One of the most effective ways to obfuscate, distract and otherwise confuse your readers is to misuse pronouns. Here are some writing tips that will straighten out your pronoun use and add punch to your writing at the same time.
Overuse of Pronouns
I’m sure you’ve seen it:
He screamed and flailed at him, while his father desperately tried to pull him away.
Because I am not an editor, while I’m reading a novel that interests me, the occasional typo or misplaced modifier is likely to fly right past me. In spite of that, I’m a writing tutor for Pearson/Smarthinking. It’s okay. I can pay attention when I have to.
I tutor over 100 students per month on higher-level orders such as thesis statements, content development, and organization. I also coach them on lower-level issues such as noun-verb agreement, sentence structure, and misplaced modifiers.
Over time, I’ve come to see the same lower-level mistakes again and again. Some are so sneaky that we can read a passage, know something isn’t quite right, but have no idea what it is.
To celebrate National Grammar Day, we have an infographic on what some folks feel are advanced grammar mistakes. These grammar tips go beyond the basics because even the most seasoned writer can make a mistake. Highlights include the misuse of number and numeral and split infinitives. The English language has many obscure grammar rules that even the most veteran authors can miss.
We want to thank Instructional Solutions for working with us to create this infographic. Do you have a favorite grammar rule that is not on the list? Let us know in the comments section below.
I am going to let you in on a well-guarded secret. Grammar was not invented to give your Grade 10 English teacher a chance to make your life miserable. It was created to ensure sentences say what we mean them to. And word order is one of the basic tools.
Here’s a rule you can bank on to solve 95% of your problems in this area. Sentence elements with relationships are closer to each other. Stands to reason. If a guy and a girl spend the whole party at opposite ends of the house, chances are they aren’t in a relationship. (Well, maybe a strange one…)