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...
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,...
Alumnus, Alumni, Alumna, Alumnae

Alumnus, Alumni, Alumna, Alumnae

As spring graduation season wraps up here in the United States, now is a good time to talk about alumnus, alumni, alumna, and alumnae. Many of us struggle to remember which of these terms are masculine, which are feminine, which are singular, and which are plural. The...
Home In On or Hone In On: Which Is Logical?

Home In On or Hone In On: Which Is Logical?

The words home and hone sound so much alike that we can hardly blame people for confusing them and saying hone in on when they really mean home in on. Home In On Synonyms for the infinitive to home in on are to zero in on or to target. Think about a guided missile or...
Nominalization (Vague, Wordy Sentences)

Nominalization (Vague, Wordy Sentences)

When it comes to writing, less is often better. Writers can avail themselves of several strategies for more succinct writing, and avoiding nominalization—forming a noun from other parts of speech—is one of them.  Nouns can be made from both verbs and adjectives, but...