Year-End Quiz

Posted on Wednesday, January 4, 2017, at 1:53 pm

To say goodbye to 2016 we have put together a comprehensive pop quiz based on the year’s GrammarBook.com grammar posts. The quiz comprises twenty-three sentences that may—or may not—need fixing plus two multiple-choice questions. Think you can fix the ones that need help? You’ll find our answers directly below the quiz. Each answer includes, for …

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Lie vs. Lay

Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2016, at 10:44 am

You will impress your family and friends with your grammar skills if you can distinguish between lie and lay. These words confuse even the best editors, so you pretty much have to memorize a chart and then practice to build your confidence. Lie vs. Lay Chart Present Past Past Participle (used with helping verbs such …

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Annual Christmas ’Log Review

Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2016, at 5:46 pm

As we enter the holiday season, we thought you'd enjoy one of Tom Stern's classic reviews of his Christmas catalogs. Have you noticed that Christmas is in the air? I started noticing in October, when I received my first Christmas catalog eleven days before the start of the World Series. New ones have been arriving …

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Go Trendy, Stay Alive

Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2016, at 11:09 am

Americans used to love their newspapers and magazines. Now a whole generation regards them as quaint curiosities. Here’s a day in the life of a late-twentieth-century big-city newspaper: “The newsroom was packed with reporters keeping very close watch on every institution in town. They had two reporters covering city hall, three reporters covering the police …

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Beware the Internet

Posted on Monday, November 14, 2016, at 10:33 pm

Our Virginia: Past and Present is a fourth-grade history textbook that was in wide use in Virginia’s schools until a few years ago. Then it was found to be rife with misspellings and blatant falsehoods, such as: The Confederacy consisted of twelve states (actually eleven). The United States entered World War I in 1916 (it …

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