Being able to write properly is very important. While we live in an age where most of our devices have auto-correct, there are still many times they do not always get it right. Furthermore, when it comes to certain writing rules, things can get a bit confusing for most of us. For this reason, here are six important grammar rules you need to know about and follow.
The Semicolon –
One simple way to look at a semicolon is as a period atop a comma. This is because just like commas, they indicate an audible pause (though slightly longer than a comma). A semicolon should be used to join two ideas. Using the semicolon sometimes turns into a problem for some people when they write because they quite simply use it too often or improperly. There are only 2 proper uses for the semicolon. When using this punctuation, remember that it is used to separate two complete clauses. One is a construction with a subject and/or a verb which in a sentence may be able to stand by itself. The second use for the semicolon is when it is used to separate list items that have punctuation.
No matter what you decide to write about, make your own decisions; as a result, others will love your work.
Please call me later; you can let me know how you feel then.
Adding “ed” to verbs –
When it come to speaking about the past, the “ed” needs to be added to regular verbs to make them past tense. This will also turn them into second form which is very important. However, you need to keep in mind that irregular verbs have their own set of rules and are more tricky to deal with. One example is the word ‘Drink’ cannot have ‘ed’ added to it since it turns into ‘Drank’ in past tense.
verb past tense present
Stop Stopped Stopping
Target Targeted Targeting
Admit Admitted Admitting
Need more help with grammar rules? Then check out Irregular Verbs – The Past Tense Of Catch/Caught, Bring/Brought…
The subjunctive –
The subjunctive refers to an irrealis mood such as when referring directly to what is necessarily real. Whenever you end up writing about a situation which is not true, you would render the verb was to were. This usually happens right after the word if or wish.
If I was a very famous person
If I were a very famous person
I wish I was ten feet tall.
I wish I were ten feet tall
One thing to keep in mind though. Whenever you are using if for hypothetical questions or situations, then you do not need to use the subjunctive.
The girl asked the police officer if he were happy with his job – wrong
The girl asked the police officer if he was happy with his job – correct
There, Their and They’re –
If there are 3 words which cause problems for a lot of people it is There, Their and They’re. The reason for this is that they are all pronounced and sound the same. However, one simple rule to remember is that each word has its own use and cannot be mistaken for the other if thought of properly.
They’re – Is a contraction meaning “They are”. If you think of it in separate terms, it is unlikely you would use it incorrectly. Keep in mind to never really use they’re in a formal letter though. It is best to expand them for proper writing.
There – Refers to a place such as the word here.
Their – Just like my, your, its, our, his or hers, their is used to show possession.
Example: They’re always trying to park their car there
The Comma –
Whenever you are connecting two ideas as one, you need to use a comma. It is also used when separating the elements in three or more things such as in a series; including the last two.
I love taking my new car, kids and my dog out for a drive.
Peter likes to shop, however, he never spends more than a hundred dollars.
Witch, Which and That –
“Which witch is that witch you’re with?”
While witch and which sound alike and are almost spelled the same, which and that are many times used incorrectly in place of one another. Although which and that can both be used in other constructions, there are many ways to confused the proper usage of the two. This arises whenever they are being used as relative pronouns as way to introduce adjective or any relative clauses.
Our car [that has a blue color and red lining] needs painting.
Our car, [which a blue color and red lining], needs painting.
Witch and Which:
These two words are often confused and misused since they sound the same and are almost spelled similarly as well. Still, this rule is not that hard to remember since all you need to do is know the difference between the two of them.
Witch: A witch is a woman or man that is believed to posses special powers or black magic. Most witches are found in fairy tales such as the Wicked Witch of the west in the Wizard of Oz. An important rule to remember is to never call a witch a “which” or she might cast a spell on you.
Which: This word is used relatively in restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses to represent a specified antecedent.
Here’s another very helpful article on Commonly Misused Words – Learn to Use Them Correctly
While remembering all of these rules will not be easy for many people, just keep in mind that practice makes perfect. The more you memorize as you learn about each rule, the easier it will be for you the next time the need arises to use any of them.