Ten Grammar essentials
note: I am not a grammar expert, nor do I have a doctorate degree. I enjoy the topic. This is a repost of something I had on my old site a long time ago.
1. alright is not a word. All right is two words.
2. alot is not a word. A lot is two words.
3. To split an infinitive is wrong in the formal sense, but sometimes it is okay to occasionally split an infinitive because it sounds better to do so. Six infinitives that express time relationships are listed here.
4. Avoid the word “which” in favor of “that’,” if possible. Chicago Manual of Style debate on which versus that. (I always favor that if possible)
5. Do not end a sentence in a preposition, unless you are asking a question (what horse did you bet on?)
6.Do not start an essay with a dummy subject such as There or It.
7.Unless you wish to kill the essay outright, use the active voice. Proofread and eliminate passive voice.
8. Unless you are quoting dialogue, contractions are too informal for quality writing.
9. “Lay” is a verb.
lay – definition of lay by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and …
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/laylay 1 (l ). v. laid (l d), lay·ing, lays. v.tr. 1. To cause to lie down: lay a child in its crib. 2. a. To place in or bring to a particular position: lay the cloth over the painting.
10.Lay is the the past of lie.
Laid must have an object: He laid the fork down.
He laid down is a grammatical mistake.
11. Get a copy of Struck and White: Elements of Style.
Remember the Stephen King quote, “The road to Hell is paved with adverbs.”
Has this been helpful?
BTW: Four places that you likely will not find grammatical errors in are: The Christian Science Monitor, The Atlantic, Harper’s and The National Geographic.
Here is a recent Christian Science Monitor article on grammar.