February 2013 Archives

Had I been limited

Had I been limited to writing what I know, I would have produced in 40 yrs 1 unpublishable haiku.
Richard Peck

Great works are performed

Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.
Samuel Johnson

Do you struggle with grammar?

no duming.jpgYou're not alone.

One of my favorite resources is a book by Harry Shaw called Errors in English and How to Correct Them. If you're in doubt on whether to use who or whom or how to punctuate when using quotes or the difference between effect and affect, this book explains it in an easy to read way.

Sometimes, we need help though to get something fixed in our brain. I'll list a grammatical problem and then a site I recommend to students for help with that particular issue.

Adverbs - Been told you're overusing those "ly" words? This site is useful to paste your text in and have it show them to you. It also works on other grammar issues, such as passive verbs. http://editminion.com/

Future in the Past Tense - An example of this is "would get" versus "got." http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/futureinpast.html

Passive Verbs - Been told to watch out for passive verbs ending in "ing?"
This article on the ICL website is helpful: http://www.institutechildrenslit.com/rx/ws05/goodverbs.shtml
This one explains the difference between active and passive: http://www.towson.edu/ows/activepass.htm

Run-on Sentences - I've got two helpful sites for this problem:
http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/runons.htm
http://www.myenglishteacher.net/runonsentences.html

Sentence Fragments - This site offers a quiz.
http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/fragments.htm

Verb Tense Consistency - This educational site has a verb consistency test. You can answer the questions then check your answers which is pretty useful.
http://www.towson.edu/ows/exercisetenseconsistency.htm

Which English is it? Spelling and grammar different from country to country. - Here is a wonderful chart that outlines the subtle differences between British, Canadian, and American English: http://www3.telus.net/linguisticsissues/BritishCanadianAmerican.htm

I know this isn't a complete list of grammar problems, but they are definitely ones I see commonly in student assignments.

Photo courtesy of xandert on morguefile.com

Finish what you're writing

Finish what you're writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
Neil Gaiman

Everything that doesn't kill

Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. And later on you can use it in some story.
Tapani Bagge