Spam!

I had a most shocking experience recently. I’m fortunate to be a part of a lovely bloggers’ group, Blogs in Bloom. People share their blog posts, and social-media links, and everyone is invited to read, share, and comment.

Of course you let the people know that you’ve read, or liked, or shared their post, by commenting under their link. Something simple like Commented! or Read and liked! At first, anyway…

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Into or In To?

Well, it depends, doesn’t it?

Even if you’ve never thought about it before, it’s perhaps not too surprising that the word into is a combination of the words in and to. If you think about any sentence in which you might use the word, it clearly combines the meaning of both:

He walked into the room.

To is there because there’s movement, and to usually comes after verbs of movement. In is there because he ends up in the room. Easy. But, does this mean we can always replace in to with into?

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Who’s or Whose?

An easy one today: when should you use who’s and whose? This is pretty straightforward, and I think most mistakes people make with them are generally typos caused by the two sounding similar. But I do notice quite a lot of mistakes with these words in people’s writing. First, let’s look at some examples of both being used correctly:

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He’s Much Smarter than I

Not a sentence I have occasion to use very often, obviously. It’s a fairly straightforward one, an example of a comparative form. I’m comparing myself with another person. Simple. Not the sort of thing we ever have to really think about it. Like much of the basics of grammar in your native tongue, it’s something you know and use correctly automatically. Well, you know it now, because you had to pick up how to use comparative forms correctly during your childhood.

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Can I Begin a Sentence with “And” or “But?”

But of course you can! I mean, not every sentence of course, and not in every context, but you probably know what situations you might use them in, and, basically, I say yes, you can use them then. But obviously this is a common question, and often the answer provided is no, so why might someone say that this practice is wrong. First, let’s have a look at what but and and actually are. Continue reading

Hung or Hanged?

This is a common question for English speakers: which is correct.? As usual, the real answer is complex, and possibly even interesting. But first, the simple answer: we use hung to refer to hanging an inaminate object, and hanged to refer to hanging a person. And if you find that hard to remember, don’t worry!: there are plenty of people out there who will be more than happy to correct you if you get it wrong! But I wonder: would they be able to explain to you why you’re wrong?

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“How Does he Smell?” “Terrible!” or: Is it “Feel Bad” or “Feel Badly?”

Or should that be terribly? This is something that can be confusing for native speakers, and I’ve noticed recently more and more people getting into tangles with this area of language. Which ironically, I think, is due to people having more knowledge about language than before. First of all though, what aspect of language are we talking about here?

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