HomeAbout UsFeaturesGrammarParts of SpeechUsagePunctuationCollege Courses

All the English You Will Ever Need

 

webassets/FlyingCat01.jpg
The English language is constantly evolving, both the words we use and the rules that control the usage of those words.  Therefore, it is impossible to ever have a definitive grammar guide, or, if you will, a Complete Guide of American English.  And that’s our excuse.

 

 

Word of the Every So Often

December 14, 2018 

albedo:  (noun)  the light reflected off a surface, usually that of a planet or moon, measured on a scale of zero to one, zero being completely non-reflective (such as black), and one being completely reflective (such as a mirror).  Sir, we're going to have to ask you to put on your hat.  The albedo off of your head is disturbing the other fans.

 

What's New...

What's Old...

Archive Newer | Older

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Average Guy

A student recently mentioned "the average guy" on a paper, and it got me wondering:  What is an average guy?  So I googled it, and I found out that the average guy is a Chinese Christian named Muhammad who has less than an eighth grade education and makes less than three thousand dollars a year.  In short, it's not you.

10:14 am pdt 

Friday, October 27, 2017

The "Period Test"

Commas driving you crazy?  Then try the "Period Test."  Just follow that friendly hyperlink.  But be forewarned:  The "Period Test" only works if you already understand what a Complete Sentence is. 

10:38 am pdt 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Would Be

"Would be" is one of the most misused phrases in current American English usage.  If you start listening for it, you will hear it all around you.  It's especially obvious with sportscasters, who are not widely known for their ability to speak coherently, and especially without using clichés. 

Using "would" is fine if you are asking a question:  Would you like to go to the Prom?

Or, if you are creating a conditional statement:  You would... but not with me.

Basically, a conditional statement is one that would be true, but only under certain circumstances.  Notice how I used "would" twice above, and each time it was followed by "but" (what I like to call a "but" clause).  Pretty much, you're saying, "If this would happen, then this would be the result."  Or, you can turn it around:  "It would be this, if this were to happen."  Or even, "This would be the case, but these things keep it from happening."

Here's the test for using "would be." 

  • First, ask yourself if the conditions have changed.  For instance, is this something you used to do, but for whatever reason you no longer do?  If that is the case, then use "would."
  • If the conditions have not changed – in other words, if it something you still like doing – then don't use "would."
  • Replace it with "is" (or whatever the conjugation might be).  If "is" or "was" or "were" will work there, then it's probably the word you should use.

1:52 pm pdt 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Is a soft, warm fact less true than a cold, hard fact?
4:24 pm pdt 


Archive Newer | Older



This site  The Web

Web site hosting by Web.com