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Free Grammar And Usage Tool Kit
If you’ve got questions about grammar or usage, the expert proofreaders at Writer’s Relief have answers for you! Whether you’re interested in how to punctuate dialogue or how to choose your words, our proofreaders are dedicated to getting you the answers you need.
Our expert proofreaders specialize in working with creative writers, and they know how to be sensitive to issues that arise at the intersection of “formally correct” and “creative liberty.” We can format and proofread your book manuscript to be sure it’s in top shape for submission or publication. We proofread and format novels, memoirs, self-help, how-to, and all other book genres—as well as poetry and short story collections.
Just contact us with your inquiry if you need proofreading and formatting. Our grammar experts can do as much or as little of the manuscript preparation as you need.
Don’t see the answer to your grammar question on this page? Never fear—just contact us!
When We Think About Grammar And Usage
As with so many disciplines, there’s a lot of debate about language because it’s always changing. Before you dive into any grammatical situation, it’s best to know something about the lay of the land so you can make informed choices.
Editing Jobs Defined: What Editors, Copyeditors, and Proofreaders Do
The Purist Debate And The English Language
Standard vs. Nonstandard Phrases And Words With More Than One Spelling
Perfecting Your Personal Proofreading
Keeping Your Reader Happy: Grammar Mistakes That Drive Readers Nuts
Manuscript Proofreading and Formatting
How To Choose A Freelance Editor For Your Writing
Industry Influencer: Merriam-Webster Inc.
Writers: Get The Best Grammar Tips And Answers—Ask Writer’s Relief
10 Grammar Rules You Can Break—And Maybe Should!
The Parts, Pieces, and Anatomy of Sentences
These great articles will teach you how sentences work (and why they don’t work, when they’re broken by bad grammar, usage, and syntax).
Agreeing To Agree: Basic Pronoun Rules
Subject-Verb Agreement Made Easy
Pronouns And Antecedents
The Scoop On Sentence Fragments
Fragments And Run-On Sentences: Sentence Spoilers
How To (Not) Split Infinitives
The Joys Of Gerunds
Appositives: What They Are And How To Punctuate Them
Was Versus Were and Other Examples of the Subjunctive Mood
Punctuation And Perfection
If you’re wondering if your commas are getting unruly or if your semicolons are in the wrong place at the wrong time, you’ll enjoy these great articles about punctuation.
Deciphering Dialogue: Punctuating Characters’ Speech
Further Notes On Punctuating Dialogue
Punctuation And Quoted Material
Character’s Thoughts: Punctuating and Formatting
Apostrophes: Grammar Rules For Showing Possession
Serial Commas, Ellipses, and Em Dashes
Three Essential Semicolon Rules
Seven Fundamental Comma Rules
Punctuating Restrictive And Nonrestrictive Clauses
Hyphen Rules: Don’t Let Misused Hyphens Muddle Your Adjectives Or Your Writing
Hyphens And Tigers And Bears, Oh My!
To Cap Or Not To Cap
Free Verse: The Hidden Rules Of Free Verse Poetry
Harness The Power Of…The Ellipsis!
In Memoriam: The Interrobang‽
The Oxford Comma Controversy
3 Comma Mistakes To Avoid (And The Easy Fixes!)
Apostrophes: A Concise Grammar Guide
How To Build A Better Sentence
It’s one thing to understand basic sentence construction. But if you’re a creative writer, you’ve got to master it. The words that you choose and the order that you put them in has a direct impact on your readers’ reactions. So take this mini “master class” in building sentences by reading the articles below!
Repurposing Words: Surprise Your Readers With Unusual Word Choices
Putting Verve In Your Verbs
Collective Nouns: Pairing Verbs With Difficult Nouns
Don’t Leave Your Readers Hanging: Avoiding Dangling Modifiers In Your Writing
Active And Passive Voice Sentences
Doubling Up: Constructing And Correcting Sentences With Duplicate Words
How And When To Start A Sentence With A Conjunction
I Have A Dream: 8 Heart-Stopping Rhetorical Techniques Of King’s Speech
How To Write Good
Sentence Length: The Power Of Placing Periods
Halt! How To Punctuate A…Dramatic Pause
Scare Quotes, Exclamation Points, Almost, and Plural Compounds
Verbal Gobbledygook: Editing Extra Words Out Of Your Writing
Spelling And Usage: Words That Throw People Off
Don’t fall victim to the dastardly deceptions of confusing words. Instead, read about the words that trip up writers (and drive readers crazy). Then you’ll know how to avoid unnecessary spelling and usage mistakes.
Top 20 Misused (And Mistreated) Words
Commonly Confused Words
List Of Confusing Words And Homonyms
Homana-What? Homographs, Heteronyms, And Homonyms Decoded
Spell It Right
How Not To Confuse These Commonly Confused Words
Tips For Recognizing And Spelling Compound Words
When And How Should You Use i.e. & e.g. In A Sentence?
Is There Only One Place For “Only” In A Sentence?
When To Use Lie Or Lay
“Off Of” And Like vs. As
Email Or E-mail? Website Or Web site? Online Or On-line?
Use Or Utilize?
It’s vs. Its And That vs. Which
Libel Or Slander?
Biannual, biennial, or Semiannual?
Everyday Or Every Day? One Word Or Two?
US vs. U.S.: When To Use Periods And When To Leave Them Out
Cannot Or Can Not? One Word Or Two?
Open Mike Or Open Mic?
Who Versus Whom
Advent vs. In The Event; Uppermost vs. Uttermost
Toward Or Towards, Anyways, And We vs Us
Titled vs. Entitled
More Misused (And Mistreated) Words
More Confusing Words
Three Common Grammar Mistakes: “A Lot” Or “Alot”; Abbreviating “Versus”; And When “Nor” Is Appropriate On Its Own
The “Blond Or Blonde” And “Gray Or Grey” Debates
“The Reason” Versus “The Reason Why:” Is There One Right Way?
Regarding Regard And Regards: Using These Words Correctly
Who or Whom: An Epic Grammar Battle Easily Resolved.
Please Accept—Or Except—This Grammar Tip.
Formatting And Style
When a rule is flexible, and every newspaper or formal style guide has its own way of approaching a given issue, you’ll have to make a choice about how you prefer to implement it. Just be sure you have all the facts!
¡Ay, Caramba! To Italicize Or Not To Italicize Non-English Words And Phrases
Formatting Numbers In Creative Writing
The Use Of Gender-Neutral Language In Your Writing
Okay, OK, Or O.K.? Do You Know Which Is Correct, Incorrect, Or Preferred?
How To Properly Use The Terms “Ladies” And “Gentlemen” In Your Writing
Capitalization And Degrees: When To Capitalize The Name Of Your College Or Graduate Degree
When To Capitalize The Common Noun Names Of Family Relatives
Our grammarians love writers, and we’re not afraid of tackling the difficult questions that can arise when you start mixing creative writing and grammar.
We hope you’ve found these articles by our proofreaders to be helpful. If so, please share this unique page with friends and with the writers you know. If you would like to repost any of our articles, you can! Just contact us for details.
We’re able to offer these kinds of free resources because of the support of readers like you. Thank you!
And if you’re a creative writer, be sure to check out our complete line of Free Publishing Tool Kits that answer your questions about everything from how to get a literary agent to how to publish poems.
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