Author Archives: languageandgrammar

Paul’s Podcast

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Challenging and Being Honest about Your Fears

And now, for something completely different: I’ve started a self-help podcast, based on the premise that the answers are already inside of you–you just have to find them, and I’m confident that I can help. The first main topic (there … Continue reading

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Christmas Wish List

One of the benefits of working at a university is the extended “holiday break.” Of course, the holiday break lines up with Christmas every single year, so I’m beginning to suspect that the university is actually on Christmas break but … Continue reading

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A.M. in the Morning, P.M. in the Afternoon

It seems to me that I hear this particular grammar error more frequently now than in the past. I don’t know why, and it doesn’t really matter; I’m just here to clear things up. Schools will open at 9:30 a.m. … Continue reading

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Try To or Try And

Although the phrase try and is commonly used, it is illogical, and the correct phrase is try to. Try needs the infinitive after it. (Remember, the infinitive is the to form of a verb, as in to read, to work, … Continue reading

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Continuous, Continual

Continuous means perpetual, uninterrupted, without a break. I ran continuously for 30 minutes means that I ran every second of every minute for 30 minutes. I did not stop for a water break or to catch my breath or to … Continue reading

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A lot, Alot, Allot

Alot is the incorrect spelling of the correct phrase a lot. Think of it this way: A lot is just like a little, only more. She plays a lot of tennis. He has a lot of extra time to finish … Continue reading

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Then and Than Grammar

Use than when making a comparison. My brother is older than I. She can do more than that. They would rather read the book than watch the movie. Use then when referring to the order of incidents, events, etc. It … Continue reading

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The Difference Between Drink, Drank, and Drunk in Grammar

I’ve written before about the past participle of the verb to run; I’ve noticed a similar problem with the pattern of the verb to drink. The present tense of drink is, of course, drink. He drinks eight glasses of water … Continue reading

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Using Had: the Past Perfect Tense

A reader wanted to know how to use the word had in relation to verb tense, so I’m going to try to give a simple, short answer to her question. I think what the reader was asking about was the … Continue reading

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