Sentence Structure: Compound Predicates

“I want to bake a cake and eat it all!” This sentence has just one subject but two verbs. To complement the previous article on compound subjects, this time we’ll discuss compound predicates. Compound predicates allow you to make your writing sound more smooth and natural by combining events that occur to the same subject.... 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 →

Sentence Structure: Compound Subjects

“My friend and I are going to the movies together.” This example uses “and” to create a sentence with more than one subject, allowing the author to describe actions or identities of more than one noun at a time. This article will explain the use of compound subjects, complementing the article on compound predicates. Plural... Continue Reading →

Vocab Lab: Via

“He told the office he would send the application via fax.” Although it’s a tiny little word, “via” is easy to apply and can be used in a wide variety of situations. Many people are uncertain, however, about exactly what it means and how to use it. Get in the know with this article. History... Continue Reading →

Quotation Rules: Dialogue

The first article discussed the basics of what quotation marks mean and when to use single versus double marks. The second article explained some special formatting tricks to help you make quotations fit your specific work of writing. This one will help you iron out how to represent spoken lines, or dialogue, in text. Who... Continue Reading →

Quotation Rules: Formatting

So you want to include a quotation, but the tense in the quoted material doesn’t match what you’re writing. Or perhaps something like this happens: “I want to explain to you how the book said ‘reading will change them.’ ” Suppose the original line in the book said, “People often find that experiences from reading... Continue Reading →

Non-referential Pronouns: It’s Raining!

“They always say a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” Wait, who says? Just who are “they”, the people who always seem to say these platitudes? Some people refer to this as the “omniscient they”: the byline for conventional wisdom quotes that are as well-known as they are unattributed to any... Continue Reading →

Where is the subject in a command?

“Go!” “Come here!” “Do me a favor.” What? Who? Who should do these things? These sentences seem to be made up only of predicate phrases! Where are the subjects? They’re hiding, actually, and that’s what this article will explain. Imperative Sentences These kinds of sentences are known as imperatives — they give a direct command or offer... 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 →

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