Friday, 10 July 2015

Easy Grammar

This is going to make me sound really weird, but I'm going to admit it anyway: I find grammar really interesting. I like the rules and the precision. But I'm also willing to admit that my grammar is far from perfect. I always seem to come across new rules, or I will suddenly understand something which had always confused me previously. Sometimes, it's just a matter of having things explained in the right way. Here are a few grammar rules and the explanations which suddenly helped me to understand them. {Warning: I take no responsibility for the fact that you can't unlearn these rules, and it will forever bug you when someone gets them wrong...}

If you can count it, use fewer. If you can't, it should be less.
Fewer cakes / Less love
Fewer students / Less work

I have a compulsive need to correct this one when I hear it misused, although I try very, very hard to keep the corrections in my head...

Is it Roxy and I, or Roxy and me? The simple way to work this one out is to substitute in 'we' or 'us'
We went to the beach = Roxy and I went to the beach.
It poured down on us = It poured down on Roxy and me.

I don't know if I missed this in school, or forgot it, but when I first wrote Fire, I had no idea how to punctuate speech. But  it's another really easy rule once you know it.
If you are following your speech with an action, put a full stop at the end of your speech.
If you are following it with a description of speech (she said / she muttered / he yelled etc.), you should use a comma.

Vocative case
Another speech related rule. If your speech is addressing someone (using the vocative case) put a comma before their name.
"I love you, Roxy."
"I will kill you, Cinaer."

This is another one where I don't understand why I didn't already know it, but you will quickly notice that not many people do. It isn't just necessary for clarifying speech in stories, it should also be used if you are addressing someone in an email, text or message of any kind. All those "Happy birthday Roxy" messages, they should really be "Happy birthday, Roxy." And once you know this it will bug you every. single. time. (Your're welcome!)

I'm going to leave the explanation of this one to Homer Simpson. It's more memorable that way and I don't think I could put it any better.

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