10 Tips to Improve Your Grammar

Whether you are writing content for a blog, transcribing an email, or putting together a school presentation, it is important to always be conscientious. What you say and how you say it is just as important on the page as it is in conversation. We all get lazy with our grammar when using phones and iPads recreationally, so it helps to have a refresher every now and then. Below are 10 tips that will help to improve your grammar:

  1. Pay attention to apostrophes: Possessive case (its) or contractions (it’s)
  2. Use a comma after an introductory or prepositional phrase: “After a long day at work, David likes to drink a beer and play cards.”
  3. Memorize homophones and endings: too vs. to, your vs. you’re, accept vs. except      -able when a whole root word is used: fashionable   -ible if a word doesn’t make sense without the ending: divisible
  4. Learn the difference between definite or indefinite articles: For general ‘a/an‘: “Someone hit a deer.” For specific ‘the’: “Someone hit the deer as it was crossing the road.”
  5. Appositives are dependent clauses that modify the subject and add non-essential information – offset with commas: “The popular restaurant Appeteaser closed down after being in business for ten years.” (Essential)   “Appeteaser, the popular restaurant, closed down after being in business for ten years.” (Non-essential)
  6. That, who, and which – use commas for non-essential information: “No one trusts a politician who lies.” (Essential)   “Secretary Clinton, who is wearing a red suit, attended the presidential debate this week.” (Non-essential)
  7. The semicolon replaces a period and links two independent clauses: “The students had never seen Mrs. Stone so mad; everyone thought she was going to storm out of the room.”
  8. Countable and non-countable nouns: many for countables (dress, house, car)  much/a lot and little/few for non-countables (money, rain, time)
  9. Vocabulary building techniques: Read books, magazine articles, and newspaper columns.
  10. Spellchecking and proofreading: Computer software systems often miss errors (i.e. homophones accept instead of except) and it is much harder to notice your own mistakes because you will re-read sentences in your own voice. If you want to be sure that all spelling and grammar errors are found, ask someone that you trust to read what you have written. Services like http://www.papermarina.com do just that! Make sure to check out the website for more helpful tips!

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