This is the last Grammar Wednesday of the year! Since next Wednesday is Christmas, I will be taking it off from this adventure. This week we’ll be looking at weary and wary–two things that should not be happening during the holiday season. But here we go.
She was wary of going to a new church on Christmas eve, not knowing anyone generally didn’t bode for a pleasant service.
Being weary of the holidays, Rusty decided to take a nap on the edge of her bed, curing into a tight ball before slipping off into slumber.
have a great 2014!!
These are two that are actually less mixed up than they used to be. Affect is to affect something, while one thing has an effect on another.
Rusty was affected by the dog that moved into the house.
Rusty made an effect on the dog when she smacked him on the nose.
The effect of the lights in my eyes is to blind me.
I’m affected by strong lighting.
There was no Grammar Wednesday last week due to Thanksgiving and travel. This week we’ll focus on what that is consistently incorrect in many things that I edit. One would thing that it would be easy because “it’s” is a contraction of “it is,” but it’s still messed up.
The easiest way to look at this one for correction is to try it out as “it is” and to look to see if “its” refers to something or someone.
It’s easy to say that Christmas comes quickly when one is having fun.
Christmas has its moments with family and friends and strangers all coming together.
There is a massive issue when these two are mixed up, mainly because they mean the complete opposite.
She stood apart of the crowd.
She stood a part of the crowd.
Both have very different meanings. “A part” means together and with, while “apart” means separate and away from. Thus they are very different in how they are used.
The piece was a part of the whole.
Rusty was a part of her mom and a part of her dad.
Rusty was apart from Seeley for the better part of a week during a move.
These are fun ones and are very often misused. I think the easiest way to differentiate is to just write sentences with them.
Peek a boo! I see you!
The peak was over six thousand feet high.
The concept piqued the child’s interest, so they gave the child more to study.
We played peek a boo with each peak as it peeked around the corner; it was just enough to pique the toddlers interest and kept zir attention.
While lead is a word that would be used in a sentence, it is not the past tense of “to lead.” Lead is actually a metal…led means “to lead” in the past tense. This is a very common mistake that is made, and I constantly have to correct it in other’s work and in mine. It’s not that I don’t know the difference, it’s that my fingers think for themselves sometimes.
Once they had led them to the cemetery, they started the ritual killing.
Lead is an element on the periodic table of contents.
It has honestly surprised me how many times I have seen this one mixed up. I’m not sure if it’s because of just random typos, but it does seem to happen more than it should.
Patients are people; they generally reside in a hospital but can be found in other places.
Patience is something that an individual has with someone or something else.
Now, it seems to be confusing because patient and patient are the spelled the same even though they have different meanings.
The patients at the hospital were patient when waiting for their doctors (yeah, right).
Her mother exerted the most amount of patience she had ever seen when she described what had happened to cause her brother’s black eye.
You can phase out of something and not have it faze you. That’s how this one works.
The star ship phased out of reality and into the third dimension.
The captain stared at the view screen, unfazed by what was happening.
This is a rather easy one to figure out.
One can wreak havoc with things that reek. =P
Reek is a smell, nasty, but a smell nonetheless
To wreak is a verb; it is something that someone does to something else. It is also not to be confused with “wreck,” which I have actually seen before.
Rusty’s litter box reeked from lack of cleaning. Whoopsies.
Rusty wreaked havoc in the middle of the night when I was trying to sleep; the darn cat never wanted me to be fully rested.
Now this one is confusing for a lot of people. “Awhile” as one word basically means “For a while” with two words…so if someone writes “for awhile” they basically write “for for a while” which is confusing and incorrect. This makes it hard. If there is a “for” generally the “a while” will be two words.
It had been awhile since she went to the gym, but she really needed to start working out again.
A while had passed since she had gone to the gym.
For a while she thought she was good with just walking to and from work
Every once in a while she would go for a longer walk to get ice cream.
These are two that get mixed up ALL the time, and it annoys me to no end. They mean very different things and can completely change the reading of a sentence and what follows.
Rusty, the wonder kitten, scarfed down her food and then vomited it up.
Rusty thought it was better to lounge on the cat tree than to indulge in more kitty nip.
These are two words that I do see mixed up on occasion. It might just be typos, but I figured it’d be better to explore than to not. These two have very different meanings.
Rusty defiantly stood at the window, waiting for the threatening kitten she saw in the glass to arrive again.
Rusty definitely was high on cat nip.
Here’s two that get mixed up often…I even get confused on it. Passed is an action, used primarily with people passing by something or another person. Past is used with time.
She passed by him in the past. (if you want to get in your wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey mindset)
Soldier, the white dog, passed by Arwen, the black and white dog, while they raced for the ball.
Time past so slow, each tick on the clock reminding Adrian why she wasn’t out of class–her professor would not stop talking.
Here’s a three-fer.
Gentle means to be nice, to be kind and soft and comforting.
Genteel means to be polite and respectable.
Gentile is a person who was not a Jew in Biblical times. Someone who was not of the monotheistic faith.
He was gentle when he brushed the tangles out of his daughter’s hair.
He was genteel in the way he introduced himself, but the gaze he gave her was anything but.
Paul welcomed Gentiles into the Jesus Movement.
Got it? Good!
Good morning folks! I almost forgot that today is Wednesday. My life has been a bit crazy this week. This week we’re still looking at word mixups, I have quite a few of them.
Lightning and Lightening. I promise, they are two different words.
The lightning struck down from the sky, bearing the world as if it were day for three brief and heart stopping moments.
The lightening didn’t work, so I added more white to the blue, trying to make the color brighter and lighter.
The sky was lightening with each lightning strike.
o_O I feel so smart for that last one!
See the difference? Got it? Good!
I recently read a book, not to be named, where the author could NOT figure out the difference between further and farther. It occurred to me that this author was probably not the only one with this issue. Both have an essence of distance.
Farther is physical distance.
Further is metaphorical distance.
Rusty the Wonder Kitten looked from the desk to the chair, knowing that it was only a little bit farther than before.
Rusty the Wonder Kitten knew she could push a little bit further and her mother would be charged with insanity.
“It’s only a bit farther,” her father said as she begged to know how much farther to the gas station–she really had to pee.
“If you go any further with that comment, you will lose your job,” his boss shouted.
Get it yet? Hope so! Check back here if you have questions.
This is the rarest of all for an entire story/novel to be written in. However, there are often sections that require this.
Rusty would be going to visit her brother in Washington, D.C. for a week. Then she would be going to the west to visit some family. She couldn’t be more excited at the prospect of traveling and seeing everything. Rusty would go to the national monument and the Lincoln memorial, maybe she would even stop by and see the White House. She wondered if the president would be around, maybe she could catch a glimpse.
Example done. *sigh*
Yes, future tense is necessary, but I do only suggest small doses of it! =P
Hey ya’ll! This is my preferred tense to write in. I love it! To me, even when speaking, stories are told in the past tense because they happen in the past, not in the moment. If that makes sense. So here’s an example of past tense.
She walked into the room, her dress beautifully wrapped around her body, her makeup all done up, and her hair twisted into curls. No one stared at her. No one looked at her. She took a deep breath and waded through the people to the table with drinks on it, staring ahead. She looked for her. The most gorgeous woman she could ever imagine. She knew that she was coming, it was the whole reason she even bothered to show up and take care in how she looked.
Jane arrived in style. Heads turned as her heels clicked on the floor, and eyes followed her every movement as she sauntered through the ballroom. Christmas parties were never her thing, and to be forced to go to one by her boss, well needless to say, she didn’t want to be there. Jane let out a sigh when she saw the one woman who could make her night standing next to the drink table. The smile graced her lips as she maneuvered through the crowd, ignoring any cat calls and conversations that people tried to start up. Her eyes were set on one thing and one thing alone. Her.
I love, love, LOVE past tense!
Here’s the next series! Tenses! I’m thinking four posts in this one, at least for the main four things people generally do with tenses. Present, past, past perfect (and using those together).
This first one is going to be about present tense. There are lot of fanfiction and some novels being written in present tense. This is not something that I enjoy writing in, but I’m slowly coming to like it more and more. Here is an example of something that is present tense.
I type on the computer, and the words flow like a small creek in the back yard. I can’t imagine any other way to make them go. They don’t rage like rapids and they don’t trickle like a dried up river bed. They are simply constant and continuous as they flow from my mind to my fingers to the computer screen in front of me. It is how I write, day in and day out, as times passes by second by second. No more can I write than I can breathe. They are both one in the same for me.
Life without words is no life at all, just like there is no life without breath.
I am a writer and a human being. The two go hand in hand for me, one non-existent without the other. I write and I think constantly, working plot lines into the narrative of my life and the narrative of my life into the plot. They are so intermingled that on occasion I cannot separate the two. I type on the computer, words forming on the screen seemingly out of nowhere. But they are not out of nowhere. They are from the imagination.
Present tense tends to keep things more in the moment for a lot of readers and writers. People say that it brings them into the piece more clearly because they see it as it is happening.
It is not OK.
It is okay.
It is not alright.
It is all right.
It is not wanna, gonna, coulda, shoulda, woulda.
It is want to, going to, could have, should have, would have.
(The only exception to these should be made in dialogue, or if you are planning some massive narrating going on, but then you should still do it with strength and throughout the entire piece.)
It is not towards.
It is toward.
It is not backwards, forwards, afterwards.
It is backward, forward, afterward.
It is time already to get to work, where I should have completed many other things before the day ends. ttfn!!