5-minute grammar lesson, anyone?


I take solace in the fact that it is impossible to know absolutely everything about our trade, whatever that trade may be. And no matter how much we learn, there is always room for improvement and more information to be acquired.

As writers, language is our main tool but I’ll be the first to admit that my English grammar is not perfect. I do break grammar rules and I like to think it’s on purpose but most of the time, it’s due to ignorance.
Often when I learn something new, either one of two things happen: 1) I’m absolutely fascinated or marvel at this new piece of intelligence or 2) I berate myself for not having known that piece of information.
Cue Microsoft Word, who you can always rely on to point out the mistakes you make and to make you beat yourself up afterwards.
While working on a project recently I was beginning to get annoyed as my Word document kept underlying the word womens’. Surely Word has lost its marbles, I thought. So I did a check.
Nope, I was the one who was wrong.
See, the word ‘women’ is already in the plural form so there’s no need for the apostrophe after the ‘s’. The possessive will therefore take a singular form eg. Women’s rights, children’s toys.

See, even professional signwriters get it wrong. Image: My own.

See, even professional signwriters get it wrong.
Image: My own.

Well, boy howdy. What d’yer know? All this time I was writing the apostrophe after the ‘s’. Embarrassing but I learnt something huge there. And I probably have a lot more to learn.

So, how good is your grammar? And be honest. Was there any grammar rule that eluded you but made you want to crawl into a hole in the ground when you finally learnt it?

NM 🙂

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18 thoughts on “5-minute grammar lesson, anyone?

  1. Haha! “Boy howdy” 😀 I know what you mean. I believe my grammar is quite good but I do make some mistakes here and there!

  2. beckyday6 says:

    My grammar is (excuse my French) shit. The irony is for ages I even spelt grammar wrong! Granted that’s more spelling but still.

    Honestly, I get so paranoid every time I write a blog post that others will be looking at it and finding numerous grammar mistakes and are laughing at me. In fact, even in this comment. I have been told so many times that I make mistakes with it but it is never explained to me how to fix it, I try and look up rules on the internet or in books in the hopes that it will help but it only makes me more confused. It’s like reading a different language! It’s one of those things that if your primary school doesn’t teach it to you properly you never really grasp.

    So to answer your question, terrible and ALL THE TIME. LOL. 😛

    • beckyday6 says:

      Although at least I can say that once I started blogging I finally learnt the there, they’re, their rule and can now officially recognise what is wrong in the picture you posted!!

      • Nisha says:

        He he, that is an actual sign in my apartment complex. It killed me when I saw that. When we moved in and did a reconnaissance of the place, we searched intently for other signs to look for other mistakes. Ha! 😀

      • beckyday6 says:

        :O No wayyyy! That’s hilarious! You should get a bit of paper the size of the word ‘there’ and write the proper one over the top. 😛

        You know, I’m not sure whether I would actually notice, I can be quite unobservant sometimes, so kudos for spotting it. 🙂

    • Nisha says:

      Well that’s one way to stick it to the evil, inconstant, necessary evil that is grammar. Just spell its name wrong. Mwahahaha! 😀

      I think the popularity of your blog proves that your posts are more than fine so don’t sweat Beckster! *deep breaths*
      I know what you mean when you say it’s like reading a different language. I have this old book on English grammar and they state so matter-of-factly the rules but when they give explanations, I haven’t a friggin clue what they’re going on about. Speaking of a different language, I did find learning Latin a big help. You actually learn a lot about the English language when you study Latin. But of course, Latin declensions and conjugations will give you a bigger headache than English grammar anyday :-/

      • beckyday6 says:

        Hahaaaaaa so true! That’s a good excuse, I should use that the next time I forget. 😉

        I guess your right, I think it’s also because I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so the idea that I might be doing something obviously wrong really irritates me, LOL.
        Hehee at least it’s not just me!! I feel like that when I read the assigned grammar book for creative writing, like, they’re supposed to be enlightening and useful but the examples mean nothing to me, lol! I tell you what, I still get really confused with the comma.
        Oooh that’s interesting that Latin helps, I’ve heard Latin is a nightmare to learn though.

  3. trixfred30 says:

    My grammer sucks. Not as bad as my punctuation, though!?!

  4. jenniferneri says:

    My grammar and spelling both suck!
    I honestly don’t really care though, and they seem to be getting better with time,
    To this day I still can’t spell Wednesday properly without a spell check.
    I blame it all on my French immersion education 🙂 lol

    • Nisha says:

      Ha, I’m sure it’s not that bad Jen, but I also don’t worry too much because I also find myself learning more and more as I go along.
      What would we do without spellcheck and Word, hey? 🙂

  5. nelle says:

    How good is my grammar? Hmmm… I never took a typing class (what does this have to do with anything? Well…) and type with six fingers (counting thumbs.) I write all the time, and probably type 40-45 wpm. Not blazing, but good enough to write novels and do things like taking fact finding and typing it in real time on cases I investigated when working for government. Ask me where a key is on a keyboard.

    Duh, no clue, save for maybe that silly qwerty. Ask me grammar rules… no clue. Ask me if it sounds right, if it works? My brain will tell me, and something like word will suggest. I will blow past Word suggestions if it enhances my story. In dialogue, it’s a no brainer, rules just don’t apply in conversation, because we don’t speak in formal sentences.

    Still, there are things I learn along the way, as you do, and yeah… sometimes those little revelations do seem quite cool.

  6. Nisha says:

    I totally get the analogy, in the end it is the bigger picture that matters.
    You have no idea how relieved I am to know that you have my back on this one Nelle. 😀 I was expecting some arrogant Grammar Nazis to read this post and start throwing tomatoes at me… :O

  7. I struggle with the ‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’ rule. There are so many exceptions to the rule. http://dennisdarland.com/misc/ibeforee.html

    • Nisha says:

      I wrote a post years ago, also about grammar, and I remember so many writers also complaining about how they struggle with the ‘i’ before ‘e’ words, so you’re not alone Sharon… 🙂

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