#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.

 

 

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#GrammarSeries – There is no such thing as ‘comprises of’

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Hi there! It’s time to learn improve on your grammar!

So many people keep saying ‘comprises of’ and we need you to know this isn’t totally correct. We are going to show you how the word ‘comprise’ should be used in sentences.

Most times, we hear people use the phrase ‘comprises of.’ That phrase just doesn’t exist in English. The word ‘comprise’ in itself means ‘composed of’ or ‘consists of.’ Therefore, it is redundant to say ‘comprises of’ in constructing your sentences. Below is an example of what we are trying to illustrate.

Nigeria comprises of 36 states (wrong).

Nigeria comprises 36 states (correct).

Yeah, we understand that it is tempting to think that the first one is correct because it sounds correct. Do not fall for the trap next time. Always remember that ‘comprise’ in itself has one ‘of’ already and that there is no need for the second ‘of’ in structuring your sentences.

 

 

#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 – 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 – 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!

 

#GrammarSeries – The truth about adjectives

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Hello there Sparkle Writer! It is going to be all about the adjectives today. In simple terms, adjectives are the oxygen of your writing. They breathe life into your writing. They tell us or give us more information about nouns.

This will help you understand better.

The man came yesterday versus The tall man came yesterday.

In the example above, the adjective tall gives us a clearer picture of the kind of man being referred to in the sentence. 

There are times that you would like to use more than one adjective to describe a particular noun and this sometimes leads to confusion as to which should be placed before the other. Well, not to worry, we have got you covered.

There is an order that adjectives should follow in sentences.

If we want to use the adjectives tall, young and handsome to describe the noun ‘man, the order will be as follows:

The tall handsome young man is in the living room.

The reason is simple. The adjective ‘tall’ is a general opinion adjective meaning it could be used to describe almost any kind of noun so it comes first. The adjective ‘handsome’ is a specific opinion adjective meaning it is reserved for specific kinds of nouns like a man or boy and not an animal. The adjective ‘young’ refers to the age of the man therefore it comes last in the order.

So the order goes like this: general opinion adjectives, specific opinion adjectives, adjectives of size (big, small), shape (circles, diamond, spherical), age (young, old), colour (red, black), nationality (Nigerian, British), and material (golden, woolen, and leather).

Look at these examples 

The tall handsome young black Nigerian man is here to see you.

My father has a big black Irish leather bag.

We hope you got it!

 

 

#GrammarSeries – Answers to the commonly confused words quiz

 

Thank you to everyone who answered the commonly confused words quiz that was posted a week ago.  

Without wasting time let’s just go straight to the answers. If you got them right, this is the time to find out.  

1. The roll-top desk was made by an exceptionally skilled artisan.
b) artisan

An artisan is a worker in a skilled trade. An artist practices a creative art such as painting, sculpting, or writing.

2. Drink, drank, (have) drunk are the principal parts of the verb “to drink.”
a) principal

As an adjective, principal means “first in order of importance.” Principle is a noun that means “a fundamental truth,” or “a rule or a belief that governs one’s behavior.”

3. Pliny the Elder died in the eruption of Vesuvius.
b) Elder

As an adjective, elder is sometimes interchangeable with older, as in “Jane is Sally’s elder sister.” Capitalized, Elder is used to distinguish between two family members of different generations, as in Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger.

4. Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel.
b) duel

Used historically, a duel is a ritualized killing contest between two men armed with deadly weapons. Dual is an adjective meaning “consisting of two parts.”

5. I saw the detective clench his fists, but he refrained from striking the suspect.
b) clench

When speaking of ones’ fingers, clench means to make a fist. One can also clench other body parts. To clench one’s teeth is to press them closely together. Clinch means to embrace or grapple at close quarters.

We hope to bring more fun grammar questions for you to answer! You can read thias week’s Grammar Post here. You can bet we have something fun for you to learn today! 

#GrammarSeries – When to use ‘due to’ and ‘because’

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Hello Grammar lovers! We are here to share something new with you. We hope you are just as interested as we are. 

Today we are talking about the correct way to use ‘due to’ and ‘because’ in a sentence. 

There’s a traditional way and a rebel way. The traditional view is that you should use “due to” only as an adjective, usually following the verb “to be”

Look at this example, if you say, “The cancellation was due to rain,” the words “due to” modify “cancellation.

That sentence is a bit stilted, but it fits the traditionalist rule.

If you wanted to be more casual, you could say, “It was canceled because of rain.” You are however not allowed to say, “It was canceled due to rain” because “due to” doesn’t have anything to modify. It’s acting like a preposition in that sentence, and purists argue that “due to” is an adjective; it shouldn’t be a compound preposition.

We hope this explains it properly. Until next time remember to keep your grammar in check.