Tag Archives: grammar

WRITING TIPS, TOOLS, AND TIDBITS!: IMPLY versus INFER

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author and WU! admin Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

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IMPLY versus INFER

People often mix up the words imply and infer. Although they are similar, these words have different meanings and are used differently. This should help to use them correctly.

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Imply means to suggest or state something indirectly, or to hint at something. Implying is done by the speaker and is giving indirect information. If you mean the speaker says something indirectly or hints at something, use imply.

Examples:

  • He implied there might be a test, so I’m studying just in case
  • Without saying so, she did imply that she might be here later.
  • He didn’t say it directly, but he implied that I did not understand.
  • Her comments seemed to imply she didn’t like the food.
  • Are you implying that he cheated on the test?
  • Without actually saying it, the boss implied there might be layoffs.
  • Without being direct, the doctor implied that I needed to lose weight.

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Infer means to deduce or come to a conclusion or make an educated guess based on something indirect or based on an implication. Inferring is done by the listener and is figuring out what was meant. If you mean the listener comes to a conclusion, use infer.

Examples:

  • Based on his attitude, I inferred that he was not happy with me.
  • He inferred that she would come by later, even though she did not say it.
  • She inferred that she would fail the test based on the teacher’s comments.
  • Based on her comments, he inferred that she did not like the food.
  • The student inferred that she was being accused of cheating on the test.
  • When the boss asked to see her, she inferred that she was in trouble.
  • She inferred that he had been drinking when he slurred his words.

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Basically, imply is to say something indirectly and is done by the speaker, and infer is to come to a conclusion based on indirect information and is done by the listener.

If you mean the speaker says something indirectly, use imply.

If you mean the listener comes to a conclusion based on indirect information, use infer.

After her boss implied there might be layoffs, Melissa inferred they would happen soon.

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Please look at the chart for an easy summary and helpful reminder.

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I hope you find this helpful. These tips and much more are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book. Thank you!

Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/

WRITING TIPS, TOOLS, AND TIDBITS!: HOMONYMS, HOMOPHONES, and HOMOGRAPHS

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author and WU! admin Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image from Pixabay.

HOMONYMS, HOMOPHONES, and HOMOGRAPHS

People often mix up the terms homonyms, homophones, and homographs. Although these terms are similar and have an overlap, they have specific meanings. This should help to keep them straight.

Basically, homonyms sound the same and have the same spelling. Homophones sound the same regardless of spelling. Homographs have the same spelling regardless of how they are pronounced. And all of these words—homonyms, homophones, and homographs—have different meanings regardless of spelling or pronunciation.

Basically, if they sound the same, they are homophones. If they are spelled the same, they are homographs. If they are both spelled the same and sound the same, they are homonyms. Please note that there is an overlap of these word groups. And please also note that some dictionaries and sources use the word homonyms to mean all of these.

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Homonyms are words that both sound the same and also have the same spelling, but mean different things. Examples: bark and bark, bat and bat, lie and lie, pen and pen, ring and ring, tire and tire. Since homonyms sound the same, they are also homophones, and since they are spelled the same, they are also homographs.

Examples:

  • ball (a round toy for play or sports) / ball (a formal party)
  • bark (a tree’s outer layer) / bark (the sound a dog makes)
  • lie (to recline) / lie (to tell a falsehood)
  • right (correct) / right (opposite of left)
  • rose (a flower) / rose (past tense of rise)
  • tire (to grow fatigued) / tire (part of a wheel)

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Homophones are words that sound the same but may or may not have the same spelling, and they mean different things. Examples: blew and blue, do and due, eight and ate, know and no, plain and plane, right and write, threw and through. Homophones are pronounced the same no matter how they are spelled.

Examples:

  • ate, eight
  • bear, bare
  • break, brake
  • cell, sell
  • dear, deer
  • flower, flour
  • for, four
  • grate, great
  • hear, here
  • mail, male
  • plain, plane
  • pray, prey
  • right, write
  • see, sea
  • site, sight, cite
  • tale, tail
  • there, their, they’re
  • week, weak

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Homographs are words that are spelled the same but may or may not have the same pronunciation, and they mean different things. Examples: bass and bass, bow and bow, dove and dove, tear and tear, read and read, lead and lead. Homographs are spelled the same no matter how they are pronounced.

Examples:

  • bow (decorative ribbon) / bow (part of a ship)
  • content (what is contained inside) / content (satisfied)
  • dove (past tense of dive) / dove (a bird)
  • lead (to be a leader) / lead ( a metal)
  • minute (60 seconds) / minute (tiny)
  • tear (salty fluid from your eye) / tear (to rip)

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Basically, homophones sound the same, homographs are spelled the same, and homonyms do both (sound the same and spelled the same). And even though the words sound and/or are spelled the same, they have different meanings.

Helpful Hint: All three words start with “homo” which means “same.” The endings help define what they mean.

—phone means “sound,” so homophones have the same sound, regardless of spelling.

—graph means “written,” so homographs are written or spelled the same, regardless of pronunciation.

—onym means “name,” so homonyms sound the same and are spelled the same.

Note: Some words fall into more than one category. Also, in some dictionaries, homonyms can be used to refer to all such words in general.

Bark and bark are in all three categories: homonyms (sound the same and spelled the same), homophones (sound the same regardless of spelling), and homographs (spelled the same regardless of pronunciation).

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Please look at the chart for an easy summary and helpful reminder.

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I hope you find this helpful. These tips and much more are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book. Thank you!

Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/

WRITING TIPS, TOOLS, AND TIDBITS!: KANGAROO WORDS

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author, and WU! admin, Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

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KANGAROO WORDS

kangaroo word is a word that contains a similar word or synonym inside.

For example, the word aberrant contains errant inside it. Below are a few more examples.

Examples:

  • Allocate — contains the word allot
  • Charisma — contains the word charm
  • Feast — contains the word eat
  • Observe — contains the word see
  • Prosecute — contains the word sue
  • Rampage — contains the word rage
  • Truthfully — contains the word truly

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Please look at the chart for many more kangaroo words.

I hope you find this interesting and helpful. These and much more are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book. Thank you!

Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!: CAPITONYMS

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author, and WU! admin, Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image from Pixabay.

CAPITONYMS

capitonym is a word that changes its meaning, and sometimes its pronunciation as well, when it is capitalized. These words generally mean one thing with a lower case letter, and another thing when they are capitalized.

For example, rich (lower case) usually means wealthy. However, Rich (with a capital “R”) refers to a man’s name. Below are a few more examples.

Examples:

  • Bill — a name short for William / bill — an amount to be paid
  • Carol — a woman’s name / carol — a hymn or Christmas song
  • March — the third month of the year / march — a style of walking
  • Nice — a city in France / nice — kind or pleasant
  • Turkey — a country / turkey — a North American bird

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Please look at the chart for many more capitonyms.

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I hope you find this interesting and helpful. These and much more are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book. Thank you!

Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/

WRITING TIPS, TOOLS, AND TIDBITS!: CONTRONYMS

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author, and WU! admin, Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image from Pixabay.

CONTRONYMS

English is a fascinating language and can sometimes be confusing — even one word can mean different things.

contronym is a word that has opposite or contradictory meanings, and the meaning of the word is determined by the context.

Antonyms are different words with opposite meanings, but a contronym is one word that can mean contradictory things.

Examples:

  • Bolt — means both to secure something (bolt it down) and to flee and leave (he bolted)
  • Clip — means both to fasten (clip these pages) and to cut and detach (clip a loose thread)
  • Dust — means both to add or sprinkle with fine particles (dust the cake with sugar) and to remove the fine particles (dust the furniture)
  • Fast — means both quick (he moves fast) and stuck or made stable (hold fast)
  • First degree — means both most severe (first-degree murder) and least severe (first-degree burn)
  • Garnish — means both to furnish or add to (garnish on food) and to take away (garnish your wages)
  • Overlook — means to monitor or supervise (overlook someone’s work) and to neglect or fail to notice (overlook an error)
  • Seed — means to plant seeds (seed the garden) and to remove seeds (seed the peppers)
  • Trip — means a journey (take a trip) and a stumble (to trip on a rock)

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Please look at the two charts for many more contronyms.

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I hope you find this interesting and helpful. These and much more are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book. Thank you!

Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!: I, HE, SHE, THEY versus ME, HIM, HER, THEM

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author, and WU! admin, Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image from Pixabay.

I, HE, SHE, THEY versus ME, HIM, HER, THEM

People often mix up when to use the words I, heshe, and they, or me, himherand them. They are different parts of speech and there are specific times when they should be used. This should help to use them properly.

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I, He, She, and They are subjects in a sentence. Ihe, sheand they are used when doing the action — I, she, he, or they do something. If it’s the subject and doing the action, use Ihesheor they.

Examples:

  • I went to the store.
  • She threw the ball.
  • He is working on our house.
  • They took a trip to Hawaii.
  • I want to buy a new car.
  • She drove around the block.
  • He loved his job.
  • They studied hard for the test

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Me, Him, Her, and Them are objects in a sentence. Mehim, herand them are used when receiving the action — something is done to or for me, him, her, or them. If it’s the object and receiving the action, use mehimheror them.

Examples:

  • The birthday cake was for me.
  • The ball was thrown to her.
  • Give the book to him.
  • The party is for them.
  • That dress is perfect for me.
  • Let’s give this to her tomorrow.
  • The speech was given by him.
  • The poem was written for them.

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Helpful Hint: If multiple people are in the sentence and it’s not clear, such as Kevin and I, or Maria and me, remove the other person’s name to see which would be correct.

Examples:

  • Kevin and I went for a walk. (I went for a walk.)
  • David and she went to the park. (She went to the park.)
  • Give that to Maria and me. (Give that to me.)
  • The cake is for Donna and her. (The cake is for her.)

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Basically, if it’s the subject and doing the action, use Ihesheor they.

If it’s the object and receiving the action, use mehimheror them.

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Please look at the chart for an easy summary and helpful reminder.

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I hope you find this helpful. Many grammar tips and much more are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book. Thank you!

Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/

WRITING TIPS, TOOLS, AND TIDBITS!: SIT, SET, and SAT

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author, and WU! admin, Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image from Pixabay.

SIT, SET, and SAT

People often mix up the words sitsetand satAlthough these words sound similar, they have different meanings and uses. This should help to keep them straight.

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Sit is a verb that means to be seated or to rest on your butt. It is intransitive, so it does not take a direct object. You can sit, you can tell someone to sit, and you can give a command to sit. The past tense of sit is sat. If you mean to be seated, then use sit.

Examples:

  • She always sits in front of the TV.
  • The cat loves to sit in the sun.
  • Please sit in the recliner and relax.
  • He will sit at the head of the table.
  • I have been sitting here for a long time.
  • Please have everyone sit wherever they are comfortable.

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Set, when used as a verb, means to place or put. It is transitive which means it takes a direct object. You set something down. The past tense of set is also set. If you mean to place or put something down, then use set.

Examples:

  • Please set the book down on the table.
  • I set the phone down an hour ago and can’t find it.
  • She will set a date for the wedding.
  • He set the bag down on the floor.
  • I will set the keys on the end table.
  • She set the document down in front of him.

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Sat is the past tense of sit. If you mean you were seated, or want the past tense of sit, use sat.

Examples:

  • He sat on the couch all afternoon.
  • She sat there too long and fell asleep.
  • The dog sat on my lap and licked my face.
  • Everyone sat around the table and started eating.
  • They sat together on the porch and talked.
  • He finally sat down when he got tired.

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Note: There are other uses of “set” (the sun will set, a set of dishes, etc.), but those are not mixed up with sit or sat, so those meanings are not addressed here.

If you mean to be seated, then use sit.

If you mean to place something, then use set.

If you mean the past tense of sit, then use sat.

He decided to sit after she set the food on the table where they always sat.

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Please look at the chart for an easy summary and helpful reminder.

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I hope you find this helpful. These tips and much more are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book. Thank you!

Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!: ATTAIN versus OBTAIN

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author, and WU! admin, Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image from Pixabay.

ATTAIN versus OBTAIN

People often mix up the words attain and obtain. They may sound similar and have somewhat similar meanings, but these words are used differently. This should help to use them properly.

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Attain means to achieve, accomplish, get an achievement, or reach a goal, usually through hard work. If you mean to achieve something, use attain.

Examples:

  • She finally attained her dream and became a lawyer.
  • He studied for many years and finally attained success.
  • After years in school, she finally attained her goal and graduated.
  • He attained a higher rank after working diligently.
  • She hoped to attain a high mark on her test.
  • After many years, he finally attained fame through his movies.
  • She worked hard but never attained the recognition she wanted.
  • He strived to attain excellence in everything he did.
  • She attained a high degree of proficiency on the piano.
  • He worked hard to attain his goal and speak several languages.

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Obtain means to acquire or get possession of something. If you mean to acquire or get possession of something, use obtain.

Examples:

  • He obtained the hammer and nails and then hung the picture.
  • The police obtained a warrant before searching the house.
  • He finally obtained tickets to the concert.
  • She obtained the photocopy to show her friends.
  • He needed to obtain the tools before he could start the job.
  • She obtained the key and then opened the door.
  • After he obtained his license, he opened an office.
  • She needed to obtain a passport before her vacation.
  • The detective obtained enough evidence to convict the suspect.
  • She needed to obtain permission before she could go.

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In general, you attain goals, but you obtain objects.

If you mean to achieve or accomplish something, use attain.

If you mean to acquire or get possession of something, use obtain.

Hint: Attain starts with an A for achieve or accomplish.

Obtain starts with ob for obtaining an object.

Note: There is some overlap if hard work is involved, such as attaining or obtaining a degree—either can be correct, depending on the emphasis and context. Attaining a degree refers to reaching that level of education, whereas obtaining a degree refers to actually getting the degree or diploma.

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Please look at the chart for an easy summary and helpful reminder.

***

I hope you find this helpful. These tips and much more are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book.

Thank you!

Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/

WRITING TIPS, TOOLS, AND TIDBITS!: THAT, WHICH, and WHO

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author, and WU! admin, Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image from Pixabay.

THAT, WHICH, and WHO

People often mix up the words thatwhich, and whoAlthough similar in use, there are specific times each word should be used.

For that and which, the proper word to use depends on whether the clause is a defining, restrictive clause needed to understand the sentence, or if it’s a non-defining, nonrestrictive clause that would not change the meaning if it were removed. Knowing how the clause is used will help to use the words properly.

Who should be used anytime it refers to a person, regardless of the type of clause.

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That is used for a defining, restrictive, or essential clause. If the clause is important or crucial to understanding or defining the word or sentence, or if removing the clause would change the meaning of the sentence, use that.

Examples:

  • My pen that was used by a celebrity is safe in a drawer.
  • My dress that got ripped is being repaired.
  • Any book that is written by my favorite author is good.
  • The song that you sang last night is beautiful.
  • The car that is always parked in front of my house has a flat tire.
  • This is the book that I told you about.
  • The chair that has a broken leg has been set aside.
  • The book that was signed by Stephen King is my favorite.
  • The shoes that I just bought hurt my feet.
  • The vase that was in the den fell and is now cracked.

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Which is used in a non-defining, nonrestrictive, or nonessential clause. If the clause is not important or crucial to understanding or defining the word or sentence, or if you can remove it without changing the meaning of the sentence, then use whichClauses using which are generally separated with commas.

Examples:

  • My car, which was in an accident, is still in the shop.
  • My red dress, which got ripped, is being repaired.
  • This cake, which you baked for us, is delicious.
  • My friend’s birthday party, which was at the pizza place, was wonderful.
  • My husband’s truck, which is red, is fun to drive.
  • Jewelry, which can be expensive, is not important to me.
  • My favorite shoes, which I’ve worn for years, have holes in them.
  • The new book, which I can only read an hour each day, is excellent.
  • Proper grammar, which is taught in school, is essential for good writing.
  • The vase I love, which was in the den, fell and is now cracked.

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To explain this further, the following two sentences mean different things.

  • The short dress that is pink is my favorite.
  • The short dress, which is pink, is my favorite.

The first sentence indicates there are many short dresses, and the one that is pink is my favorite.

The second sentence indicates there is only one short dress, and it happens to be pink.

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Who should always be used when referring to a person, whether it’s a restrictive or nonrestrictive, a defining or non-defining clause. The type of clause does not matter. If it refers to a person, then use who.

Examples:

  • My friend who was in an accident is doing much better now.
  • The man who caused the accident did not have insurance.
  • The woman who baked this cake did a great job.
  • My best friend, who is home from college, is coming over.
  • That new guy who is really cute just asked me out.
  • The woman in accounting, who I’ve had a crush on, will be training me.
  • The mail carrier, who has delivered our mail for years, is retiring.
  • The history teacher, who is very tall, is also a basketball coach.
  • The person who I was dating was very rude.
  • The neighbor who is very helpful to me is moving away.

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In general, if removing the clause changes the meaning of the sentence, or if the clause is needed to understand or make sense of the sentence, use that.

If removing the clause does not change the meaning, or if the clause adds information but the sentence would still make sense without it, use which.

Usually, nonrestrictive clauses, which use which, are separated by commas, em-dashes, or parentheses.

However, regardless of the clause, whether a restrictive or nonrestrictive clause, if it refers to a person, use who instead of that or which.

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Please look at the chart for an easy summary and helpful reminder.

***

I hope you find this helpful. These tips and much more are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book.

Thank you!
~~~
Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/

WRITING TIPS, TOOLS, AND TIDBITS!: ADVICE versus ADVISE

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author, and WU! admin, Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image from Pixabay.

ADVICE versus ADVISE

People often mix up the words advice and advise. They are related, but these words are different parts of speech. Hopefully, this will help to use them correctly.

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Advice is a noun that means an opinion or recommendation. The “ice” ending is pronounced like the word ice. To make advice plural,it would be words of advice or pieces of advice (advices is not a word).If you want a noun, use advice.

Examples:

  • She always listened to her mother’s advice.
  • He gave his brother good advice most of the time.
  • The advice she received was not always the best.
  • He did not want to receive advice unless he asked for it.
  • The teacher gave advice as to how to prepare the homework.
  • She gave advice to her daughter before she started a new job.
  • He found that most people did not want his advice.
  • She did not ask for his advice and refused to listen.
  • The best advice is not always followed.
  • He finally decided to take the advice of an expert.

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Advise is a verb that means to recommend, give counsel, give a suggestion, or give information to someone. The “ise” ending is pronounced like the “ize” in size. If you want a verb, use advise.

Examples:

  • He always would advise people to read the contract before signing.
  • She advised her daughter to bring a sweater in case it got cold.
  • Please advise her of her options.
  • He hesitated before advising his students.
  • She advised them as to the best way to handle the situation.
  • I would advise everyone to listen carefully.
  • He advised me to stay home since it was raining.
  • The doctor advised her to lose weight.
  • It is generally advised to pay all your bills on time.
  • He advised her on which car to buy.

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Hint: Advice ends in “ice” which is a noun.

Basically, if you want a noun, use advice.

To make advice plural,it would be words of advice or pieces of advice.

If you want a verb, use advise.

You can advise someone by giving them advice.

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Please look at the chart for an easy summary and helpful reminder.

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I hope you find this helpful. These tips and much more are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book.
Thank you!

Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/