English grammar workbook for dummies

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r a m m a r G h s i l g n E Workbook FOR DUMmIES ‰ r a m m a r G h s i l g n E Workbook FOR DUMmIES ‰ by Geraldine Woods English Grammar Workbook For Dummies® Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc. 111 River St. Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774 www.wiley.com Copyright © 2006 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana Published simultaneously in Canada No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written permission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, 978-750-8400, fax 978-646-8600. Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Legal Department, Wiley Publishing, Inc., 10475 Crosspoint Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46256, 317-572-3447, fax 317-572-4355, or online at http://www.wiley.com/go/permissions. Trademarks: Wiley, the Wiley Publishing logo, For Dummies, the Dummies Man logo, A Reference for the Rest of Us!, The Dummies Way, Dummies Daily, The Fun and Easy Way, Dummies.com and related trade dress are trademarks or registered trademarks of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and other countries, and may not be used without written permission. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Wiley Publishing, Inc., is not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book. 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ISBN-13: 978-0-7645-9932-3 ISBN-10: 0-7645-9932-1 Manufactured in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 1B/SQ/QU/QW/IN About the Author Geraldine Woods began her education when teachers still supplied ink wells to their students. She credits her 35-year career as an English teacher to a set of ultra-strict nuns armed with thick grammar books. She lives in New York City, where with great difficulty she refrains from correcting signs containing messages such as “Bagel’s for sale.” She is the author of more than 40 books, including English Grammar For Dummies, Research Papers For Dummies, College Admission Essays For Dummies, and The SAT I Reasoning Test For Dummies. Dedication For the students who labor (and occasionally smile) in the grammar portion of my English classes. Author’s Acknowledgments I owe thanks to my colleagues at the Horace Mann School, who are always willing to discuss the finer points of grammar. I appreciate the work of Kristin DeMint, Sarah Faulkner, and Neil Johnson, editors whose attention and intelligence guided my writing. I also appreciate the efforts of Lisa Queen, my agent, and of Roxanne Cerda and Kathy Cox, Wiley acquisitions editors. Publisher’s Acknowledgments We’re proud of this book; please send us your comments through our Dummies online registration form located at www.dummies.com/register/. Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following: Acquisitions, Editorial, and Media Development Composition Services Project Editor: Kristin DeMint Project Coordinator: Adrienne Martinez Acquisitions Editor: Kathleen M. Cox Layout and Graphics: Denny Hager, Stephanie D. Jumper, Lynsey Osborn, Melanee Prendergast, Heather Ryan Copy Editors: Sarah Faulkner, E. Neil Johnson Editorial Program Coordinator: Hanna K. Scott Technical Editor: Sue Williams, PhD Proofreaders: Leeann Harney, Jessica Kramer, Henry Lazarek, Joe Niesen, Dwight Ramsey Senior Editorial Manager: Jennifer Ehrlich Indexer: Joan Griffitts Editorial Assistant: Nadine Bell Special Help Michelle Hacker Cover Photos: © Getty Images Cartoons: Rich Tennant (www.the5thwave.com) Publishing and Editorial for Consumer Dummies Diane Graves Steele, Vice President and Publisher, Consumer Dummies Joyce Pepple, Acquisitions Director, Consumer Dummies Kristin A. Cocks, Product Development Director, Consumer Dummies Michael Spring, Vice President and Publisher, Travel Kelly Regan, Editorial Director, Travel Publishing for Technology Dummies Andy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher, Dummies Technology/General User Composition Services Gerry Fahey, Vice President of Production Services Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services Contents at a Glance Introduction.................................................................................1 Part I: Laying Out the Concrete Slab: Grammar Basics....................7 Chapter 1: Placing the Proper Verb in the Proper Place .........................................................................9 Chapter 2: Matchmaker, Make Me a Match: Pairing Subjects and Verbs Correctly...........................23 Chapter 3: Who Is She, and What Is It? The Lowdown on Pronouns...................................................35 Chapter 4: Finishing What You Start: Writing Complete Sentences.....................................................49 Part II: Mastering Mechanics ......................................................65 Chapter 5: Exercising Comma Sense........................................................................................................67 Chapter 6: Made You Look! Punctuation Marks That Demand Attention ...........................................81 Chapter 7: One Small Mark, a Whole New Meaning: Apostrophes ......................................................91 Chapter 8: “Let Me Speak!“ Quotation Marks .......................................................................................101 Chapter 9: Hitting the Big Time: Capital Letters ..................................................................................113 Part III: The Pickier Points of Correct Verb and Pronoun Use .......125 Chapter 10: The Case of It (And Other Pronouns) ...............................................................................127 Chapter 11: Choosing the Best Pronoun for a Tricky Sentence .........................................................141 Chapter 12: Traveling in Time: Tricky Verb-Tense Situations.............................................................155 Chapter 13: Are You and Your Verbs in the Right Mood?....................................................................167 Part IV: All You Need to Know about Descriptions and Comparisons ......................................................................177 Chapter 14: Writing Good or Well: Adjectives and Adverbs ...............................................................179 Chapter 15: Going on Location: Placing Descriptions Correctly........................................................189 Chapter 16: For Better or Worse: Forming Comparisons ....................................................................205 Chapter 17: Apples and Oranges: Improper Comparisons .................................................................215 Part V: Writing with Style.........................................................227 Chapter 18: Practicing Parallel Structure..............................................................................................229 Chapter 19: Spicing Up and Trimming Down Your Sentences ............................................................243 Chapter 20: Steering Clear of Tricky Word Traps.................................................................................255 Part VI: The Part of Tens...........................................................267 Chapter 21: Ten Overcorrections ...........................................................................................................269 Chapter 22: Ten Errors to Avoid at All Cost..........................................................................................273 Appendix: Grabbing Grammar Goofs ..........................................277 Index.......................................................................................293 Table of Contents Introduction .................................................................................1 About This Book.........................................................................................................................1 Conventions Used in This Book ...............................................................................................2 What You’re Not to Read...........................................................................................................2 Foolish Assumptions .................................................................................................................2 How This Book Is Organized.....................................................................................................3 Part I: Laying Out the Concrete Slab: Grammar Basics ...............................................3 Part II: Mastering Mechanics ..........................................................................................3 Part III: The Pickier Points of Correct Verb and Pronoun Use ....................................4 Part IV: All You Need to Know about Descriptions and Comparisons ......................4 Part V: Writing with Style ................................................................................................4 Part VI: The Part of Tens .................................................................................................4 Icons Used in This Book............................................................................................................4 Where to Go from Here..............................................................................................................5 Part I: Laying Out the Concrete Slab: Grammar Basics ....................7 Chapter 1: Placing the Proper Verb in the Proper Place .................................................9 Choosing among Past, Present, and Future ............................................................................9 Shining a Light on Not-So-Perfect Tenses .............................................................................11 Navigating among Irregular Forms ........................................................................................12 Mastering the Two Most Common Irregulars: Be and Have ...............................................13 Getting By with a Little Help from Some Other Verbs .........................................................15 Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Verbs..........................................................16 Answers to Problems on Verbs and Verb Tenses ................................................................17 Chapter 2: Matchmaker, Make Me a Match: Pairing Subjects and Verbs Correctly..............................................................................................................23 When One Just Isn’t Enough: Plural Nouns ..........................................................................23 Isn’t Love Groovy? Pairing Subjects and Verbs....................................................................24 Taming the Brats: Difficult Subjects to Match with Verbs ..................................................26 Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Hitching Subjects and Verbs ..................29 Answers to Subject and Verb Pairing Problems...................................................................30 Chapter 3: Who Is She, and What Is It? The Lowdown on Pronouns..........................35 Separating Singular and Plural Pronouns .............................................................................35 Taking Possession of the Right Pronoun...............................................................................37 It’s All in the Details: Possessives versus Contractions......................................................38 Avoiding Double Meanings .....................................................................................................40 Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Basic Pronouns ........................................42 Answers to Pronoun Problems...............................................................................................43 Chapter 4: Finishing What You Start: Writing Complete Sentences ...........................49 Seeking Out the Subject/Verb Pair .........................................................................................50 Checking for Complete Thoughts ..........................................................................................51 Going for Flow: Joining Sentences Correctly ........................................................................52 Finishing with Flair: Choosing Endmarks..............................................................................55 xii English Grammar Workbook For Dummies Complete or Incomplete? That Is the Question ...................................................................56 Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Complete Sentences ................................58 Answers to Complete Sentence Problems ............................................................................59 Part II: Mastering Mechanics.......................................................65 Chapter 5: Exercising Comma Sense ................................................................................67 Making a List and Checking It Twice .....................................................................................67 You Talkin’ to Me? Direct Address .........................................................................................69 Dating and Addressing ............................................................................................................70 Introducing (and Interrupting) with the Comma .................................................................71 Setting Off Descriptions ..........................................................................................................73 Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Commas ....................................................75 Answers to Comma Problems ................................................................................................76 Chapter 6: Made You Look! Punctuation Marks That Demand Attention ..................81 Connectors and Dividers: Hyphens .......................................................................................81 Just Dashing Through..............................................................................................................82 Sorting Out Semicolons...........................................................................................................84 Placing Colons ..........................................................................................................................85 Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Hyphens, Dashes, Colons, and Semicolons ............................................................................................................................85 Answers to Punctuation Problems ........................................................................................87 Chapter 7: One Small Mark, a Whole New Meaning: Apostrophes............................91 Putting Words on a Diet: Contractions..................................................................................91 Taking Possession ....................................................................................................................93 Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Apostrophes .............................................95 Answers to Apostrophe Problems .........................................................................................96 Chapter 8: “Let Me Speak!“ Quotation Marks ..............................................................101 Lending Written Words a Voice: Punctuating Direct Quotations .....................................101 Embedding One Quotation inside Another.........................................................................103 Punctuating Titles ..................................................................................................................105 Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Quotation Marks ....................................106 Answers to Quotation Problems ..........................................................................................108 Chapter 9: Hitting the Big Time: Capital Letters............................................................113 Bowing to Convention and Etiquette: People’s Names and Titles...................................113 Entering the Worlds of Business and Academia ................................................................115 Capitalizing Titles of Literary and Media Works ................................................................116 Placing Geographical Capitals..............................................................................................117 AM or p.m.? Capitalizing Abbreviations..............................................................................118 Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Capital Letters........................................120 Answers to Capitalization Problems ...................................................................................121 Part III: The Pickier Points of Correct Verb and Pronoun Use ........125 Chapter 10: The Case of It (And Other Pronouns)..........................................................127 Meeting the Subject at Hand and the Object of My Affection ..........................................127 To “Who” or To “Whom”? That Is the Question.................................................................129 Table of Contents Linking Up with Pronouns in “To Be” Sentences ...............................................................130 You Talkin’ to Me, or I? Pronouns as Objects of Prepositions..........................................131 Matching Possessive Pronouns to “-ing” Nouns ................................................................132 Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Pronoun Case .........................................133 Answers to Pronoun Case Problems ...................................................................................135 Chapter 11: Choosing the Best Pronoun for a Tricky Sentence .................................141 Nodding in Agreement: Pronouns and Possessives Come Head to Head.......................141 Working for the Man: Pronouns for Companies and Organizations ................................143 Decoding Who, That, and Which .........................................................................................144 Getting Down to Specifics: Avoiding Improper Pronoun References ..............................146 Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Tricky Pronoun Situations....................149 Answers to Advanced Pronoun Problems ..........................................................................150 Chapter 12: Traveling in Time: Tricky Verb-Tense Situations .....................................155 Telling Tales of the Past ........................................................................................................155 The Unchanging Universe: When You’re Stuck in the Present.........................................157 Tackling the Timeline: Verbals to the Rescue.....................................................................158 Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Verb Tenses ............................................159 Answers to Advanced Verb Tense Problems......................................................................161 Chapter 13: Are You and Your Verbs in the Right Mood?.............................................167 Stating the Obvious: Indicative Mood .................................................................................167 Taking Command: Imperative Mood....................................................................................168 Telling Lies or Being Passive: Subjunctive Mood...............................................................169 Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Moody Verbs ..........................................171 Answers to Verb Mood Problems ........................................................................................172 Part IV: All You Need to Know about Descriptions and Comparisons.......................................................................177 Chapter 14: Writing Good or Well: Adjectives and Adverbs.......................................179 Distinguishing between Adjectives and Adverbs ..............................................................179 How’s It Going? Choosing between Good/Well and Bad/Badly ........................................181 Mastering the Art of Articles ................................................................................................182 Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Descriptors.............................................183 Answers to Adjective and Adverb Problems......................................................................184 Chapter 15: Going on Location: Placing Descriptions Correctly ...............................189 Little Words Mean a Lot: Situating “Even,” “Only,” and Similar Words ...........................189 It Must Be Here Somewhere! Misplaced Descriptions.......................................................192 Hanging Off a Cliff: Dangling Descriptions ..........................................................................194 Dazed and Confused: Vague Descriptions ..........................................................................196 Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice Placing Descriptions ......................................198 Answers to Description Placement Problems ....................................................................199 Chapter 16: For Better or Worse: Forming Comparisons .............................................205 Visiting the -ER (And the -EST): Creating Comparisons ....................................................205 Going from Bad to Worse (And Good to Better): Irregular Comparisons.......................207 Words That Are Incomparable (Like You!)..........................................................................208 Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Bad Comparisons ..................................210 Answers to Comparison Problems ......................................................................................211 xiii xiv English Grammar Workbook For Dummies Chapter 17: Apples and Oranges: Improper Comparisons ..........................................215 No One Likes to Feel Incomplete, and Neither Do Comparisons.....................................215 Being Smarter than Yourself: Illogical Comparisons .........................................................217 Double Trouble: A Sentence Containing More than One Comparison ............................219 Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Improper Comparisons .........................221 Answers to Complicated Comparison Problems ...............................................................222 Part V: Writing with Style .........................................................227 Chapter 18: Practicing Parallel Structure......................................................................229 Geometry Invades English: Parallelism Basics...................................................................229 Avoiding Unnecessary Shifts in Tense, Person, and Voice ...............................................231 Matchmaking 101: Either/Or, Not Only/But Also, and Similar Pairs................................234 Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Parallels ..................................................236 Answers to Parallelism Problems ........................................................................................237 Chapter 19: Spicing Up and Trimming Down Your Sentences ...................................243 Beginning with a Bang: Adding Introductory Elements ....................................................243 Smoothing Out Choppy Sentences ......................................................................................245 Awkward but Interesting: Reversed Sentence Patterns ....................................................247 Shedding and Eliminating Redundancy...............................................................................248 Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice Honing Your Sentences..................................250 Answers to Sentence Improvement Problems ...................................................................251 Chapter 20: Steering Clear of Tricky Word Traps..........................................................255 Separating Almost-Twins: Commonly Confused Words ....................................................255 Comparing Quantities without Numbers ............................................................................257 Sorry to Bust Your Bubble, but Some Common Expressions Are Wrong .......................258 Verbs That Will Give You a Headache .................................................................................260 Combining Rightfully Independent Words..........................................................................261 Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Tricky Words ..........................................262 Answers to Tricky Word Problems ......................................................................................263 Part VI: The Part of Tens ...........................................................267 Chapter 21: Ten Overcorrections .....................................................................................269 Substituting “Whom” for “Who”...........................................................................................269 Inserting Unnecessary “Had’s”.............................................................................................269 Throwing in “Have” at Random............................................................................................270 Sending “I” to Do a “Me” Job.................................................................................................270 Speaking or Writing Passively ..............................................................................................270 Making Sentence Structure Too Complicated ....................................................................270 Letting Descriptions Dangle .................................................................................................270 Becoming Allergic to “They” and “Their” ...........................................................................271 Being Semi-Attached to Semicolons ....................................................................................271 Not Knowing When Enough Is Enough................................................................................271 Chapter 22: Ten Errors to Avoid at All Cost ....................................................................273 Writing Incomplete Sentences..............................................................................................273 Letting Sentences Run On and On .......................................................................................273 Forgetting to Capitalize “I”....................................................................................................273 Table of Contents Being Stingy with Quotation Marks .....................................................................................274 Using Pronouns Incorrectly ..................................................................................................274 Placing New Words in the Wrong Context ..........................................................................274 Letting Slang Seep into Your Speech ...................................................................................274 Forgetting to Proofread .........................................................................................................275 Relying on Computer Checks for Grammar and Spelling..................................................275 Repeating Yourself .................................................................................................................275 Appendix: Grabbing Grammar Goofs ...........................................277 Exercise One ...........................................................................................................................277 Exercise Two...........................................................................................................................278 Exercise Three........................................................................................................................279 Exercise Four ..........................................................................................................................280 Answers to Exercise One ......................................................................................................281 Answers to Exercise Two ......................................................................................................284 Answers to Exercise Three ...................................................................................................286 Answers to Exercise Four .....................................................................................................289 Index .......................................................................................293 xv xvi English Grammar Workbook For Dummies Introduction G ood grammar pays. No, I’m not making a sentimental statement about the importance of a job well done or the satisfaction of learning for learning’s sake, though I believe in both of those values. I’m talking about cold, hard cash, the kind you fold and put into your wallet. Don’t believe me? Fine. Try this little test: The next time you go to the movies, tear yourself away from the story for a moment and concentrate on the dialogue. Chances are the characters who have fancy jobs or piles of dough sound different from those who don’t. I’m not making a value judgment here; I’m just describing reality. Proper English, either written or spoken, tends to be associated with the upper social or economic classes. Tuning up your grammar muscles doesn’t guarantee your entry into the Bill Gates income tax bracket, but poor grammar may make it much harder to fight your way in. Another payoff of good grammar is better grades and an edge in college admissions. Teachers have always looked more favorably on nicely written sentences, and grammar has recently become an additional hurdle that applicants must jump over or stumble through when they sit for the SAT or the ACT, the two most important standardized tests for the college bound. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lifetime improving your English. Ten minutes here, ten minutes there, and before you know it, your grammar muscles will be toned to fighting strength. This book is the equivalent of a health-club membership for your writing and speaking skills. Like a good health club, it doesn’t waste your time with lectures on the physiology of flat abs. Instead, it sends you right to the mat and sets you up with the exercises that actually do the job. About This Book English Grammar Workbook For Dummies doesn’t concentrate on what we English teachers (yes, I confess I am one) call descriptive grammar — the kind where you circle all the nouns and draw little triangles around the prepositions. A closely guarded English-teacher secret is that you don’t need to know any of that terminology (well, hardly any) to master grammar. Instead, English Grammar Workbook For Dummies concentrates on functional grammar — what goes where in real-life speech and writing. Each chapter begins with a quick explanation of the rules (don’t smoke, don’t stick your chewing gum on the bedpost, be sure your sentence is complete, and so forth). Okay, I’m kidding about the smoking and the chewing gum, but you get the idea. I start off telling you what’s right and wrong in standard English usage. Next, I provide an example and then hit you with ten or so quick questions. Just to make sure you know that I’m not wasting your time, in every chapter I give you a sample from real-life English (with a fairly absurd situation, just to keep your funny bone tingling), so you can see how proper grammar actually aids communication. After filling in the blanks, you can check your answers at the end of the chapter. In English Grammar Workbook For Dummies, I also tell you why a particular choice is correct, not just for the sake of learning a set of rules but rather to help you make the right decision the next time — when you’re deciding between their and they’re or went and had gone, for example. 2 English Grammar Workbook For Dummies As the author of English Grammar For Dummies (Wiley) and a grammar teacher for more decades than I care to count (let’s just say that I had an inkwell in my first classroom), I believe that if you truly get the logic of grammar — and most rules do rest upon a logical basis — you’ll be a better, more precise communicator. English Grammar Workbook For Dummies offers a special welcome to readers for whom English is a second language. You’ve probably picked up quite a bit of vocabulary and basic grammar already. English Grammar Workbook For Dummies lets you practice the little things — the best word choice for a particular sentence, the proper way to create a plural, and so forth. This book moves you beyond comprehension to mastery. Finally, because standardized college entrance exams are now a permanent part of the landscape, I’ve taken special care to provide examples that mirror those horrible tests. If you’re facing the SAT or the ACT in the near future, don’t despair. Everything the grammar-testing gurus expect you to know is in this book. Conventions Used in This Book To make your practice as easy as possible, I’ve used some conventions throughout this book so that from chapter to chapter or section to section you’re not wondering what the heck is going on. Here are a few to note: ⻬ At the end of each chapter is the “Answers” section, which covers all the exercises in that chapter. You can find the answers by thumbing through the book until you come to the pages with the gray trim on the outside edge. ⻬ The last exercise in each chapter is comprehensive, so you can check your mastery of the material in that chapter and sharpen your editing skills. You can find the comprehensive answers and explanations in the “Answers” section. The callout numbers pointing to the corrections in the exercise correspond with the numbered explanations in the text. I also provide an appendix devoted entirely to providing comprehensive practice with the grammar skills you develop as you consult English Grammar For Dummies and as you complete the exercises throughout this workbook. What You’re Not to Read I promise you that I’ve kept the grammar jargon to a minimum in this workbook, but I must admit that I have included a couple of terms from schoolbook land. If you stumble upon a definition, run away as fast as you can and try the sample question instead. If you can get the point without learning the grammatical term, you win a gold star. Likewise, feel free to skip the explanation of any question that you get right, unless of course you want to gloat. In that case read the explanation while crowing, “I knew that.” Foolish Assumptions In writing the English Grammar Workbook For Dummies, I’m assuming that you fall into one or more of these categories: ⻬ You know some English but want to improve your skills. ⻬ You aspire to a better job. Introduction ⻬ You want higher grades or SAT/ACT scores. ⻬ You feel a bit insecure about your language skills and want to communicate with more confidence. ⻬ You’re still learning to speak and write English fluently. I’ve made two more global assumptions about you, the reader. First, you have a busy life with very little time to waste on unnecessary frills. With this important fact in mind, I’ve tried to keep the explanations in this book clear, simple, and short, so you can get right to it and practice away. I’ve left the fancy grammar terms — gerunds, indicative mood, copulative verb, and the like — by the wayside, where, in my humble opinion, they belong. I don’t want to clutter up your brain; I just want to give you what you need to know to speak and write in standard English. For the total, complete, and occasionally humorous explanations, pick up a copy of the companion book, English Grammar For Dummies, also written by yours truly (and published by Wiley). Second, I assume that you hate boring, schoolbook style. You’d prefer not to yawn as you read. No problem! I too glaze over when faced with sentences like “The administrative council approved the new water-purification project outlined in by-law 78-451 by a margin of three votes to two.” To keep you awake, I’ve used my somewhat insane imagination to create amusing sentences that will (I hope) make you smile or even laugh from time to time. How This Book Is Organized Life gets harder as you go along, doesn’t it? So too English Grammar Workbook For Dummies. Parts I and II concentrate on the basics — plopping the right verbs into each sentence, forming singulars and plurals, creating complete sentences, and so on. Part III moves up a notch to the pickier stuff, not exactly world record but definitely the state-champ level. In Parts III and IV, you get to try your hand at the most annoying problems presented by pronouns (those pesky little words such as I, me, theirs, whomever, and others), advanced verb problems, and comparisons (different than? different from? find out here!). Part V is totally practical, polishing up your writing style and explaining some common word traps into which you may fall. Now for more detail. Part I: Laying Out the Concrete Slab: Grammar Basics In this part I take you through the basic building blocks — verbs (words that express action or state of being) and subjects (who or what you’re talking about) — with a quick side trip into pronouns (I, he, her, and the like). I show you how to create a complete sentence. In this part you practice choosing the correct verb tense in straightforward sentences and find out all you need to know about singular and plural forms. Part II: Mastering Mechanics This part’s devoted to two little things — punctuation and capital letters — that can make or break your writing. If you’re not sure whether to head North or north or if you want to know where a comma belongs, this part’s for you. 3
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