#GrammarSeries – The purpose of parallelism

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Parallelism in grammar occurs when there is a similarity of structures used in sentence construction. The usage of parallelism in your writing makes the information you are presenting easier to process for your readers. 

Inappropriate parallelism, on the other hand, disturbs the flow of thoughts when reading a piece of writing.

When two or more parts of a sentence are similar in meaning but different in form, a faulty parallelism can be said to have occurred.

Let us take a look at the following examples;

Ali is swimming, driving, running and to dance.

The above sentence sounds odd, doesn’t it? Now check out the sentence below.

Ali is swimming, eating, running and dancing.

The above sentence sounds a whole lot better, doesn’t it? Now, here is what happened.

In the first sentence, the verbs are all in the present continuous form except the last one ‘to dance’ which is in the infinitive form while the verbs in the second sentence are all in the present continuous form.

Be mindful of this when you write.

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#GrammarSeries – Learn the difference between compliment and complement

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Time to up your grammar game Sparkle Writers! Today we are learning the difference between compliment and complement because there is a difference!  

Funny enough, these almost similar words get some writers confused when they write too. Fortunately, we are here to help you the best way we can.

What exactly is the difference between ‘compliment’ and ‘complement’? It is simple.

Apart from the obvious ‘i’ and ‘e’ difference between both words, ‘compliment’ means to express praise or admiration for someone or an expression of praise while ‘complement’ means to enhance or complete something else. Pretty easy! Let’s see some examples. 

COMPLEMENT

Black complements white in this painting.

It is often said that the woman complements the man in most marriages.

COMPLIMENT

She falls in love with every guy that compliments her beauty.

Most women do not know how to compliment their husband’s strengths.

Now you know the difference. See you next time for another exciting grammar experience.

 

 

#GrammarSeries – This is what you need to know about transitional words

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Transitional words are words that help to create a coherent relationship in articles or write-ups generally. They help to link words, phrases or clauses together. They help you as a writer to present your words smoothly to your readers.

What are the specific functions of transitional words, phrases or clauses?

They add information, emphasize ideas and agree with preceding material. Examples are as follows: in like manner, in addition, coupled with, in the same fashion / way, equally important, furthermore, additionally, correspondingly, by the same token, together with, as well as and so on

They point our alternatives and show that there is a switch in the line of thought or reasoning. In other words, they show that there is a contrast in the opinion of the preceding material. Examples are as follows: on the contrary, even though, although, but, regardless, however, otherwise, unlike, in contrast, albeit, different from, besides, notwithstanding and so on.

 They are used to summarize points, as well as indicate a general statement of ideas. They are as follows: Ultimately, all together, in conclusion, obviously, in the final analysis, in summary, in brief, in essence, on the whole, in fact, after all, for the most part, all in all and so on.

 There you have it. 

#GrammarSeries – The difference between lose and loose

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The words ‘lose’ and ‘loose’ are so commonly confused probably because they are spelled almost the same way and sound almost the same way too. The difference between them goes beyond the presence of the double ‘o’ in the second word as we would soon be seeing.  

It is really simple.

‘Lose’ is a verb used to mean to be unable to find someone or something; to fail to win (a game, contest, etc.); or to fail to keep or hold (something wanted or valued). 

On the other hand, ‘loose’ is an adjective meaning not tightly fastened or attached.

Examples:

The trousers seems so loose around my waist

The leash should be loose around that dog’s neck.

It is painful to lose your wallet at the market square.

It would be tragic if Chelsea loses the game to Real Madrid

I hope I do not lose the money I was given yesterday.

 

#GrammarSeries – Learn how to use ‘me’ and ‘I’ properly

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Welcome to another #GrammarSeries. Get ready to learn something new. Before we go on let’s ask a simple question; “Do you know that there is a way to use the pronouns ‘me’ and ‘I’ correctly in sentences and even speech?”

A lot of people get confused when it comes to using these pronouns appropriately. As a writer, you should not be trapped in a fix simply because of these pronouns.

The first thing you should understand is this: ‘me’ and ‘I’ are both pronouns—personal pronouns. However, they are used to perform different functions in sentences.

Now, in a sentence, you have the subject position and the object position. The subject position is occupied by the doer of the action while the object position is occupied by the receiver of the action. So, in the sentence below:

Tade slapped his sister.

The subject position is occupied by the doer of the action “Tade” while the object position is occupied by the receiver of the action “his sister.”

Now back to the personal pronouns. The personal pronoun ‘I’ occupies the subject position while the personal pronoun ‘me’ occupies the object position. Below are some examples to illustrate this point:

I talked to the butler yesterday (‘I’ is occupying the subject position here and is the doer of the action).

The proprietress handed the report card over to me in the morning (‘me’ is occupying the object position here and is the receiver of the action).

Grace and I went to the supermarket today (‘I’ here is occupying the subject position because ‘I’ is the doer of the action).

He gave the waste bins to Billy and me (‘me’ occupies the object position here because ‘me’ is the receiver of the action).

It really is that simple!

#GrammarSeries – Here’s how to avoid the use of double comparatives and superlatives

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Hello Sparkle Writers and welcome to the first grammar series in 2018!

Today we are talking about an aspect of adjectives that people often misuse in writing – Gradable adjectives or in other words adjectives that have levels of degrees. For example:

nice, nicer, nicest.

The general rule for the classification of adjectives is into three forms (the base, comparative and superlative) are as follows:

When the word is made up of just one or two syllables, the suffix ‘-er’ can be added to the comparative form while the suffix ‘-est’ can be added to their superlative form. For example:

Poor, poorer poorest

Big, bigger, biggest

The above words are made up of just one syllable.

On the other hand, if the word is made up of more than two syllables, ‘more’ is added to the comparative form while ‘most’ is added to the superlative form. For example:

Interesting, more interesting, most interesting

Terrible, more terrible, most terrible

The words above are made up of three syllables each. That is why it would be weird to say ‘terribler’ or ‘terriblest’

Here’s something to note: avoid the use of ‘more’ together with the suffix ‘-er’ and the use of ‘most’ together with the suffix ‘-est’

This would make expressions like ‘more nicer’ ‘most nicest’ ‘more bigger’ ‘most bigger extremely wrong. It either ‘more’ or ‘-er’ and ‘most’ or ‘-est’

#GrammarSeries – Learn how to use ‘the’ properly

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In English Language, there are three articles “a, an, and the.” Today, our focus will be on the article “the.”

This article is a definite article and is used to express a definite or specific meaning. It can be used with both uncountable and countable nouns.

It is good to note that there are different situations where a noun could have a specific or definite meaning. They are as follows:

  • A noun can have a definite meaning if the noun identifies something that has been previously mentioned

Speaker A: Did you see the car I told you about yesterday

Speaker B: Yes, I did. The car was damaged beyond repair.

In the above example, it is assumed that “the car” that is being referred to is something that is known to both the speaker and the hearer in the conversation.

  • A noun can also have a definite meaning when it identifies a unique subject.

The moon will not be full tonight

The sun rises in the East.

“Sun” and “moon” in the above examples are unique subjects. It would be wrong to say “a moon” as though there are many moons on planet Earth.

 

#GrammarSeries – Pronouns are more important than you think

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Can you imagine a world without pronouns? It sure will be full of repetitions.

Pronouns are words that stand in place of nouns like “Sola” in the example below.

Imagine reading a book completely devoid of pronouns. It will sound like this:

Sola went home from school this afternoon. After Sola got home, Sola quickly raced up the stairs to greet Sola’s mother before stepping into Sola’s room.

Books will be all shades of awkward if this is how they are being written. Thank God for pronouns.

We would be looking at Possessive pronouns today.

Possessive pronouns, like the name suggests, are used to show possession or ownership of properties, things as well as people. Examples are; yours, mine, hers, theirs, his, ours, its.

It is very vital to note here that these possessive pronouns do not have apostrophes like her’s or our’s.

Here are a few examples:

The lady is mine.

That dog is ours.

The field belongs to Ogunleyes. Therefore, it is theirs.

Its cage was beyond redemption.

My name is Precious. What is yours?

That lovely dress is hers.

The leather belt is his.

 

#GrammarSeries – The difference between stative verbs and dynamic verbs

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Trust us, if you are a fiction writer, you would want to know what this is all about. Knowing the difference between these two verbs can transform a boring story into an engaging one. It is all about knowledge of verb choices in your writing.

What exactly are stative verbs?

This is really simple. Stative verbs are verbs that describe a state of being. For example, you might say the following:

“I feel really terrible today”

“My dog hates being ignored.”

“He loved to play football every day.”

All of the above sentences describe someone or something’s state of being in a specific situation such as loving something, feeling something and hating something. Stative verbs do not describe a physical action. Rather, they describe thoughts, emotions, relationships or a state.

What are dynamic verbs?

Dynamic verbs are verbs that are all about doing something. This is really interesting because action verbs come into play here. For example, you might say the following:

“She drank ten bottles of Coca-Cola.”

“The baby slept all day on my couch.”

“The man walked three miles in this stadium last week.”

If you want your story to enegage your readers properly. Mix these verbs well. 

#GrammarSeries – The relationship between subjects and verbs

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For today’s grammar series, it’s going to be all about subjects and verbs.

To make your writing comprehensible and coherent, you need to understand that there should not be any form of divorce between subjects and verbs in sentences. Two rules are needed for this understanding.

Rule 1

Singular subjects go with singular verbs.

Rule 2

Plural subjects go with plural verbs.

Examples are as follows:

The boys are on their way to the party (the subject here is ‘The boys’ while the verb is ‘are’).

This sentence would sound pretty awkward if it was rendered as “The boys is on their way to the party” because the plural subject should go with a plural verb and not the other way round.

That toddler jumps up and down all the time (the subject here is ‘That toddler’ while the verb is ‘jumps’).

Again, this sentence would have been really awkward if it was rendered as “That toddler jump down all the time” because singular subjects should go with singular verbs and not the other way round.

Stick around for more on the grammar series next week!