The Colon (and How It Differs from the Semicolon)

The Colon (and How It Differs from the Semicolon)

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...
Do We Write “Try to” or “Try and”?

Do We Write “Try to” or “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,...
Using the Possessive Case before a Gerund

Using the 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...
How to Make Last Names Plural

How to Make Last Names Plural

With quite a few big holidays looming, many people are gearing up to send holiday greeting cards, so this is the perfect time to remind everyone how to make last names plural. (Hint: doing so does NOT involve an apostrophe.) If we stop to think about it, most of us...