Seeking advice in regards to re-learning the rules of grammar


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Thread: Seeking advice in regards to re-learning the rules of grammar

  1. #1
    Member PaperbackWriter's Avatar
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    Seeking advice in regards to re-learning the rules of grammar

    It's been so many years since I learned about grammar in school that I can't remember any specific rules. I typically know when a sentence is grammatically correct but I can't explain why it's grammatically correct. When I ask the almighty Google to teach me about the rules of grammar, I'm overwhelmed by the volume of information and number of websites suggested. Can any of you recommend a relatively simple site I can use to re-learn all those basic rules?

  2. #2
    This one works for me.

    http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl

    Also check out the small, but very valuable book The Elements of Style by Strunk and White.

    But first remember this -- You don't need to know all the terminology and technical details about grammar to write well. Grammar is about effective communication, so if you can communicate effectively you are doing the right things.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


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  3. #3
    I learned all the terms and definitions back in school (let's just say more than 30 years ago ) and I couldn't break down a sentence today to save my life. But I don't need to to write well.
    Has left the building.

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    Member PaperbackWriter's Avatar
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    I admit, I have a specific reason for wanting to brush up on my grammar rules. I recently started working as a peer tutor in the writing center on campus. Although we don't typically focus on grammar when helping the students with their writing projects, it feels like I should really know what I'm talking about if it ever does come up.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    I can't like Terry's suggestions with enough oomph to do them justice with a mere click of a thumbs up icon. Those are the two sources that have done me well over the years. Both are accessible to most reasonably literate people. I read the Elements of Style periodically for a refresher, and I check with Grammar Girl for my specific questions as they arise.
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    Member PaperbackWriter's Avatar
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    I think what I'm specifically looking for is something that will teach me the very basic fundamentals, including verbs, adverbs, nouns, pronouns and all that...from the beginning. I know I must have learned that stuff before but honestly I have no memory whatsoever of it. I just happen to be able to look at a sentence and know if it's right or not. That sounds weird, doesn't it?

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    Member PaperbackWriter's Avatar
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    Aha, that's what I was looking for. Thanks.

  9. #9
    Creative Area Specialist (Fiction) Blade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperbackWriter View Post
    I think what I'm specifically looking for is something that will teach me the very basic fundamentals, including verbs, adverbs, nouns, pronouns and all that...from the beginning. I know I must have learned that stuff before but honestly I have no memory whatsoever of it. I just happen to be able to look at a sentence and know if it's right or not. That sounds weird, doesn't it?
    Actually I would think a majority of the posters on the forums would go with that. The thing is that you learn the mechanics of the language somewhere near the end of elementary school and are never called on the material thereafter.

    Quote Originally Posted by PaperbackWriter
    I admit, I have a specific reason for wanting to brush up on my grammar rules. I recently started working as a peer tutor in the writing center on campus. Although we don't typically focus on grammar when helping the students with their writing projects, it feels like I should really know what I'm talking about if it ever does come up.
    Were it not for this would you be bothering to brush up on the topic? For most of us the 'call to duty' never arises so we don't bother to re-learn it.
    I was fighting with temptation but I didn't want to win.
    A man like me don't like to see temptation caving in.
    Leonard Cohen

  10. #10
    The Purdue Owl is another good US source. I'm UK but I edit for two US publishers, both of those use the CMoS (Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed)). The CMoS is online via subscription and can take you through the basics too. But with any style manual, they're written for the academic register and should only be a guideline for fiction when it comes to author style (and house style too).

    I can understand wanting to learn if you're moving into guiding authors. There's a definite contrast between being an author and following instinct to being an editor and being able to recognizing author and house style needs, in a technical way.

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