Love/Hate Grammar Rules

 

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63 Grammar Rules for Writers

Robert Lee Brewer

If you’re anything like me, you have a love-hate relationship with grammar. On one hand, grammar rules are necessary for greater understanding and more effective communication. On the other hand, there are just so many rules (and so many exceptions to the rules). It can be overwhelming.

But fear not! We are here to share a plethora of grammar rules for writers that we’ve tackled over the years. If you have a question, we may have the answer. And if we don’t, be sure to share your question in the comments below.

So let’s dig into these grammar rules together.

Below is our list of grammar rules for writers. We give a quick explanation after each bullet point. But click on each link for further understanding and examples of correct usage.

  1. “A” before consonants and “an” before vowels is not the rule. Rather, the rule is that “a” is placed before consonant-sounding words and “an” before vowel-sounding words.
  2. A lot vs. alot vs. allot. “A lot” is either an adverb or pronoun, “allot” is a verb, and “alot” doesn’t exist.
  3. Affect vs. effect. “Affect” is usually used as a verb, while “effect” is usually a noun.
  4. Allude vs. elude. “Allude” means to suggest or hint at something, while “elude” means to evade or escape.
  5. Alright vs. all right. “All right” is a commonly used phrase for okay, while “alright” doesn’t technically exist.
  6. Analogy vs. metaphor vs. simile. A “metaphor” is something, a “simile” is like something, and an “analogy” explains how one thing being like another helps explain them both.
  7. Are subjects joined by “and” singular or plural? It depends on if the subjects are independent of each other.
  8. Awhile vs. a while. If you can swap out the word “while” with “period of time,” then you’re likely dealing with “a while.” If not, then you’re likely dealing with “awhile.”
  9. Bi-annual vs. biennial. “Bi-annual” means twice a year; biennial means once every two years.
  10. Can I use contractions in my writing? While avoiding contractions may be proper, it can also be quite stilted.
  11. See More . . . 
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