Writing Tip: Word Order Creates Meaning

in writing, keep your DUCKS IN A ROWI 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…)

So if we take this sentence: Continue reading “Writing Tip: Word Order Creates Meaning”

It Was Tense: Past Progressive Verbs

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So she put her elbow on the bar from across the room?

Do you ever notice verb tenses that seem to conflict in the same sentence? Every now and then, I’ll run into sentences like these:

Walking into the room, she leaned one elbow on the bar.

Looking at him, she giggled.

The second one works. The first one doesn’t. Why? Let’s break it down: Continue reading “It Was Tense: Past Progressive Verbs”

Participle Phrases

housewife-23868_1280Mrs Grumpy here again.

Another little bad habit creeps into a lot of writing, I’ve discovered.  And I always feel a trickle of irritation when I read it.  Those pesky -ing phrases.  You know the ones I mean? Continue reading “Participle Phrases”