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An Apostrophe Catastrophe?

Apostrophe’s can be confusing. See? Apostrophes can be confusing. That’s better. Apostrophes in English have two main uses: to indicate possession to indicate a missing letter or number (a contraction). While this seems quite straightforward, many people for whom English is their first language still find it difficult to use apostrophes correctly. Perhaps the most common misuse … Read more

‘That’ and ‘Which’: Which is Correct, and When?

Knowing when to use ‘that’ and when to use ‘which’ in certain sentences can be confusing—in fact, getting the two mixed up is an error that even experienced and effective writers make. So what’s the difference between the two, and how can you tell which is the correct word to use? It doesn’t have to … Read more

Correct Use of the Phrase ‘Due to’

The phrase ‘due to’ tends to be overused in academic writing and, although it is becoming increasingly acceptable in modern usage, your writing will be more professional and concise if you understand when it is most appropriate. Often, ‘because’ or ‘because of’ should be used instead. If you could substitute ‘attributable to’, ‘caused by’ or … Read more

But why can’t I use ‘as such’ instead of ‘therefore’?

It seems to be increasingly common for students, and others, to use ‘as such’ as a replacement for ‘therefore’ only to be corrected without really knowing why. If you think ‘as such’ and ‘therefore’ have the same meaning, read on. ‘Therefore’ is a conjunction (a part of speech that joins words, phrases, clauses or sentences) … Read more

Grammar in Enid Blyton : “ Jolly Good ! ” said Dick, “just wait till I get it !

Did you notice any glaring errors in this blog’s title? If you didn’t, then I can only assume you worked for Enid Blyton’s English publisher, Dean & Son Ltd, during the 1960s.   I’ve been reading my old Enid Blyton books to my children for several years now (I cannot bear the recent editions, with … Read more

The Clause

Most writing consists almost entirely of clauses. Good writing will connect, relate and contrast these clauses, so that the transition from one to the next appears seamless. Ultimately, however, each clause must, at the very least, name a subject and describe an action performed by or on that subject, and must place this action in … Read more