Categories
Miscellaneous

9 Most Confusing Confusions in English Grammar

grammarmonkeySome English grammar can be really confusing.

So, I decided to write this article to point out some grammar mistakes that cause much confusion, and also how to get them right.

I’ve made all of these grammar mistakes before, which is how I got to write this post, anyway 🙂 .

And now, I present to you,

9 Most Confusing Confusions in English Grammar!

photo by baboon™

1. Subject pronouns and object pronouns

Wrong: He sat between you and I.
Correct: He sat between you and me.

I now fully understand this rule once I took an English lesson about subject and object pronouns.

The subject is the one that does things. (He sees me)

The object is the one who has the thing done to him. (He sees me)

Another type of object is the prepositional object and it is the one which the preposition is directed at. (He sees it with me)

So, here is a table of subject and object pronouns.

Subject pronouns Object pronouns
I Me
You You
He Him
She Her
We Us
They Them

So, if you are using a pronoun as a subject, use a subject pronoun. Same thing on the objects.

It’s “between you and me” because “you and me” is the object of the preposition between.

It’s “I know him” because “him” is the object of the verb “know”.

It’s “William and he read” because “William and he” is the subject.

2. Who or whom?

Here’s a tricky one: “Who/whom did he see at the party?”

Here’s what you need to know:

Who = subject pronoun
Whom = object pronoun

So, to get the answer, change the question to a statement: “He did see whom at the party.”

Whom is an object, so that is the answer 🙂 .

Question: “Who/whom ate all the cookies?” Statement: “Who ate all the cookies.”

Hope I’ve made it clear =) .

3. “Than me” or “Than I”?

Wrong: He runs faster than me.
Correct: He runs faster than I.

Ahh, this is one of the mistakes that I have been frequently making last time 😛 .

“Than” is a conjunction, which introduces a subordinate clause, so the subjective pronoun “I” is used. See usage note.

The easiest way to make sure this is right is to make the sentence “long”.

“He runs faster than I” becomes “He runs faster than I run”.

“I run slower than he” becomes “I run slower than he runs”.

However, there is an exception in which you have to use the object form of the pronoun. Here’s an example:

“Jon gave Dan more apples than he gave me” –> “Jon gave Dan more apples than me”.

4. “It is me” or “It is I”?trex

Wrong: It is me, the great tyrant Tyrannosaurus!
Correct: It is I, the great tyrant Tyrannosaurus!

It is important to note that “is” is a linking verb, meaning it renames the subject with a subject predicate.

Now, normal transitive verbs have an object. (He sees me) Me = object.

Linking verbs have subject predicates instead. (That guy was I) I = subject predicate.

Here’s another example. – “A dog is a great pet.”

A dog = subject
a great pet = subject predicate

You can see that “subject = subject predicate”. A dog = a great pet. That’s why they are called linking verbs; because they link two subjects.

And since linking verbs link to subjects, subject pronouns must be used. So that’s why it is “It is I” and not “It is me”.

I hope you get what I’m saying. Unfortunately, I think Mario will never get it.

itsmemario

T-rex photo by Esparta

5. i.e. and e.g.

Wrong: Please volunteer to bring some food for the party, i.e., fries, nuggets, and chips.
Correct: Please volunteer to bring some food for the party. e.g., fries, nuggets, and chips

Believe it or not, last time, I thought i.e. and e.g. can be used interchangeably! But I was wrong. i.e. and e.g. have different meanings.

e.g. = For example
i.e. = That is/In other words (for clarifying stuff)

Here are some examples.

To stay healthy, eat vegetables, e.g., spinach. <— Here I used an example of a vegetable.

I love to eat the vegetable that I like the most (i.e., carrots). <— Here I used i.e. because it clarifies the “vegetable that I like the most”. I cannot use e.g. because there is no vegetable other than that.

6. Lightening

This is perhaps the most common spelling mistake ever.

Wrong: Being struck by lightening is a shocking experience!

Correct: Being struck by lightning is a shocking experience!

Lightening
The present participle of lighten.

e.g. I was lightening the load on my camel because it was exhausted.

Lightning
A streak of static electricity through the sky, usually accompanied by thunder.

e.g. You got struck by lightning? That must have been a shocking experience!

Lighting
The arrangement of light, especially in photography.

e.g. The photo was dull because the lighting wasn’t good enough.

Photo by Owen Zammit

7. “If I was” or “If I were”?

Wrong: If I was an elephant, I would give you a ride.
Correct: If I were an elephant, I would give you a ride.

Wrong: If I were rude, I apologize.
Correct: If I was rude, I apologize.

“If I were” is more for situations when you are imagining things, usually followed by a sentence on what you would do in that situation.

If I were you, I would read more books about animals.
If he were an animal, he would be a parrot!

“If I was” is more for things that could have happened in the past or now.

If he was singing that well, he should become a singer. (This is an answer to a girl who told me that when her friend sang just now, her heart melted)

If she really was kind to animals, I respect her. (This is a thought after reading news about a girl saving a cat from drowning, but you are not really sure whether it’s true)

Here is an example of the differences between “If I were” and “If I was”.

If she was hardworking, she would be a famous singer by now. <– I’ve only met her once and all I know is she wants to be a famous singer.

If she were hardworking, she would be a famous singer by now. <– I know her very well; she wants to be a famous singer but she’s very lazy.

Conclusion: “If I were” is for imagination. “If I was” is for things that could have happened.

lie8. Lie down, don’t lie to me, and birds lay eggs

Oh dear. These 3 words are perhaps the most confusing as some parts of the three words are parts of each other.

Lie has two completely different meanings. The first meaning is to rest in a horizontal position. The second is to bear false witness.

Lay means to put into a position of rest or bring forth eggs.

Here are the tenses of the words:

Lie down – lie, lay, lain.
Don’t lie to me – Lie, lied, lied.
Lay eggs – lay, laid, laid.

That’s why they are confusing! They sound similar and you can easily have them mixed up!

Here are some examples of common mistakes when using those words.

Wrong: I have lied on the grass all morning.
Correct: I have lain on the grass all morning.

Wrong: I laid on the couch.
Correct: I lay on the couch.

So, here’s three things to remember when you’re not sure how to use those words:

Remember that lie (don’t lie) and lay are regular verbs, which mean they add the usual suffix “-d” to form the past tense (lied, laid). Their past participles (have lied, have laid) are the same.

Remember that the word lie (lie down) is the most complicated; an irregular verb; doesn’t use “-d”; past tense is lay, and past participle is lain.

Remember that the word lay is the only transitive verb – You can’t “lay” on the bed; you must lay something. You can lay yourself on the bed, though.

photo credits: grandmasandy+chuck, btsergio, Pixieslayer,

9. Take and bring

This is probably one of the most confusing confusions in grammar!

Whether to use bring or take all depends on the perspective. You use take when the item is going away from the perspective and bring when the item is coming to the perspective.

For example, you and your friend are going to a place. You might ask your friend, “Are you going to bring your cell phone?”

If you’re not going but your friend is, you might ask your friend, “Are you going to take your cell phone?”

But still, it can be confusing. So, use substitutes instead.

“Are you going to carry your cell phone with you?”

Problem solved 🙂 .


I hope you’ve enjoyed my post! I hope that you are not confused now. LOL 😛 .

So, have you ever made the grammar mistakes above? Please share your experience in the comments below. I know I’ve made every single one of them before. 🙂

Categories
Blogging

It’s Not Really What You Say, but How You Say It

In blogging, it’s not really what you say, but how you say it.

In blogging, many topics have been written about a lot of times. But if you write that topic from a creative angle, using creative writing, with creative pictures, and creative points, that blog post is bound to go far.

For an example, let’s take a look at commercials.R&L

Most commercials deliver one message: that you really should use their products. But how should they convince you to do that?

By clever, funny, or stunning advertisements, of course. Here are two great examples of commercials on the net:

The Man Your Man Could Smell Like by Old Spice & Stop-motion T-Shirt commercial for McDonalds and Coke by Rhett & Link (pic).

So, in blogging, we must not only focus on what we blog, but how we blog, too.

What do you mean by “how you say it” in blogging?

1. The way you write it

Write:

  • clearly – people love to read writing that is clear and straight to the point.
  • humorously – everybody enjoys humor. In fact, many stuff become popular on the web because they have got the humor.
  • readable-ly – write in short paragraphs; format your posts.
  • thought-provokingly – if you write like that, readers will think and reflect on your writing and opinions after they are done reading it.
  • concisely & precisely – expressing much in few words, brief and to the point.
  • captivatingly – so interest-grabbing that readers can’t stop reading your writing.
  • passionately – Above all, if you want to write superb articles, you must make sure you love your topic.

Write with your personality–who you are. Don’t write like a robot. In other words, that means don’t ever write like wikipedia (No one reads them unless they want specific info, right?). 😛

Photo by wenzday01

2. The way you deliver the message

You can also think outside the box, even beyond text. Have you heard of a blog post delivered just via…

Comics! Haha! Comics!

Actually, it has been done by Mark Anderson on his guest post on Problogger, titled Blog Like a Cartoonist – Six Stunning Secrets to Help You Break Through Bloggers Block.

Here’s a little snippet of the comic. Click here to view the whole comic.

comic

Other than comics, perhaps you can write your blog post in other people’s perspective, like your 1-year-old son’s. Or make your blog post a funny video. You know, get creative! 🙂

3. Formatting

Style up your blog post. Can you imagine if this blog post was written without list-points, without paragraph breaks– just one big block of text? Would you read it then? I bet you would just skim the whole thing and never actually read anything, right?

So, format your posts with

  • bolds, italics, underlines
  • paragraph breaks
  • points in lists
  • heading styles

4. Creative pictures

Pictures make the whole reading experience for your readers much more comfortable and pleasurable.

It decorates and gives colors to it while hinting what it is about. It’s like a special ingredient to put in your blog post to make it more delicious.

I use Compfight, a cool site to search for pictures on flickr quickly and easily. I usually set my search options to “Creative Commons only”, which lets you use the image for free as long as you link to it; like what I’m doing here 🙂 .

Photo by Unitopia

But wait! It also depends on what you say…

What you say is quite important too! Notice the word “not really” in the title of this blog post – “It’s not really what you say, but how you say it” – it means that what you say matters too!

Here are some circumstances in which what you say matters.

When a topic is trending – If you are one of the first to write it and also do it creatively, many people are going to share and link to your post.

When the topic is what many people are looking for – like… how to lose fat, how to set up a new blog, etc.

Is the topic your passion? – Too many people blog about a topic not because they like it, but because they want to earn money. So, don’t follow the crowd. Follow your passion and you will achieve much better results!

Don’t blog about a completely irrelevant topic – If a blogger, whose blog is about sport, suddenly blogs about Internet marketing, his readers are going to get confused and unsubscribe.

Other than that…

<!–begins rap–>

You can blog about jeans,
you can blog about beans,
you can blog about tasty
Las Vegas cuisines.

And proteins, teens, routines,
sardines, limo machines,
going green, Halloween,
hygiene, even vaccines.

<!–ends rap—>

You can blog about anything… it really depends on how you say it. I’ve even heard of a guy who blogs about jeans!

And if a blogger blogs about how to use a spoon, and does it in an extremely funny way, it’s gonna go viral.

But if he does it during a time in which spoons are popular, that article is going to get more attention.

In conclusion, how you say is much more important than what you say. But if you do both greatly – what and how – you can go further!

Like.. movies –  If there was a new movie with an average plot but with a lot of awesome special effects, breathtaking graphics, amazing-wow soundtrack, and mind-blowing acting, don’t you think it is going to succeed?

Yes, of course. But if it has a better plot, it would succeed better.

Fill in the blanks:
It’s not really what you ____, but how you ____ it.

I also realized this saying applies to a lot of other things in life. It can be changed to numerous other sayings.

  • It’s not really what you advertise, but how you advertise it.
  • It’s not really what you eat, but how you eat itWhen you chew the food slowly, you appreciate it more and experience what the food tastes like. Also, your stomach will have an easier job digesting your food and absorbing the nutrients. 🙂
  • It’s not really what you sing, but how you sing it
  • It’s not really what you photograph, but how you photograph it – In photography, you need to try different angles, perspectives, exposure, white balance, etc. in order to get the most out of your shot.

>> In conclusion, it’s not really what you blog, but how you blog it, so focus on how you blog! 🙂

P.S. Don’t forget to do some promotion on your blog after you post it! 🙂

___

So, what do you think about this post? I’d like to hear your opinion and views in the comment section below! Cheers! =)

Categories
Blogging My Guest Posts

My Guest Post: An Effective Way to Get Blog Ideas


Searching for ideas
Photo by Stephen Poff

Last month, Peter Joseph made a guest post on my blog called How to Generate Blog Post Ideas in Seconds to help overcome blogger’s block – lack of ideas.

Well, I was motivated by that article and also wrote a post about another effective and easy way to overcome blogger’s block, that is, blogger’s writer’s block!

The post is called How to Get Blog Post Ideas – A very effective way to conquer blogger’s block!

It’s just been published on my friend Gerald Weber’s blog as a guest-post-entry for his SEO blogging contest.

If you want some blog post ideas, please read it! 🙂

Here is the excerpt of the post

Most of us have been trapped in blogger’s block before – very determined to write the next high-quality blog post to benefit your beloved readers! Woohoo!  🙂

So you sit down and your fingers are ready to type! But after several minutes, you are still stuck on a blank page – you haven’t wrote anything at all. You can’t think of even a single idea! Aww man! 🙁

But your problem is now over! Here’s a very effective and little-known method to help you get blog post ideas in no time!

Link to full post:

How to Get Blog Ideas – A very effective way

I hope you’ll find it helpful. I will really appreciate it if you could support me by tweeting it, stumbling it, or leaving a comment. Thank you so very much! 🙂

Sponsors of the contest

Here are the awesome sponsors of Gerald’s contest.

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$50 Prize Sponsors
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Other prizes: Non-Cash Sponsors
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Special thanks to the contest media partner: My Blog Guest. MyBlogGuest.com is the free guest post exchange community where users meet to exchange guest posts and network.


________________________________________

Some news

Meanwhile, on the 21-23 of September 2010 is UPSR (Primary School Evaluation Exam), the most feared exam among Primary 6 students.

I’m gonna spend more time studying so you wouldn’t see me online very much. I hope to get 5 A’s in the exam! 😀

Also, I have a blog post for you after the exam, so stay tuned! You can submit guest posts if you like. Just use the contact form. I appreciate it! 🙂

Categories
Blogging Guest Posts

How to Generate Blog Post Ideas in Seconds

This guest post is written by Peter Joseph, a 15-year-old blogger from Australia.

Often when we blog, at times there may be moments when we have absolutely no ideas on what to blog about.

The worst thing we can do is leave our blogs dormant. If we have nothing to blog about that people want to read then we will quickly lose readers, subscribers and worst, the grip on our blog.

If you have no idea what you want to blog about next, here are the best tips to avoid this and come up with blog posts ideas in seconds.

Photo by JJay

Don’t think of blogging as a must do

writersblockOne heavy mistake everyone seems to make is they think that blogging is a must do.

They have a requirement that you must write a blog post at specific times on specific days or you will fall short of the cycle.

Only write a new post when you come up with a decent idea. It is better to leave your blog blank for a few more days then publish a blog post that isn’t of good quality and can put your readers off.

Here’s how to come up with post ideas in seconds and completely remove this step.

Photo by Jonno Witts

Start with the topic

The first thing you need to do to start coming up with ideas is to define your topic.

What actually do you plan to write on, is it blogging? Something about cooking?

Generally to get this far, it isn’t too hard, take a look on your blog, what topics does it cover; this is generally what you should write about and focus on in speed idea thinking.

Once you’ve done this, you need to start thinking up the catch phrase.

Photo by Ezu

Find out the catchphrase

Forget any form of creativity; all the catchphrase is, is a jumble of words which you are going to use to formulate your ideas.

Catch phrases can generally be very simple. Just make sure you remember to pull it back to your topic; just come up with anything at all.

Right now, for a catch phrase at this very instant, the thing I came up with as I write this is “blogging in a line”.

Now this might not sound like much at the moment but there are various different topics that could come around this catch phrase.

The next thing you need to do is formulate your catch phrase and come up with ideas around it.

Photo by ethangibbs808

Formulate everything around your catchphrase

Using my blogging in a line example, the next thing you need to do is formulate everything around your catch phrase.

What comes to mind when you think of “blogging in a line?”

To me, I think kof the importance of having multiple blog posts and moving them down into various parts, also making your posts flow concurrently so that everything works together.

What comes to mind with your catch phrase? Look at each of the different words in the sentence and then the whole sentence and ideas will quickly come to your head.

Photo by woodleywonderworks

Conclusion

After doing the tips above you will slowly realize how quickly coming up with blog post ideas is. No longer will you ever have to stress about meeting a post deadline with nothing to deliver.

Just remember now, all you have to do is think up a topic, find a catch phrase, formulate topics around it and you already have a perfect idea.

The idea behind this post took me around is seconds to think up, idea generate at that speed and you will save heaps of tine.

Only downside is. Now you have too many ideas and not enough time to write them all down.

Peter Joseph is a passionate 15-year-old blogger from Australia, where he blogs on his blog Ideas bubble, which he shares all his blogging tips and ideas.