As we have just stepped into 2020 I thought it would be a good time to remind everyone of some of the basics.

Reminder 1 – Remember, A sentence is not a sentence if there is no verb.

Example 1: “What a great day” is not a sentence because there is no verb.

Example 2: “Today was a great day is” a word because it has a verb – “WAS”

Reminder 2 – You never say “comprises of”

Example 1: “Big cats comprise of lions, tigers and leopards” wrong! The sentence should read “Big cats comprise lions, tigers and leopards.”

Reminder 3 – You never qualify a superlative

Example 1 – “The art exhibition was very outstanding” – Wrong! It should read; “the art exhibition was outstanding”. There is no need to add the word “very” as outstanding is a superlative. This means that it is something exceptional, therefore there is no need to add the word “very”.

Please Note: Long rambling sentences or paragraphs that go on and on are not a good idea. This is very boring and tiring for the reader. You should rather break the sentence at the end of a thought using a full stop and then start a new thought with a capital letter.

Reminder 4 – Never use ” at this point in time! The “in time” is totally superfluous. “at this point” clearly refers to time, not space or in the universe.

You should simply say “at this point”. That is sufficient.

Lose and loose

This is very common error.

To lose something means not to have it any more. It is gone.

Example 1: ‘I am scared that I might “lose” my new watch.

The word loose means not secure, not reliable or liable to fall off.

Example 2:” I have a loose tooth”; or “my friend George plays “fast and loose” with the girls.”

Its and it’s

You only use “it’s” when you are using “it’s” as a short form of “it is”. In other words you are using it as a verb. In all other cases you simply use “its”

Example 1: “It’s” a fine day today. Here “it’s” is a short form of “it is”. It is being used as a verb.

Example 2: “the bird was cleaning “its” feathers”. Here you use “its”.

Practice and practise

The only time you use “practise” is when you are using it as a verb.

In all other cases you use “practice”

Example 1: I am going to the tennis court to “practise” my backhand.” Here it is being used as a verb.

Example2: Bye Mom. I am off to attend soccer “practice. Here “practice is being used as a noun, so it takes the “c”.

That’s quite a lot to take in, so that’s my session for the day. “Happy New Year”

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