Writing tips: Grammar tools and resources

I’m on record as saying that I think the most important thing to do in writing is structuring your text – and that grammar is something that people can worry about once they have organised their thoughts.

I am aware, though, that that is an easy thing to say when you are writing in your mother tongue. In that environment, we all have an innate understanding of how our language works, and what feels wrong and what feels right.

But for people who need to write in a second or third language (as so many people are in our English-dominated world), fear of getting things wrong can be confidence-sapping and inhibiting.
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Try to remember this

When I was at school (a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away) our
small, fierce and lovely matric English teacher (complete with
Scottish accent) drilled this into us: you never write “try and” – you
write “try to”. Continue reading

No buts

But: such a little word, such a lot of confusion.
You can go mad looking at grammar rules to find out when the use of But is appropriate – although it seems that a lot of people are not aware they need to think about it at all. Continue reading