#GrammarSeries – The difference between stative verbs and dynamic verbs

Meaning pf wpebegone (2).png

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. 

Advertisements

#GrammarSeries – The relationship between subjects and verbs

Meaning pf wpebegone (3).png

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

Meaning pf wpebegone (4).png

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’

Medieval (2).jpg

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. 

#Grammar series – Let’s talk about reciprocating pronouns

Medieval (1).jpg

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! 

 

 

#Grammar Series – The real purpose of commas

Medieval (1)

It is Tuesday and grammar time on the Sparkle Writer’s Hub. We are talking about commas. 

Commas are not supposed to be used haphazardly in sentences. There are rules guiding the usage of commas in writing. The whole idea behind rules is to prevent lawlessness and disorder in a society. Quite frankly, the wrong use of commas is equivalent to incoherence in your writing, and incoherence. Look at the following example and see the importance of commas;

Let’s eat Grandpa

and

Let’s eat, Grandpa

Now you see that commas can change the entire meaning of a sentence. They are that important and we are going to be looking at the rules guiding the use of commas. These rules will, in turn, unveil the real purpose for commas in writing.

1. Use commas between items in a series because they clarify which items are part of the series

Example: I bought a pair of shoes, socks, a bottle of wine, and butter at the super market yesterday.

2. Use commas in form of coordinating conjunctions (such as and or but) that joins two independent clauses together

Example: I went for a walk in the garden, and I was greeted by the sting of a bee.

In the above example, the sentences or clauses, “I went for a walk in the garden” and I was greeted by the sting of a bee can stand or make complete meaning on their own. Therefore, it is appropriate to place a comma before the conjunction “and” joining them together.

3. Use commas to separate direct quotations from the rest of the sentence.

Example: The lecturer says, “I would be your supervisor for the rest of the semester.”

4. Use commas after a parenthesis and not before one.

Example: After the police found Mabel (my sister’s daughter), the fear that held me bound disappeared.

4. Do not use commas with a question mark and an exclamation point that ends a quotation.

Example: “Where is my flower vase?,” I asked in panic.

In the above example, the comma is wrongly positioned. The right sentence should be rendered as, “Where is my flower vase?” I asked in panic.

Example: “Oh my God!,” Rose exclaimed.

The above example would be right if the comma after the exclamation mark was deleted from the entire sentence structure.

 

#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.