The 12 most go-to grammar tips

Think this short catalogue of the most common sub-literate usages is too elementary? Then you haven’t been doing much reading on the Internet lately, have you?

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Most of us must communicate in writing—not necessarily with paper and a writing instrument. Digital media has changed only the tools. In fact, as new means of communication have multiplied, so have demands for the old-fashioned skill of conveying information in writing.

We still write cover letters, memos and notes. But now, we also write status updates, blog posts, emails, online comments, tweets, bullets for slide presentations, captions for visuals to share on social media, and so on.

In nearly all cases (text messages aside) correct grammar matters. This is especially true if communicating for work or to a professional audience. Using correct grammar begets credibility. Think of it as an extension of appearance: Spiffy beats sloppy.

The goal, though, is to be spiffy, swiftly. And that’s the purpose of this essay: It’s an organized, streamlined guide. It’s alphabetized. And, it gives one-word answers. (Example sentences follow each answer, giving context.)

So, next time you need grammar help on the fly, here are 12 go-to tips!

1. Accept/except

Accept = Receive I must accept blame for the accident because I ran the red light. He accepted the award on behalf of the whole group.

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