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Grammar Blog

Welcome to the blog, where you’ll find a wealth of information about grammar and writing in American English. Bookmark this page for quick and easy access to our most current newsletter as well as recent articles. You can also search for your subject of interest or choose from our popular grammar and punctuation categories.

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Adverbial Examples: What They Are and How to Use Them

Posted on Monday, April 25, 2022, at 6:00 am

Are you familiar with adverbials? If you're interested in knowing more about what they are and how they're used, we can help you refine that part of your grammar. In this discussion we'll review adverbials and provide examples to reinforce your understanding. Let's begin with the definition. What Are Adverbials? A verb is an action …

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Colon vs. Semicolon

Posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2022, at 6:00 am

English provides us with punctuation as a system of symbols and signs that allow us to structure, pace, and clarify communication. When used correctly, punctuation contributes to succinct and persuasive writing (the word punctuation originates from the Latin punctuare, which means “making a point”). When used incorrectly, it can confuse and even repel our readers. …

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What Is a Noun Clause?

Posted on Monday, April 18, 2022, at 6:00 am

American English grammar includes many components we use every day but may not always examine. For instance, you probably say, write, and hear noun clauses constantly even if you wouldn't be instantly ready to explain what they are. In this article we'll review the definition of a noun clause. We'll also look at its parts …

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Writing Zip Codes

Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, at 6:00 am

We at times receive questions concerning the proper way to address outbound mail and, in particular, use zip codes. Because your goal and ours is to achieve precision in writing, we'll take a closer look at zip codes and how you can treat them in your correspondence. What Is a ZIP Code? Zip codes today …

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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. 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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