10 Tips to Improve Grammar

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1) Mind Apostrophes:

Possessive case or contractions: its VS it’s, they’re VS theirs.

2) Always use a comma after an introductory or prepositional phrase:

“After a hard day at work, Maya loves to relax at the balcony.”

3) Memorise homophones and endings:

too VS two, your VS you’re, accept VS except.

able when a whole root word is used: fashionable.

ible if a word doesn’t make sense without the ending: divisible.

4) Articles, definite or indefinite:

For general ‘a/an’: Someone call a doctor.

For specific ‘the’: Someone called the doctor living next door.

5) Appositives: These dependant clauses modify the subject and often add non-essential information – offset with commas:

“The popular sitcom Brian O’Brien was cancelled after seven years.” (Essential)

“Brian O’Brien, the popular sitcom, was cancelled after seven years.” (Non-essential)

6) That, who and which – use commas for non-essential information:

“No one trusts politicians who lie.” (Essential)

“Mr. Khan, who is wearing a red shirt, is the CEO of the company.” (Non-essential)

7) The semicolon replaces a period and links two independent clauses:

“The family had never seen Mrs. Baker so mad ; everyone thought that the maid was going to have a heart attack.”

8) Countable and non-countable nouns:

for countables (dress, car, house)

much/a lot and little/few for and non-countable (money, snow, time)

9) Vocabulary building techniques:

Read books, magazine articles and newspaper columns.

10) Spell checking and proofreading:

Use online spellchecker like www.spellchecker.net/spellcheck and quietly read the text aloud to catch more mistakes.