Monday, December 31, 2012

Grammar Shaming: “Who’s” Fault Is It?

There are very few things more annoying than a glaring grammar error in an otherwise acceptable piece of writing.

As lovers of language, you and I have a natural instinct to fix these errors. How do we deal, for example, with declarations that tweak our nose?

“I like her to.

Its a cold day.”

Seriously, people?!

Sometimes these grammar hiccups seem engineered to drive us up a wall, and they begin to take on a sinister quality.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Nauseous vs. Nauseated: What’s the Difference?

Even though nauseous and nauseated are often used to mean feeling unwell, many purists insist that nauseous means “causing nausea” while nauseated means “feeling sick.” Casually, it is probably OK to use both words to mean feeling ill. However, in more formal situations, use each word correctly.

Find helpful usage tips, clarifying examples, and spelling tricks below.

Usage Tips

  • Nauseating is a good substitute for nauseous when you’re talking about something that causes nausea.

Stop saying St. Patty’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! While you’re drinking green beer and counting shamrock leaves, you might end up debating a popular St. Patrick’s Day question: is it St. Patty’s Day or St. Paddy’s Day?

It’s easy to think that Patrick ought to be shortened to “Patty.” The name contains a T rather than a D, after all. However, “Paddy” comes from the Irish name Padraig, which is the reason St.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

What kind of writer are you?

This poll is part of a series that Grammarly is running aimed at better understanding how the public feels about writing, language learning, and grammar.

Please take the poll and share your thoughts in the comments. We can’t wait to hear from you!

If you are interested in more, check out last week’s poll.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Nobel Prize, Modern Shakespeare, and Tweeting Your Way to Better Writing

This week, Svetlana Alexievich broke new ground in the literary world by becoming the first journalist to win the Nobel Prize for her nonfiction writing. In other news, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has commissioned a rewrite of Shakespeare’s plays and the Internet can be both a friend and foe when it comes to your writing. Check out the full stories below:

Our Favorite Stories:

  1. 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature Winner Svetlana Alexievich’s Life and Writing, Explained (Vox)
  2. Shakespeare in Modern English? (The New York Times)
  3. How Twitter’s 140-Character Limit Made Me a Better Writer (Life Hacker)
  4. Internet Distraction: The Writer’s Main Dilemma (The Huffington Post)

Staff Book Picks of the Week:

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (A Song of Ice and Fire) (Fiction) George R.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Neat-O! Vintage Slang Words to Add to Your Modern Vocabulary

Language changes over time. The popularity of words, especially slang or words related to technology or trends, ebbs and flows. Some long-forgotten words, however, are worth resurrecting. If you’re looking to add a retro update to your vocabulary, here are a few words and phrases from the last hundred years to try out.

1920s: The cat’s meow: The best or greatest. Your iPhone case is the cat’s meow!

What Is a Common Noun?

A common noun is the generic name for a person, place, or thing in a class or group. Unlike proper nouns, a common noun is not capitalized unless it either begins a sentence or appears in a title. Common nouns can be concrete (perceptible to the senses), abstract (involving general ideas or qualities), or collective (referring to a group or collection).

All nouns can be classified as either common or proper.

Monday, December 17, 2012

POLL: What is the “scariest” writing issue that you see in professional emails?

All of us know that business emails should be professional, meaning they should be free of basic spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors. Often, however, business emails are filled with errors. For better or worse, those errors make the writer seem not only unprofessional, but often also unqualified.

What do you think? 

Let us know and cast your vote!

Friday, December 14, 2012

This Week in Writing, 8/29-9/4

Happy Friday! Once again it’s time for our weekly roundup of stories about writing, books, and authors. Have something you’d like to see us cover here? Let us know in the comment section!

Our Favorite Stories:

1 Tips for Aspiring Writers in 12 Infographics (Ebook Friendly)

2 Writing Tips from a Supreme Court Justice (Time)

3 J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Trivia Tweets (Salon)

4 Good Grammar Can Keep You Out of Trouble (Grammarly)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What Is a Protagonist?

  • Protagonist comes from a Greek word for the principal actor in a drama.
  • In modern literature, the protagonist drives the story forward by pursuing a goal.
  • The protagonist of a story is sometimes called the main character.
  • The protagonist of a story is opposed by an antagonist.

If you have ever taken a writing or literature class, you probably heard someone refer to a protagonist.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Celebrities on Twitter: Who makes more mistakes?

Grammarly recently compiled a list of the 25 most recent tweets from each of the top 150+ celebrities on Twitter, based on number of followers. Our team of proofreaders then corrected these tweets for spelling and grammar errors. Here’s a general overview of what we found:

  • Female celebrities make fewer overall writing errors (11.1 mistakes per 100 words) than male celebrities (13.0 mistakes per 100 words) on Twitter
  • Musicians are the worst writers in any category of celebrity, including politician, actor, athlete, and business leader, with an average of 14.5 mistakes per 100 words.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Thrusted? The Past Tense of Thrust

  • Thrust is the standard past tense form of the verb thrust.
  • Thrusted exists, but it is rare.

Have you ever flown in an airplane? Thrust is one of the things that makes the aircraft move in the sky. According to HowStuffWorkst, thrust is “the aerodynamic force that pushes or pulls the airplane forward through space.” Planes use jet engines or propellers to create thrust. Why the lesson in aerodynamics?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Top Student Writing Mistakes: The Real “Madness” in Higher Education

According to some estimates, March Madness costs companies up to $134 million in lost productivity — with employees streaming the tournament online, updating brackets, participating in office pools, and more.

Imagine if the United States cared as much about the quality of a school’s curriculum as we do about the caliber of its basketball team?

In keeping with the competitive spirit of the NCAA basketball championship, the Grammarly team created a “tournament” of our own.

Are gender-neutral pronouns the wave of the future?

The reader must understand that they are at the mercy of the author’s imagination.

What’s wrong with the sentence above? Some might say there is nothing at all is wrong with it. Others, however, will take issue with the use of ‘they,’ a plural pronoun, in place of the singular ‘reader.’ How can this sentence be corrected? Some would use ‘he’ in place of ‘they,’ with the understanding that masculine pronouns are a stand-in for proper nouns of either gender.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Declaration of Independence: A Lesson in Language History

Language is constantly evolving – a fact made especially clear when we take a look at historical documents and note how writing norms have shifted over the years. The further back we go, the bigger the shift. The Declaration of Independence, for example, represents a version of English that is noticeably different than that which we use to communicate today.

What are the main grammatical differences between Thomas Jefferson’s version of English and our own?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Finding a Rhyme and Reason for National Poetry Month

Academia teaches us to use proper nouns, pronouns, and punctuation, but what about other types of writing? What about types of writing, like fiction or poetry, which capture a reader in ways beyond the period or comma?

April is National Poetry Month, and a great time to help writers to answer these questions — even if in an intangible way. For example, to strict grammarians, poetry may seem as though it has no rules.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

You Can Bet Your Bottom Dollar That We Love Idioms!

In the United States, April 15 is Tax Day, the Internal Revenue Service’s tax filing deadline. While filing taxes can cause stress and frustration, language lovers can find some solace in these creative idioms about money. Here are three of our favorites:

Bet one’s bottom dollar Your “bottom dollar” is the last dollar you have. If you’re betting your bottom dollar, you’re probably very sure that what you’re betting on will turn out the way you think it will.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

6 Quick Tips for Writing Emails That Actually Get Things Done

How many emails do you send per day? With over 200 billion emails going out every single day, there’s a good chance at least a couple of them are coming from you. But if you’re not structuring your emails properly, you may be making both your and your recipient’s lives more difficult than they need to be.

Whether you’re asking for customer support, planning a party, or sending a work email, the following tips will help you craft efficient and effective emails that actually get things done.

Monday, November 26, 2012

According to our Facebook friends, learning grammar in school is important

It seems that people not only care about using grammar, but also about using it correctly. 

(Photo source:

On Monday, we ran an informal poll on our Facebook page. After a recent article in the Huffington post discussing an increased demand for grammar study in education, we asked our followers: “Do you think studying grammar in school is important?” The results were unsurprising, but overwhelmingly one-sided.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Separate vs. Seperate

Along with loose and definitely, separate is one of the most commonly misspelled words in the English language. Separate can be an adjective or a verb. As an adjective, it means set apart, distinct, or not related. As a verb, it means to to set apart, to distinguish, or to divide. Separate is often misspelled as seperate, a word that has no meaning and is simply a misspelling:

They took two separate rooms.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gist or Jist?

  • Gist means “essence” or “the main point.”
  • In a legal context, gist is the grounds of a legal action.
  • Jist is a common misspelling of gist.

If you’ve only heard the word gist aloud, you might not know how to spell it. Both gist and jist might seem like good choices, but one of them is not.

Definition of Gist

When we say we want to get the gist of something, we’re talking about its essence or main point:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

5 More Endangered Words

New words come into use, old words slowly fade away. It’s a natural, all-too-familiar cycle. We’ve already covered words that may be headed toward extinction. Here are five more words in various stages of endangerment. But, who knows? Maybe some of them can still be saved—but should we save all of them?

Tag isn’t a word that’ll disappear anytime soon, as long as things still cost money and come with price tags.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Whilst vs. While—Which Is Correct?

Whilst and while are two words with identical meanings—usually. But you can’t always use whilst instead of while.

Typically, Brits use whilst and Americans use while. That’s the main difference. When used as a conjunction or an adverb, while and whilst are interchangeable:

There wasn’t much Stanley could do while he waited.

There wasn’t much Stanley could do whilst he waited.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What is a Reflexive Pronoun?

Reflexive pronouns are words ending in -self or -selves that are used when the subject and the object of a sentence are the same (e.g., I believe in myself). They can act as either objects or indirect objects. The nine English reflexive pronouns are myself, yourself, himself, herself, oneself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, and themselves.

Grammatical terms might seem complicated and a bit arbitrary when you first hear them, but they really aren’t, once you get to know them.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Freelancers–You Can Move Past Burnout. Here’s How.

It might start out resembling a normal workday.

Being a freelance writer is easy, and nothing ever goes wrong, you tell yourself.

You’re there. The requisite coffee is there. The well-worn keyboard sits just below the screen, which pulses steadily with notifications of various tasks, deadlines, and expectations. You’re used to this. Some part of you might even feed on it.

But then, something abnormal happens.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Comma Before Which

  • Use a comma before which when it introduces a nonrestrictive phrase.
  • Don’t use a comma before which when it’s part of a prepositional phrase, such as “in which.”
  • Don’t use a comma before which when it introduces an indirect question.

Comma Before Which in Nonrestrictive Phrases

A nonrestrictive phrase adds a little bit of extra (but not essential) information about a noun phrase that you’ve already mentioned in your sentence.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What Is the Singular They, and Why Should I Use It?

Last year, Grammarly polled our social audiences to see if they supported gender-neutral pronoun usage. The results were a bit surprising: more than half of the audience polled felt that the idea of gender-neutral pronouns was a nonstarter.

With this knowledge, I’d like to make an appeal to our audience: consider the singular they. Language has changed a lot in the last year, with the singular they being voted the most important word of the year, and numerous dictionaries adding gender-neutral usage notes.

3 Poems You Can Memorize and Recite (to Impress Your Friends)

Reading poetry is a wonderful experience, but have you ever memorized and recited a poem? Saying the words aloud gives the poem new life and highlights some of the nuances in the language. Here are three short poems you can memorize and recite for your friends and family.

“First Fig” by Edna St. Vincent Millay My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends— It gives a lovely light.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

“Which World Leader Do You Write Like?” Quiz

You have greatness in you. Cultivating it often takes role models, mentors, and loads of hard work. This fun quiz will help you find out which famous world leader you most resemble in your writing and may help you find an inspiring role model.

What world leader did you get? What others do you look up to?

Monday, November 5, 2012

What’s your opinion about academic writing standards?

Academic writing is the epitome of formality and requires generally strict adherence to various style guides—usually a different standard for each subject. Should academic writing and English remain strict and formal, or is it time to relax the rules a bit?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

How Grammar Influences Legal Interpretations

Grammar is important, but it’s not a matter of life or death. Or is it? How does grammar influence the legal system? Researchers decided to find out by conducting an experiment. Does the wording of the description of a murder affect whether jurors classify a crime as first- or second-degree murder? According to their findings, “legal judgments can be affected by grammatical aspect but [most significantly] limited to temporal dynamics… In addition, findings demonstrate that the influence of grammatical aspect on situation model construction and evaluation is dependent upon the larger linguistic and semantic context.” In other words, grammar plays a part, but the study participants also paid attention to context when making their decisions.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Canceled or Cancelled?

This word is a student’s best friend and a concert-goer’s most dreaded nightmare. Take these two signs:

Snow day: school canceled.

Drummer has food poisoning: performance cancelled.

So, which spelling is correct? The answer depends on where you call home.

Canceled or cancelled is the past tense of the verb to cancel. Both spellings are correct; Americans favor canceled (one L), while cancelled (two Ls) is preferred in British English and other dialects.

Monday, October 29, 2012

You’ll Never Guess the Origins of These 3 Bizarrely Spelled English Words

English is linguistically categorized as a West Germanic language. Though it is now the most widely spoken language in the world, English actually got a pretty small start.

In the fifth century, many related Germanic dialects fused together, collectively becoming what is now known as Old English. These dialects were brought to the eastern coast of England by Germanic settlers and eventually gained a stronghold in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England in what is now southeast Scotland.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Colossal List of Creators to Inspire Your Writing

Whether you write novels, blogs, marketing content, news articles, movies, social media posts, transcripts for podcasts, or something that we don’t even know about yet, you probably sometimes feel the need for inspiration. Maybe you could use some tips on reaching a wider audience. If you work freelance, maybe you’re in search of some ideas for expanding your business. Or perhaps you’re in the market for a new set of skills—web design, marketing strategy, new media, you name it.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Relax, Grammar Pedant. Everything You Know Is Wrong

Rules are rules, and they exist for a reason. They create order and minimize uncertainty. They are necessary because nothing would work without them. But some people don’t seem to understand that.

They don’t understand why it’s bad to split your infinitives, or why you shouldn’t start a sentence with a conjunction, or why you can’t end it with a preposition. Some people just don’t care.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What to Do When Someone Takes Credit for Your Work

You feel great after finishing a project, but then someone else takes the credit. What should you do? If you lose your cool, you could lose your job. Don’t run the risk! Let’s look at three scenarios and some strategies that can help you turn a bad situation into a favorable one.

The Passive Praise Stealer

You collaborate with a coworker on a project. Later, you overhear your boss commend your colleague: “What a fantastic job!

Friday, October 19, 2012

7 Awesome and Underused Scrabble Words

If a perfect game for competitive wordsmiths exists, Scrabble is it. Not only does the game allow you to flex your vocabulary muscles, it also encourages you to use key strategies to increase your score. When you play these seven underused words, you’ll have a winning chance at an all-time Scrabble high score.


One of the easiest ways to score big with Scrabble is to use one or more of the highest-ranked letter tiles.

14 People Who May Love Books More Than You Do

Loving books is not a competition. There’s no such thing as a bookworm grand prix. But then again, it’s hard not to notice that some people are bigger bookworms than others or are expressing their love of books in ways that other people might find a little bit too out there. From creating elaborate reading corners and having tattoos of books to building bookshelves that spell “worm” and simply having a lot of books on a to-read list, people celebrate their love of books in many different, creative ways.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Brick-and-Mortar Bookstores Are Bringing Their A-Game: Help Spread the Love

Do you love being able to walk into your local bookstore and actually pick up a book and look through its pages?

The boom in e-reader and tablet sales are creating stiff competition for brick and mortar bookstores. Just as the corporate chains threatened to gobble up the independent competition in the pre-tablet, today’s digital media giants threaten brick and mortar merchants. Bookstore owners and managers are forced to think outside of the proverbial box in order to find creative ways of marketing their tangible wares for a public increasingly drawn to cloud storage and digital copies.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

3 Punctuation Mistakes That Can Make You Look Like A Cannibal

1. Eat your dinner. vs Eat. You’re dinner.

Normal: Eat your dinner. Cannibalistic: Eat. You’re dinner.

That apostrophe (‘) is important! There are often a lot of hilarious (sometimes scary) sentences that come about when people confuse “your” and “you’re.” To avoid looking like a creep, it’s best to remember that your is the possessive form of you. It functions just like my does in relation to me.

Friday, October 12, 2012

How to Clean Up Your Resume After a Work Break

Honesty is the best policy. This old adage proves true in many situations. According to, truthful job seekers project confidence and a sense of integrity, qualities that employers highly value. However, have you ever met someone who is too candid? TMI is an acronym for too much information. For certain, you do not want potential employers to be reminded of these three letters when they read your resume.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Does what you read influence how you write?

The Grammarly team is growing quickly, which means that we’re writing a lot of job descriptions to help us recruit top talent. One recent job post stated: “Salary will be commensurate with experience.”

Commensurate . . . commensurate . . . commensurate . . .

Perhaps you know what that word means; you may even understand how to use it in the context of a sentence. However, if you are like me, you have no idea how to actually say it aloud.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

3 Things Introverts Feel on Valentine’s Day

Oh, Valentine’s Day—the holiday of love and romance! Or, at least, it’s supposed to be. For me, as a strong introvert with generalized anxiety, holidays are pretty much like those “Mystery Gifts” you bought at dollar stores as a kid. Expectations for awesomeness bloom in your head, only to wither away under a hodgepodge of mediocrity. It’s not all bad, though. Here are a few things that introverts feel on Valentine’s Day and some thoughts on what to do about it.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Catalog vs. Catalogue

  • Catalogue and catalog are both acceptable spellings.
  • Catalog is most popular in American English.
  • Catalogue is the most common form in other parts of the world.

Some stores compile lists of products you can buy from them. These lists (often in book form) are sometimes accompanied by descriptions and photos of the products. You may see this book described as either a catalog or a catalogue.

Practice or Practise–Which Spelling Is Right?

Practice with a C or practise with an S—which spelling is correct? In American English, practice is always right. In British English, whether practice or practise is the correct choice depends on its role in the sentence. How can you know which form to use?

In American English, practice may function as a noun or a verb. Regardless of its role in the sentence, the correct spelling is always practice with a C.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Is It Honor or Honour?

The notion of honor varies greatly from one culture to another. Ideas about what it means to have it, how to obtain it, and how to preserve are studied by sociologists and anthropologists. But here we’ll be studying how to spell it. Here’s the deal: you can write honor in your college paper, or honour in your university test, and in both cases you’d be correct. But some might frown if you do it the other way around, because there is a slight difference between the two spellings that has nothing to do with the meaning of the word itself: Honor is the preferred spelling in American English and is pronounced ˈä-nər; Honour is the preferred spelling in British English and is pronounced /ˈɒnə/.

Monday, October 1, 2012

5 Books for Understanding Women’s History

Close your eyes. Can you picture the significant women in your life? The images of women whom you interacted with during your lifetime are vivid, but what about those who lived in generations past? Even when no physical traces survive, we can still envision them. How so? Notice how Emily Dickinson gave a glimpse of her physical appearance: “I had no portrait, now, but am small, like the Wren, and my Hair is bold, like the Chestnut Bur – and my eyes, like the Sherry in the Glass, that the Guest leaves – Would this do just as well?” Can you see her in her words?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Offline and Online, Poor Spelling “Spells” Trouble for Men Looking for Love

Is grammar a game changer for people who are looking for love?

Imagine you’re sitting at a bar and an attractive stranger passes you a hastily scribbled note on a napkin. In addition to that person’s phone number, the note includes one of the following messages:

Its destiny that we met.

UR my soul mate.

Your beautiful.

Their isn’t a doubt in my mind that we will spend the rest of our lives together.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

5 Foundational Writers in Women’s History

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court justice and feminist, said, “I would like in my lifetime to see women get fired up about the Equal Rights Amendment.” Under the US Constitution, women are guaranteed the right to vote; the ERA would guarantee equal rights in all other areas of the law regardless of sex, but it isn’t part of the US Constitution yet. Ginsburg’s eighty-third birthday is on the 15th of March, which is also Women’s History Month, and the perfect time to ask: are we fired up yet?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Are You Sending Emoji or Emojis?

What do you call those tiny pictures we all use in texts and chats? Do you opt for the Japanese-inspired “emoji” or the English-focused “emojis”?

The debate between these two pluralizations of emoji has been raging for almost as long as emojis have existed. To quote Bustle writer Lucia Peters, the answer to this question is both “incredibly simple and unexpectedly complicated.”

The Short Answer—Emojis

The Associated Press took a hard stand on this issue in March 2013, making it one of the first style guides to draw a line in the sand in favor of “emojis.” Since then, major publications like The Atlantic and The New York Times have mostly adopted this spelling as well, and the emoji-tracking dictionary Emojipedia has officially supported the “-s” pluralization for ease of use.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Center or Centre–Which Is Right?

Do you speak British or American English? Depending on your answer, you may differ on which spellings you favor.

Center and centre have the same meaning. Center is the correct spelling in American English, but British English writers usually prefer centre. Notice that center (and centre) can be a noun, adjective, or a verb. Seeing the two words in real-life examples may help you to visualize how to use them.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

How to Avoid Overusing Adverbs

Overuse of adverbs

The boy ran really fast to catch the runaway ball.

The boy sprinted to catch the runaway ball.

Adverbs—those words that often end in -ly—modify verbs. They’re okay once in a while, but in excess they’re an indicator of weak verb choices. In our example, the adverb “really fast” modifies the verb “ran.” But does “really fast” paint a more vivid word-picture for the reader?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What language skill do you wish you knew more about?

This poll is part of a series that Grammarly is running aimed at better understanding how the public feels about writing, language learning, and grammar.

Please take the poll and share your thoughts in the comments. We can’t wait to hear from you!

If you are interested in more, check out last week’s poll.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Read Today or Pay Tomorrow: Celebrating International Children’s Book Day

Guest post by David Dotson of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Dolly Parton has taught me lots of lessons over the past 16 years:

Be proud of who you are.

To reach your goals you may have to step around people or step over people, but never step on people.

Count your blessings more often than you count your money.

Yet the greatest gift she gave me was the gift of reading. I stepped into a situation in which she told me that she wanted to share her Imagination Library with children all over the world.

Friday, September 14, 2012

How to Create Sharp Angles in Your Writing

This assignment should be no problem. In fact, it’ll be a blast. What could go wrong? Suppose for a moment that all you have to do is write a children’s song about otters.

The trouble is, there are so many scintillating facts about otters that it’s hard to know where to begin. Do you start with general info—that they’re highly adorable four-legged carnivorous swimmers? Or do you zero in on something more specific?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What Does It Mean to “Pore Over” Something?

This one’s pretty easy: pouring something over a book would mean spilling something on it. Poring over a book means reading it with great attention. “Pour” and “pore” are never interchangeable; they are two completely different words.

There’s a well of spelling mistakes in the English language that never seems to dry up. A bump on the road that keeps tripping people and never seems to be fixed.

Is formal writing too formal?

This poll is part of a series that Grammarly is running aimed at better understanding how the public feels about writing, language learning, and grammar.

Please take the poll and share your thoughts in the comments. We can’t wait to hear from you!

If you are interested in more, check out last week’s poll.

Monday, September 10, 2012

All the Best Writing from the 2017 NBA Finals

For the second time in three seasons, the Golden State Warriors can lay claim to being NBA Champions after they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 4-1, in the 2017 NBA Finals. Kevin Durant played a pivotal role for the Warriors’ championship run, averaging 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game on his way to being named NBA Finals MVP.

But there’s more to the story than the opening paragraph of this piece.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

8 Ways to Hack Your Email (With Fun)

You’re not likely to count emailing as one of your top ten favorite pastimes. But you might change your mind after you read this article! Here are eight amazing ways to make your email experience enjoyable.

Challenge Your Friends to a Game

According to, the very first correspondence chess game might date back to a competition between the Byzantine emperor and the caliph of Baghdad in the ninth century.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

8 Email Tips for Introverts

According to the Myers-Briggs Foundation, you are an introvert if you feel most comfortable focusing on “your own inner world.” External world activities, such as talking with people directly or on the phone, prove challenging. While emailing may seem less intense, it has its challenges too. These eight tips are specially designed to make emailing as painless as possible for introverts.

Monday, September 3, 2012

6 Grammatically Questionable Epitaphs

Gravestones are meant to live on long after the person they represent has passed. It’s important to make sure they’re both well-deserved celebrations of life and completely accurate, since correcting these stones can be an arduous and expensive process. In honor of “Plan Your Epitaph Day,” which took place yesterday, here are six famous examples of epitaphs with grave spelling or grammatical errors.

Friday, August 31, 2012

5 Ways To Write Better Poems

Poetry is a strange medium. It’s both heavily critiqued and profoundly subjective. A poem can be as timeless as the best classical literature or it might only ever move one reader. When a format is so artistic and personal, it seems absurd to impose rules or suggest ways in which one poem is objectively better than another. Nonetheless, there are certain ways in which a poet can make her own work the best it can be, regardless of how it compares to the mainstream.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

For Team Members at Automated Proofreading Company, Email Presents a Major Challenge*

San Francisco, Calif. — Most consumer Internet startups focus on gaining funding, accessing top talent, or providing Google-esque perks, but a Bay Area automated proofreading company is navigating a different set of issues.

“I am terrified to send emails,” said a team member at “Because I work with a company dedicated to improving written communication, all of my email is subject to intense scrutiny.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Happily Ever After, or Not: The Influence of Mother Goose

May 1 is Mother Goose Day, established in 1987 by Gloria T. Delamar upon the publication of her book, Mother Goose; From Nursery to Literature.

The day is a time for reflecting on fairy tales, acting them out, making and wearing Mother Goose costumes, or reading fairy tales aloud. It also could be a time to consider how much these stories have influenced modern writing. Of course, this includes works such as Gregory Maguire’s Wicked series, based on L.

Monday, August 27, 2012

7 Irish Proverbs Adopted Into Pop Culture

When Saint Patrick’s Day rolls around, everyone embraces a little Irish spirit. Sporting shamrocks and shillelaghs and wearing a bit o’ green, friends come together to celebrate this most Celtic tradition — and no one celebrates like the Irish!

Given the enthusiasm with which America endorses this holiday, perhaps it’s no surprise that Irish culture has blended so happily with American pop culture.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Writing in the Voice of Me

Guest post from Tilia Klebenov Jacobs 

“My book is about, um, me.  Is that okay?”

This is the question I get most often when I teach novel-writing classes.  And I say go for it, because every novelist is a memoirist and every memoirist is a novelist.  Even the most earnest nonfiction writer must of necessity apply a little fiction here and there, if only because she probably wasn’t taking notes on that watershed conversation thirty years ago.  By contrast, the novelist can create a completely fictional character, but as often as not writes about himself.  Far from being a cop-out, this can add richness to one’s prose.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Confusing Words: Versus vs. Verses


meaning against (especially in sports and legal use); as opposed to, in contrast to. (Often abbreviated as vs.) For example:

The rivalry of the Green Monkeys versus the Blue Barracudas has raged for years.
I’m weighing the pros and cons of the white-and-gold dress versus the blue-and-black dress.


meaning a kind of writing arranged with a metrical rhythm, typically having a rhyme; small sections of the Jewish or Christian Bible; several similar units of a song.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Grammar Basics: When to Use I or Me?

Mistakes with objective pronouns often occur when we have to choose between you and me and you and I. Because you is the same in both the subjective and the objective case, people get confused about I and me. The way to check this is to remove the second-person pronoun.

When he’s finished reading the book, he’ll give it to you or I.

If the sentence read “…he’ll give it to I,” we would know that “I” is wrong.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

7 Star Wars Leadership Lessons

May the Fourth be with you!

Today may be a day dedicated to puns, fandom, and a galaxy far, far away, but it probably doesn’t mean you’ve suddenly learned a Jedi mind trick to keep your manager from asking for that project, presentation, or report. If you’re like me, you’re trapped at work, wishing you could be cosplaying The Force Awakens with your family or baking an R2-D2 cake.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Verb Tenses–Grammar Rules

Verbs come in three tenses: past, present, and future. The past is used to describe things that have already happened (e.g., earlier in the day, yesterday, last week, three years ago). The present tense is used to describe things that are happening right now, or things that are continuous. The future tense describes things that have yet to happen (e.g., later, tomorrow, next week, next year, three years from now).

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Treasure Doving? The Past Tense of Dive

Many folks’ grammar abilities take a nosedive when it comes to this verb. After this article, that will all be in the past. But does that mean your grammar abilities nosedived, or nosedove?

Dive on in to get the details on the difference between dived and dove.

What it means and how it conjugates

To dive is an verb meaning: To swim under water To jump into water head-first To descend sharply or steeply Or, figuratively: To undertake with enthusiasm, or to plunge into a subject, question, business, etc.

Friday, August 10, 2012

5 Reasons to Have Someone Else Proof Your Resume

Guest Post from Brie Weiler Reynolds

It’s tempting, especially for those in writing professions, to assume you can proofread your own resume just as well as anyone else. After all, you know your work history, the message you’re trying to convey to employers, and how you want to convey yourself, right? There are, however, some very good reasons to have someone else proof your resume.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

6 Commonly Misheard Song Lyrics

You know that embarrassing moment when you’re part of a bar sing-along, and as you confidently wail gibberish lyrics to a classic song, the other patrons turn to look at and silently judge you for being totally clueless? Misheard lyrics, while hilarious, are a sure way to lose your credibility as a music lover. Help prevent a friend or even yourself from ruining a sing-along to a classic hit by finally learning the real lyrics to these often misquoted hits.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Comma Before Too: When Do You Use It?

You’ve likely read sentences in which there was a comma before too, but is this correct usage? Well, it depends on the intention of the writer. When using the word too, you only need to use a comma before it for emphasis. According to The Chicago Manual of Style, a comma before too should be used only to note an abrupt shift in thought. When the too comes in the middle of a sentence, emphasis is almost always intended since it interrupts the natural flow of the sentence.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Carmel vs. Caramel: Which Is Correct?

Generally, “caramel” is defined as a chewy, light-brown candy made from butter, sugar, and milk or cream. For example: I love eating caramels because they are soft and chewy. In contrast, “Carmel,” is used as a proper noun, and it is a popular beach town in California, known as Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Carmel and caramel are not different spellings of the same word. Caramel is the correct spelling if you’re talking about food or colors.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Improving Your Writing Will Improve Your Life

Everyone wants a little taste of the good life, but it’s often difficult to figure out just how to cook it up and savor it. After all, the recipe for success can be more complex than the method behind a Yotam Ottolenghi vegetable dish.

The first challenge, naturally, is identifying the right ingredients. And unless you think the key to a better existence merely opens the door to a Ferrari, you’re most likely part of the crowd that agrees that health, peace of mind, and happiness are critical components.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

5 Things Admissions Officers Look For in an Application Essay

By David at

Within your college application, your personal statement is your one opportunity for the admissions officer to “meet you”, to visualize the person behind the numbers. While no essay can save an unqualified application, an outstanding essay can push an otherwise mediocre application into the “yes” pile.

However, writing a good application essay is hard. Many students write essays that are too cliché or too shallow; others write essays that are impersonal and uninformative; some are even unfortunate enough to write essays that cause their own rejection.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How to Connect Sentences

One of the primary marks of a good writer is the ability to connect sentences properly. A stream of short, choppy sentences makes for a boring read, whereas long sentences strung together can be tedious or even confusing for the reader. In this article, we’ll discuss how to connect sentences in a way that is not only grammatically correct but also stylistically effective.

How to Connect Sentences Using Transition Words

One of the easiest and most effective ways to connect sentences is by using transition words.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Do you know the difference between formal and informal writing?

This poll is part of a series that Grammarly is running aimed at better understanding how the public feels about writing, language learning, and grammar.

Please take the poll and share your thoughts in the comments. We can’t wait to hear from you!

If you are interested in more, check out last week’s poll.

6 Endangered Words

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, endangered animal species are “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of [their] range.” Applying the same principle to words, endangered words are used less and less until almost no one knows them anymore. Are your favorite words in danger of extinction?

Ambrosial derives from ambrosia, the mythological food of the goods.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bad Writing: What it Means for Your Career (INFOGRAPHIC)

Is poor writing an indicator that you will be less successful in your career?

Kyle Wiens, CEO at iFixit, suggested as much in a July 20, 2012 article (“I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why.”) which appeared in Harvard Business Review’s blog network.

Yesterday, in honor of National Grammar Day, Harvard Business Review posted another article (“Grammar Should Be Everyone’s Business”) written by Grammarly CEO Brad Hoover.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Q&A with Grammar Girl, Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder the Quick and Dirty Tips podcast network, the creator of of the Grammar Girl website (one of Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writers in 2012, 2013, and 2014), and the creator and host of the Grammar Girl podcast (Best Education Podcast in the 2012 and 2013 Podcast Awards). 

The Grammarly team recently chatted with Mignon about grammar, language, and National Grammar Day (March 4).

8 Embarrassing (Yet Common) Malapropisms

You may or may not have heard of these funny little things: malapropisms. A malapropism is the misuse of a word that creates a ridiculous sentence, usually as a result of confusing similar-sounding words. This can create embarrassing situations for people, especially during public speeches. To get a better idea of how malapropisms work, check out some of the examples below.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

5 Grammar Pet Peeves

Every grammarian has a list of grammar pet peeves. We compile new lists every year. However, some errors are insidiously persistent. Like coffee stains on a snow-white rug, we cannot seem to scrub them away no matter how hard we try. But we must keep up the fight.

Join us as we again leap into the fray against our arch-nemesis: the most-common-glaring-grammar-errors-of-all-time.

Your/You’re: This one has a longer lifespan than Dracula.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spoken Language Rules Work In Signed Communication, Too

Language is language, regardless of the way you communicate. A new study by Psychology and Linguistics Professor Iris Berent at Northeastern University demonstrates that similar structures rule communication, and whether communication is via speech or sign is of secondary importance.

Basically, people adhere to certain patterns for what’s permissible in language and reject structures that “seem wrong.” By observing that research subjects with no knowledge of sign language mapped the rules of spoken language onto signs they were shown, researchers learned that ingrained rules play a bigger role than previously thought.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Grammar Madness: The Battle to Determine the Most Maddening Writing Error

Since the dawn of writing, grammarians have been irked by sloppy and erroneous written communication. But over the past few years, it’s gotten increasingly difficult to go even a single day without seeing several writing errors. From street signs to Facebook status updates, unfortunate writing mistakes are omnipresent in both the real world and the virtual.

Over the next few weeks, the Grammarly team will use social media to determine the most detestable of all writing errors.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

6 Unique Ways to Say “Sorry” When You Make a Mistake

What do you say when you make a mistake? If you use sorry often, the expression may lose a little of its power. Here are six other words for saying sorry.

1. My Apologies

My apologies is another word for “I’m sorry.” It’s rather formal, so it’s fine for business contexts. Commonly, people use it to decline an invitation or express regret at not being able to fulfill a request. However, it may be perceived as sarcastic in casual settings, so choose carefully when and with whom to use it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How to Write a Resignation Letter and Exit in Style

When it comes to making big shifts in the direction of your life, changing jobs ranks right up there among the most significant. You’ll be leaving behind familiar faces, tasks, and roles to sail into unknown waters. It’s energizing and daunting at the same time!

Once you’ve made the decision to leave your job, you’re faced with the challenge of leaving on good terms. How you tender your resignation letter can mean the difference between building a network of positive connections and burning bridges.

What are we grateful for? Commas.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the Grammarly team polled more than 1,700 Facebook fans on what piece of punctuation they are most “thankful” for in their writing.

The semi-colon, em-dash, and period, were top contenders; yet, overwhelmingly we learned that English writers are most thankful for the comma.

Although writers enjoy the comma, many do not know how to use it. Misuse of commas is among the top grammar mistakes that writers around the world are making, according to a recent audit of English writers conducted by the Grammarly team.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Grammarly Announces Add-in for Microsoft Office Suite

Today, the Grammarly team officially announced the availability of its Grammarly® Add-in for Microsoft® Office Suite. The add-in combines the power of Grammarly’s automated proofreading technology with Microsoft® Office Word and Microsoft® Office Outlook®.

In addition to checking for more than 250 common grammar errors and enhancing vocabulary usage, the Grammarly add-in offers unique features such as citation suggestions.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Dark Side of Mother Goose

Murder, torture, mass death by plague…not exactly the stuff of children’s literature, right? Actually, if you read the rhymes of Mother Goose, it is. Most people don’t realize the macabre history of these innocuous-sounding rhymes, but dig beneath the surface, and you’ll find Mother Goose poetry is chock-full of gruesome imagery.

In fact, many of today’s nursery rhymes are sanitized versions of the grim originals.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Use These Four Tips to Improve Your Writing Fast

Guest post by Meryl K. Evans

The valet pulled up in my car. I thanked him, tipped him and entered my car. I noticed both turn signals were blinking. What’s up? It took me a minute to realize the valet had turned on the hazard lights. I didn’t even remember if I had ever used them in this car.

I touched every switch, button and stick searching for the toggle. Sure, I could dig for the instruction manual in the glove compartment, but I didn’t want to hold up the folks behind me.

Monday, July 2, 2012

What Are Possessive Nouns?

A possessive noun is a noun that possesses something—i.e., it has something. In most cases, a possessive noun is formed by adding an apostrophe +s to the noun, or if the noun is plural and already ends in s, only an apostrophe needs to be added. In the following sentence, boy’s is a possessive noun modifying pencil: The boy’s pencil snapped in half. It is clear that the pencil belongs to the boy; the ’s signifies ownership.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Should Web Writing Be Formal or Informal?

By Anne Wayman

Recently a reader of my writing blog asked the following (edited for clarity):

What’s your opinion about using you instead of one when you’re writing for the web or for magazines? Some experts, including Grammarly, say it should beone. I think using you is more engaging.

Thanks, Irene.

Here’s how I expect to answer her:

Irene, I agree, generally informal writing is more engaging than formal writing.

To Correct or Not to Correct? How to Instill Strong Language Skills in Children

By Laura Wallis for The Stir by CafeMom

I come from a long line of English teachers on my mother’s side. I remember being corrected on my grammar pretty much as soon as I could speak—for my grandmother, my full grasp of the distinction between “bring” and “take” was as vital as covering my mouth when I yawned. Speaking and writing correctly was just good manners.

These days, though, the school of thought on correcting kids has relaxed somewhat.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What Is “Full Proof?”

You know what fool is? It’s a naive person, someone who lacks good judgment. As you can imagine, a fool would be easily tricked by a clever ruse. Proof is an adjective that means “able to withstand, or invulnerable.” When you combine the two terms, you get foolproof. This adjective means “involving no risk or harm, or never-failing.” In other words, something foolproof would still work even if a fool were operating it.

Friday, June 22, 2012

16 Pieces of Advice From Steve Jobs

I want to put a ding in the universe.

—Steve Jobs

You don’t have to be a fan of iEverything to recognize the tremendous impact Apple has had on technology and business. Steve Jobs led the company he co-founded in 1976 with charisma and an insatiable drive to innovate and succeed. When Jobs died in 2011, he left a legacy that will continue to shape our world for generations.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

How Sally Ride Launched Her Career as the First American Woman in Space

I would like to be remembered as someone who was not afraid to do what she wanted to do, and as someone who took risks along the way in order to achieve her goals.

Did you know May 26 is Sally Ride day?

Sally Ride was an astronaut, physicist, and science educator—and she shattered one of the highest glass ceilings to become the first American woman in space.

Throughout her life she inspired millions and defied gender stereotypes at every turn.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Epistolary Novels, Finding Your Theme, and the Science of Good Writing

Can letter writing teach you how to write a novel? Can your socks help you identify a theme? What do neuroscientists have to say about writing? Find the answers by checking out these links to our favorite stories from around the web this week. Have something you’d like to see us cover here? Let us know in the comment section!

Our Favorite Stories:

  1. Why Writing a Book Through Letters Is Beautiful and Wild (The Guardian)
  2. Theme and the Power of Socks (The Writer)
  3. 6 Scientific Tips to Improve Your Writing (Futurity)

Staff Book Picks of the Week:

The Marvels (Fiction) Brian Selznick

Monday, June 18, 2012

WriteWorld: Writing Tips: Proofreading

I’m currently finishing up a university degree in journalism, and I’ve been doing journalistic work for newspapers and radio alike for some years now. It’s a line of work wherein proofreading is essential. People are paying to read a piece you’ve written, which means you simply…

Read more: WriteWorld: Writing Tips: Proofreading

Thursday, June 14, 2012

We’re Snoring Because Your Poem is So Boring

Welcome to one of our favorite holidays of the year: Bad Poetry Day. August 18 brings with it the license and the freedom to let those terrible sonnets fly.

Sure, many of us remember our high school days when just about any drama would send us scurrying to the page to dash off a few lines. However, the resulting text is not exactly what we mean by bad poetry. Even those stanzas, penned when we were young, were important to us.

Not-So-Sweet 16 Game 7: Passive-Aggressive Notes vs. Loud Music

We’re nearing the end of the Not-So-Sweet 16, and so far, we’ve had some fierce battles over everything from emojis to interrupting your coworkers. But we’re not done yet! Today’s voting presents the last two battles of the season, and they’re both going to be nail-biters.

For this match, we have a classic debate between silent passive aggression and overtly aggressive, loud music.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Funny Phrases: Nip It in the Bud

The phrase nip it in the bud means to stop something before it gets going. You’ve probably heard it used in this way: Nip that bad habit in the bud before it gets out of control!

What does this phrase actually mean? Nip means to remove by pinching, biting, or cutting with two meeting edges of anything; to clip. A bud is a newly formed leaf or flower that has not yet bloomed. To nip something in the bud means to pinch off a newly formed leaf or flower before it has a chance to grow.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Benefited or Benefitted—Which Is Right?

  • Benefited and benefitted are both acceptable spellings.
  • Benefited is more common in the United States.

When you make a verb past tense, sometimes all you have to do is add -ed. Other times, you double the final consonant before adding it. What about the verb benefit? Is the past tense benefited or benefitted?

Benefited vs. Benefitted

The quick answer is that both of them are acceptable.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Train your brain with these 4 spelling tips and tricks

Amateur Something or someone that is amateur is non-professional. If you remember that amateur ends in a fancy French suffix (-eur), you’ll be able to spell this word correctly in both professional and non-professional situations.

Conscientious Conscientious means thorough, careful, or vigilant. If you have a strong conscience, you will be conscientious. You can remember the conscience by breaking it into “con” and “science.” Then the similarities between conscience and conscientious will help you remember the spelling for the latter.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Basics on Subject and Object Pronouns: Answers


1) Martha and Jim are in the office. Correct. 2) She is telling him a joke. Correct. 3) Jim made a copy of the report for Lucy and I. Incorrect. Jim made a copy of the report for Lucy and me. 4) I have to go. Mark is calling for Lucy and me. Correct. 5) Our co-workers love Martha’s cookies. Correct. 6) Jim and me are planning a surprise for Sue’s birthday. Incorrect. Jim and I are planning a surprise for Sue’s birthday.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Rewriting 101: How to Add Clarity to Your Sentences

Have you ever finished writing a sentence only to reread it and be completely baffled at its structure? Sure, the sentence might be technically grammatically correct, but it sounds incredibly awkward. In situations like these, it’s best to step back and try to find a way to rewrite the sentence. For example: When you see your new friend, tell him or her that I said hello.

Although using ‘him or her’ to indicate a person of whose gender you aren’t aware is technically correct, the sentence above sounds formal and would likely come across as awkward in casual conversation.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

5 Pieces of Fiction to Inspire Productivity

With 2017 beginning in earnest and resolutions being made, you may be looking for a way to make your leisure time a little more productive and guilt-free. To that end, there are some excellent pieces of fiction that provide more than just entertainment; they also inspire productivity. These are just a few titles that can motivate and energize you as you set new objectives for the year ahead.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Humanity’s Best Eggcorn Examples

When singers use backing tracks to sing less (or not at all) during a performance, they have to do what is called “lip singing”—mouthing the words without actually making sound. Old-timer’s disease is a terrible illness that affects people’s ability to think, remember, and control their behavior. A mute point is an issue that could be argued, but could also have very little consequence.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Navigating Email Etiquette at Work

Even though email takes up well over a quarter of the average working person’s day, many people still don’t have a knack for email etiquette. Often, the issue lies in separating personal email preferences from professional communication policies. Follow these tips for maintaining email etiquette at work, and you’ll develop a more effective communication strategy in no time.

Use a Clear Subject Line

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mistake of the Month: Missing Commas

There are two types of writers in this world: those who use too many commas and those who use too few. While unnecessary commas can turn straightforward sentences into twisting labyrinths of syntactical confusion, missing a critical comma can change the entire meaning of your sentence.

Consider the headline from the now-infamous Rachael Ray cover of Tails magazine: “Rachael Ray finds inspiration in cooking her family and her dog.” While the line breaks of the original cover make it apparent what the editors meant to say, the lack of commas between the three items in the list—“cooking,” “family,” and “her dog”—caused Tails to accidentally portray Ray as a cannibal who gleefully cooks her family and dog.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

“Can We Guess Your Zodiac Element Based on Your Writing Habits?” Quiz

There are four elements of the zodiac—air, fire, water, and earth. The zodiac signs within each element share characteristics. Take this fun quiz to find out which zodiac element your writing style is like and see if it matches your real zodiac sign!

Did we get it right? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hyphen In Compound Adjective With Numbers

When numbers are used as the first part of a compound adjective, use a hyphen to connect them to the noun that follows them. This way, the reader knows that both words function like a unit to modify another noun. This applies whether the number is written in words or in digits.

The president of the company gave a 10-minute speech to the Board of Directors.
He is knowledgeable in thirteenth-century politics.

Friday, May 18, 2012

#GrammoWriMo Plot Summary

Updated November 15, 2013 

Chapter 1

Our adult, female protagonist, Audra, is introduced. This chapter must establish that Audra is a magical wish-granter whose job is to clean the coins out of a small, unremarkable local fountain each night. She is fed up with the vain and selfish wishes of people and regrets that she cannot make a wish for something great, noble—or not having to grant people’s wishes anymore.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

3 Dating Tips You Can Steal From “Quiet”

Dating is tough for a lot of people. For introverts living in an extroversion-dominant society, the dating pool can be even more difficult to navigate. However, some of the powerful lessons from the landmark book Quiet:The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking can be helpful not only for coping with western culture generally but also for getting more value from dating.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

12 Mental Habits That Will Derail Your Goals

It feels the same every year: you set some goals for yourself, the year starts with the best of intentions, but then it’s October and you are looking at a partially completed goal and feeling pretty frustrated with yourself. It happens to everyone—literally. But not everyone struggles all the time. Here are twelve ways that your mind is sabotaging your goals and some approaches to getting your head right.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sequence of Tenses–Grammar Rules

The rules governing verb tenses are dictated by logic; an action in the future obviously cannot happen before an action in the past. In writing, it’s a matter of looking at your clauses and sentences and determining when each action is happening relative to everything else. The past must come before the present, and the present before the future, etc. Pay particular attention to the verb sequence when you have a dependent clause before an independent clause, or a result clause before the if-clause.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Surprise, Suprise or Surprize —Which Is Correct?

  • Surprise is the correct way to spell the word.
  • Surprize was once an alternative spelling, but it’s very rarely used today.
  • Suprise is not an acceptable way to spell surprise.

Once upon a time, it was possible to choose between two spellings of surprise, but nowadays there’s only one.

How to Spell Surprise

There is only one generally accepted spelling of surprise: two r’s and two s’s in total.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What Is a Collective Noun?

A collective noun is a word or phrase that refers to a group of people or things as one entity. One common error that arises from using collective nouns is subject-verb disagreement: writers often become confused about whether to treat a collective noun as singular or plural. While collective nouns are mostly treated as singular, there are exceptions.

Collective nouns represent more than one person or thing in a class.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Conquering Email in the Workplace

Conquering Email in the Workplace How the right approach is a key ingredient to your future success.

Whether you are just starting your career or simply settling in at a new environment, the initial adjustment period can be a bit tricky. One important discipline that threatens the spirit of many new hires is deciding how to craft their emails appropriately. And by craft, I am alluding to all factors: the length, tone, style, closing signature and even who to copy.

Friday, May 4, 2012

15 More Sources of Inspiration for Content Creators

Writers of the world, unite! Creators of content are always on the lookout for more, well, content. Sometimes that means research, sometimes that means tips on building a business, and sometimes that just means looking at cool stuff and feeling inspired.

If you’re a fiction writer, content marketer, journalist, designer, or other kind of content creator in search of suggestions specific to the type of writing you do, head on over to Grammarly’s colossal list of tips, techniques, ideas, and sources for all your content creation needs (and maybe more).

Monday, April 30, 2012

Labeled or Labelled—Which Is Correct?

  • Labeled and labelled are both correct spellings.
  • Labeled is the preferred spelling in American English.
  • Labelled is the preferred spelling in British English.

How should you spell the past tense of the verb label? After adding the -ed ending, should you double the L? Speakers of American English might answer differently than speakers of British English.

Labeled vs. Labelled

Labeled and labelled are both correct spellings, and they mean the same thing.

Friday, April 27, 2012

“Where do you do it?” Meme Generators

Do you want to help us spread awareness for writing, GrammoWriMo, and NaNoWriMo? Or maybe you just want to show some of your writer-pride? Either way, we’ve put together a special meme for you to customize with your own #IDoIt caption.

To create your own #IDoIt meme to share on Facebook, Twitter, your blog and other social media channels, follow the instructions below:

1. Choose whether you would like a male image or a female image.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

4 Irish Authors Who Will Inspire Your St. Patrick’s Day

Did you know that St. Patrick’s Day, which is on March 17, is celebrated differently in the United States and Ireland? Irish-Americans initially celebrated the holiday as a show of solidarity and strength of the Irish in a foreign land; the celebrations have evolved to include parades, shamrocks, green outfits, green beer, and corned beef and cabbage. In Ireland, it’s a religious holiday and, in the past, the pubs would close; today, there are parades and shamrocks for tourists, but you’d be hard-pressed to find corned beef and cabbage anywhere.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What Is a Subordinate Clause?

A subordinate clause is a clause that cannot stand alone as a complete sentence; it merely complements a sentence’s main clause, thereby adding to the whole unit of meaning. Because a subordinate clause is dependent upon a main clause to be meaningful, it is also referred to as a dependent clause.

Whether you use the term subordinate or dependent to describe the clause, this clause’s function is clear: it provides informational support to the main event of the sentence.


If you missed our March #GrammarlyChat, get caught up with our Storify summary:

If you missed our February #GrammarlyChat, get caught up with our Storify summary:

If you missed our January #GrammarlyChat about books and reading, get caught up with our Storify summary:

Friday, April 20, 2012

Check Your Answers for Grammar Skills Test—Intermediate

So, you want to know what your English grammar level is? You’ve come to the right place. This post will cover the answers and additional learning resources for “Grammar Skills Test—Intermediate.” The Intermediate test covers subject-verb agreement, modifiers, word order, tenses, conditionals, negative constructions, and auxiliary verbs.

Correct answers are highlighted. Links go to additional learning resources to help you continue improving.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Is the Cover Letter Dead?

The cover letter was once a valuable tool for all job seekers hoping to get by the HR gatekeeper. However, the rise of innovative tech, social media, millennials, and good old-fashioned networking is killing the cover letter.

The only thing missing from the decline of the cover letter is a time of death. In fact, chances are your cover letter won’t even be read, according to Fortune.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Check Your Answers for Grammar Skills Test—Master

So, you want to know what your English grammar level is? You’ve come to the right place. This post will cover the answers and additional learning resources for “Grammar Skills Test—Master.” The Master test covers reported speech, conditionals, prepositions, tenses, adverbs vs. adjectives, the irrealis mood, and restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses.

Correct answers are highlighted.

5 Strategies to Improve Your Business Writing

Guest post by Greg Fowler 

Even if your career isn’t focused on writing, the ability to write well can strongly influence your business opportunities. A poorly-executed email, or a resume filled with mistakes, can damage your reputation. To advance your career and impress your boss, develop your writing skills by employing the following five strategies.

Keep Your Writing Concise Brevity is important.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

11 Adorable Canine Readers

It’s the cutest day of the year—March 21, National Puppy Day! We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to look at dog pictures and wanted to share our favorites. These adorable reading buddies will make your heart melt.

Potato plans to pick up reading habit now!

A photo posted by Abhilash KV (@abhilash_kv) on

just planning out our meals for the week ?#ChickenWithBacon #Bacon #AndMoreBacon #Muwahahaha

How to Write Better Cover Letters

Imagine, for a minute, that you’re an employer. You need to fill a position and you receive hundreds of applications every day. You’ve deleted the ones from senders like, the ones with misspellings in the subject line or email body, and the ones that sound like generic templates.

Then you read a cover letter that shows knowledge of the position, skill fit, proper grammar and spelling, and enthusiasm.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Truly or Truely —Which Is Correct?

  • Truly is the only acceptable way to spell the adverbial form of the adjective true.
  • Truely is not an alternative spelling; it’s a common mistake.

Some adjectives like nice, fine, and blue retain their final e when adding the adverb suffix -ly: nicely, finely, and bluely. With truly, this is not the case.

Is It Truly or Truely?

Although some monosyllabic adjectives ending with “e” retain it when they adopt the -ly suffix to become adverbs, true isn’t one of them.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Traveling or Travelling?

How great is it to travel? To meet new people, see new places, experience different cultures, live life the way life is lived somewhere else. Plenty of good things are associated with travel, but there’s one particular issue that can make traveling annoying: the spelling. Travel is easy enough to spell and not at all confusing, but “traveling,” “traveler,” “traveled”? These words are a common cause of confusion because some people spell them with one L while others use two.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Simple Present

The simple present is a verb tense with two main uses. We use the simple present tense when an action is happening right now, or when it happens regularly (or unceasingly, which is why it’s sometimes called present indefinite). Depending on the person, the simple present tense is formed by using the root form or by adding ‑s or ‑es to the end.

I feel great! Pauline loves pie. I’m sorry to hear that you’re sick.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Proofreading Tips for a More Productive 2016

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re either a writer or a person who frequently comes into contact with the written word. You might be a journalist who writes articles, a blogger who writes blog posts, a student who writes term papers, or an activist who writes grant proposals. As long as your life includes at least an occasional putting of a pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, you know how important it is to proofread everything you write.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Negatives and Negation–Grammar Rules

When you want to express the opposite meaning of a particular word or sentence, you can do it by inserting a negation. Negations are words like no, not, and never. If you wanted to express the opposite of I am here, for example, you could say I am not here.

Below, you’ll find lists of common negative words used to negate ideas.

Negative words:

  • No
  • Not
  • None
  • No one
  • Nobody
  • Nothing
  • Neither
  • Nowhere
  • Never

Negative Adverbs:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

9 Adorable Animal Collective Nouns

Five hundred years ago, gentlemen used specialized vocabulary when referring to groups of animals. Most of the group names came from The Book of St. Albans, published in 1486. Their etymologies have been lost over the years, but why not have a guess?

A coterie of groundhogs

Around the eighteenth century, some French farmers called côtiers banded together to work feudal lands. A coterie is an exclusive group who spends time together pursuing common interests.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How to Date Introverts, From an Introvert

Dear Prospective Dates,

We need to talk. After a string of meh encounters, it’s time to clear the air: I’m a lady introvert*, and the way you’ve been going about courtship just isn’t working. As an introvert, I need a much lower level of mental stimulation to operate than ambiverts or extroverts require. Though everyone is different, you should know that we introverts don’t like “typical” dating approaches.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Plural of Octopus: Octopi or Octopuses?

How do you make octopus plural? It’s simple!

The plural is octopuses. Why do some dictionaries also list octopi as a possibility? In Latin, some plurals end with an i. The problem is, octopus derives from Greek. The i was a mistake, but so many people adopted it that it became an acceptable alternative. Many people don’t like octopi, and you will rarely see it in edited works, but it does occasionally appear.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Occurred, Occured, or Ocurred—Which Spelling Is Right?

Spelling words isn’t always easy, especially when they contain double letters. In this case, the correct spelling is occurred. How can you remember it when you need it?

The best way to remember how to spell occurred is to remember its double set of double consonants. In English, the final letter is doubled when a word of two or more syllables has stress on the final syllable. Occur fits the rule, so there are two Cs and two Rs in occurred.

5 Foundational Writers in Environmentalism

We tend to look at the world’s problems with sustainable development and environmental troubles as the burning issues of our time. The environmentalist movement has been gaining momentum for the last couple of decades, and at this point, most of us should acknowledge that the world has a problem and that we need to fix it. For those purposes, here’s a short list of influential authors who will help inspire the environmentalist in you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Grammar Basics: What Is Objective Case?

An direct object is a noun or noun phrase that receives the action of a transitive verb. For example:

Alice caught the baseball.

Subject=Alice Verb=caught Object=baseball

A direct object answers the question of who(m) or what. In the sentence above, you could determine that ‘baseball’ is a direct object by asking the question: What did Alice catch? She caught the baseball.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Knowledge is Power: Using Idioms To Give Power To Your Writing

Some writers use idioms to “add color” to their writing, while others are adamant about keeping their text as simple as possible. While idioms can certainly clutter your work with unnecessary detail, they may also introduce powerful imagery into your text. Since “knowledge is power,” let’s take a look at the best way to accomplish this.

First, what is an idiom? An idiom is an expression with a figurative meaning that differs from the literal meaning.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Can’t Sleep? Here are 3 Books You Should Read in Bed

For many book lovers, reading in bed is one of life’s greatest pleasures. In order to enjoy the experience to the fullest, it’s important to choose the right book for the right time. Here are three books we recommend reading in bed.

When you want to stay in bed longer: His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman Although this series is written for children, it’s a pleasure to read as an adult.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Lot vs. Alot vs. Allot

A lot, alot, and allot only differ by a few spaces or letters. However, all of the terms function differently. Let’s investigate how to use each one.

What Does a Lot Mean?

Alot is a common misspelling of a lot. A lot should always be spelled as two words. The meaning of a lot depends on the context. Usually, it means “many” or “to a great extent.” Let’s look at some examples.

Shelley reads a lot of books during her morning commute.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Essay Writing Mistakes: The 3 Ss and How to Correct Them

Guest Post by Jennifer Frost, LoroCreative

“To write is human, to edit is divine.” — Stephen King

You’ve probably already read and heard the tips on how to write an essay, from developing a thesis statement to crafting an unforgettable conclusion. But you may still dread showing your work to others because you are not sure if you’ve missed some errors or failed to follow a rule. Maybe you don’t have a teacher, an editor, or a friend beside you all the time to identify the parts of your writing that you need to correct or improve.

Friday, March 9, 2012

7 Simple and Quick Editing Tips That Will Elevate Your Writing

Guest post by Matt Banner

It doesn’t matter if you’re a New York Times bestselling author or a blogger from Kansas, everyone has to edit their work. The first draft is always a mess of disorganized thoughts and uncertain tangents. Writing begins as chaos and ends with order. It has been this way since the dawn of time.

Saving time while also polishing your work is every writer’s goal.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

10 Best Grammar Resources for Students

Something great happened on March 4, 2008. Martha Brockenbrough, through The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, established National Grammar Day in the United States. It’s a day to celebrate all that grammar does. Would you like to wish your friends a Happy Grammar Day? Make sure you don’t have any errors in your messages! How can you make sure your grammar is in tip-top shape?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Why Do We Need Style Guides?

If you don’t like to follow the rules, style guides are a necessary evil. They give uniformity and structure to writing and are an invaluable resource when writing papers in university; the skill of writing according to a style guide will also help you in your career. They teach you how to avoid plagiarism by correctly citing works that you’ve read and obtained information from.

Style guides outline the standards for writing citations and formatting a document.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Six of the Best Holiday Books for Students

During the holiday season, students and everyday readers alike love to settle down with a good book, getting nice and cozy to escape the rush. Ideally this literary refuge takes place by a warm fireside, while the snow falls outside. While that might not always be possible, there are a few staples of holiday literature which are guaranteed to put readers in the mood for Christmas while providing some literary value.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Work Jargon We Wish Would Disappear

Every office has its own sort of language—vocabulary that people frequently use when they’re at work but probably wouldn’t use that often otherwise. We’re used to office jargon, but we’d like to take a minute to review some of the business-y words that do the job while kind of driving us crazy at the same time. Jargon varies from office to office, but here are five of the words and phrases that make us cringe.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Watch Your Language in Corporate Emails

We are “devolving” into lackadaisical proofreaders.

Even senior management and professionals with advanced degrees and experience no longer show the stamina or desire to ensure that their written words convey exactly what they are meant to–and our carelessness is coming to a head.

This is compounded by the fact that, more than ever, human beings are being judged on word choice. In large part, this is a result of our increasing reliance on written communication to conduct both business and personal relationships.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Essential History and Guide for Modern Acronym Use (Part 1 of 2)

Guest post from Scott Yates

As founder of a blogging service for business operators too busy to write their own posts, I pay a lot of attention to “good” writing.

We have a wide variety of clients, and our challenges involve the mastery of industry jargon, including acronyms and abbreviations.

So, if a client asks for a piece on search engine optimization or customer resource management — acronymically SEO and CRM — should the blogger just jump in and use the abbreviation, or should we genuflect at the altar of convention and have each abbreviation undergo the initiation of being spelled out at least once?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Are You a Word Nerd?

Grammar is cool now (it’s still cool, right?) so it’s okay to wave your red pen in the air like you just don’t care. Take the quiz below and find out just how much of a word nerd you really are. Give yourself a point for each statement you agree with.

  • You correct the lyrics to pop songs as you sing along. It’s the “one who got away,” Katy Perry.
  • The “ten items or less” sign at the grocery store still sends you into a rage after all these years.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Grammar is Only a Piece of the Pie

This Thanksgiving, Grammarly embarked on a quest to find the most delicious pumpkin pie recipe on the web. We discovered some complicated concoctions from celebrity chefs, some simple secrets from popular brands like Libby’s and Bisquick, and some interesting instructions from online recipe sites.

It was too difficult for us to decide on the “best” pumpkin pie recipe, but we did notice a few trends that we wanted to share with you in preparation for the season of holiday sweets and festive treats.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thru vs. Through—Which Is Right?

  • Through can be a preposition, an adjective, and an adverb.
  • Through is the only formally accepted spelling of the word.
  • Thru is an alternate spelling that should be used only in informal writing or when referring to drive-throughs.

As if all the confusion over the words through and threw wasn’t enough, modern English has piled on yet another homophone: thru.

Through vs. Thru

Through can be used as a preposition, an adverb, and an adjective.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

3 Quick Tips to Make Your Cover Letters Better

Guest post from Brie Weiler Reynolds

For job seekers, making a strong first impression is crucial. With employers spending so little time screening cover letters and resumes before deciding if your application will make it to the next round, it’s imperative to use that precious space well. Your cover letter acts as an introduction between yourself and the employer. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to make customized, quality cover letters to help your application stand out.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Is it “Preferably” or “Preferrably?”

There’s only one way you can spell the adverb preferably. You can’t add another “f,” “r,” or “l”—there’s really no need to do it.

Let’s be honest here—mistakes happen to the best of us. We’d have a hard time finding a writer who, at some point, didn’t miswrite “the” as “hte” or “teh.” In haste, it might also be possible to mistake “to” for “too,” or “their” for “they’re.” And that’s perfectly fine, as long as you go over your work, notice your mistakes, and fix them.

Monday, February 13, 2012

How to Ask for Days Off (And Actually Get Them)

There’s a good possibility that you need a day (or two, or more) off work. NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health conducted a poll and found that about half of Americans who work fifty-plus hours a week don’t take all or most of the vacation they’ve earned. Of those who do take time off, about 30 percent say they do a significant amount of work during what’s supposed to be their hard-earned leisure time.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

March MADness Championship: What’s the Worst Work Habit?

The time has come to choose the most vile, odious, offensive, and obnoxious work pet peeve. March MADness has had its ups and downs, covering everything from emojis to people who like to lean in when they talk. But alas, all good things must come to an end, and the time has come to choose our March MADness champion.

Now, let’s meet our Final Infuriating Four. Vote for your least favorite habit to be crowned the worst work habit.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Writing the “Great American Novel?” Here Are the Top Three Mistakes You’ll Make

According to an oft-quoted 2002 article from The New York Times, 81 percent of Americans believe they have a book in them – and that they should write it.

In November, 41,940 participants in National Novel Writing Month did just that when they successfully wrote 50,000 words in 30 days. At the same time, because not all novelists-to-be have the time to write a solo-book, the Grammarly team organized a group of authors to collaborate on one novel.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Grammar Basics: What is the correct word order in English?

Word order in English is fixed for most speaking and writing.

In English, sentences start with a subject and are immediately followed by a verb. In questions, this order is switched.

She is a friend.
Is she a friend?

To learn more about grammar and to help us celebrate National Grammar Day this March, visit our new resource page.

5 Staggering Love Poems to Inspire

We can thank poets for transferring love from heart to pen to paper. Romantic poetry resurfaces during engagements, weddings, and Valentine’s Day, when we’re prompted to ponder what love is, how we value it, and how we express it. Is our love best expressed by candy, cards, and flowers? These poets seem to think not. Turn to the experts for inspiration from these five staggering love poems that tap into the heart of true romance; there’s a poem for the lonely hearts this Valentine’s Day, too.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Spotlight: How Khan Academy Is Transforming Education

In mathematical language, a transformation changes a form without changing its value. If that doesn’t mean much to you, let Sal explain it to you in a short video complete with examples and diagrams. Salman (Sal) Khan is the founder of Khan Academy, an online academy that offers math, science, art, and other courses free of charge. Though there are no English grammar classes yet, students seeking to sharpen their skills can still benefit from the academy’s offerings.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Two-minute Grammar: The Bare-bones Basics of Prepositions

“Vampires! Zombies! Werewolves!” “Where?!” “Behind you!”

Thank goodness for prepositions. Imagine not knowing where the danger lay!

Prepositions tell us where or when something is in relation to something else. When monsters are sneaking up on you, it is good to have these special words to tell us where those monsters are. Are they behind us or in front of us; are they near or far; will they be arriving in three seconds or at midnight?

Monday, January 30, 2012

When to Use Accept vs. Except

  • Accept means to agree or to receive something offered.
  • Except means excluding or with the exception of.
  • The ex- of except can help you to remember that it means excluding.

Do you have trouble remembering when to use accept and when to use except? Learn how these two words differ and how they function.

When to use Accept

Accept is a verb. Accept means to agree or to take something offered.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Off the beaten path: NaNoWriMo Writing Tips

Guest post from Matthew Quinn

It’s been said that everybody has got a book in them, but in these days of the big publishers consolidating, the small presses overwhelmed with submissions, and truly vast offerings available via self-publishing platforms like Kindle Direct and Smashwords, it’s more important than ever that people’s work stand out.

So here are some tips to make your NaNoWriMo project pop:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dreamed or Dreamt

Is there a difference between dreamed and dreamt? You might be surprised to find conflicting reports. Some people say that there is no difference. Others say that the two words have different meanings. What’s the real deal?

Dreamt and dreamed are both past tense forms of dream. Dreamt is more common in Britain, while dreamed is more common in other English-speaking countries, including the U.S.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cheque vs. Check

  • Cheque and check appear in British English, and check appears in American English.
  • In British English, cheque refers to a document used to pay from a person’s account. For other contexts, Brits usually use check.

Have you seen check spelled cheque? You might have wondered whether it was a spelling error or a new word that you don’t know. Let’s look into this word and how it differs from check.

Friday, January 20, 2012

International English: Going beyond U.K. and U.S. English

Guest post by Rosevita Warda

“The status of English as an international language is long established and, for the foreseeable future, unlikely to be greatly challenged. However, I believe that to make it genuinely international, then one step in that direction could be to consider the influence of non-native speakers in a different light.

“Generally, their non-occurrent uses are labeled errors and they are encouraged to change to conform to the standard English model, even though many native speakers don’t.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Q&A with Martha Brockenbrough, Founder of National Grammar Day

Martha Brockenbrough is the founder of National Grammar Day and author of The Game of Love and Death, which comes out April 28 and has received starred reviews from Kirkus Books and Publishers Weekly. Martha recently spoke with the Grammarly team to provide some insight into National Grammar Day and to share her perspective on language.

Grammarly: You established National Grammar Day in 2008.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

6 Cool Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block

Want to write a bestselling novel? Or maybe you’re more the screenplay type who wants to go straight to Hollywood. Whatever your writing goals are, sometimes the biggest obstacle between them and you is a nasty case of writer’s block. How can you free up your creative juices and write a story worth telling? Here are some ideas to get you started.

Go Wild for Words

Stephen King holds thesauruses (thesauri for you prescriptive Latin-lovers) in disdain, but don’t be afraid to rebel against his viewpoint.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cases of Pronouns: Rules and Examples

Case refers to the form a noun or pronoun takes depending on its function in a sentence. English pronouns have three cases: subjective, objective, and possessive.

Subjective Pronouns

The subjective (or nominative) pronouns are I, you (singular), he/she/it, we, you (plural), they and who. A subjective pronoun acts as a subject in a sentence. See the sentences below for illustration:

I have a big chocolate bar.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

7 Things You Write Every Day That You Probably Forgot About

In some ways, everyone is a writer. Have you thought about how much writing you do in one day? Don’t overlook these seven daily writing tasks!


According to, people around the world send more than two billion emails per day. That’s 2.4 million emails every second! The format of some emails closely resembles that of physical letters. For example, business emails contain the salutation, body, and closing that you would find in a business letter.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

5 Reasons You Should Be Reading African American Literature

In the month of February, Americans place a special emphasis on the achievements and history of black Americans, or Americans of African descent. Each year, a theme promotes one facet of black heritage. This year, 2016, the theme is “Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories.” The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) website explains, “From port cities where Africans disembarked from slave ships to the battlefields where their descendants fought for freedom, from the colleges and universities where they pursued education to places where they created communities during centuries of migration, the imprint of Americans of African descent is deeply embedded in the narrative of the American past.

Monday, January 9, 2012

All romance, no grammar: lessons we can learn from great works of literature

Some of the greatest works of literature contain beautifully written declarations of love. But if you want to learn the rules of grammar, don’t look to these novels for help. Here are some of the most romantic quotes from literature and explanations of the grammar rules they bend and break.

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald ‘To-night’ is possibly confused with the correctly spelled word, ‘tonight.’ In the past, this hyphenated spelling of ‘tonight’ was common, but it’s best to use the modern spelling in your writing to keep the meaning clear.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Grammarly Scholarship Rules

Scholarship prompts:

  • How are reading and writing interconnected?
  • How has reading improved the way you write?

Who is eligible to participate? Participants in Grammarly’s scholarship contest must be residents of the United States (excluding Puerto Rico). In addition, each participant must either be:

  • Currently attending an accredited college or university, and enrolled in a two year, undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree program
  • Planning to attend an accredited college or university, and to be enrolled in such a program within one year after the scholarship is awarded

Grammarly will award the scholarship directly to the accredited institution.