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misplaced modifiers

A modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that describes, clarifies, or gives more details about nouns or verbs in a sentence. Example:  He earned almost a thousand bucks for the show. A misplaced modifier is when the modifier is NOT placed next to the word it modifies. Example: He almost earned a thousand bucks … Continue reading

pince-nez

Look at the glasses that Anton Chekov is wearing:     This is a pince-nez, or glasses that are supported without earpieces, by pinching the bridge of the nose. Ouch! Must be painful!  

‘economic’ or ‘economical’?

The dictionary defines the word economic as ‘relating to economics’ <economic theories> and ‘of, relating to, or based on the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services’ <economic growth>. The word economical means ‘marked by careful, efficient, prudent use of resources,’ as in, an economical car. So, ‘we are looking for a more economic way … Continue reading

‘before’ and ‘ago’

Before means at some unknown time before now. It does not indicate when. We generally use the present perfect tense with before. Example: I have never seen him before. Ago means at a certain time before now. Ago tells us how long before the present time something happened. It tells us when and gives us a … Continue reading

Using transitional words/phrases

An important element of good writing is coherence. You must be able to guide your readers effortlessly from one idea to the next, to help them make connections or note points that you wish to emphasize. Readers should be able to navigate clearly through your ideas, arguments or descriptions. We use transitional words or expressions … Continue reading

Are you ‘wailing’ or ‘bawling’ or ‘sniffling’? Synonyms for ‘crying.’

To sob means to cry noisily, taking sudden, sharp breaths. To wail means to cry in a loud high voice. To whimper means to cry making low, weak noises. To weep means to cry quietly for a long time. To bawl means to cry loudly, especially used for young children and for people for whom … Continue reading

‘replacement of’ or ‘replacement for’

Should you say ‘replacement of’ or ‘replacement for’? There are two commonly used meanings of the word ‘replacement’: 1. a person or a thing that replaces another; a substitute. 2. The action or an act of replacing something. When used in the first sense, use ‘for’. Example: We need a replacement for Mr Seth, who … Continue reading

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