‘Avoid passive voice.’ That must be one of the most common pieces of grammar advice. And one of the most valuable ever. So, how terrible would it be if you had to ask, ‘But what is passive voice’, and no one had a simple answer? That’s what I’m here to provide today. … [Read more...] about What is passive voice?
Last week, I repaired the first half of a sentence inspired by one of my mum’s most grammatically awkward sentences (sorry, Mum). I worked through some of the murkier waters of writing series of items like this one: She’s got size-five shoes, dresses, and handbags. Are there … [Read more...] about Asking too much of your commas? Careful rephrasing comes to their rescue
Have you ever bitten off more sentence than you could chew? I mean, have you ever tried to put a long and complex idea down on paper only to reach the end of a very long sentence, look back at what you wrote, and think one thought: ‘Don’t tell me I have to edit that!’ … [Read more...] about Leapfrogging! A simple solution for grammar pitfalls and pink poodles
Recently, I was browsing punctuation and grammar books on Amazon when I came across an interesting review. Here’s an extract: “I thought I'd got the hang of the different sentence types (simple, compound, complex) until I reached the section in this book where Seely [the author] … [Read more...] about Taking the Complex out of Complex Sentences … and taking on one of their greatest complexities
‘Place a comma before “which” but not before “that”.’ I’ve come across this simple guideline many times, and it’s certainly memorable, straightforward, and easy to apply. And it works most of the time. However, I often wonder if it’s too simple for its own good. It refers to one … [Read more...] about Can a single comma change the meaning of a whole sentence? A simple guide to placing commas before ‘which’ and ‘that’