13 Grammar Rules Used by Moi
Ok, I admit to being busy and not thinking about this list as much as I thought about last week's list! So, I've snatched some of the "rules" or guidelines from some of my writing books.
1. If you can drop the clause and not lose the point of the sentence, use which. If you can't, use that. A which clause goes inside commas. A that clause doesn't.
2. If I... Add if and "I was taller" becomes "If I were taller." Hello subjunctive mood.
3. "Some writers and editors believe that if that can logically follow a verb, it should be there. Others believe that if that can logically be omitted, it should be taken out. If you like it, use it. If you don't, don't."
4. If you use while in place of although, be sure there's no chance it could be misunderstood to mean "during the time that."
5. Hyphenate most compoun adjectives that appear before a noun.
6. Most compound adverbs are spelled as two words.
7. Good is always an adjective: good bread; good vibrations; dinner was good. Don't use good as an adverb. Use well, an adverb meaning to perform capably.
8. Appositives are words that restate or identify a noun or pronoun. When appositives, are nonrestrictive, they are enclosed in commas.
9. The correct forms of the verb wake are wake, woke, and have waked. Past tense of related verbs, waken and awaken are have wakened or have awakened.
10. Who does something (it's a subject, like he), and whom has something done to it (it's an object, like him).
11. Myself and the rest of the self-ish crew (yourself, himself, herself, etc) shouldn't take the place of the ordinary pronouns I and me, she and her, and so on. They are used for only two purposes. 1. To emphasize. I made the cake myself. 2. To refer to the subject. The problem practically solved itself.
12. Dangling modifiers are similar to misplaced modifiers except that the modifier isn't just separated from the word it modifies; it is missing the word it modifies. The writer has the term being modified in mind - but not on paper.
13. Many wordy expressions make use of there is, there are, or it is. These constructions can often be eliminated. Example: There is a famous author who lives on my block. Vs. A famous author lives on my block.