Common Mistakes: “Challenging”

“I am a qualified candidate with a challenging personality.” This kind of phrasing appears on resumes and in cover letters from ESL writers fairly often. Yet, the word “challenging” does not express the intended meaning in this context — it actually suggests a negative impression of your character. Read on to learn all the details! History &... Continue Reading →

To, too, or two? What word should I use?

“I gave two papers to Sammy, too.” All of these little words sound the same, even though their spellings and meanings are different! Words like these are called homophones. How can you tell which one to choose? Set Your Target: To To, too, and two are responsible for some of the most common mistakes, but they... Continue Reading →

The Comma Compendium: How to Use Any Type of Comma You Can Think Of and Why

There are so many reasons to use commas! They’re like the salt and pepper of writing, right? Well, actually, not quite. There is a time and a place for each comma. Use this brief guide to identify your case and get the details on how to jot down those commas like a pro! Getting the... Continue Reading →

What’s the difference between i.e. and e.g.?

These little abbreviations are actually cases of Latin that have snuck into modern English usage. It’s safe to say that most people don’t know what they stand for, and most aren’t exactly sure about their usage either. Become an example-writing expert with this article! What do they mean? As mentioned, i.e. and e.g. are abbreviations for... Continue Reading →

How do you use a colon?

It looks a lot like the semicolon, but the meaning and usage of the colon are different. The colon expresses a clear connection between the parts of the sentence in which it is used: the second clause gives more information about the topic of the first. What are the rules? For a sentence including a colon... Continue Reading →

How do you use a semicolon?

It’s one punctuation mark no one really seems too sure about: the semicolon. In fact, many writers sheepishly avoid using it, making this face pretty appropriate ^^; There’s no need to be hesitant about semicolons, though! They’re a useful tool to add variety to your writing, and you can put them to work for you... Continue Reading →

Countable and Uncountable Nouns

Have you noticed how the plural form of some English words is the same as the singular? Then there are other words for which the plural is completely different. What is going on with these words, and why don’t they follow the same rules? Well, the difference depends on whether the word is a count... Continue Reading →

All About Articles: A, An, and The

These three little words might cause more trouble for English learners than any others. The articles “a”, “an”, and “the” have specific rules of use depending on the word or phrase they modify. With a little explanation, however, you will be able to easily understand which one should be used when. Definite vs. Indefinite Articles... Continue Reading →

Alot, Alright, Already, Altogether…

You’re just writing away, when suddenly you hesitate: should it be “alright” or “all right”? You probably feel like you’ve seen it both ways before, but which one is actually correct? These words are so often misspelled, many people don’t even realize that not all of them are proper English. Alot Although there is a... Continue Reading →

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