39. Is It Five PAIR or Five PAIRS of Socks? Greetings again, all of you grammar lovers and I hope you're all doing well.
Today, I have decided to tackle another one of those very common errors we constantly hear that, I must admit, is going through some transition today. As I've said many times before, our language continues to change and certain expressions we hear many times today may have been considered terrible mistakes fifty years ago, for example. For this reason, Webster's now includes words in our dictionaries that are becoming semi-acceptable, and this is so because they are used so often. However, this doesn't mean that we should include these expressions in our own speech. After all, there are plenty of folks besides English teachers who cringe at the use of some of these bloopers. One such error that is slowly creeping into the common use file today is the misuse of PAIR and PAIRS.
ONE PAIR of shoes means exactly what it says. However, if you were to say... 41. THEM and THOSE and the Problems They Pose. Welcome back, all of you grammarphiles!
I hope all is well and that each of you is minding his/her beeswax :-) Today's lesson is another one we need especially here in southeastern North Carolina. Of course, we're not alone making these usage mistakes, but I don't believe other parts of the country could "outbrag" us and say this error is heard more somewhere else than here. So...what is it? This one, unfortunately, is heard way too much-- the misuse of THEM and THOSE. (Have mercy!) Okay. THOSE can act as either a pronoun or an adjective. Check out the following examples: 1. 2. Actually, we don't normally have trouble with THOSE...But with THEM? THEM is always used as a pronoun...never as an adjective...Notice the following correct uses of THEM: 1. 2.
Now all of this should be super simple. Again, remember that THEM can ONLY be used as a pronoun. Take a look at some of the mistakes we hear too much (groan)... Simpler, concise alternatives to verbose, sometimes amusing phrases. [ Home ] [ Up ] [ Writing Resources ] [ Style Manual ] [ Writing Bookshelf ] [ What's New ] Consider using these simpler, concise alternatives to verbose, sometimes amusing redundant phrases.
Garbl's Fat-Free-Writing Links--This annotated directory lists websites with tips to help you cut the fat from your writing--so your readers can easily chew, digest and be nourished by your top-choice words. [ Home ] [ Up ] [ Writing Resources ] [ Style Manual ] [ Writing Bookshelf ] [ What's New ] Maintained by Gary B. The Pompous Ass Words Web Site. BuzzWhack: The Buzzword Compliant Dictionary. Yahoo! Style Guide. Grammar Newsletter - English Grammar Newsletter. Common Errors in English Usage. Grammar Grater. About the Podcast Grammar Grater® was a weekly podcast about English words, grammar and usage for the Information Age.
To help sort through some of the confusion, host Luke Taylor and the Grammatis Personae Players™ would linguistic bugbears and put 'em through the Grammar Grater. Archives available here: Episodes Episode 110: Pesky Plurals (Repeat episode) No other part of speech causes as much confusion—and demonstrates the continuous evolution of the English language—quite like plural nouns.
Read the articleListen (64K MP3) Download Episode 33: A Sure Thing To help us distinguish the words assure, ensure and insure, we speak with special guest Ruth Weber Kelley of ING. Read the article Listen: 64k MP3 stream RealAudio Download. : Quick and Dirty Tips ™ Mignon Fogarty is the creator of Grammar Girl and the founder and managing director of Quick and Dirty Tips.
A magazine writer, technical writer, and entrepreneur, she has served as a senior editor and producer at a number of health and science web sites. She has a B.A. in English from the University of Washington in Seattle and an M.S. in biology from Stanford University. Mignon believes that learning is fun, and the vast rules of grammar are wonderful fodder for lifelong study. She strives to be a friendly guide in the writing world. Her archenemy is the evil Grammar Maven, who inspires terror in the untrained and is neither friendly nor helpful. Grammar Girl provides short, friendly tips to improve your writing. To book a lecture event with Mignon Fogarty for your company or organization, contact Macmillan Speakers.
Follow Mignon on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Awards Media. Subjunctive Verbs. Today's topic is the past subjunctive, or in terms you might recognize, when to use "I was" and when to use "I were.
" Was Versus Were Carrie from New Orleans asked me to help her understand whether she should say "I wish I were more perceptive" or "I wish I was more perceptive. " It's a great question because it's something that a lot of people don't know. Believe it or not, verbs have moods just like you do. Yes, before the Internet and before emoticons, somebody already thought it was important to communicate moods. When to Use Were Carrie's example is an easy one to start with because her sentence starts with words "I wish"--I wish I were more perceptive--and that's about the biggest clue you can get that her sentence is wishful.