Hi again to all those who took advantage of our #free online #English Course. Whether you are just starting to learn and use English or are a new author with a home language different from English or you are in the throes of writing your university thesis, I hope that we were able to help you to communicate in “perfect English.

I thought I would put together a list of generally acceptable points regarding English that you can read from time to time; and keep in mind when you are writing a book, an ebook, a business report or in any other way.

I certainly don’t want to suggest that these suggestions are ‘cast in stone’. They most certainly are not, as all languages are constantly changing; especially with the mushrooming growth of social media, instant messaging, voice notes, Zoom and the like. I just though it might be useful to preserve a sort of gold standard of English that Brenda and I, as editors, use in our everyday proofreading and editing work.

Here They Are:

Try and put a verb in every sentence you write.

Try and keep your language as simple and direct as you can. This makes it easier for your readers to follow what you are trying to put across.

When you are writing dialogue – put every new speaker on a new line.

Try and identify all you characters by name, and preferably with some sort of physical description, so the reader knows who you are referring to later on in the story; and doesn’t have to constantly go back in the narrative to find out who you (the author) is talking about.

When you are referring to a human being use the pronouns “he”,”she” “her” rather than “they” “it” and “that”.

Avoid writing long, rambling paragraphs or sentences that seem to go on and on forever. Rather break your writing up into shorter sentences and paragraphs. That way you keep the reader’s interest level high, instead of sending him/her to sleep.

Capitalisation: Only capitalise the first letter of a name of a person a building, an institution, an organisation etc. In other words only when naming something.

“its” “it’s,” “its” or “it is”

its is used for possession: e.g. “the dog was chasing its tail: the tail belongs to the dog. (the dog possesses a tail)

“It’s” (here it’s is short for “it is”), e.g. ” it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

“it is” e.g. ” “it is a beautiful day.”

Practise and practice

“Practise” is used when it is being used as a verb and “practice” when it is being used as a noun.

“a” “an” and “the” These words are known as definite and indefinite articles

use “a” on front of a consonant, e.g. “I read a good book today“and, “an” in front of a vowel. e.g. “I watched an extremely good movie today.

You use “the” only when referring to someting specific which has already been referred to in the text; for example : “my friend went to the library today.” This statement is referring to a particular library that the writer has already mentioned.

or, of course, you could contact Busy Bee Editing to fix it all for you!

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Brenda & Hugo