One would think this is not a topic that is that difficult to understand. However, I oftentimes see people pluralize things incorrectly.
In the English language, there a many different ways to make a word plural.
For instance, the standard is to just add an “s” to the end of the word.
- Cars, words, bags, beds, slaps, remotes, etc.
Occasionally, one will have to add an “es” to the end of the word.
- Boxes, losses, foxes, rashes, dashes, etc.
When a word ends in a vowel (typically a “y”), drop the y (if applicable) and add “ies.”
- Bunnies, flunkies, babies, applies, etc.
This doesn’t always apply; as usual, there are oddities.
- Wednesday’s plural is Wednesdays.
- Stays is the plural of stay.
- Plays is the plural form of play.
Sometimes, the English language just likes to confuse people with its plurals.
- Geese is the plural of goose
- Mice is the plural of mouse.
- Fish is both singular and plural.
- Moose is both singular and plural.
- People is usually* the plural of person
- Men and women are the plural of man and woman.
*There are a couple of words that are a bit irregular.
- People can also be peoples.
- Persons can be a plural form of person; it doesn’t always have to be people.
- Money is occasionally moneys.
- What’s the plural of platypus? I’ve seen platypi and platypuses.
When you pluralize a name, you do NOT add an apostrophe.
- The plural of Barbara is NOT Barbara’s (this is possessive); it is Barbaras.
- Spell check will not catch these issues. In fact, if you type in Barbaras, it will tell you that it needs an apostrophe.
Okay, break up the word.
Homo = same, phone=sound.
A homophone is a word that sounds like another word, but they have different spellings. For someone who doesn’t double-check their work before they post it on the Internet (or turn it in to their teacher), they’re rather easy to overlook.
Common homophone errors:
- Morning: The time of the day.
- Mourning: Sorrow, usually because someone you loved has died.
Amanda was mourning the loss of her beloved husband.
That’s the way it sounds…but that’s not the way it’s written.
There are a great amount of phrases (for lack of a better term) out there today that sound like one thing, but are actually written down differently. Often, it’s just poor ennunciation that causes confusion.
Pronounced: I should’ve done my homework yesterday.
Incorrectly written: I should of done my homework yesterday.
Correctly written: I should’ve (should have) done my homework yesterday.
It’s actually surprising how many examples I see of people using the incorrect sentence.
I remember once, when I was in middle school, my teacher made us write the Pledge of Allegiance out on paper. Sounds easy, yes? Well, you wouldn’t believe how many kids didn’t know the proper words.
What they wrote: I pledge of alliegance to the flag…
What they should have written: I pledge alliegance to the flag…
Other examples of using of in the wrong place include:
- could of -> could have (could’ve)
- would of -> would have (would’ve)
- must of -> must have (must’ve)
Remember to think before you write. Does what you’re typing/writing really make sense? If you’re typing, and you accidentally write “Danny could of reached the tree limb,” grammar-check on Microsoft Word should catch your error.
However, just because a machine can point out and correct your mistake doesn’t mean you should become lazy! That computer won’t be there when you need to write your in-class essay, the DBQ on your AP History exam, or the essay on the SAT. After all, the computer doesn’t catch everything.
Alright, this is a topic I had trouble with for a while. The first time I’d ever heard of it was Sophomore English class, and my teacher didn’t explain it very well, but I finally figured it out. Now it bugs me, because I see it everywhere I look.
Passive voice isn’t so much as wrong as it is…ignorant, for lack of a better term. English teachers cringe at it, and mine often took points off of my papers because I used it. The best way to explain it is probably with examples, so…
Passive voice: This blog was created by a girl.
Active voice (correct): A girl created this blog.
A common indicator of passive voice is “to be + verb + by.”
In a sentence using active voice, the subject of the sentence performs the action expressed in the verb. -Purdue OWL
In the passive voice sentence, the subject of the sentence is blog. Obviously, the blog is not the one performing the action. In the active voice sentence, the subject of the sentence is girl. The girl performs the action, therefore the sentence is correct.
Passive voice: Rick was pleased by the amount of effort put into the project by Bruce.
Active voice: The amount of effort that Bruce put into the project pleased Rick.
This subject may or may not be something that you understand right away. It takes some practice to realize if something is passive voice or not immediately. Don’t grow frustrated if it’s still confusing; message me if you have any further questions.
Homework: How many examples of passive voice can you find in the media today?
This blog is just a little brain-child of mine. Grammar, spelling, and many other things are growing worse and worse these days, despite how often people try to correct it. I figured I’d make a blog that just posts helpful hints every now and then to help people along the way.
I’ll admit I’m not all-knowing; therefore, I’ll only post the things I know for sure. If you have a question, comment, or concern, message me.
If I have messed anything up, PLEASE TELL ME IMMEDIATELY.
That’s all for now :)