And this, my friends, is your lesson for the day…how not to spell anything.
Literally. There is not one single word on this sign 🙂
The lovely English language has several words that can be written two ways, and mean two different things, when used properly, in two different ways. (Yes; more comma-abuse by yours-truly!)
Anymore, or any more? Awhile, or a while?
Anymore is considered a misspelling by many readers, writers, and editors. Most feel that any more is only interchangeable with any longer, and that anymore is an adjective that should never be used. Because they feel it is not a real word. As a note, when I am reading something and see this, it doesn’t make me cringe. When I am editing and see it, I change it to any more.
Awhile should only be used when it can be substituted with ‘for a while’, and still make sense.
“We waited awhile before getting our table.” or “We waited for a while before getting our table.”
This is considered an adverb.
The word ‘while’ can be used as a noun, and in this case you need to say ‘a while’, and not ‘awhile’.
“I just talked to him a while ago.” Saying “I just talked to him for a while ago,” does not make sense. This lets you know it is a noun in this sentence, and not an adverb.
I think most difficult English language situations can be figured out by substituting the word/phrase that is in question, and see if it still makes sense.
What ones trip you up?
How difficult is that to say? Try writing it. Possessive nouns, adjectives, and verbs will drive you mad.
They’re is means they are…. But how did we get won’t from will not? How did we make that leap?
The English language is the most difficult language to learn. And now try writing a story in it.
While dealing with your crazy-nutcase-editor who tells you I-before-E and pay attention.
I have 4 pages full of these instances and how to learn them fast, so you can write your book and let your editor do the hard work.
More to come tomorrow!
I could not resist, this is too funny! I will post an in-depth post about using commas, but I had to share this picture from Grammerly.com
Yes, it really does matter. Especially to whomever is reading your writing.
One of the most common errors I see when reading online comments, stories, blog posts, etc. is the incorrect use of “a” and “an”.
A very simple rule can help you remember which one to use when. If the word following it starts with a consonant, you use “a”. If it starts with a vowel, you use “an”. Simple enough, right? Except for if the word starts with a consonant that is silent, so the word sounds like it starts with a vowel.
Are you still with me? Good. It will all look clear in a minute.
Such as, “I will be over in an hour.” Or, “I would like an honest answer.”
This also makes sense: “Can I have a pencil?”
Saying “Can I have an pencil?” is painful to read. And yes, I have read this very sentence.
In a book.
That was published.
An editor can be your best friend 🙂 (Did you see what I just did there?)
But then there is also the issue of initials and numbers. In that situation, you will choose “a” or “an”, depending on the way it is sounded out.
“An FDA employee arrived.” The sound of “ef” is why you would use “an”.
“A United States tour.” The sound of “yoo” is why you would choose “a.”
“He gave me a $50.00 bill.” It is the same rule here. You want to choose based on how it sounds, not necessarily how it is spelled.
The more you see these being used incorrectly, the easier it is to tell when you are using it correctly.
What are some issues you have with the very difficult English language and writing rules? Is there something you would like me to address here? Let me know and I will get a post put up covering your questions and concerns!
Until next time…happy writing, and happy reading!