Calling all grammar police! There are some profound rules in the English language and after reading the article below I’m guilty of undermining some of the rules. Are you guilty? I’d like to know. But at least now I’m a step wiser and (hopefully) I can write better.
Please take the time to read through HolisticWayfarer’s great work below and see what you could learn!
1) Make sure it’s a possession (Sarah’s bag) or contraction (it’s = it is) you want to express. That apostrophe stands for something.
2) On this one matter of words ending in s, I dare to disagree with the Writers’ Bible The Elements of Styleby Strunk Jr. and White: The authors favor the possessive with the additional ‘s (Charles’s friend) and go on to differentiate the times you tack on the apostrophe by itself (Moses’ staff), but the distinctions are just too much. Stick to the smokers’ room. The book has been out fifty years. Language favors elision over time, likes the path of least resistance. If it can drop something, it will.
3) The pronouns its, yours, hers, theirs take on no apostrophe because they already indicate possession.
its own ethic
song of yours
they took hers
that lodge of theirs
The preposition between takes objects, not subjects.
he and I
between him and
between her and
between him and me
between her and me
The law of elision, i.e. the law of human laziness, will eventually canonize alright. But all right stand as two words.
Also two words.
Use the simple subject pronoun.
myself arrived at the lake.
Cary and I arrived at the lake.
The reflexive pronouns like myself, himself, yourself need a pronoun in the sentence to reflect back to.
There’s the I, the referent.
I congratulated myself.
I’m fine. And
There is no you the yourself can hearken back to.
I’m fine. And you?
The numbers must match.
1) Each, either, everyone, everybody, neither, nobody, someone call for a singular verb.
they are cool. (Here, they refer to the subject everybody.)
Everybody thinks he is cool.
2) When none means not one or no one, it takes a singular verb.
None of them
None of them is going.
3) Either and neither take a singular verb.
Neither of you
Neither of you is coming.
Do you know if either of these is used?
4) It’s one number.
A number of cases have revealed that
A number of cases has revealed that
only think when writing.
You can think only when writing.
In the first instance, the only thing you’re doing is thinking because the only modifies whatever act follows. What you meant was to qualify the circumstance that allows you to write.
SUBJECT OF A PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE
the point of what
us writers are about
The underlined phrase modifies of and behaves as one noun. Try “the point of the story.” When uncertain between the object and subject form of a pronoun, cover the distraction and you’ll hear it:
what us [writers] are about
Now you know the phrase needs the subject.
the point of what we writers are about.
I hope this article helped to improve your skills.