further vs farther

Grammar Rules: Further vs. Farther

Believe it or not, the words further and farther have different meanings, although people tend to use them interchangeably. And it’s no surprise, because these two words look alike, sound alike, and the difference in meaning is subtle. Plus there are a few circumstances when they are legitimately interchangeable. Let’s solve the further vs. farther…Read More

the colon

Punctuation Marks: The Colon

The colon is one of the most clearly-defined punctuation marks. It occasionally acts as a stand-in for a comma or period (though when one of these other punctuation marks will do, the colon is unnecessary). Most commonly, the colon functions as an introductory punctuation mark, notifying the reader that the forthcoming information supports, explains, or…Read More

homophones affect vs effect

Homophones: Affect vs. Effect

Homophones can be confusing. Luckily, there’s an easy way to remember affect vs. effect. I see it all the time: affect and effect mixed up as if they were completely interchangeable. But they’re not. These two homophones may sound exactly alike, but they don’t even belong to the same parts of speech! If you’ve ever…Read More

grammar rules

Ten Grammar Rules Every Writer Should Know

The more experience I gain as a writer, the more I’m convinced that writing is one of the most difficult skills to master. It’s not enough to tell a great story, share an original idea, or create an intriguing poem; writers are also obligated to pay diligence to the craft. While the content (or message)…Read More

commas and clauses

Punctuation Marks: Commas and Clauses

There’s a fine art to using commas. Today we’ll look at how commas work with clauses — both dependent clauses and independent clauses. And don’t worry if you’re not sure which clause is which. Everything will be explained. Independent Clauses and Commas An independent clause can stand alone as a sentence: I watch movies. Two…Read More

accept vs except

Homophones: Accept vs. Except

The English language is fraught with sound-alike words that look nothing alike on the page (or screen). These homophones have given many writers headaches as they agonize over word choice while composing poems, articles, essays, and stories. Accept vs. except is one such pair of words. Though not among the most commonly confused homophones, these…Read More

homophones

Homophones: They’re, There, and Their

Homophones are words that sound exactly alike when pronounced out loud but have completely different meanings. They’re such troublemakers. Homophones confuse kids, slip past spell check, and pop up all over the place as typos and misspellings. To make things worse, many homophones have different spellings, which means spell check ignores them, since alternative spellings…Read More

grammar rules split infinitives

Grammar Rules: Split Infinitives

It’s important that we, as writers, know the tools of our trade. Part of our job is to understand the mechanics of language, which includes grammar rules. Yet many writers find themselves asking… What are split infinitives? It’s a term that grammarians and linguists throw around a lot, yet few people, including writers, seem to…Read More

dashes and hyphens

What’s The Difference Between Dashes and Hyphens?

To the passive reader, it’s a short horizontal line that appears somewhere in a text, usually joining two words together. To a writer, it’s something else entirely, but what? Is it a dash, a hyphen, or a minus sign? More than once, I’ve been pecking away at my keyboard and stopped suddenly when confronted with…Read More

homophones homonyms and homographs

Homophones, Homonyms, and Homographs

They perplex us, confuse us, and make our heads spin. If you thought learning how to correctly spell words that sound alike was difficult, wait till you try to learn the terms for describing those words. Homophones Homophones are words that are pronounced alike but have different meanings. Some examples are accept and except, affect…Read More

Pin It on Pinterest