Excuses Sent by Parents to Schools

Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008, at 4:39 am

Sometimes I receive a humorous e-mail that is an excellent example of the importance of good grammar and communication. Then I have to pass it along to you. I promise to write something more serious next week but hope you smile when you read these. Apparently, these are real notes written by parents. (Spellings have …

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Connecting Sentences with Commas and Semicolons

Posted on Saturday, January 5, 2008, at 9:30 pm

Many of you have been asking for help with punctuating between clauses and phrases within sentences. You want to know when you should use a comma and when you need a semicolon. Here are a few rules with examples that I hope you find very helpful. Commas Rule: Use a comma between two independent clauses …

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Similes and Metaphors

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007, at 2:16 am

Simile A form of expression using “like” or “as,” in which one thing is compared to another which it only resembles in one or a small number of ways. Example: Her hair was like silk. Metaphor A figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate …

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Assure vs. Ensure vs. Insure

Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007, at 3:24 pm

The three words, assure, ensure, and insure, are often confused. All three words share an element of "making an outcome sure." However, rather than using these words interchangeably, I'd like to point out the unique aspects of each word so that you can use them to communicate your intention clearly. Assure is to promise or …

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Pronoun Tips

Posted on Sunday, November 11, 2007, at 1:05 am

Pronouns take the place of nouns. Subject pronouns: I, you, he, she, it, we, they Object pronouns: me, you, him, her, it, us, them Rule: Use a subject pronoun, not only as the subject of a sentence, but after to be verbs when the pronoun renames the subject. To be verbs: is, are, was, were, …

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