Monday, June 29, 2015

How to Write Ordinal Numbers Correctly

Is this your first lesson on ordinal numbers? Maybe the second? Or, perhaps it’s the third?

To put it simply, ordinal numbers are used to put things in order. This can be anything from an address to the position a runner finishes in a race.

She lives on 26th Street. He finished in third place.

Ordinal numbers indicate position or order in relation to other numbers.

Cardinal numbers, on the other hand, express a quantity of something.

Monday Motivation Hack: Treat Yourself

Mondays are hard.

But they don’t have to be.

In our Monday Motivation series, we’re set on helping you make the start of your week—and maybe the entire week—something you look forward to. This week we’re diving into something that might seem pretty obvious, but is often overlooked:

Give yourself something to look forward to, something that will make you feel successful.

Rather than wallow in the misery of Monday, why not make Monday a special day?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Do You Capitalize Family Titles?

When terms denoting family relationships are used as proper nouns (as names), they are capitalized. However, when the terms are used as common nouns (not as names), they’re not capitalized. Generally, there will be a possessive pronoun (my, her, his, our) or an article (the, a, an) in front of family titles used as common noun.

It’s easy to get confused about whether you should capitalize family names in your writing.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

5 Tips for Avoiding Work on Your Vacation

Like many of us, I’ve been a victim of working whilst being on holiday. As someone who works for a handful of startups and for myself, the pressure of not being connected or involved was always front of mind as I headed off to the sun.

Our modern society keeps us connected to the world of social media, apps, email, and cloud services. On average, we commence 150 mobile sessions on our smartphones every single day.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Style Guide Tutorial: Navigating the Citation and Formatting Jungle

You have to write a paper, or copyedit one, and you have a heap of style manuals in front of you. Which one do you use? Are they consistent? Is there a difference between them? Is it all arbitrary?

As you work on your text, it stares up at you, glaring with its colons, commas, and parenthetical citations. Where do they go? Are the lines single or double-spaced? How wide are the margins supposed to be?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Past Perfect Continuous Tense

The past perfect continuous tense (also known as the past perfect progressive tense) shows that an action that started in the past continued up until another time in the past. The past perfect continuous tense is constructed using had been + the verb’s present participle (root + -ing).

Unlike the present perfect continuous, which indicates an action that began in the past and continued up to the present, the past perfect continuous is a verb tense that indicates something that began in the past, continued in the past, and also ended at a defined point in the past.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

7 Quotes on Imposter Syndrome That Will Help You Gain Confidence

“They all know. It’s only a matter of time until I’m called out. I’m a fraud.”

How many times has a similar line of thought traipsed seductively through your consciousness? An estimated 70 percent of us will likely experience at some point the feelings of inadequacy and “fakeness” that accompany imposter syndrome.

While people who experience imposter syndrome—feelings of failure and “pretending”—often experience higher rates of burnout, job dissatisfaction, and stagnancy, they also tend to be successful, as researcher Valerie Young shows.

Monday, June 15, 2015

How did you learn grammar?

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.

3 Books to Read with Your BFF

Reading is often a solitary experience. But good books can bring people together in surprising and meaningful ways. Here are three books we think would be great to read with a close friend, or someone with whom you might want to become close friends:

The Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery

The friendship between Diana Barry and Anne Shirley in the Anne of Green Gables series is famous for providing us with the term “bosom friend.” Anne and Diana are friends through thick and thin, stirring up mischief and helping each other through life’s struggles in equal measure.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Parallel Structure and Prepositions

When prepositional phrases are used in a parallel series, prepositions (with, to, of, over, under, by, etc.) should be repeated with every element of the series unless all elements use the same preposition. A common error is to repeat prepositions unnecessarily, resulting in a stilted style.

I am making a stew with beef, with carrots, and with onions.

In this sentence, there are three prepositional phrases complementing I am making a stew.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Can You Wear Some Deodorant? and Other Awkward Cubicle Conversations

Imagine you’re hard at work on a report that’s due by the end of the day. It’s been a busy week so far, and you’ve got a long way to go, so you need to avoid distractions. Unfortunately, your eyes are watering and your nose is twitching because the guy in the next cube, the one who bikes ten miles to work every day, is . . . aromatic. And not in a pleasant way.

It’s time to either fill your cube to the brim with potpourri or confront Joe Cyclist.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Top 30 Commonly Confused Words in English

Everyone knows the problem with spell-check: your word might be spelled right, but it may be the wrong word. English is full of confusing words that sound alike but are spelled differently. It’s also full of words that share similar (but not identical) meanings that are easy to misuse. Below are some of the most commonly confused and misused words in English.

Here’s a tip: Looking for a specific pair of commonly confused words on this page?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

How to Address Your Business Email or Letter to a Woman (Without Offending Her)

Let’s face it, formal letter-writing has gone the way of the pager. Once a necessary communication tool, it’s now a relic of an era before email, only to be used in specific, often similarly antiquated situations.

But what should you do if you have occasion to write a letter? And what if you have to write that letter to someone who isn’t a man?


Never fear, fearless writer, you’ve got this.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

How to Improve Writing Skills in 15 Easy Steps

Learning a variety of writing skills isn’t as difficult as you may think. We’ve put together a list of steps to help you make dramatic improvements to the quality of your writing in short order.

Becoming a better writer takes practice, and you’re already practicing. No, seriously—you write a lot. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a writer, you put thoughts into text more often than you realize.

Monday, June 1, 2015

First, Second, and Third Person

  • First person is the I/we perspective.
  • Second person is the you perspective.
  • Third person is the he/she/it/they perspective.

First, second, and third person are ways of describing points of view.

First-Person Point of View

When we talk about ourselves, our opinions, and the things that happen to us, we generally speak in the first person. The biggest clue that a sentence is written in the first person is the use of first-person pronouns.