#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 – How you should never use a comma

Grammar concept with toy dice

If you’ve learnt a thing or two from our #GrammarSeries raise your hands! Today is another day and we will make sure you learn something again today. 

The comma is very important in English language but today we are here to tell you how you should never use a comma. 

Never use a comma to separate two independent sentences. Many people tend to do this without even knowing that it is wrong.

For example: There was no jam, he used butter. 

This is wrong.

Two independent sentences cannot be separated by a comma.

Now, you may ask how you separate such sentences? Our answer is this. Use conjunctions, a period/full stop or a semicolon.

Look at this example: There was no jam; he used butter.

There was no jam so he used butter.

There was no jam. He used butter.

In this case, periods should be used only when you don’t want to connect the two sentences or when there isn’t a strong connection between the two sentences.

We hope you have learnt something. 

#GrammarSeries: Let’s talk about double comparisons

the rules of comparison

Hey Sparkle Writers. It’s Tuesday and as you already know on The Sparkle Writer’s Hub, it’s time for our Grammar Series!

Who is excited?

Wondering why we are excited about grammar? It’s because every part of our lives as writers needs to be taken care of and grammar is definitely one of them.

Now to today’s topic. 

Double comparison simply means placing side by side two comparative words. Most people make this mistake unconsciously but it is not correct. Some are not aware that it is a grammatical error but as writers, we can’t afford to make such errors. Can we?

Let’s look at a few examples;

Spaghetti is more easier to cook than Jollof rice

Since the words ‘more’ and ‘easier’ are in their comparative forms, this sentence is grammatically wrong..

Corrected: Spaghetti is easier to cook than Jollof rice.

There are however some words that need more to be added to them to get its comparative form. This is an example. 

Example: ‘Beautiful’ is not in its comparative form until we add ‘more’.

She is more beautiful than her sister.

Hope you’ve got it. See you next week!

#GrammarSeries – Learn more about modal auxiliary verbs

Medieval (2)

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. 

#GrammarSeries – The difference between anyway, any way and anyways

Grammar concept with toy dice

Our #GrammarSeries is getting more interesting. Thank you for your comments, likes and shares.

Today’s post will help answer a question you may have had for such a long time. You can thank us when you are done reading.

You have seen people use anyway and anyways. You probably have wondered what the difference is and did not get any favorable reply. This is the answer you have been searching for.

Anyway is an adverb that means nonetheless” or “regardless”.

Here’s an example.

I didn’t see your text message. Anyway call me later. 

Anyways has the same meaning with anyway but is considered an informal word. So when you are tempted to say anyways, ditch that and just use anyway.

Any way on the other hand is quite different. Please note  that there are two separate words.

Any way can be replaced by “in any manner” or by “by any means”:

Look at this example.

 To get my children to eat healthy, I usually bribe them in any way I can. 

 Now you can thank us 🙂

#GrammarSeries – We bet you make this mistake

Grammar concept with toy dice

Welcome to another Grammar class. You’re probably wondering what mistake we are referring to in today’s topic. So let’s go straight to the point.

It is very easy for us to make comparisons whether we are talking or writing. Look at this sentence carefully and see if you can identify anything.

My bag is stronger, bigger and cheaper.

Did you find anything?

What is your bag stronger, bigger or cheaper than? What are you comparing your bag to?

This is a grammatical error and it is called incomplete comparison. When you are comparing something to another make sure your readers know what you are comparing it to.

For example the above sentence would be correct if you say

My bag is stronger, bigger and cheaper than Sola’s bag.

Now you see the difference. We hope you don’t repeat the mistake.

#GrammarSeries – What’s the big deal about Gerunds?

Grammar concept with toy dice

Hello Grammar lovers! On today’s #GrammarSeries we are talking about Gerunds.

Although the term might sound foreign, the gerund is a common part of speech that most of us use every day, whether we know it or not.

Today’s post will help you identify what you have been using before or what you have been struggling to recognize.

All gerunds end in ‘ing’, but this doesn’t make them so easy to identify. Why? All present participles also end in ‘ing’.

So what’s the difference?

Gerunds function as nouns.  They can be subjects, objects, subject complements etc.

Present participles, on the other hand, complete progressive verbs or act as modifiers.

Here are two examples to help you understand them better.

  • My father’s first love is singing.

Singing is acting as the subject complement of the verb ‘is’.

  • Acting comes naturally to me.

Acting is the subject in this sentence.

Gerunds can be made negative by adding “not.”

Look at this example

  • The best thing for your health is not smoking.

Now that you know, we hope you can teach someone else or just share this post with them.

 

#GrammarSeries – How to know when your grammar game is declining

dear-introvert-are-you-terrified-of-attending-events-this-will-help-you

Hey Sparkle Writers, it’s Tuesday and as you know on The Sparkle Writer’s Hub, it’s time for our #GrammarSeries.

Today, we are talking about how to know when your grammar is declining. If you notice any of the things we will highlight today, please make amends.

Here we go.

When you start writing in double negatives 

Most times you get so carried away that you just write as the idea comes to you. In the process, you may write your sentences in double negatives. Double negatives are a sign of bad grammar.

Look at this example:

  • I can’t hardly believe that my dad is back.

If you start writing sentences like this then your grammar game is really declining, you need to watch it. Can’t and hardly are both negative constructions, they should not be together in a sentence.

When your editor starts complaining frequently. 

If you have an editor or someone who proof reads your work, they would be a good way to know when your grammar is declining. When the complaints and corrections on your work start increasing, then you most definitely need to do something about it. Pay attention to their corrections and make amends.

When you write run-on sentences

A run-on sentence is a sentence in which two or more independent clauses (sentences that could stand on their own) are joined together improperly. It’s usually pretty obvious that this kind of sentence is inappropriate, so if you do not notice it, your grammar may need some touch up.

For example:

  • I went to the store I got milk and cookies.

There are two separate sentences here and both can stand alone. If you find yourself joining sentences like this together, you should check your grammar.

#GrammarSeries – Learn how to pronounce ‘the’

Grammar concept with toy dice

English Language is quite diverse so there’s always something to learn. On today’s #GrammarSeries we are talking about the correct ways to pronounce ‘the.’

You may be thinking that this is an easy one, but so many people make this mistake. Why not just deal with it once and for all?

‘The’ can be pronounced in two ways. Either as ‘thee’ or ‘thuh’ ( Some people don’t know this)

Want to know how to differentiate between the two?

Use ‘thee’ if the next word starts with a vowel sound.

For example;

I put ‘thee’ eggs in a basket. 

‘Thee’ apples are too expensive.

However, If the next word starts with a consonant sound, use ‘thuh’

Look at these examples;

Are you sure my mum took ‘thuh’ car?

Where is “thuh” bag you bought? 

We must not forget to add that ‘thee’ is also used for emphasis. So whether or not it is a vowel sound, you can use it if you want to emphasize on a point.

This is an example

My wedding is going to be ‘thee’ social event of the year.

Although the next word is a consonant, we used ‘thee’ because we want to emphasize on that point.

We hope you understand this and don’t repeat this mistake.