An Easy Guide to Articles: A, An, and The

September 10, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

There are three articles: “a,” “an,” and “the.” All of them function as adjectives.

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Simple Guide to Using “If” or “Whether”

September 2, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

The English language is full of words that seem to perform the same function but have true differences when you need to be specific. In technical, instructive, and other forms of business or formal writing, “if” and “whether” serve different functions.

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Commonly Confused Homophones

August 7, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

Ah, the double-edged sword of spell-check. That little red squiggle under misspelled words can be so helpful in drawing your attention to words in need of correction. But the absence of that little red squiggle can give a false sense of security, leading you to think your writing is spelling-error free when it might be filled with correctly-spelled incorrect words. One troublesome group of word is homophones.

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Bad Parallelism, Good Parallelism

July 14, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

“Parallelism” means the same parts of a sentence must be of the same type. But I’m not sure how helpful that is as a definition, so let’s take a slightly longer look through a few examples.

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Really Tricky Apostrophe Rules

January 9, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

In this post we cover the apostrophe rules that are, for lack of a better word, downright wacky. If you’re going to be an expert, you’ll have to memorize these individually.

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Tips for Using Singular “They”

January 1, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

As an editor, I am naturally sensitive to language matters, and I took this criticism seriously. I’ve made an effort to modernize my pronoun usage, and in today’s blog I’ll provide tips to avoid gender bias in your pronoun use.

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Apostrophes with Singular and Plural Nouns

December 30, 2019 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

Lets get into the complexities of apostrophes when dealing with singular and plural nouns.

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Conditional Verbs in Research Writing

November 29, 2019 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

In research writing, the difference between hypothetical and factual statements is critical; your choice of verb helps make the distinction. In today’s post, I’ll provide a review of the forms and use of modal auxiliary verbs and conditional statements and some basic tips to help you use them effectively in research writing.

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Why We Need Emojis

November 7, 2019 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

Even though the older generations love to dump on them and elites love to complain about them, emojis are a useful, necessary advancement in modern language.

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Is It One Word or Two Words?

August 23, 2019 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

As a living language, English is in a constant state of flux. This is quite clear when two words work their way into becoming one word. While there's no actual rule about this, there are some patterns.

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“I Wish I Were”: Explaining the Subjunctive

June 29, 2019 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

You may never have heard the term subjunctive case before, or don’t remember it from Spanish class if you have, but knowing this rule and following it will make your speech and writing much better with just a little effort.

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Correct Use of Myself, Yourself, Itself

June 7, 2019 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

People seem to think it’s snooty to say, “Donna and I,” but when they grow up, they also become aware that “Me and Donna” is wrong. So, faced with the choice of “I” (snooty) and “me” (wrong), some opt for the worst choice of all: “myself.”

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The Dummy Subject

March 8, 2019 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

Dummy subject can add unnecessary fluff to a sentence, thus distracting readers from the point and muddling the writer’s meaning. They're easy to avoid.

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Commonly Misused Words

January 14, 2019 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

I encounter incorrectly used words (and made up words) all the time, and today I’ll write about some I’ve noticed popping quite a bit recently, particularly in academic writing.

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