Securing the Subject of Subjects

Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, at 11:00 pm

Last week we discussed how predicates form half of a clause. This week we’ll look closer at the other half, subjects. If the predicate is the engine of the action we communicate, the subject is the body of the vehicle being driven by it, including parts and accessories. The subject includes at least one noun (or noun …

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Predicating Our Knowledge of Predicates

Posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, at 11:00 pm

A thorough review of English structure includes understanding subjects and predicates in broader terms. While the concepts of subjects and predicates in their totality may not be as commonly taught as they once were, a brief study will both reinforce our facility as writers and grammarians and further acquaint us with grammatical terminology. Today, we’ll focus on the predicate, the engine of the …

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Adjectives and Adverbs: Forms for Comparison

Posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, at 11:00 pm

A common error in using adjectives and adverbs arises from using the wrong form for comparison. Incorrect:  She is the poorest of the two women. Correct: She is poor. (positive form) She is the poorer of the two women. (comparative form/two items) She is the poorest of them all. (superlative form/more than two) Many one- …

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More Ear-itating Word Abuse

Posted on Tuesday, June 4, 2019, at 11:00 pm

Although Arnold Schwarzenegger's star has faded, the erstwhile weight lifter-actor-governor hasn't quite left the building. Recently, a phonics teacher e-mailed her exasperation with broadcasters who mispronounce the first syllable in "Schwarzenegger," saying "swartz" instead of "shwartz." "There IS a difference!" she said. "It's gotten to the point that it's like nails on a chalkboard when …

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Forging Sentence Ties That Bind

Posted on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, at 11:00 pm

Strong writing—writing that moves, directs, and connects people—conveys thoughts and ideas with clarity and efficiency. Badly placed words create vagueness and confusion; well-placed ones achieve logic and unity. Careful writers join elements that are related in thought and separate those that are not. Consider the following sentence: He noticed a glass on the table that …

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