I vs. Me (Review)

Posted on Tuesday, June 9, 2009, at 9:30 am

We get more questions about pronoun usage, particularly I vs. me, than any other topic. So, here is a review that should help you feel more secure about your choices. For more on the topic, click here. Should we say, "She and I went to the store"? Or is it correct to say, "She and …

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Dashes vs. Hyphens

Posted on Tuesday, June 2, 2009, at 9:31 am

Hyphen: Do not confuse a hyphen with a long dash. A hyphen's chief function is to merge two or more separate words. For example, in the phrase nice-looking house, the hyphen combines two words, nice and looking, into one compound adjective. Hyphens are also used to indicate any span or range, such as numbers, years, …

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Colons (Continued)

Posted on Wednesday, May 27, 2009, at 7:56 pm

In a blog first published on August 11, 2007, I helped you understand how to use colons with lists. In this blog, I'd like to help you with other uses of the colon. Rule 4: It's often useful to use a colon instead of a semicolon between two sentences when the second sentence explains or …

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How to Reference Books and Articles in Text

Posted on Sunday, May 3, 2009, at 11:41 pm

Before computers, we used typewriters to underline book titles, and we placed quotation marks around article titles. However, many current style manuals recommend italicizing book titles and magazine names (impossible to do on a typewriter) and using quotation marks around articles. Example: I read Lord of the Flies in high school. Example: I enjoyed reading …

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If I Would Have vs. If I Had

Posted on Saturday, April 4, 2009, at 7:25 pm

Reprinted with permission by Editor Laura Lawless, http://www.elearnenglishlanguage.com/. When talking about something that didn't happen in the past, many English speakers use the conditional perfect (if I would have done) when they should be using the past perfect (if I had done). For example, you find out that your brother saw a movie yesterday. You …

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