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.

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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

7 Tips For Accurately Proofreading Your Own Work

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!

Made-Up Words Every Writer Should Use

Using Gender-Neutral Language In Your Writing

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

Contraction Confusion

How To (Not) Split Infinitives

The Joys Of Gerunds

Misplaced Modifiers

Appositives: What They Are And How To Punctuate Them

Was Versus Were and Other Examples of the Subjunctive Mood

Can You Start A Sentence With “But” Or “And”?

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.

Tricky Words Writers Keep Getting Wrong.

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

Use E.g. Or I.e. Correctly Every Time


Closing Notes

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.

Thanks for stopping by!

Please take a moment to like, share, email, tweet, or stumble this page! We wish you all the best with your writing. Let us know how we can help!



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writers get over 18,000 acceptances.

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  • BEST (and proven) submission tips
  • Hot publishing leads
  • Calls to submit
  • Contest alerts
  • Notification of industry changes
  • And much more!

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