Sit, Set, and Seat

Sit, Set, and Seat

In a different post we discuss the distinction between lie and lay. It is also helpful to examine sit and set, another pair of potentially troubling verbs that is made even more confusing by a third verb, seat. How Much Do You Know Already? Do you recognize which (if...
Names: Making Them Plural and NOT Possessive

Names: Making Them Plural and NOT Possessive

As the holiday season approaches each year and people gear up to send holiday greeting cards, we need a reminder about how to make last names plural. (Hint: Doing so does NOT involve an apostrophe.) If we stop to think about it, most of us will remember that...
Colons (and How They Differ from Semicolons)

Colons (and How They Differ from Semicolons)

Recently I came across two expressions sorely in need of a well-placed colon. The first appeared in the Washington Post*: Although the vaccines remain remarkably effective, the virus has bountiful opportunities to find new ways to evade immunity. Most of the world...
Try to and Try and?

Try to and Try and?

Have you landed on this page to “try to” improve your understanding of English grammar and usage—or to “try and” do so? Either way, you’ve come to the right place. The focus here is on whether “try to” and “try and” are both considered correct and are, thus,...
Possessive Case before a Gerund

Possessive Case before a Gerund

Before we can use the possessive case before a gerund, we first have to recognize whether we are dealing with a gerund (which functions like a noun) or a participle (which functions as an adjective). And therein lies the rub. Participles and gerunds look and sound the...