Showing posts with label apostrophe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label apostrophe. Show all posts

Monday, July 17, 2017


What is a contraction?

A contraction is a shortened form of a word (or group of words) that omits certain letters or sounds. In most contractions, an apostrophe represents the missing letters. The most common contractions are made up of verbs, auxiliaries, or modals attached to other words: He would=He’d. I have=I’ve. They are=They’re. You cannot=You can’t.

Contractions are common in speech—so common that we don’t always take the time to pronounce them precisely, which leads to a particular contraction mistake writers might make if they’re not paying attention.

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?

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?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Make Your Writing Clearer: 6 Tips for Rewording Sentences

The author James Michener said, “I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.” If you’re an aspiring author or someone striving for clarity in your professional or academic writing, you appreciate the methodical march of the rewriting process. Each word in a sentence has a job; cut those that do nothing. These six tips will help you achieve clear and concise writing.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Here Are the Top 10 Writing Mistakes of 2016

Of the three billion or so people on Earth who enjoy web access, roughly half speak – and write – mainly in English. If they’re at all like a typical Grammarly user, they crank out around a thousand words each week, mainly in email, social media, blogs, and the like.

One other thing folks writing on the Internet do a good bit of is make mistakes. We routinely mangle proper spellings, savage the rules of punctuation, email sensitive details to the wrong person, and mix up words – say by referring to an ambidextrous baseball pitcher as “amphibious” while hurriedly dashing off a newspaper headline.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Celebrate Mom with Proper Punctuation!

Happy Mother’s Day! How are you celebrating? Breakfast in bed? A handmade card? For many people, an even bigger question than what to do for Mother’s Day is where to place the apostrophe in Mother’s Day.

Some people write “Mothers’ Day,” based on the logic that it is the day to celebrate all mothers. Others simply write “Mothers Day,” leaving out the apostrophe altogether, possibly because they’re unsure of where to place it.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Typos: Should You Forgive or Forget?

Typos–we all hate them–but are some typos more unforgivable than others? That depends largely on what you are writing and for what audience. Below are several typo scenarios ranging from green light (no problem, speed on ahead) to yellow (caution) to red light (zero, and I do mean zero, typos allowed). A good general rule of thumb is the wider the audience and more formal the setting, the less “allowable” the typos.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

7 Truly Horrifying Grammar Rules

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

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

3 Punctuation Mistakes That Can Make You Look Like A Cannibal

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Possessive Case of Nouns: Rules and Examples

The possessive case shows ownership. With the addition of ’s (or sometimes just the apostrophe), a noun can change from a simple person, place, or thing to a person, place, or thing that owns something. There are a few different ways to form the possessive of a noun. We’ll discuss these ways below.

If the noun doesn’t end with an s, add ’s to the end of the noun. See the following examples:

This is Mary and her dog.