#Grammar series – Let’s talk about reciprocating pronouns

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Hey, Sparkle Writers! Today on grammar series, we will be looking at pronouns. Pronouns are words that take the place of nouns in sentences.

Example: John is in love with his wife (The pronoun ‘his’ replaced the noun ‘John’).

However, our focus will be on a special kind of pronoun: reciprocal pronouns.

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘reciprocal?’ 

Reciprocal is a word used to describe the relationship in which two or more people or groups of people agree to do something similar for each other.

Reciprocal pronoun, on the other hand, is a pronoun that involves an exchange between two or more people. If each of two or more subjects are acting in the same way towards the other, reciprocal pronouns are used.

There are two reciprocal pronouns in English and they are each other and one another. ‘Each other’ is used when two people or two groups are involved in the exchange. ‘One another’ is used when the exchange involves more than two people or groups.

The following examples will clarify the usage of both reciprocal pronouns.

The two maids cleaned each other.

The twin boys made a promise to each other.

The couple sang a song to each other.

The seven dwarfs gossiped with one another until Snow white opened her eyes.

The angels discussed the rebellion of Lucifer with one another.

That’s it on grammar for the week. Till next Tuesday! 

 

 

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#GrammarSeries – Rifle and riffle mean the same thing except for a slight difference

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It is #GrammarSeries on the Sparkle Writer’s Hub blog today and we want to learn about the difference between two words; Rifle and Riffle. 

When you’re riffling, you’re hastily flipping through something or shuffling cards by interlacing them. 

Although the Oxford English Dictionary says the origin of “riffle” is uncertain, one theory is that it’s a blend between “ripple” and “ruffle.”

Here’s an example of how you’d use “riffle”:

As she riffled through the drawer, she found a hidden note.

The wind can also riffle your hair or riffle water to create riffles or ripples.

When you’re rifling, you’re searching frantically or ransacking, usually meaning to steal something. “Rifle” is from the Old French word for “steal or plunder.”  We are sure you’d get the difference now.

Here’s an example of how you’d use “rifle”:

I could tell he had rifled through my drawers.

As a noun, a rifle is also a weapon.  A long gun that you hold up against your shoulder to shoot. 

#GrammarSeries – This is the difference between critique and criticize

 

Although it is not correct,  we have realized that some people substitute the words ‘critique’ and ‘criticize’ in sentences. Today, we’d explain the difference between these two words.

Critique can be used either as a verb or a noun. As a noun, it refers to a detailed evaluation of something.  To request for this formally you’d have to say, something like this;

Give me your critique.

As a verb, critique is the act of evaluating something in a detailed and honest manner. A critique does not necessarily have to be negative. 

To criticise however means to find fault with or to judge negatively.

Let’s see a few examples;

I asked him to critique my script; I was happy with the feedback. 

Mr King criticizes a lot. It’s not wise to speak to him

We hope this explains it. 

 

 

#GrammarSeries – This is how to use ‘between’ and ‘among’

It is not news that our grammar series has helped clear so many confusions about English language. 

Today we want to clear yet another one.

Many people believe between should be used for choices involving two items and among for choices that involve more than two items. That can get you to the right answer some of the time, but it’s not that simple. 

Here’s the deal – You can use the word between when you are talking about distinct, individual items even if there are more than two of them. For example, you could say, “She chose between Harvard, Babcock, and Bowen university” because they are individual things.

On the other hand, you use among when you are talking about things that aren’t distinct items or individuals. For example, if you were talking about colleges collectively you could say, “She chose among the Ivy League schools in the world.”

If you are talking about a group of people, you also use among:

Look at these examples;

Fear spread among the hostages.

The scandal caused a division among the fans.

 

#GrammarSeries – All you need to know about non continuous verbs

It is #GrammarSeries on the Sparkle Writer’s Hub blog today and we want to learn about non-continuous verbs. 

Non-continuous verbs are verbs that we do not normally use with continuous tenses. These “stative” verbs are about state, not action, and they cannot express the continuous or progressive aspect. Here are some of the most common non-continuous verbs:

Here are some of the most common non-continuous verbs:

  • Feelinghate, like, love, prefer, want, wish
  • Sensesappear, feel, hear, see, seem, smell, sound, taste
  • Communicationagree, deny, disagree, mean, promise, satisfy, surprise
  • Thinkingbelieve, imagine, know, mean, realize, recognize, remember, understand
  • Other statesbe, belong, concern, depend, involve, matter, need, owe, own, possess

If you’ve been using any of these verbs in the continuous tense you have to stop. 

Look at these examples

I am wanting cake (Wrong)

I want cake (Right)

I am not hearing anything (Wrong)

I can’t hear anything (Right)

Until next week when we bring another series your way, keep your grammar in check. 

#GrammarSeries – The difference between burnt and burned

Hey, Sparkle Writers.

Have you ever burned/ burnt a meal before? How did you relay the information? Most people still do not know which is correct. Burned or burnt?

If you read this post till the end, you will find out. 

Burned and burnt are both acceptable past-tense forms of the verb to burn.

While ‘burned’ is more acceptable in the United States, ‘burnt’ is more acceptable in the United Kingdom. 

So for example, you’d say  

Mom burned the cakes (if you are using the American standard)

Mum burnt the cakes (if you are using the British standard)

In addition, the dictionary of Modern English Usage says that the two forms can have slightly different meanings. For example, if you say a house burnt down, that implies it happened quickly, but people are more likely to use burned for something that took a long time like ‘the fire burned for days’. But this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule.

We hope this helps! 

 

Culled from GrammarGirl

 

#GrammarSeries – Abbreviations and how to use them

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Hello Sparkle Writers, we know you have heard of abbreviations and you’ve probably used them a number of times but today we want to school you on the proper way to use them in case you’ve been making a mistake. 

Abbreviations are shorter versions of existing words and phrases. They’re designed to save time and take up less space (whether you’re typing or writing by hand) and can even make your writing easier to read.

We know that abbreviations are usually formed using the most recognizable letters from the word or expression. This makes them easier to remember, and easy for others to read. It’s almost like the letters are clues that point to the original word or expression.

Mister – Mr

Miles per hour- mph

New York City- NYC

Make sure to always pronounce abbreviations like you pronounce the original word. 

So if you have been pronouncing etc as etc, you are wrong. It should be pronounced as etcetera. 

Many people wonder whether or not they have to put the period mark at the end of an abbreviation. Our answer is this – although there is no rule that says you must put period, using it makes your words easier to read. 

That’s all for now. Until next week, keep your grammar in check

 

#GrammarSeries – What do you know about double negatives?

the rules of comparison

How long has it been since our last grammar post? One week right?

We can’t wait to talk about today’s topic because its about double negatives. 

Double negatives are two negative words used in the same sentence. Using two negatives turns the thought or sentence into a positive one. However, double negatives are not encouraged in English because they are poor grammar and they can be confusing. 

There is one rule you must know when it comes to double negatives 

In standard English, each subject-predicate construction should only have one negative form not two.

Look at this example

  • He’s going nowhere.
  • He’s not going nowhere.
The first example is correct and the second negates the rule we just outlined. 
Here are a few more examples of Double Negatives so we hope you know how to avoid them.
  • Nobody with any sense isn’t going.
  • I can’t find my keys nowhere.
  • She never goes with nobody.
  • John says he has not seen neither Alice or Susan all day.
  • You can’t see no one in this crowd.
  • There aren’t no presents left to open.

We hope you avoid making these kind of mistakes

 

#GrammarSeries – Learn more about modal auxiliary verbs

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Hey Sparkle Writers and Grammar enthisiats. How has your grammar game been since our last grammar post? 

Well let’s get to today’s topic. What’s a modal auxiliary verb? Ever heard of it before or does it sound like big grammar to you? 

A modal auxiliary verb that is used to express: ability, possibility, permission or obligation. Modal phrases (or semi-modals) are used to express the same things as modals, but are a combination of auxiliary verbs and the preposition to. The modals and semi-modals in English are:

  1. Can/could/be able to
  2. May/might
  3. Shall/should
  4. Must/have to
  5. Will/would

You must have seen them before. Now let’s tell you what each modal is used for.

Modal Meaning Example
can to express ability He can speak a little Frnch.
can to request permission Can I open the window?
may to express possibility I may be home late.
may to request permission May I drive your car, please?
must to express obligation I must go now.
must to express strong belief She must be over 40 years old.
should to give advice You should change your shoes.
would to request or offer Would you like a bowl of icecream?
would in if-sentences

If you’ve been struggling to understand modal auxiliary verbs we hope this has helped. 

Can calendar be used as a verb?

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Sparkle Writers! It’s Tuesday and time for our #GrammarSeries. Who is excited? 

We saw this on Grammar Girl and we knew we just had to talk about it. 

Have you ever imagined calendar as a verb and not just a noun? It will look like this; 

I calendared the wedding dates for the month. 

Do you know our spell check didn’t even see anything wrong with this statement? 

Calendar as a verb goes all the way back to the 1400s, although back then it meant to record something or register it in a list, which makes sense because the word calendar comes from the Latin word calendarium, which means “account book.”

Today, the Merriam-Webster online dictionary has it listed as a verb with an example from the New York Law Journal, and it’s also listed as a verb in dictionary.com and the online American Heritage Dictionary. There isn’t  a dictionary that didn’t include calendar as a verb. 

This is what Grammar Girl had to say. 

“Calendaring things is common in the legal profession and in some business settings, and now it’s seeping into more general use.”