Balancing correlative conjunctions
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Balancing correlative conjunctions

by Bill Ball   Correlative conjunctions are used in pairs to link two equal grammatical elements in the same sentence. The main pairs are 'both.. .and', 'either... or',  'neither.. .nor', and 'not only.. .but also'. in sentences containing any of these pairs, the items linked should... read more »

Clause analysis

by Bill Ball   It is assumed for the purposes of this article that the reader will have a reasonable knowledge of the various grammatical elements of the English language that are known collectively as 'parts of speech'. The traditional parts of speech are verbs, adverbs,... read more »

Causative theme in English

by David Wulstan The causative is found in Hamito-Semitic languages and in Sanskrit; but it is not often acknowledged as occurring in Indo-European languages generally. Crystal (Cambridge Enc. of Language, 93) calls the causative a tense, a description which Semitic scholars would certainly dispute. Jespersen (Essentials of Eng.... read more »

Substitute and replace

Substitute does not mean Replace by Ted Bell There is some confusion among many people about the wordssubstitute and replace. These words are not interchangeable; they refer to the same process, but there is a difference between them. It is really quite a simple difference, a... read more »

My husband and I

"My husband and I": a matter of personal pronouns By Ted Bell The question of whether to say or write "my husband and I" or "I and my husband" is not a matter of grammar but one of modesty or politeness. It is usually considered good... read more »

Verbless Sentences

By Bill Ball Although there have always been verbless sentences in English, many grammarians of old insisted that a sentence had to contain at least one 'finite' verb. Examples of finite verbs are 'is', as in 'The weather is fine', and 'plays', as in 'He... read more »

'Get off of my cloud'

Beware of 'OFF OF!' On the 30th November 1965, Rock legends - The Rolling Stones - released their memorable hit 'HEY! YOU GET OFF OF MY CLOUD.' Did they unwittingly start a trend in the way many of us now speak some forty five years... read more »

The Hyphen Puzzle (part 2)

In the first part of this guide, we looked mainly at examples of compounds where hyphens should not be used. Here, now, are my further suggestions and comments. 1. Two-word compound adjectives (not containing adverbs) usually need hyphens when they are used attributively: A red-hot poker. An... read more »

The Hyphen Puzzle

by Bill Ball You may have already studied the Punctuation Guide within this website, but here, we take a closer look at one particular aspect - HYPHENS Writing in 1926 in 'Modern English Usage', Fowler said, 'The chaos prevailing among writers or printers or both regarding... read more »

Grammatical Attraction

by Bill Ball There is physical attraction and there is grammatical attraction. A relationship based on physical attraction alone is often a disaster waiting to happen. Grammatical attraction does not usually lead to a disaster but it can easily lure us into grammatical error. Grammatical... read more »