Dear “I Hate Grammar!” Writer,
Many writers hate grammar. I used to be one of them. But to write well you have to understand grammar to some extent. In this post, I am providing quick rules, examples, and tips to help you understand some areas of grammar.
|Image from Pixabay|
1. You and I or You and me?
The quickest way to figure this out is to cut out “You and” from the sentence. Does “I” sound better or does “me?” Whichever one makes more sense is the correct pronoun.
Ex: Where would you like
me to stand?
Sounds good. "Me” is correct.
Now let's look at it this way:
Ex: Where would you like
I to stand?
Sounds bad. “I” is incorrect.
TIP: The POV we are in is always mentioned last. Ex: Mom and I went to the mall.
2. Italic letters or quotations for the names of songs/books/movies/TV shows?
The names of songs and other short works part of a bigger work (chapter titles, names of TV show episodes) are always in quotation marks.
EX: I listened to “Baby One More Time” on repeat.
The names of whole works such as books, movies, and TV shows are italic.
EX: I watched Gone with the Wind last night.
3. Who or whom?
Who – he/she/they
Whom – him/her/them
Ex: The woman who hit my car.
She hit me car. (Who is correct.)
Ex: To whom do I address this letter?
Do I address this letter to him/her/them? (Whom is correct.)
4. When to capitalize titles with names.
Always capitalize titles when they appear with a name.
Ex: President Obama, Queen Elizabeth, Dr. Cristina Yang, Chef Ramsey.
Capitalize titles used as a substitute for a name. When it’s like this, it’s like a nickname.
Ex: I looked at the Chief and knew the criminal got away.
("Chief" is referring to one person and is in place of a name.)
Lowercase the title when the term is used in a general way, not for a specific person.
Ex: The duties of a president are daunting.
7 Fast Tips:
- Seasons (summer, autumn, winter, spring) are lowercase.
- Directions (north, east, south, west) are also lowercase.
- Use em dashes at the end of dialogue when there’s an abrupt stop, such as when one character cuts off another character’s speech.
- Use single quotation marks inside double quotations when a character is quoting someone.
- No question mark for an indirect question.
- There’s no such word as “alright.” Correct: All right
- “Already” means it happened in the past. “All ready” means prepared.
Author of Hurricane Crimes, Seismic Crimes, 30 Seconds Before, and 30 Seconds. Blogger. Reader. Auntie. Vegetarian. Cat Lover.