Thumb Rules of Grammar

Posted by on Jul 19 2012 | Content Writing

Do you also feel that good content is one that entails perfect grammar and punctuation? Every careful content writer would feel so! So, what are the points that you pay heed to when you write? Are the ones below among them?

1.    Active vs Passive. As far as possible, use the active voice. Using passive voice is necessary only if the object is unknown. So, if you were to write ‘Sita ate the grapes’, avoid writing “The grapes were eaten by Sita.” With the need for content to be more conversational and interactive, active scores much better over passive voice!
2.    The Subject-Verb Agreement. This often happens in long-winded sentences. While talking about the subject, the mind meanders and forgets that a singular subject always takes a singular verb, and a plural subject a plural verb. Starting a sentence with “It is a good source of energy…” and losing the way into “… and provide substantial amounts of…” is a clear indication of a writer lost in their own thoughts!
3.    Into vs in to. ‘Into’ is used to indicate movement from outside to inside of an object, e.g. ‘Hari dropped the coins into the jar.’ ‘In to’ is used when you wish to say, ‘The robber turned himself in to the police the next day.’
4.    ‘That vs ‘which’. The use of ‘that’ is for essential or known clauses, while ‘which’ is used when referring to non-essential or unknown clauses. Examples would be:
‘The soap that we buy is out of stock.’
‘The soap we bought from that market, which also has several wine shops, smells very good.’
‘The band that played the other night has a very young guitarist.’
‘The band playing now is from Dublin, which is where popular Irish music originated.’

5.    Correct Placement of Modifier.

a.    An action must be followed by the actor. Therefore, it would be incorrect to say ‘After buying the vegetables, the trolley hit Nelly.’ Now surely, trolleys don’t go veggie-shopping! The correct sentence formation would be:
‘After buying the vegetables, Nelly was hit by the trolley.’

b.    Modifiers should also always be inserted right next to the words they modify. So, it would be incorrect to say ‘My boss gave me the papers he had taken print-outs of in a file’. Obviously, print-outs cannot be taken out in files!. The correct sentence formation would be:
‘In a file, my boss gave me the print-outs had taken out.’

Now, don’t you think taking care of the above will help you write better and more effectively? Feel free to share more such instances of incorrect grammar of used.


1 comment for now

One Response to “Thumb Rules of Grammar”

  1. shivangi

    Sometimes, grammar can be tricky. Quality content needs to be grammatically correct. I particularly find differentiating between “presently” and “at present” very confusing. Recently clarified from an editor-cum-friend that the basic difference is that “at present” means “right now” while “presently” means “soon”.

    19 Jul 2012 at 5:09 pm

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