 9 Hilarious Real-World Examples

  4. Punctuation Marks You Should Consider Using

    We’re all familiar with commas, periods, hyphens, and the like. Although semicolons can be confusing, we pretty much know what we’re doing when we punctuate a sentence. But don’t you get a little bored using the same old marks? Do you ever find yourself searching for the perfect way to convey a certain mood? As you’ll see, extra punctuation marks have been suggested at various …

  5. When Do You Use “Who” vs. “Whom”?

    Over the last 200 years, the pronoun whom has been on a steady decline. Despite its waning use in speech and ongoing speculation about its imminent extinction, whom still holds a spot in the English language, particularly in formal writing. Understanding when and how to use this pronoun can set your writing apart. If whom is on the decline, then who must be growing in popularity. The two—as …

  6. How To Make Words That End In “S” Possessive

    Second only to the use of the Oxford comma, the creation of possessives for words ending in S and the S sound is one of the most hotly debated grammar topics in the English language. The issue isn’t as cut and dried as some grammar rules, such as what punctuation is used to end a declarative sentence. (A period. Why can’t all grammar rules be this …

  7. 6 Common Types Of Punctuation Marks

    What happens when you mix up your punctuation? Well, there’s a million hilarious examples of grammatical mixups that point out the difference between—for example, Let’s eat Grandma vs. Let’s eat, Grandma. There’s even a grammar book named after the phrase eats shoots and leaves, which is what a panda does (as opposed to eats, shoots, and leaves). What a difference a comma can make! But …

  8. Using Italics To Add Emphasis To Your Writing

    If you’re thinking of using italics to emphasize words, keep in mind that the type of writing you do—and what style guide you follow—will determine how you use italics. Italics are typically used to show emphasis (For example: “I don’t care what he thinks. I do what I want!”) or to indicate titles of stand-alone works (Black Panther, Lost in Translation). Different style guides have …

  9. What Are Good Transition Words?

    Imagine this: you’re writing an essay and just jotted down a particularly insightful point. You’ve backed it up with examples, and are feeling pretty good about your work … so, what comes next? If you answered, “a transition word,” you’re right! Transition words do the hard work of connecting one sentence or paragraph to the next. A transition—which sometimes requires a phrase or full sentence—can …

  10. 10 Types Of Nouns Used In The English Language

    Nouns come in a lot of different shapes and sizes. The major ones are common nouns, proper nouns, abstract nouns, and collective nouns. What is a noun? A noun is a person, place, or thing. The category of things may sound super vague, but in this case it means inanimate objects, abstract concepts, and activities. Phrases and other parts of speech can also behave like nouns …