Showing posts with label formal writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label formal writing. Show all posts

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Ouch! Oh my! Wow! Yikes!

If you’ve ever uttered any of the words above, you’ve used an interjection, whether you knew it at the time or not. The word interjection comes from the Latin words inter (between) and jacĕre (to throw). So, an interjection is a word that you throw in between sentences or thoughts to express a sudden feeling.

Standalone Interjections

Because interjections usually express sudden feelings, you’ll often see them used to convey surprise (both good surprises and bad ones) or excitement.

Friday, February 10, 2017

You’ve been lied to. Here’s why you absolutely can end a sentence with a preposition.

Grammar snobs love to tell anyone who will listen: You should NEVER end a sentence with a preposition! Luckily for those poor, persecuted prepositions, that just isn’t true. Here are a few preposition guidelines:

Don’t end a sentence with a preposition

1In formal writing

Which journal was your article published in? (Casual)
In which journal was your article published?

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, November 11, 2015

7 Tips for a Perfect Elevator Pitch

What is the purpose of an interview? Companies conduct them because they want to know about your experience, education, and character. Different interviewers ask different questions, but their underlying query is the same: Who are you? To answer that question effectively and sell your skills, you can use a special tool called an elevator pitch or elevator speech. You are about to learn what a good and bad elevator speech looks like, and how you can write an outstanding one.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Anytime vs. Any Time

A century ago, it was standard to write any time as two words in all contexts. But it’s now perfectly acceptable to write anytime as one word when you’re using it as an adverb. However, some readers still consider it a casualism, so you may want to stick to the two-word version for extremely formal writing.

  • When in doubt, write any time as two words. It might look a little old-fashioned, but it won’t be wrong.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cannot vs. Can Not vs. Can’t—What’s the Difference?

Can’t? Cannot? Can not? Find out the right way to use all three.

Can’t is a contraction of cannot, and as such it’s sometimes unsuitable for formal writing. In everyday writing and in speaking, it’s ubiquitous:

I can’t go out until I proofread my paper.

Peter can’t believe what’s happening in front of his eyes.

Cannot is better for formal writing:

I cannot wait until Friday to get the report.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Each and Every–What’s the difference?

Each vs. every is a common grammar issue, even for proficient writers, because let’s face it—they’re very similar words. Although both words refer to something that is singular, each refers to an individual object or person, while the term every refers to a group of objects or people lumped together as one. For example, consider the following sentences:

Every artist is sensitive.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Grammar Basics: How to Use Singular “They”

You probably learned about “they” and other pronouns in the first grade. “They” is the third-person plural pronoun, used for talking about groups of things or people.

Henry and Lucy want to go to the movies, but they (Henry and Lucy) don’t have enough money.

“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they (people in general) will surprise you with their ingenuity.” —George S.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Anymore vs. Any More

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

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

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Relax, Grammar Pedant. Everything You Know Is Wrong

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

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

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thru vs. Through—Which Is Right?

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

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

Through vs. Thru

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