Whether you are the sort of person who prides himself for his flawless grammar writing or a miserable academic writer looking for a trick or two to improve the grammatical efficiency of his writing, this post will definitely help you.
We are going to tell you some common yet effective grammar rules that will help you improve your writing skills:
1) WHICH and THAT:
This is a common mistake that even professional academic writers regularly commit. Writers might think ‘Which and That’ can be used interchangeably but they would be wrong.
Here is why:
|THAT||It is a restrictive pronoun and is important to the ‘noun’ to which it is referring. After a verb of attribution (said, stated, announced, contributed), ‘that’ can be omitted with no loss of meaning.Eg: It’s the same research that string theory used.|
|WHICH||It introduces a relative clause that allows non-essential (non-restrictive) qualifiers. The non-restrictive element is a word, phrase or a clause that provides excess information about the beginning of a sentence without restricting the meaning of that part of the sentence.|
Eg: It had a lot of information about authors, which made me think of her term, temperamental- as in artists.
2) MAY and MIGHT:
Often people think ‘May and Might’ can be used interchangeably but there is subtle difference in the meaning of both the words and so is in the use.
|MAY||It implies a possibility.|
Eg: I may fail if I skip the proposal of my dissertation.
The above example implies a good chance of failing.
|MIGHT||It implies far more uncertainty.|
Eg: I might start writing once the proposal approves.
The above example implies it’s not that likely to happen.
3) LESS and FEWER:
Writers get confused with the use of ‘less’ and ‘fewer’.
|FEWER||If you’re referring to people and things in plural (newspapers, houses, students) use fewer|
Eg: People these days are buying fewer newspapers
|LESS||If you’re referring to something that can’t be counted or doesn’t have plural (air, time, rain, money) use Less.|
Eg: People want to spend less money on clothes.
4) AFFECT and EFFECT:
Though affect and effect have different meanings, people frequently get confused with the use of these two words.
|AFFECT||It is mainly used as a verb with a meaning ‘to influence or make a difference.’|
Eg: The dampness began to affect my health.
|EFFECT||Effect is used both as a verb and a noun with a meaning of ‘a result or an influence’|
Eg: Over time the effect of loud music can damage your hearing.
5) Comma with Adjectives:
It is important to learn when you should or shouldn’t use comma in your writing. Here are some tips:
- If you are using coordinate adjective, use commas to separate the adjectives.
Eg: The unkempt, brilliant man is always unhappy.
- If you are using cumulative adjective, don’t use commas to separate the different adjectives.
Eg: the long black car circled the factory
- With descriptive adjectives, use commas to separate the adjective.
Eg: age, colour, shape, origin, material and etc.
- Do not use commas when adjective modifies both the noun and other adjectives in the sentence.