Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Yes, Branding Yourself Is More Important Than Ever

You’re awesome. You know it. People close to you know it. But does your professional community know it?

When you think about it, your personal brand is already out there in the world. You’re reminded of that every time you Google yourself. (C’mon. You know you do it.) At a minimum, you’re likely to see your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles prominently featured. That’s a start.

But developing a killer personal brand is an important tool for fine-tuning your professional image.

How to Best Introduce Yourself at a Job Interview

You’re sitting in a reception area, dressed in a carefully chosen outfit. You’re showered and polished. Your hair is perfect. Your hands are manicured. Now, if only your palms would stop sweating!

Few things are quite as unnerving as job interviews. You approach them knowing that unless you match the employer’s expectations you’re not going to land that sweet gig. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure you’ll make a good impression when the stakes are high.

Monday, December 26, 2016

5 Business Email Format Tips That Will Help You Succeed

The average business email user receives over ninety emails per day. That means your message has some serious competition for the recipient’s attention. Clear, effective communication begins with using the proper business email format.

What’s so hard about that? you’re thinking. I type out what I have to say, hit Send, and away it goes!

Slow your roll there, champ! How you format your business email makes a difference.

Friday, December 23, 2016

9 Tips for Effective Communication in the Workplace

Workplace communication shouldn’t be this difficult.

Your team is mere days out from releasing the project you’ve all been agonizing over for weeks. There have been flurries of emails and messages, presentations, a legal review, and an afternoon of confusing discussions leading to charts drawn on whiteboards with markers that turned out not to be dry-erase. Oops.

Above all, there have been meetings—so many meetings.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

President Obama and Comedians Dominate Top 5 for Grammar on Twitter, Grammarly Research Finds

Thinking about the quality of writing in social media is usually enough to make English teachers the world over weep. But, it’s not all bad and it’s about time to celebrate some of the more grammar-conscious writers on social networks. This year, in honor of National Grammar Day on March 4, we decided to find social media’s celebrity grammar hero.

After analyzing the tweets of the top fifty celebrities by size of follower base, Conan O’Brien comes out on top as our #GrammarDay champion.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

5 Things That Will Make You Better at Content Writing

Writers around the world publish millions of articles to the Internet every day. Does yours stand out? If you’re a content creator, making a few simple changes will help you become the kind of writer whose posts are readable, relatable, and shareable. Here are five things that will make you better at content writing and help your posts shine like a beacon in a sea of words.

1Studying other writers.

Monday, December 19, 2016

7 Places Grammarly’s Mobile Keyboard Helps You the Most

Smartphone users, rejoice! Grammarly has finally made the long-awaited jump to mobile (both iOS and Android!), helping us improve our communication even when using our smartphones and tablets.

But how can the Grammarly keyboard really help your writing experience?

We’re glad you asked! Here are just a few of the important places Grammarly’s new keyboard can help you show up as your best self when you’re writing on mobile.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Are you a confident editor? Tell us!

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, December 13, 2016

5 Biggest Business Writing Mistakes

We use the expression “there’s no room for mistakes” when we want to underline the importance of doing something correctly. But still, as you probably know from experience, mistakes appear whether there’s room for them or not. When they turn up in your business reports, memos, business emails and letters, and job applications, it can be downright embarrassing. We’ve gathered the biggest and most embarrassing, potentially devastating, and sometimes sneaky mistakes people make in business writing.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Than Vs. Then–What’s the Difference?

Two acquaintances who share many of the same features may be difficult to distinguish from one another. How can you tell them apart? One way is to get to know them better. Even identical twins have unique characteristics in their physical appearance and personality. A lot of people make errors with the nearly identical than/then pair, but you don’t have to be one of them. Just use the same strategy you use to tell one person from another—get to know them!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Quiz: How Understandable Is Your Writing?

Plain language is a style of communication that ensures readers (or listeners) can understand a message quickly, easily, and completely.

But how do you know if you’re actually using plain language? Surely, just being able to decipher business jargon isn’t good enough on its own. How do you know if the language you use is “plain enough”?

To overcome complex jargon, understandable writing and communication

How to Update Your LinkedIn Profile with Stealth-like Precision

Every social circle has that one friend who occasionally “stalks” people online. Don’t be alarmed. It’s more common than you might realize and can give you greater perspective on your career path. You mention someone’s first name to the group, and moments later . . . voila! Your friend has found that person’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts.

In my group of friends, that investigative person is me.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


What Are Articles?

Articles are words that define a noun as specific or unspecific. Consider the following examples:

After the long day, the cup of tea tasted particularly good.

By using the article the, we’ve shown that it was one specific day that was long and one specific cup of tea that tasted good.

After a long day, a cup of tea tastes particularly good.

By using the article a, we’ve created a general statement, implying that any cup of tea would taste good after any long day.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Study Shows Political Language Is Changing, Affects Parties Differently

Though we might not think much about them in the context of all the issues discussed during elections, rhetoric and language play a critical role in the success of U.S. presidential candidates. The 2016 presidential election process has been particularly fascinating and prompted us to take a closer look at how election language has changed over time and how it influences candidate success.

10 Things You Should Avoid Saying in a Job Interview

Could the things you’re saying during job interviews be costing you offers? Knowing the right things to say requires practice and a little finesse. But accidentally saying the wrong thing is all too easy to do. Interviews are stressful, and it can be challenging to keep a cool head when your palms are sweating and your heart is beating double-time.

Taking the time to prepare can mean the difference between walking away from an interview with a sinking feeling and landing the sweet gig you’ve been hoping for.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

7 Practical Tips on How to Start a Conversation

You’re probably not as good at starting conversations as you think you are.

And if, after reading that statement, you’re thinking Nuh-uh! I rock at starting conversations! there’s an even better chance you need the advice in this article.

Last night, I went to a blues concert with my friend. After the concert, we bumped into two of his acquaintances. The first, Mindy, approached us and said hello, but then stood there passively waiting for someone else to say something.

Monday, November 28, 2016


The period, called a full stop in British English, is one of the first punctuation marks we learn about when we begin reading and writing. Compared to commas or semicolons, the rules for using periods are blessedly simple.

What Does a Period Do?

The most common use of the period is, of course, to end a declarative sentence. Interrogative sentences (questions) end with a question mark.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Do You Capitalize the Names of Countries, Nationalities, and Languages?

You should capitalize the names of countries, nationalities, and languages because they are proper nouns—English nouns that are always capitalized.

Consider the following sentences and pay attention to the capitalized nouns:

English is made up of many languages, including Latin, German, and French.

My mother is British, and my father is Dutch.

The Mennonites began to worship in the Netherlands in the sixteenth century.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

10 Common Interview Questions You Need to Know

You landed an interview! It feels great knowing that a hiring manager from a company you’re interested in working for is also interested in you. But now the pressure’s on—you’ve got to rock the interview.

Here are some of the most common interview questions, and our advice for the best way to answer them.

1Tell me about yourself.

This question is among the first that most interviewers ask, so it’s tempting to jump right in and start listing off all the qualities that make you the best person for the job.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Grammar Basics: What Is Subject-Verb Agreement?

In English, subject-verb agreement is important. What this means is that the characteristics of the subject should be reflected in the verb. For example, if a subject is a singular, the verb form must also be singular.

She see you.
She sees you.

Likewise, if a subject is plural, the verb must also be plural.

We sees you.
We see you.

Unlike in other languages that require that subject and verb agree in both number and gender, English verbs are not conjugated for gender and so require only that they match in number.

Friday, November 18, 2016

14 Career Development Books That Will Help You Reach Your Goals

Do you need a hand? These fourteen career development books will show you how you can move your job goals in the right direction.

The Classics

People who get stuff done share at least seven common traits. In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, you’ll learn what the seven practices are and how you can acquire them.

Though ruling a nation might not be your career goal, you can glean a lot of wisdom from The Emperor’s Handbook, a translation of Meditations written by Marcus Aurelius, which includes some “unique features for contemporary readers.”

5 Tips for Writing an Amazing Thank-you Card

If you want to let someone know how much you appreciate what they’ve done for you or what they’ve given you, the classic way—writing a thank-you card—is still the best, the classiest, and the most appreciated way of expressing gratitude. Lest you forget this, there’s always National Card Reading Day to remind us how fulfilling it is to receive a thank-you card, and how respectful it is to send them.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

8 Great Hanukkah Reads

Hanukkah, if you didn’t already know, is a Jewish holiday that begins on the twenty-fifth of the Jewish month Kislev and lasts for eight days. It’s a winter holiday, and because Jewish months don’t correspond perfectly to the Gregorian calendar months, Hanukkah can fall in November, December, or even stretch into January. This year, it begins at sunset on December 24 and lasts until nightfall on January 1.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Essentials of Cover Letter Format

Which applicants have a higher chance of being called in for an interview—those who submit an interest-arousing cover letter or those whose cover letters are generic? The answer is obvious, but each day recruiters receive hundreds of lackluster letters. One reason is that sometimes candidates just don’t know where to start or how to compose a good letter. Let’s look at the best practices for writing cover letters—one section at a time.

Friday, November 11, 2016

What Is the Oxford Comma and Why Do People Care So Much About It?

The Oxford (or serial) comma is the final comma in a list of things. For example:

Please bring me a pencil, eraser, and notebook.

The Oxford comma comes right after eraser.

Use of the Oxford comma is stylistic, meaning that some style guides demand its use while others don’t. AP Style—the style guide that newspaper reporters adhere to—does not require the use of the Oxford comma.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Be Specific! How to Get to the Point in Everything You Write

You want your writing to have a clear message. You want it to be easy to read and reach more people.

But your pieces aren’t getting a lot of engagement, and your readers are confused about your main points. You’re having to verbally explain to people what you wrote, and you’re getting fewer and fewer responses to your novel-length emails.

Maybe you were aiming for your next writing piece to be strong, effective, and easy to understand . . .

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

4 Ways to Find Writing Inspiration and Finish Your Work

Just a page. Just a paragraph. Just a word.

When you have a case of writer’s block, you’d take anything, any progress to get the creative juices flowing again. But it can seem like the well’s run dry.

Overcoming a creative block is a process. Sometimes the fog suddenly lifts, but more likely you will have to work until the sun shines again. It will take some willpower. Part of that process is understanding what causes writer’s block and the scientific ways it can be improved.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Pronoun Reference Rules

Pronouns are words that stand in for a noun in a sentence. Whenever pronouns are used, it should be unmistakably clear which noun the pronoun is standing in for. A faulty pronoun reference will result in a muddled sentence and a confused reader.

A pronoun is like an actor’s double on a movie set: it is a simplified version of the noun it is standing in for.

The mother called the daughter.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

9 Workflow Strategies That Will Make You a Faster Writer

Whether writing is your livelihood or your side hustle, being able to produce content quickly is a skill you’ll never regret developing. And not only will a solid process help you write faster, it will ease editing frustrations by making your draft more organized from the start.

I write all day, every day, and although I’ll never be the fastest writer in the world, I’ve had to make some serious adjustments to my own process in order to get things done and meet my deadlines.

Monday, October 31, 2016

5 Simple Ways to Write about Negative Issues with a Positive Spin

Have you ever written something only to have the recipient completely misunderstand your intent? Or been accused of abruptness when you thought you were being businesslike and efficient? There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to communicating effectively, but among the most important is tone.

I’ve spent nearly two decades in the online trenches in roles ranging from business owner to forum moderator to PR email writer extraordinaire—a true virtual diplomat.

What Is Imposter Syndrome, and How Do You Overcome It?

You took this job because you wanted to grow, try different things, and face new challenges. You wanted to expand your skillset—to learn by doing something you’d never done before.

Instead, it feels like you’re flailing. Like a golden retriever wearing a necktie, you have no idea what you’re doing, do you? Given your historic string of gaffes, it’s only a matter of time before someone calls you out for the fraud you are.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Can You Actually Use Emojis in Work Emails?

Chances are you encounter emojis on a daily basis. These adorable icons are popping up everywhere—in texts with friends and family, social media posts, and even in the movie theater.

But are they in your work emails? And—here’s the more salient question—should they be in your work emails?

Emoji use has risen steadily since their creation in Japan in the late 1990s. For many of us they’re now a normal part of digital communication, but do they belong in the workplace?

9 Perfect Ways to Improve Your Proofreading Skills

We all know that proofreading is important—it doesn’t matter if you’re a native speaker or just learning English. Nothing is worse than turning in a project you worked hard on, only to discover that it’s full of typos, misspellings, and grammatical mistakes. But proofreading your own writing is tough. Sometimes your brain sees what you meant to write instead of what’s actually on the page.

Friday, October 21, 2016

16 Original Pun-inspired Costumes to Wear This Halloween

To anyone who’s been following us on social media, it should come as no surprise that Grammarly loves puns—especially clever ones that we’ve never seen before. With Halloween just around the corner, we thought we would pull together some of the most creative ideas to spark your imagination.

1Drawn and Quartered

It’s a good thing puns aren’t considered treason! Follow this helpful tutorial to cover yourself in Pop Art makeup, then draw or hot-glue quarters to an old T-shirt.

Comma After Introductory Clauses

Introductory clauses are dependent clauses that are often found at the beginning of the sentence (although they can be moved to the end of the sentence, too, without confusing the meaning of the sentence). After a dependent introductory clause, we use a comma to separate the introductory clause from the independent clause. Consider the examples below:

As the man was walking into the store he came face to face with his childhood sweetheart.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Creative People Will Want to Know These 4 Tips from JJ Abrams

If you’re a fan of film, television, or lens flare, you’ve probably heard of JJ Abrams. He’s the Emmy award–winning writer-director-producer who brought us Alias, Felicity, Lost, Super 8, Mission Impossible III, Cloverfield, and 10 Cloverfield Lane.

Oh yeah . . . and he rebooted two of the greatest sci-fi franchises of all time, Star Trek and Star Wars. No big deal, y’all!

If you’re ready to make your own creative mark on the world, listen up—JJ’s got some advice for you.

Monday, October 17, 2016

20 Email Subject Lines That Will Get Opened Every Time

Did you know that 33 percent of email recipients decide whether or not to open an email based on subject line alone? If you want your email read, you’ve got to get it opened first. Here are twenty powerful headers to try for four different types of email outreach, plus a few helpful tips for creating subject lines that work.


Met you at [event]. Let’s connect!

If you’ve met your contact before, and you’re convinced they’d remember the meeting favorably, it’s always helpful to bring it up

Friday, October 14, 2016

How British English and American English are Different

Many Americans who love tea would turn up their noses at the idea of adding milk to it. Brits, on the other hand, are known for lacing their strong tea with milk. With or without milk, tea is tea. It’s served one way in Britain and another way in the United States, but everyone can recognize it for what it is. The language that Americans and Brits share is a bit like that—spoken differently in the two locations, but understandable by both groups of speakers.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Rules for Comma Usage

Ah, the comma. Of all the punctuation marks in English, this one is perhaps the most abused and misused. And it’s no wonder. There are lots of rules about comma usage, and often the factors that determine whether you should use one are quite subtle. But fear not! Below, you’ll find guidance for the trickiest comma questions.

What Is a Comma?

While a period ends a sentence, a comma indicates a smaller break.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

11 Emoji Tips to Save Your Texts

Whether you like the tiny emotion-pictures or despise them, emojis are heavily used throughout messaging apps.

If you’re new to emojis, or you’ve long been expressing your joy with crying smiling faces and your sass with reception desk workers, you can up your game. Check out these tips to make your texts as emoji-filled as possible.

1. Know common emoji meanings.

Emojis may not be language, but some of the more commonly used symbols do have accepted meanings.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Office Etiquette​ You Should Know on Casual Friday

So-called “Casual Friday” can be more stressful than the days when the rules are hard and fast. Are all jeans verboten, or just the ones with rips all the way up your thighs? Is it frowned upon to peace out early? When that last-minute task pops up, can’t you just pretend you didn’t see the note until Monday morning?

Here are some tips on office etiquette to help you be as professionally casual on Fridays as you are professionally professional the rest of the week.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

If You Want to Know How to Apologize, First Do This…

If you want to succeed at apologizing, start by telling yourself you’re awesome.

The advice sounds counterintuitive. It’s common knowledge that if you want to make a real apology, the kind that’s meaningful and sincere, you have to start by setting aside your ego. But that’s easier said than done, because research shows that not admitting we’re wrong is pretty emotionally satisfying.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

To Whom It May Concern: When and How to Use It Properly

Once, in a time before nearly everyone had access to the Internet in the palms of their hands, it was common to begin business correspondence with the salutation To Whom It May Concern. But times have changed.

We’ll take a look at whether you should use To Whom It May Concern, explore a few alternatives, and talk about the only type of correspondence where this greeting is still acceptable.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Quiz: How Good Are You with Job Interviews?

Job interviews are hard.

The anticipation and anxiety about doing well or messing up can be worse than a first date with a crush.

In our society, we place a lot of importance on job interview performance, which is why it can be surprising to see just how little many people know about interview questions and basic interview etiquette.

To help you understand whether you’re on track, we put together a simple quiz that will test your understanding of good interview habits.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Geographical Use of the Definite Article, The

English uses the definite article, the, in front of some geographical names but not in front of others.

Geographical Use of the Definite Article (The) With Country Names

Typically, the article the is not used before the names of countries and territories:

Our flight to the China was canceled.
Our flight to China was canceled.

However, the is used before countries whose names are plural in form:

Have you ever been to Netherlands?

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Everyday vs. Every day

  • Everyday is an adjective we use to describe something that’s seen or used every day. It means “ordinary” or “typical.”
  • Every day is a phrase that simply means “each day.”

Compound words, like anytime and any time, sometimes don’t have the same meaning as the individual words they comprise. It’s a case of the whole being different from the sum of its parts. Everyday and every day are like that—everyday (with no space) doesn’t mean the same thing as every day (with a space).

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


What’s an Idiom?

Broadly speaking, an idiom is a widely used phrase that, when taken as a whole, has a particular meaning that you would not be able to deduce from the meanings of the individual words. The ubiquitous greeting “How are you doing today?” is an example of an idiom. Normally, how means “in what manner” or “to what degree.” Taken literally, the question doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Monday, September 26, 2016

What’s the Difference Between Dashes and Hyphens?

A hyphen (-) is a punctuation mark that’s used to join words or parts of words. It’s not interchangeable with other types of dashes.

A dash is longer than a hyphen and is commonly used to indicate a range or a pause. The most common types of dashes are the en dash (–) and the em dash (—).

When to Use Hyphens

Some compound words, such as self-restraint are hyphenated. Numbers between twenty-five and ninety-nine should also be hyphenated when they’re spelled out.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Have you discussed grammar with educators?

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.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

How to Write a Thank-You Email After an Interview, According to Experts

Have you ever been in this situation?

You go in for an interview, and after a harrowing two hours, walk out feeling relatively confident that you made a good impression. Your resume was flawless. Your cover letter was witty and showed passion. Your interview outfit was on point. You thought you really bonded with the team that interviewed you. Nothing could go wrong, right?

What went wrong?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

10 Ways to Be More Confident at Work

Whether a bad day’s got you down, you don’t love speaking up, or you’re constantly playing the comparison game, chances are good that you could use an added dose of confidence at work.

In some cases, decision-makers in any job setting put more stock in confidence than competence when they’re making picks for a promotion or filling out a performance review. Don’t get overlooked or undervalued because you’re not projecting your best.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Motivation Hack: Take a Break

Ah, motivation. Sometimes you can feel it coursing through your veins, and sometimes it seems as fleeting as snow in the spring. When you feel completely out of motivation, burned out, or exhausted, what do you do?

So far in our Monday Motivation Hack series, we’ve covered things that help you when you’re highly motivated, like to-do lists, morning routines, and mindfulness. But what about those days when getting out of bed seems like a struggle?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Grammar Basics: What Are Verb Tenses?

Verb tenses are forms of verbs that show whether we are talking about the past, present, or future. There are six classical tenses in English and an additional six tenses that are categorized as “perfect tenses.”

The classical tenses, using the verb “walk” as an example, are: Present simple (I walk) Present continuous ( I am walking)

Simple past (I walked) Past continuous (I was walking)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Grammarly Is Now Available for Microsoft Edge 15+

As previously hinted during the recent Microsoft Edge Summit, Grammarly has, in fact, made its way to Microsoft Edge 15+.

Grammarly’s browser extension for Edge will make sure your messages, documents, and social media posts are clear, mistake-free, and impactful. Adding Grammarly to Microsoft Edge means that your spelling and grammar will be vetted on Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Tumblr, and nearly everywhere else you write on the web.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

When to Use Of vs. Off?

  • Of is a preposition that indicates relationships between other words, such as belonging, things made of other things, things that contain other things, or a point of reckoning.
  • Off is usually used as an adverb or a preposition. In both cases, it indicates separation or disconnection.

Mixing them up is always a mistake, but of and off are commonly confused nonetheless. Below, we’ve listed some common situations where you want to use of and some where off is the correct choice.

Friday, September 9, 2016

How to Network: 5 Simple Ways to Stand Out

Want to advance your career? Expanding your network can play a huge role in your success, but for many of us networking events can feel intimidating, panic-inducing, or just plain awkward.

So how do you set yourself apart from the job-seeking hordes, and still retain your dignity?

Whether you have no idea how to network or just want some pointers for upping your game, here are five simple ways you can stand out from the competition.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Are Seasons Capitalized?

When we write the days of the week, we capitalize their names. We do the same for months. But when it comes to seasons, more often than not you’ll see them written in lowercase. Not that they’re always written that way—once in a while you’ll see them capitalized, which should suggest that there are some capitalization rules that apply to seasons after all. So here they are.

In General, Can You Capitalize Seasons?

When Should I Spell Out Numbers?

It is generally best to write out numbers from zero to one hundred in nontechnical writing. In scientific and technical writing, the prevailing style is to write out numbers under ten. While there are exceptions to these rules, your predominant concern should be expressing numbers consistently.

Numbers can disrupt readability in a paragraph, so for most writing purposes, it is best to flex those fingers and type out numbers less than 101 as fully spelled words.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Could Bad Grammar Mean a Lonely Valentine’s Day for Dating Hopefuls?

In the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, hopeful romantics take to online dating apps and send millions of messages (50 million, according to to potential partners. What traits are they looking for in their matches? Common interests and mutual attraction are important to just about everybody, but one must-have that both men and women find important may surprise you—good grammar.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

5 Tough Interview Questions and the Perfect Responses for Them

Congratulations. (Maybe. Hopefully!)

You haven’t clinched your new job yet, but getting this far is encouraging. You may already be excitedly imagining life in your upcoming role, but the more immediate task at hand will be nailing the interview. That means it’s time to prepare for an array of tough potential interview questions you may have to field.

Besides knowing how you want to present your background and experience, it helps to research the place you’re applying.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

What Are Proper Nouns, and How Do I Use Them?

A proper noun is a specific (i.e., not generic) name for a particular person, place, or thing. Proper nouns are always capitalized in English, no matter where they fall in a sentence. Because they endow nouns with a specific name, they are also sometimes called proper names.

Every noun can be classified as either common or proper. A common noun is the generic name for one item in a class or group.

How to Write the Perfect Thanksgiving Message to Colleagues

Sure, Thanksgiving is about feasting, but let’s not forget its other main theme: gratitude.

This is the perfect time to show your appreciation for the awesome people in your life— especially those patient folks you spend your days working alongside!

Consider taking a few minutes this holiday season to write your favorite coworkers a Thanksgiving message letting them know how much you appreciate them.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Top Cities in Pro Sports . . . Grammatically Speaking

In 2015, Grammarly put pro sports fans to the test. We wanted to see who had the best writing chops when they were cheering on their favorite teams online. Our first study— ranking NFL fans by their spelling, grammar, and punctuation—proved so popular that we went on to rank MLB and NBA enthusiasts, as well.

To wrap up the year in sports (Grammarly style), we decided to see which pro sports cities had game.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

13 Excellent Examples of 280-character Tweets

Twitter shocked the world this week. The social network that made 140 characters a commonly acceptable form of digital interaction has now changed the foundational element of their social platform.

Enter 280-character tweets, as announced in September by Twitter CEO @jack Dorsey.

This is a small change, but a big move for us. 140 was an arbitrary choice based on the 160 character SMS limit.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The 10 Biggest Leadership Mistakes You Really Should Avoid

You made it. You’re a manager or boss, maybe even a business owner or CEO. Now, it’s time to be a leader. If you know anything about managing other people and their ideas, you know that it’s a super tough gig. There are many tempting traps you can fall into when it comes to being in charge, but as long as you’re cognizant of them, they’re possible to avoid. Keep reading for our top ten mistakes leaders make, plus how to be sure you steer clear of them.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Season’s Greetings or Seasons Greetings and 3 More Confusing Holiday Terms

For many, the holiday season is a time of communication. Not only are we getting together with loved ones, but we also take additional time to greet others and get in touch with old friends.

Sometimes, however, it can be tough getting all the words right. Where should the apostrophe go in “Season’s Greetings”? Should you “ring in” or “bring in” the New Year? What in the world does “Bah, Humbug” mean?

Friday, August 19, 2016

8 More Wondrous Winter Idioms

Feeling under the weather? Walking on thin ice with your vocabulary variety? These idioms will have a snowball effect on your language use this winter. And they’re just the tip of the iceberg.

Take a chill pill

If you’re going to tell someone to calm down, why not do it in rhyme? “Chill” means a feeling of coldness, as in, “there was a chill in the air.” Sometime in recent decades, probably the 1970s, the word also came to mean “relax”—just imagine a hippie flower child flashing a peace sign and saying “Chill out, dude.”

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Neil Gaiman’s 5 Must-see Tips on Perfecting Your Writing

There are many celebrated writers in this world, but few ever reach the rockstar-level status of dark fantasy author Neil Gaiman.

Fans stand in line for hours at his book signings, only to faint when they finally meet him (or ask him to sign their body so they can get his signature tattooed).

His beloved novels and comics—Coraline, Stardust, American Gods, Good Omens, and The Sandman (to name a few)—have gained cult followings and been adapted for the big screen and television.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

These Roaring Dinosaur Puns Will Help You Cope With Life

Besides being cool, dinosaurs are funny. Chuckling about these amusing extinct animals will help you cope with life. Check out these roaring dinosaur puns!

What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary?

Answer: A thesaurus.

No list of dinosaur puns would be complete without this one. It is one of the oldest jokes in the book!

Why can’t you hear a pterodactyl going to the bathroom?

Friday, August 12, 2016

8 Scrumptious Words to Describe Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Chefs are like writers—always combining the elements of their trade to create new works of art. How else do you think we got ice cream made with liquid nitrogen? When it comes to describing food, some writers stick to common words: delicious, tasty, yummy. But eating is a multisensory experience. Here are some scrumptious food adjectives to appeal to all our senses.

Toothsome means pleasing to the taste.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Words to Purge From Your Emails

Do your bloated emails need a diet? If an email is too wordy, the recipient may not be inclined to read it carefully. Make your emails brief, clean, and effective by eliminating these unnecessary phrases.

One Potentially Impolite Word

When you type an email, the receiver can’t see your twinkling eyes and impish grin. Certain words, such as “actually,” can seem sarcastic, condescending, or even impolite.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

8 Professions That Write More Than You Think

“How will I need this in the real world?” high school students often ask. Everyone knows that journalists and authors write for a living. But are effective writing skills necessary for other careers? You will be surprised; some professions use writing more than you think!

Sales and Marketing

Writing can influence people to try a new product or remain loyal to a brand. Effective sales copy should be concise, credible, and relevant to the customer.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Reader’s Choice: 10 Books That Will Make Great Holiday Gifts

Grammarly blog readers love many things. Chief among them, grammar advice, writing tips, and of course, reading.

Book recommendations are always clutch, especially at this time of the year. So for those looking for last-minute stocking-stuffers or timely selections for your book clubs, we asked our Facebook audience, “What has been your favorite book of 2017?” Here are their picks for the  books they’re loving right now along with reviews from Goodreads.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Improve Your Email Writing with These 9 Helpful Posts

Looking for email writing tips?

You’ve come to the right place.

Grammarly’s blog has featured several recent posts on all things email writing. Our aim is to provide readers with valuable insights on how to craft the perfect email for any occasion. We’ve talked about proper email etiquette. We’ve covered ways to maximize your productivity. And we’ve shown you how to step out of office for vacation and avoid a flood of emails upon your return.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


What Is a Pronoun?

Pronouns make up a small subcategory of nouns. The distinguishing characteristic of pronouns is that they can be substituted for other nouns. For instance, if you’re telling a story about your sister Sarah, the story will begin to sound repetitive if you keep repeating “Sarah” over and over again.

Sarah has always loved fashion. Sarah announced that Sarah wants to go to fashion school.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The 5 Best Ways to Stay Motivated During a Job Search

Are you disappointed with the progress of your job search? Unemployment can make your spirits plummet. You’ve heard the comparisons: Resumes are a way to market yourself. Successful resumes reveal why you are the ideal candidate. Andrew Reiffenberger, a recruiting director, stated, “Your resume is you. It’s you on a page.” No wonder you feel down when you don’t get responses to your inquiries.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Affect vs. Effect

Affect and effect are easy to mix up. Here’s the short version of how to use affect vs. effect. Affect is usually a verb, and it means to impact or change. Effect is usually a noun, an effect is the result of a change. Watch out! There are certain situations and fixed phrases that break the general usage rules for these words.

Now that the basics are out of the way, the time has come to learn the intricacies of how to use affect and effect effectively.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Democratic Primary Candidates Grammar Power Rankings

When we’re online putting our thoughts and ideas into writing, grammar can mean the difference between getting our point across and having it misconstrued. If there’s one place where clear communication is a must, it’s the world of politics.

Ready or not, presidential debate season has begun. Armed with our grammar algorithms and research team, we headed to each 2016 presidential candidate’s official Facebook page to take a lighthearted look at how well their supporters write.

What Is Plain Language? 5 Ways to Overcome Workplace Jargon

If your work consists largely of moving words around on a screen, being understood is essential. At no time is this more evident than when workplace communications fail.

Say your team has been coordinating a crucial media announcement for weeks. You’ve gathered input from scientists and software developers at your company to clarify the details of your message, you’ve run the language past your boss and a company lawyer—you’ve even sat down with an executive to make sure your tone is on brand.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Four Ways to Read More Over the Holidays

Holiday season is fun, but it’s also hectic. You may get a few days off from work or school, but with all the parties, family gatherings, feast cooking, gift shopping, and other celebratory goings-on, there may not be much time left over. What’s a bookworm to do? Get creative, that’s what! Here are four ways to sneak some reading time into even the busiest holiday schedule.

1 Share the Joy

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Comma Splice

  • When you join two independent clauses with a comma and no conjunction, it’s called a comma splice. Some people consider this a type of run-on sentence, while other people think of it as a punctuation error.
  • Here’s an example of a comma splice: Koala bears are not actually bears, they are marsupials.
  • There are three ways to fix a comma splice. You can add a conjunction, change the comma to a semicolon, or make each independent clause its own sentence.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

5 Basic Proofreading Habits for a More Productive 2018

Well, here we are, a new year and a clean slate. That’s great news, particularly if you’re still holding onto some embarrassment about an ill-timed typo or grammar gaffe you may have committed in 2017. Fear not! Things can be different in 2018, especially if you commit yourself to developing these five proofreading habits.

1 Make a list of your personal bugaboos.

What trips you up?

Monday, July 18, 2016

29 Hilarious Halloween Memes and GIFs You’ll Want To Share

Do you live for Halloween?

Whether you’re a fan of kitsch, horror, fabulous style, or coffin-loads of candy, this mischievous and creative holiday has got a spell for you.

In celebration of this hallowed season, we’ve cracked open the crypt and unleashed twenty-nine of the best Halloween memes and GIFs for you to haunt the Internet with your bone-tingling obsession.

1At First You Try to Play It Cool

Per Our Conversation: 5 New Ways to Say This Traditional Phrase

No one wants to be known as the king or queen of boring conversations. One way to prevent tedium is to avoid predictable speech patterns. Are you guilty of overusing “per our conversation?” Grab your listener’s attention with five fresh variations!

If You Want to Give Credit for an Idea

1 As Mentioned When you say “per our conversation,” your listeners understand that a conversation took place.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Articles with Plural Nouns

The indefinite articles a and an are used to modify singular nouns. When using a plural noun, these two articles are unnecessary. Plural nouns can take either a definite article or no article at all.

The definite article is the word the. It precedes a noun when something specific (i.e., definite) is being referred to.

The phone is ringing.

Indefinite articles, on the other hand, are used before nouns that are nonspecific within their class.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Presidential Debate Grammar Power Rankings

Ready or not, the U.S. presidential campaign season is upon us. Whoever your pick for POTUS, one thing’s certain—political topics inspire passionate discussions. With a light heart and heavy-hitting algorithms, we visited each candidate’s official Facebook page and looked at the comments there to see how well their supporters handle themselves when they communicate their ideas in writing.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Are Emojis Language?

Whether you love them or hate them, you have to admit, emojis have taken over. Following the latest update by the Unicode Consortium, the body that dictates language on digital devices, there are now 1,085 officially-recognized emojis in circulation. Five years after their introduction in the United States, emojis have started to dominate messaging and social media apps. Swyft estimates that 6 billion of the emotion pictures are sent in messaging apps every day, and Instagram reports that over half of all Instagram posts include at least one emoji.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

How to Write a Cover Letter: Parts, Process, and Pro Tips

It doesn’t matter whether you’re just testing the job market or eagerly searching for your next gig—knowing how to write a great cover letter is an essential skill. We’ll talk about the whys and hows of cover letters, offer some examples of what to say (and what not to), and provide a few etiquette dos and don’ts. Read on to rev up your job-seeking game!

Why You Should Write a Cover Letter

Hunting for a job is hard.

Question Mark

Without question marks, we’d miss out on all kinds of things: invitations, jokes, the Riddler . . .

No doubt, the question mark is a nice little piece of punctuation. And, best of all, it’s easy to use!

What Is a Question Mark For?

The main purpose of a question mark, perhaps unsurprisingly, is to indicate that a sentence is a question. Direct questions often (but not always) begin with a wh- word (who, what, when, where, why).

Monday, July 4, 2016

13 Mistakes to Avoid at Your Next Networking Event

How good are your networking skills, really? Are you gaining awesome connections at every event, or do you leave with a handful of cards for contacts that never pan out?

As you may have guessed, there’s more to the networking hustle than showing up at an event and hitting the bar. Networking has its own skillset, and you could be ruining your chances at making connections (and securing your next job) without even knowing it.


At first glance, the rules of English capitalization seem simple. You probably know you should capitalize proper nouns and the first word of every sentence. But you also (sometimes) capitalize the first word of a quote. Usually you don’t capitalize after a colon, but there are exceptions. And what do you do when you’re not sure whether something is a proper noun?

English Capitalization Rules:

1 Capitalize the First Word of a Sentence

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Origins of the Most Popular Slang Words of 2017

Let’s face it—the English-speaking world would be significantly less exciting without slang. How would we have survived 2017 without subtweeting, dragging, or declaring various things “lit?”

Many English words begin their lives as slang. Dictionaries like Merriam-Webster monitor slang closely in order to understand new trends in English, eventually adopting new slang words into the dictionary. (If you’re interested in the ins and outs of this process, you can learn more here.) This year, eight slang words caught our eye.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

NBA Grammar Power Rankings

Since we launched our NFL Grammar Power Rankings (followed by MLB and college football), sports fans and journalists alike have urged us: “Do basketball next!” Basketball season has finally arrived, so we put NBA fans to the grammar test.

Who’s shooting bricks and who’s getting nothin’ but net when it comes to grammar, spelling, and punctuation? We began by collecting the first five comments posted under articles on each official SB Nation NBA team blog until we’d gathered a total of 100 comments (of 50 words or more) for each team.

Friday, June 24, 2016

How to Turn Your New Year’s Resolutions Into Habits

So you’ve decided to write more. That’s your goal, your resolution.

You’re there; the keyboard is there. Maybe in your head you’re repeating “you can do it, you can do it,” getting pumped for the outpouring of productivity, the astronomical wordcount that will no doubt ensue at any moment now.

Yep, at any second, we’re going to kick into high gear and—Hang on, let’s put on some coffee first.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

7 Reasons to Love the English Language

Isn’t English grand?

Even if English has been called “a bastard tongue” by many, I still love it. Complex, creole, and occasionally confusing, English is a language that has borrowed and stolen some of the best elements of other languages to make something all its own. Who couldn’t love the language that gave us hilarious-sounding words like “wabbit” and “nagware”?

And with 1.5 billion active speakers, it’s also one of the most widely adopted languages in history.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

65 Powerful Words to Take Your Resume to the Next Level

Do you consider yourself a hard worker? A team player? A people person? Whatever you do, don’t tell that to the person reading your resume. Why not? Because if they hear about one more of those, they’re going to tear the resume into itty-bitty shreds.

As good as certain terms might seem, they’ve been on a few billion too many resumes to mean anything to potential bosses. When you’re updating your resume, make your accomplishments stand out by using words that are powerful and descriptive rather than stale and clichéd.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

8 New Movies and Shows That Creatives Must Watch

Creative work can be especially fun and rewarding, but after a long day of writing, designing, composing, crafting, coding, building, imagining . . . it’s good to relax and recharge.

And what better way to kick back than with a movie or show that refuels your creative energy?

We’ve entered a golden age in US television, where creators are forging into new territory and bringing diverse ideas and voices to the forefront.

Friday, June 17, 2016

How Reading Affects Your Brain

As you read these words, your brain is decoding a series of abstract symbols and synthesizing the results into complex ideas. It’s an amazing process. The English writer Katie Oldham described the “surreal” act of reading a book this way: “You stare at marked slices of tree for hours on end, hallucinating vividly.”

And as if it weren’t already strange enough, consider this: If you do enough of it—that is, read a lot—it may not only rewire parts of your brain, but perhaps even make you a nicer person. (Maybe.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Talk Like a Copy Editor and Learn Something New in the Process

If a publisher offers you a kill fee, don’t panic! They’re not asking you to murder anyone. A kill fee is money paid for a piece of writing if they decide to kill it—i.e., not publish it. If you want to make it in the writing industry (and avoid criminal charges), you need to learn the lingo. Let’s start right now.

Basic Writing Jargon

Have you heard of a policeman’s beat? It’s the area he regularly patrols.

Commas After Introductory Phrases

What Is an Introductory Phrase?

An introductory phrase is like a clause, but it doesn’t have its own subject and verb; it relies on the subject and verb in the main clause. It sets the stage for the main part of the sentence. When you use an introductory phrase in your writing, you’re signaling to the reader that the central message of the sentence is yet to come.

Introductory clause: After the meeting was over, the staff was exhausted.

Monday, June 13, 2016

5 Things to Avoid When Writing a Letter of Recommendation

So, you’ve been asked to write a letter of recommendation.

Aside from the immediate awkwardness of having to articulate how we think and feel about another person’s work, figuring out how to write a letter of recommendation often induces anxiety that a poorly written letter will weaken your contact’s chance at success.

Whether you are writing a letter for an employee, co-worker, or student, there are some essential Do’s and Don’ts for how to write an effective letter of recommendation.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Empathy vs. Sympathy

  • Empathy is a term we use for the ability to understand other people’s feelings as if we were having them ourselves.
  • Empathy can also mean projecting our own feeling onto a work of art or another object.
  • Sympathy refers to the ability to take part in someone else’s feelings, mostly by feeling sorrowful about their misfortune.
  • Sympathy can also be used in relation to opinions and taste, like when you say that you have sympathy for a political cause.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

How to Address a Letter: 9 Tips You Should Know

You don’t do this often.

Let’s face it. Putting the date at the top and your signature at the bottom isn’t your jam when it’s time to address a letter. Nor is folding pages into crisp thirds to fit inside an envelope. Formal letters just aren’t your specialty.


As far as new jobs go, the good news is that learning how to address a letter is a lot easier than learning to tie a respectable half-Windsor or mastering the mysterious art of polite breakroom chitchat.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

How to Make a Clear, Assertive Point Over Email

Giving someone a lot of work to do, taking on a new responsibility, asking for leeway, requesting a favor, disagreeing with someone, expressing a strong opinion, or just saying hi after a long radio silence—these topics are tough in conversation, and when you’re trying to broach a difficult subject over email, there can be even more at stake.

Grammarly has put together a guide of best practices for sending emails on difficult topics without coming across as aggressive, demanding, or rude.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Baseball Fans Come Out Swinging in 2016 MLB Grammar Power Rankings

The Boys of Summer are in their glory! Last year, we ranked all thirty Major League Baseball teams by how well their fans write when they’re talking them up or just playing armchair coach online. Our ranking was such a hit that we decided to make it an annual event.

We gathered 3,000 fan comments (of fifteen words or more) posted to each MLB team’s SB Nation blog between June 1 and June 14, 2016.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Quiz: What Kind of Imposter Syndrome Do You Have?

It’s irrelevant that you’ve been working in your field for years; you’re living in fear of being outed as a fraud. A fake. A phony.

It’s imposter syndrome.

Imposter syndrome is the inability to internalize your successes, coupled with the fear of being outed as an unqualified fraud.

This fear of being exposed as inadequate and unqualified literally keeps you from achieving your best professional self.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

5 Best Writers’ Retreats of All Time

Some like it hot. Others like it cold, or cluttered, or colorful. As you can imagine, authors, poets, and playwrights find inspiration in a variety of writing environments. With Log Cabin Day coming up on June 28, the Grammarly team began thinking about the best — and most interesting — places to write.

Are you curious about where your favorite author penned his or her bestseller?

Monday, May 30, 2016

Monday Motivation Hack: Make the Hard Choice

Whether you’re a decisive taskmaster or someone who struggles to choose what to eat for breakfast, you will eventually have a decision that stumps you. Sometimes, these are big life choices like taking that job, choosing that partner, or moving to that new city. Other times, seemingly small decisions like which font you should use in your presentation can trip you up.

Never fear, future decision-makers!

Friday, May 27, 2016

5 Alternative Ways to Say “Thank You in Advance”

You just got an email from Susie in accounting asking you to bring three dozen of your famous cupcakes for Dave the office manager’s retirement party. Which, by the way, is tomorrow. Susie signed her email:

Thank you in advance,


Your reaction to that sign-off will probably depend on the tone and content of Susie’s email. If she politely apologized for the short notice and begged you to please consider whipping up what has become an office favorite (because, really, who doesn’t like cupcakes?), you might get busy baking after work.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Apostrophe Rules

Apostrophes can be tricky. Sometimes they form possessives. Sometimes they form contractions. Can they ever make something plural?

Apostrophe Use: Contractions and Omissions

A contraction is a shortened form of a word (or group of words) that omits certain letters or sounds. In a contraction, an apostrophe represents missing letters. The most common contractions are made up of verbs, auxiliaries, or modals attached to other words: He would=He’d.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Adjectives and Adverbs–What’s the Difference?

Many of us learned in school that adjectives modify nouns and that adverbs modify verbs. But as we’ve seen, adjectives can also act as complements for linking verbs. This leads to a common type of error: incorrectly substituting an adverb in place of a predicate adjective. An example you’ve probably heard before is:

I feel badly about what happened.

Because “feel” is a verb, it seems to call for an adverb rather than an adjective.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Here’s How to Send the Perfect Farewell Message to Colleagues

If you’re leaving your job, you will need to tie up lots of loose ends. Leaving a positive impression on your colleagues is vital. How do you gracefully notify colleagues of your departure? Let’s talk about the perfect farewell message.

The Perfect Timing

Sending farewell messages too early is a bad idea. People will inevitably stop by your office to wish you well face-to-face, and that could interfere with finishing up your last work tasks.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Using the Future Continuous Tense

The future continuous tense, sometimes also referred to as the future progressive tense, is a verb tense that indicates that something will occur in the future and continue for an expected length of time. It is formed using the construction will + be + the present participle (the root verb + -ing).

The simple future tense is a verb tense that is used when an action is expected to occur in the future and be completed.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

All the Coffee Words

At your local coffee shop, do you ever see words that you don’t understand? For instance, what is java? Why is a cup of coffee called a cup of joe? Ordering a cup of coffee can feel like speaking another language! No worries, here are the meanings behind all the coffee words.

Synonyms of Coffee

Let’s start with the words that just refer to a simple cup of coffee. The first and most puzzling is joe.

Monday, May 16, 2016

How to Start an Email: 6 Never-Fail Introductions and 6 to Avoid

We’ve talked about the best ways to end an email; now let’s talk about beginnings.

You might wonder whether it’s really necessary to put much thought into how you begin your emails and other correspondence. If you’ve ever ignored a letter because it began with “To Whom It May Concern,” groaned because your name was misspelled, or wondered if the sender was human or canine because their greeting was so overly enthusiastic, then you know that getting your email salutation right is a big deal.

Friday, May 13, 2016

How to Adapt Your CV for an American Company

Many people dream of living and working in the USA, but no one would claim it’s easy. To secure a work visa, you’ll need a job offer before you leave – which means perfecting your CV is more important than ever. Don’t simply roll out the CV you’ve been using at home; there are a few key differences you’ll need to know first. Before you hit send, check through this list of tips to make sure American employers can easily see what a great candidate you are.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Irregular Plural Nouns—Learn Patterns to Help You Remember the Tricky Ones

Irregular plural nouns are nouns that do not become plural by adding -s or -es, as most nouns in the English language do. You’re probably familiar with many of these already. For example, the plural form of man is men, not mans. The plural form of woman is women, not womans. There are hundreds of irregular plural nouns, and in truth, you must memorize them through reading and speaking.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

This Emoji Guide Is Fire

Emojis may be the cutting edge of language, but do any of us really know how to use them? For example, let’s say your friend sent you a text that read, “???☺️.” Would you know that it meant “the key to success is a great attitude”? Unless you and your friend have already established emoji conventions of your own, probably not. Emojis, while an interesting communicative device, don’t yet have a formal system of grammar governing their use.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Behavioral Interview: 11 Questions and Answers You Need to Know

During your job interview, your prospective employer is likely to ask you some behavioral questions. Unlike job-related questions that focus on past performance, behavioral questions help the employer get a better feel for who you are and how you’ll carry yourself on the job.

Here are some of the common behavioral interview questions you can expect, with advice and examples to help you answer them.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

9 Things That Seriously Hurt Your Work Productivity

Bad habits are often a real sticking point in personal development. But what if we told you that you may have some distracting habits you might not even realize are holding you back?

Here are nine tough habits that can limit your productivity, and some ideas for moving past them.

1Keeping it too casual

Nowadays, it’s increasingly acceptable to dress informally at work, and most of us call our managers by their first names.

Why Do We Call It Labor Day?

In the United States and Canada, the first Monday of September is the day we call Labor Day. That holiday means different things to different people. For kids, it’s the start of a new school year. For most people, it signals the end of summer. It’s also (supposedly) a cutoff date for wearing white clothes, even though the practice of not wearing white clothes in the fall predates the establishment of Labor Day as a federal holiday.

Friday, April 29, 2016

7 Smart Ways to Handle Negativity on Social Media

You’ve just poured your heart into your latest blog post. You got real! You got vulnerable!

…And now a total stranger is publicly ridiculing you.

Life on the Internet can be stressful. As you express your experiences and opinions, you are bound to run into the naysayers, the haters, and the outright trolls.

Dealing with these characters may not be fun, but they don’t have to ruin your day.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

7 Essential Time Management Skills That Will Improve Your Life

Time is the great equalizer—everybody gets the same twenty-four hours each day. Making productive use of that time can mean the difference between getting things done and scrambling to keep up. These time management tips will help you streamline your day and work smarter.

1Do a time audit.

Do you get to the end of every workday and wonder where the time went? Maybe you wonder why you didn’t manage to accomplish as much as you’d hoped you would.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

7 Notable Mexican Authors Who Changed History

You should know these seven authors: Luis Spota, Carlos Fuentes, Octavio Paz, Juan Rulfo, Jaime Sabines, Martin Luis Guzman, and Valeria Luiselli.

As you drive down streets in Mexico, you will notice that many roads bear the names of famous people. In particular, you will find neighborhoods that honor authors and poets in the names of their streets. Let’s find out a little more about some of the most celebrated Mexican authors and their work.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Here’s How to Get Started as a Freelance Writer

Sick of the 9-to-5 life? Yearning for work that’s creatively fulfilling? If you’re someone who loves to write, the idea of becoming a freelance writer has probably crossed your mind.

And if you’ve ever wondered how to turn that fantasy into a reality, this post is for you.

I’ve been a freelance writer since 2013, and over the years I’ve fielded many questions from folks interested in freelancing.

Monday Motivation Hack: Focus on Self-Improvement

Are you better this week than you were last week?

There’s only one way to guarantee an affirmative answer to that question: Set a self-improvement goal at the beginning of the week.

Why the beginning?

What Research Says

Long-term goals encourage procrastination rather than action.

In a study published in 2015, Daphna Oyserman of the USC Dornsife Mind and Society Center and Neil Lewis of the University of Michigan found that for goals to be motivating, the future (the deadline) must feel imminent.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Your Writing

A few years ago, author Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, became a New York Times Bestseller. Kondo, a Japanese consultant who helps people get organized, detailed her KonMari method of decluttering in her book. We wondered if her principles could be applied to writing and found that they work just as well for creating clean copy as they do for creating a clean habitat.

Monday, April 18, 2016

9 Awesome YouTube Accounts for Tech Enthusiasts

Whether it’s the latest tech industry innovations, what’s next in space travel, or the most obscure gadgets out there, there’s a lot happening in tech. How to keep up with the trends?

A lot of tech innovators and enthusiasts have launched YouTube channels to talk about tech news, provide product reviews and how-tos, and explore new experiments in tech that are just starting to make a splash.

Friday, April 15, 2016

7 Ways to Write an Effective Out of Office Message

When I was working full-time in media relations, exchanging emails with journalists all day every day, I learned one thing—out-of-office messages don’t have to be boring. Although most of the out-of-office replies I got were pretty standard, a few stood out by either making me laugh or providing me with interesting information. Here are some ways to make good use of your own out-of-office message.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Earliest Convenience: Is It Awkward to Use This Phrase?

Your out-of-office email message says, “I’m away from my desk right now, but I’ll get back to you at my earliest convenience.” Have you created a grievous business faux pas? Surely, you meant well. How could it possibly be impolite to say that you’ll do something just as soon as it’s convenient for you?

Language has power. Words and phrases are open to interpretation. They can convey a certain tone, depending on the context in which they’re used.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Texting: Ppl, Srsly, It’s OK 2 Uz TxtSpk Sumtimz

Text speak gets a bad rap.

It’s been pegged as barbaric, accused of ruining the English language, identified as a symbol of the millennial generation’s laziness, and perhaps worst of all, it’s been strung up as the next bad habit liable to rot kids’ brains.

That puts it in the same category as American English, according to Prince Charles, and rock ’n’ roll, according to conservative evangelical parents of the 1950s—two institutions that turned out pretty okay, according to the majority.

Grammarly Insights 2.0: Better, Faster, Smarter

For a while now, we’ve been working on improvements for Grammarly Insights based on your feedback. But until recently, this was an undercover job.

So, it’s with great jubilation that we reveal some big changes making their way to your inbox next week.

1 Monitor Your Trends

Until now, the weekly emails summarized your activity over the previous seven days. Moving forward, we will graph up to four weeks’ worth of progress in the Productivity, Mastery, and Vocabulary sections.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

All of a Sudden or All of the Sudden—Which is Correct?

All of a sudden is an idiom that is a more poetic way of saying “suddenly.” A common mistake to make, especially for English learners, is to write all the sudden or all of the sudden. On a sudden is a historic but outmoded variant. Currently, all of a sudden is the only accepted usage.

Is It “All of a Sudden” or “All of the Sudden”?

Although all of the sudden has been used in centuries past, all of a sudden is the phrasing that eventually stuck.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Is it Used To or Use To? How to Use Both

Don’t feel bad if you mix up use to and used to now and again—it is not an uncommon mistake. Used to is a phrase that can mean “accustomed or habituated to” or refers to something from the past that is no longer true. Use to and used to are also frequently used in English grammar as modal verb phrases.

”Use” Followed by an Infinitive

Before we get into idiomatic meanings for the phrase used to, it is worth pointing out that both use and used can correctly appear before to when to is part of the infinitive of a second verb.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Spelling Plurals with -s or -es

If a word ends in ‑s, ‑sh, ‑ch, ‑x, or ‑z, you add ‑es. For almost all other nouns, add -s to pluralize.

How to Spell Plural Nouns: With -es or -s?

When do you add ‑s and when do you add ‑es to make a plural noun? It’s not quite as arbitrary as it may seem.

If a word ends in ‑s, ‑sh, ‑ch, ‑x, or ‑z, you add ‑es. Consider the examples below:

I had to take only one bus; you had to take two buses.

Friday, April 1, 2016

6 Tips for Writing Well on Social Media

There are 1 million links shared, 2 million friends requested, and 3 million messages sent on Facebook every 20 minutes. Twitter users send 9,100 tweets every second. More than 60 percent of all Americans have at least one social media profile — and many use this profile daily. Whether you love it or hate it, communication on social media is a fact of life.

Unfortunately, the nuances of communicating on social media escape many people.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Writers on the State of Professional Writing

“We live in a content-saturated world,” your editor shrugs. Your coffee has suddenly gone cold, and so has the conversation.

What she means is that the commodity you’re offering – your writing – is hard to sell, because the web has made written words more readily available than ever. Honing a voice that stands out can feel like an impossible gig to take to the bank – which is where, if you’d listened to your parents, you’d be working, instead of haunting cafes and coffee shops with your laptop, trying to grind out a living as a writer.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

How Helpful Was Your Grammar and Writing Education?

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, March 28, 2016

Comma Before But

Deciding whether to put a comma before or after but in a sentence is hard for a lot of writers, but it doesn’t have to be for you!

When Do You Need a Comma Before But?

You should put a comma before but only when but is connecting two independent clauses.

I would go for a walk, but it’s raining outside.

How do you know you have two independent clauses? First, look at the words before but: I would go for a walk.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Importance of Providing Books in High Poverty Classrooms

Guest post by Debra Hannula, J. D.

As the daughter of two retired public school teachers and an attorney for thirty years working on behalf of and representing the poor, the lack of proper books in high poverty schools is an issue that is near and dear to me.

Research shows that the amount of books students read affects their reading levels and their ability to perform well on standardized tests.

Sentence Fragments

Sentence fragments are snippets of words that don’t quite add up to a complete thought. There are several common types of sentence fragments, including:

  • Subordinate clause fragments
  • Participial phrase fragments
  • Infinitive phrase fragments

Let’s take a look at each of them.

To understand sentence fragments, we must first know what a complete sentence looks like. In its most basic form, a sentence consists of a subject (a noun) and a predicate (a verb).

Monday, March 21, 2016

Verb Conjugation–Grammar Rules

Verb conjugation refers to how a verb changes to show a different person, tense, number or mood.


In English, we have six different persons: first person singular (I), second person singular (you), third person singular (he/she/it/one), first person plural (we), second person plural (you), and third person plural (they). We must conjugate a verb for each person. The verb to be is a particularly notable verb for conjugation because it’s irregular.

Celebrate Social Media Day with These 5 Tips

Happy World Social Media Day!

It’s no secret that we love social media. And as Grammarly’s Social Media Manager, I’ve devoted most of my professional life to figuring out what the cool kids are doing online. And today, I’m here to help you do the same. Let’s dive into all the things you should (and shouldn’t) be doing on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.


1Write, Reread, Ponder, Then Post


Thursday, March 17, 2016

The State of Writing 2016

The first sentence can’t be written until the final sentence is written. — Joyce Carol Oates

With 2016 coming to a close, Grammarly’s team of writing analysts took a look at the biggest trends in writing in English this year. And we found some fascinating results! Below are the grammar and writing trends that dominated 2016, as well as our predictions for the next year in written English.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

7 Helpful Tips on How to Write A Memorable Personal Essay

Everyone has a story to tell and a message to share. The challenge lies in getting that story and message out of your head and into print in a way that resonates with your audience.

Starting somewhere in the late 2000s, a certain type of personal essay experienced a popularity boom. These essays were ultra-personal and confessional in nature, often in a TMI sort of way. Their headlines were clickable, not to mention shareable, for their shock value alone.

Monday, March 14, 2016

How to Give Writing Feedback that’s Constructive, Not Crushing

Critiques must be handled with a deft touch, somewhere between soft-pedaling and soul-crushing. This advice will help you give constructive feedback that will leave the writer excited to make improvements rather than looking for the nearest rock to crawl under.

As a managing editor, I’ve helped writers produce more readable content. I thought I had a knack for giving useful writing feedback.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Beat Writer’s Block: 5 Tips for Writing Your Best

You’re sitting at your desk, staring at a flashing cursor and waiting for the words to flow. Every now and then, you write something, then mercilessly edit it or delete it all together.

Backspace . . . backspace . . . backspace . . .

You roll your head back and forth to work the kinks out of your neck and sigh. The words just won’t flow. You’re convinced you’ve got a serious case of writer’s block.

#Yodify your Grammar

With the arrival of the anniversary of the initial release of the first Star Wars movie, we at Grammarly started to reflect on what makes the films so great. Being language lovers and word nerds at heart, we are particularly fascinated and charmed by the grammar of the great Jedi master, Yoda. To celebrate our love of Star Wars, we dissected a few classic Yoda-style quotes in order to better understand the patterns that #yodify the English language.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Grammar Basics: What Are Superlatives?

Can you have two best friends? Someone posted this question on Grammarly Answers. Why a question about friendship? The grammar issue has to do with the adjective “best.” Best is a superlative. Let’s discuss what that means.

Suppose you have three rich friends. Bob has five million dollars. Bill has eight million dollars. Bernice has two million dollars. If you were comparing two friends, you would use a comparative adjective: Bill is richer than Bob.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

8 Incredible Podcasts All Book Enthusiasts Will Love

Is life getting in the way of your book habit? The more hectic your schedule, the harder it is to find time to indulge in your favorite work of fiction.

Fortunately there’s a new invention called a “podcast” that may just satisfy your craving for juicy storytelling. As an audio-only experience, podcasts can be enjoyed at times when it’s simply not practical to read a book—like while driving a car during your morning commute, standing squished against strangers in a bumpy train car, or working at your computer.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

This Is Why Managing Stress Will Make You Successful

Workplace stress touches most of us at one time or another. In fact, according to the American Institute of Stress, 80 percent of us feel stressed at work. Deadlines loom. Bosses make unrealistic demands. Restructuring means anxiety over job security. Although stressors may be an inherent part of work life, buckling under the pressure doesn’t have to be.

There are plenty of reasons to manage your workplace stress rather than accepting it as part and parcel of having a busy career.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Three Ways to Avoid Sounding Like a Jerk on Slack

Some types of jerk behavior are obvious. Calling names. Laughing at someone’s ideas. Stealing a coworker’s lunch out of the office refrigerator (come on, are you an animal?).

But it’s also possible to be a jerk by accident, especially in writing. Have you ever found yourself worrying that your two-sentence email will sound cold to the person on the other end? Or are you just now realizing that’s something you should worry about? (You should—warmth may be even more important than competence when it comes to establishing business relationships.)

Friday, February 26, 2016

The 10 Commandments of Grammar Lovers

Grammar gets a bad rap even without the help of the vigilantes who use it to take the moral high ground. So when a few haters decide to reduce learners, those who make grammatical mistakes, and even old-school grammar pedants to lifeless sea scum, it doesn’t do grammar any favors. It only means true and noble grammarians need to work harder to destigmatize the institution. So, if you truly adore the conventions that structure and shed light on the English language, give some thought to what we think are the guiding principles to a society where everyone understands each other easily and clearly.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

New Uses for Old Words

Like an unkeyboardinated tween, you can count on language for boundless creativity – and a seeming randomness that’s hard to keep up with.

We’re constantly adding new words and devising new forms and quirky mashups of old ones. But whether you’re squishing two existing words together to create a new one, or perhaps repurposing a familiar pronoun to be more inclusive, many of the ways we tinker with language follow a few well-worn patterns.

Monday, February 22, 2016


Can you spot the gerund in the sentence “Learning about gerunds is fun”? No, the answer isn’t gerunds. It’s learning.

What Is a Gerund, Anyway?

To understand gerunds, (pronounced JER-undz, by the way) it helps to understand the difference between a word’s grammatical form and its grammatical function in a sentence.

Take the word dancing. Dancing is the present participle of the verb to dance.

Friday, February 19, 2016

This Is How to Evaluate a Future Employer in a Job Interview

Do you have an interview coming up? You are probably preparing for it all wrong! Typical job candidates spend most of their time rehearsing answers. Instead, they should be looking for ways to evaluate their potential employer. Here’s how to use your job interview to find out if a job is right for you.

Why You Should Evaluate Potential Employers

Harvard Business Review reported that, on average, workers change jobs once every three or four years.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

4 Memorable Quotes from Larry David That Will Make You Think

Comedy lovers rejoice! After a six-year hiatus, Larry David’s acclaimed comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm is returning to HBO on October 1 for its much-anticipated ninth season.

Not familiar with the irascible Larry David? Larry got his start doing stand-up in the 1970s and was briefly a writer for SNL. But he’s best known as the true genius (and head writer and executive producer) behind the beloved ’90s sitcom Seinfeld, one of the most successful shows of all time.

Monday, February 15, 2016

10 Simple Errors People Make During a Job Search

Would you like some good news about errors? The simplest mistakes to make are the easiest to correct. If you’re having a frustrating job search, it’s probably because you’re making these ten simple job search mistakes.

1 Failing to Make a Strong First Impression

Never forget that while you are searching for the perfect job, employers are searching for the ideal employee. If your resume doesn’t stand out, you’ll never get an interview.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Why Do We Say ’Tis the Season?

If you’ve seen the classic holiday movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, then you’ll probably remember this scene. Family man Clark Griswold stands at the lingerie counter of a large department store chatting up the pretty sales girl. After bumbling through the conversation and making a fool of himself, he smiles and says, “‘Tis the season to be merry!”

But where did ’tis the season, a phrase we use during the festive build-up to the end-of-year holidays, originate?

Friday, February 12, 2016

Active vs. Passive Voice—What Are They and How Do I Use Them?

Active voice means that a sentence has a subject that acts upon its verb. Passive voice means that a subject is a recipient of a verb’s action. You may have learned that the passive voice is weak and incorrect, but it isn’t that simple. When used correctly and in moderation, the passive voice is fine.

In English grammar, verbs have five properties: voice, mood, tense, person, and number; here, we are concerned with voice.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Everything You Need to Know on How to Write a Reference Letter

You’ve been asked to write a reference letter—nice! Being asked likely means you’ve come far enough in your career that your endorsement is meaningful. At the very least, it means that someone you know personally values your opinion of them.

Reference letters are a staple of modern communications. At some time or another, almost everybody needs one for things like job applications, internships, college or grad school applications, or even volunteer opportunities.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Regards, Best Regards, In Regard To—How to Use Them

Should you write regards to close your next letter or email? What does it mean to send your regards, anyway?

When to End a Letter with “Regards”

Historically, with best regards and with kindest regards have been used as a letter closing—a.k.a. a valediction. In decades past, regards implied not only esteem but also affection; today it sits somewhat higher on the spectrum of formality.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Laying vs. Lying (Lay vs. Lie)–What’s the Difference?

What’s the difference between lay and lie?

You lie down, but you lay something down. Lie does not require a direct object. Lay requires a direct object. The same rule applies to laying and lying (not lieing—beware of spelling). The past tense of lay is laid, but be careful with the past tense of lie—there are two options. We’ll dive into them later.

When to Use Lay

To lay is to set (or otherwise place) something in a resting position.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

If You Work From Home, Here’s How to Be Successful

Working from home seems ideal. No need to get dressed and polished for the day, no commute, and no distracting coworkers to face—what’s not to like? But working remotely isn’t as easy as it looks.

The undisputed champion of small talk topics revolves around one question: What do you do for a living? I tell people I’m a writer and that, although I’m technically a freelancer, I have a steady gig with Grammarly. (That insight sometimes evokes the exclamation “Oh em gee!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Which common writing error is the worst?

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, February 1, 2016

How to Use Keywords to Make a Resume Recruiters Notice

Do you tailor your resume to match the job you’re applying for? There are some compelling reasons that you should. You already tailor other things you write to a specific audience, (e.g., emails, term papers, brochures). Why should your resume be any different?

Tips for Writing a Great Resume

Here are a few simple tips on how to write a resume and tailor it to a job description.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Figurative Language: 5 Tools to Spice Up Your Writing

A cardinal axiom of good writing, “show, don’t tell” reminds authors that language is infinitely more vivid and poignant when it appeals to the senses. Writing that does this has an amnesic effect on readers, ensconcing them so deeply in the story that they forget they’re reading a story at all. Perhaps the most apt tool to cast this spell on readers is figurative language, which employs various devices that imply meaning rather than plainly stating it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

19 Llamas Who Get How You Feel After Vacation

You just got back from vacation, and it’s your first day back at work. You’re numb. Everything seems pointless. People say “Happy Monday!” and all you can think is:

If anyone knows how you feel, it’s a pack of llamas. (Or alpacas. We’re using both, because they’re both certified to help you get over post-vacation blues.) Llamas and their alpaca friends have experienced the ups and downs of vacation and its aftermath, and they can truly understand the struggle of getting back to the routine.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Comma Before And

Whether or not you put a comma before and depends on how you’re using and. There’s no single rule that applies to all situations. You usually put a comma before and when it’s connecting two independent clauses. It’s almost always optional to put a comma before and in a list.

Comma Before And in Lists

A lot of people have strong feelings about putting a comma before and in a list. Exactly why this particular quirk of comma usage stirs such passions is hard to say; it’s just one of those things.

Friday, January 22, 2016

How to Write a Follow-up Email That Gets a Response: 7 Action Tips

If only the people you emailed would answer every time. Unfortunately, many of your emails are destined to go unanswered. The average email user receives ninety-two emails per day (seventeen of which are likely to be spam) and opens only about one in three. If you want to make yourself heard in a noisy digital world, being able to write a compelling follow-up email is an essential skill.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

What are your writing resolutions?

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, January 19, 2016

How to Write a Résumé Like a Seasoned Pro

Writing a résumé is not that different from writing a sales pitch: the writer is the product and the reader is the potential customer. The résumé has to grab the attention of the prospective employer. It needs to showcase why and how the applicant would be a valuable asset to the employer. In the best case scenario, a well-written résumé prompts the employer to pick up the phone and call the applicant immediately.

Friday, January 15, 2016

These Simple Tips Will Improve Productivity at All Levels of Your Business

A number of poor practices might be nipping away at your business’s productivity—without you even realizing it.

In a recent Harvard Business Review article, poor writing was cited as a major productivity killer. But bad writing isn’t the only thing that can sink your employees’ productivity. Among a bevy of other potential reasons, experts have cited inflexible workplace practices, long hours, sterile office environments, and even emails.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Who vs. Whom

Whom should be used to refer to the object of a verb or preposition. When in doubt, try this simple trick: If you can replace the word with “he”’ or “’she,” use who. If you can replace it with “him” or “her,” use whom.

  • Who should be used to refer to the subject of a sentence.
  • Whom should be used to refer to the object of a verb or preposition.

Who or whom? If you’re like most English speakers, you know that there’s a difference between these pronouns, but you aren’t sure what that difference is.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Capitalization in Quotes

Capitalize the First Word in a Sentence that Is a Direct Quote

When quoting, the first word of a complete sentence should be capitalized, regardless of its placement within the main sentence.

Matthew said, “In that case, I’m going out for a walk!”

Since grade school, we’ve learned that capitalization is reserved for the beginnings of sentences, so when we see a capital letter mid-sentence, it can make us feel as though there’s an error.

Monday, January 11, 2016

14 Conversational Skills You Can Easily Learn and Apply at Work

Making Conversation at the Office

Making conversation at the office can be awkward. Stay all business and you risk coming across as a buttoned-up, stuffy person who doesn’t know how to cut loose. Too nice? You might find yourself taken for granted or even passed over for promotions. And if your conversations are too casual, you may find that you’re not taken seriously. How do you strike the perfect balance when making workday chat?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Best Ways to Set Goals and (Actually) Get Results From Them

A few years ago, I had to come to terms with my burgeoning habit of browsing housing rental ads on Craigslist for places in the Pacific Northwest. I’d look at the listings and wonder, What would it be like to live in Washington? Wondering soon turned to obsession, and obsession spurred research. Before I knew it, I’d made a decision—I was going to leave my ancestral home in the upper Midwest and trek two thousand miles to live near the shores of Puget Sound.