Even Quicker Tips from Grammar Girl

10 Sep

TOW #3

Mignon Fogarty (aka Grammar Girl) has a plethora of “quick and dirty” tips for those of us who aren’t as blessed in the world of understanding or enjoying grammar. After scouring her blog, I brushed up on some technical grammatical things. !! 😉

Who vs. Whom

Who and whom are pronouns

  • Who is for the subject of a clause
  • Whom is for the object of a clause

Subject= Person doing something

Object= What is having something done to them

  • Example: If I step on Squiggly
  • Then… I=Subject; Squiggly=Object
  • Example: “I love you”
  • You are the object of my affection (I am the subject)

Just Whom

Whom is used for the object

  • Example: “Whom did you step on?”
    • Object: Squiggly
  • Example: “Whom do I love?”
    • Object: You

Just Who

Who is when referring to subject

  • Example: “Who stepped on Squiggly?
  • Example: “Who loves you?”

Lay vs. Lie

Present Tense

  • Lay requires a direct object
  • Lie does not
    • Example: You lie down on the sofa (No direct object)
    • Example: You lay the book on the table (the book is the direct object)
    • How to remember the difference: Lay it on me
      • You are laying something (it, the direct object) on me
      • Bad example: Eric Clapton’s song Lay Down Sally
        • To say “lay down Sally” implies that someone should grab Sally and lay her down
        • If he wanted Sally to rest in her arms, he would say “lie down Sally”

Big Picture

  • Present tense:
    • You lay something down
    • People lie down by themselves

Past Tense

Ending A Sentence with a Preposition

Myth: You can’t end a sentence with a preposition

Truth: You CAN, in some cases

What is a Preposition?

  • A word that creates a relationship between other words
  • Prepositions deal with space and time

When Can a Sentence End with a Preposition?

  • Example: “What did you step on?”
    • The sentence doesn’t work without the preposition
    • When Can’t a Sentence End with a Preposition?
      • When you can leave off the preposition and it wouldn’t change the meaning
      • Example: “That’s where it’s at” (BAD!)
      • Change to…. “That’s where it IS”

Unnecessary Prepositions

  • Not great: “Squiggly jumped off of the dock”
  • Better: “Squiggly jumped off the dock”
  • Not great: “He’s outside of the door”
  • Better: “He’s outside the door”



5 Responses to “Even Quicker Tips from Grammar Girl”

  1. lilhanlin September 12, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    I loved this! It didn’t get tiring and the tips were so short and quick that I was able to learn what I needed without digging through paragraphs of information. The format was also really great to keep my attention 🙂

  2. Chelsey September 14, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    I like that you dove into multiple trouble areas from the Grammar Girl website. These tips are so helpful, and with all the writing that we do as PR majors, we need to be well versed in these tips! Also, I love the picture of the heart coffee – nice touch.

  3. tholding October 15, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    Grammar girl is such an interesting site. I didn’t know about it until this class. I had not even realized some of the things i was doing wrong were wrong. This has opened my eyes to my writing mistakes and i will definitely be using this site in the future for spellingm grammar and punctuation tips. Thanks for sharing these tips!


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