Friday, May 31, 2013

Present Perfect Continuous Tense

The present perfect continuous tense (also known as the present perfect progressive tense) shows that something started in the past and is continuing at the present time. The present perfect continuous is formed using the construction has/have been + the present participle (root + -ing).

I have been reading War and Peace for a month now.

In this sentence, using the present perfect continuous verb tense conveys that reading War and Peace is an activity that began sometime in the past and is not yet finished in the present (which is understandable in this case, given the length of Tolstoy’s weighty tome).

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Anymore vs. Any More

Is anymore one word or two? It depends on how you’re using it. We’re here to set the record straight.

Any more and anymore have related meanings, but they’re not interchangeable. Whether you make anymore one word or two depends on how you’re using it. Any more refers to quantities (Would you like any more tea?). Anymore is an adverb that refers to time (I don’t like tea anymore.).

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

7 Truly Horrifying Grammar Rules

Places with strict and unforgiving rules make great settings for spooky stories. Think about all the books and movies set against the backdrop of a strict school, a rigid convent, or an oppressive family home. The unyielding rules contribute to an atmosphere that invites creepiness. The same is true for grammar—when rules are enforced arbitrarily, sometimes horror ensues. Especially when it’s Halloween and the moon is full.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Mexican Novels to Help You Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Guest Post by Alice E.M. Underwood

No matter where you are, Cinco de Mayo is a day to celebrate Mexico’s country, culture, and misunderstood military history. The holiday doesn’t mark Mexican Independence, as is commonly thought in other countries that break out the margaritas in honor of May 5—instead, it recognizes Mexico’s unlikely victory over the French in 1862.

But this isn’t a history lesson: it’s a literature lesson.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Scrabble Day the Writers’ Way

Scrabble enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to as April 13 – Scrabble Day – approaches. Scrabble, which involves forming words with a set number of lettered tiles on a grid-like game board, is one of the most popular word games in the world. It is available in 29 languages, and has become a household name for families and word enthusiasts everywhere.

For grammarians, playing Scrabble can be a fun way to enhance creativity and polish your spelling.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

5 Amazing Library Facts

We know that libraries are portals to amazing knowledge and insight, but libraries themselves are also pretty amazing. Here are 5 facts about libraries that will amaze you.

1. According to the American Library Association, 58% of adults in the United States have a library card.

2. The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library. It contains over 160 million items!

3. According to the American Library Association, students in the United States make 1.5 billion visits to school libraries during the school year.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

14 Expressions with Crazy Origins that You Would Never Have Guessed

Guest post by Anais John

You probably use tons of expressions, idioms, and slang phrases every day that don’t make literal sense. If you ever thought long and hard about why you say something a certain way, you could probably make a guess. However, some English expressions are so crazy and unusual that it is impossible to guess where on earth it originated from — unless you know the history.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Let Your Love of Poetry Bloom: 3 Poems about Spring

It’s spring, a season of hope and renewal! Celebrate spring with these three poems about the beauty of the season.

“Flower God, God of the Spring” by Robert Louis Stevenson

Flower god, god of the spring, beautiful, bountiful,

Cold-dyed shield in the sky, lover of versicles,

Here I wander in April

Cold, grey-headed; and still to my

Heart, Spring comes with a bound, Spring the deliverer,

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Words to Use When You’re Upset at Work

If work conflicts stress you out, you may be tempted to express your frustration with a few expletives. According to, more than 80% of workers believe that “the use of curse words brings the employee’s professionalism into question.” What might this mean for you? If you are the employee, you could damage your chances of a promotion and seem less than mature in the eyes of your coworkers.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Not-So-Sweet 16: Emoji Overload vs. The One-Word Line

Welcome to the Not-So-Sweet 16 round of March MADness! In our quest to find the most annoying work pet peeve, we’ve had some real battles. Some were obvious choices, while others were more evenly matched. And now, we’re out to determine the winners of each of our “conferences:” chat, email, phone calls, and old-fashioned, in-person talking. Which horrible habit will reign supreme?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Where to Find The Answers to Your Grammar Questions

How the Grammar Girl Team Answers All Those Grammar Questions

Guest post by Ashley Dodge

English is a complex, complicated, and often confusing language. It seems as if everyone, at one time or another, needs help with grammar. As Grammar Girl’s assistant, I’m lucky enough to help people find the answers to their grammar questions sent in by e-mail, whether it’s how to remember “affect” or “effect,” or how to use the semicolon.

Friday, May 10, 2013

When someone makes a writing mistake, what do you do?

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.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

7 Intelligent Tips on How to Quit Your Job Properly

As life changes go, quitting a job ranks among the most exhilarating and terrifying. It’s a leap into the unknown, regardless of whether you’ve got a new position all lined up or you’re leaving to begin the hunt for new opportunities. Here are seven expert tips to take a little of the stress out of your transition and help you quit your job with class.

1Weigh the pros and cons.

Job stress can cause us to make impulsive decisions.

Monday, May 6, 2013

5 Famous Cats in Literature

Cats make frequent literary appearances as fascinating, thought-provoking, and sometimes sneaky characters. From early nursery rhymes to contemporary tales, cats are omnipresent stars and sidekicks. To celebrate Adopt-a-Cat month in June, here are five famous cats that feature prominently in some much-loved books.

The Cat in the Hat

One of the best-known title characters in children’s literature, readers can easily identify the Cat in the Hat by his elongated body, striped hat, and red bow tie.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Dragged or Drug—Which Is Correct?

The recognized and correct past tense form of the verb drag is dragged. Drug can still sometimes be heard, but only in certain dialects within the United States.

Sometimes, a group of people have a way of speaking that’s particular to them. It can be a phrase they’ve coined. It can be a bending of the generally accepted linguistic norms. It can be pronunciation, spelling, or grammar misinterpretations.

Not-So-Sweet 16 Game 8: Close Talkers vs. “Well, actually . . .”

March MADness has been long. It has been frustrating. It has reminded us all of those things we don’t like about our office-mates. But, take heart! We are one poll away from exiting the Not-So-Sweet 16 and choosing the Final (Infuriating) Four!

Our last poll of the Not-So-Sweet 16 is a doozy, pitting a classic Seinfeld gripe against the world’s most irritating interjection. Help us determine the fate of office rage by voting below.