Let’s just come right out and say it: English doesn’t make sense. Silent letters, crazy irregular verbs, idioms…how do we possibly get it all right?
Unfortunately, more often than not the answer is: we don’t. By now, you’re probably aware that a passing score on the SAT Writing section doesn’t translate to perfect grammar. It takes years of practice to become a pro and even then, you’re bound to make mistakes.
This is not to say you should twiddle your thumbs and expect spellcheck to catch all your mistakes! The only way to improve is to work at it! The grammar component of English classes in high school was boring, certainly, but it helped. These days, courses (thankfully) shove the nitty-gritty aside to focus on the interesting…but this can mean that fundamentals like grammar get left by the wayside. Do yourself a favor and brush up every now and then! It’ll make a world of difference.
That’s where Grammar Girl comes in. Have a grammar question? On this witty, upbeat website, the resident “Grammar Girl” answers readers’ questions about grammar. Organizing the questions by categories (General, Grammar, Punctuation, Style, and Word Choice), Grammar Girl sheds insight into a whole slew of tricky English language rules.
She covers the basics you always seem to be forgetting (like the difference between parentheses, brackets, and braces), discusses complicated stylistic choices (like writing accents and dialogue), and answers the questions you never even thought to ask (like do all adverbs end in -ly?).
Plus, all posts come in both written and podcast form. Read up!