5 Grammar Rules You Were Taught At School That Are Wrong

Starting A Sentence With A Conjunction

Starting A Sentence With A Conjunction

We were always told that we should not begin a sentence with a conjunction, and yet we are seeing it more and more these days. Is it okay or not?

There's one school of thought which belongs to prescriptivists and the other who adhere to the descriptivist camp. The former may be considered a bit old school while the latter where it's at. Descriptivists will tell you that it's perfectly okay to begin a sentence with a conjunction, just as long as it works.

However, this is the case when you're writing a novel, an article such as this or some other sort of non-formal and/or artistic type of thing. On the other hand, it's probably best to stick the prescriptivists when it comes to matter of academia, such as in an essay.

Ending A Sentence With A Preposition

Ending A Sentence With A Preposition

Technically, the sentence "Who did you have sex with?" is incorrect, according to those who say you shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition. However, who would actually say the words "With whom did you have sex?", aside from some really old school doctor with a posh English accent, who happens to be testing you for a sexually transmitted infection?

It's really just an evolution of language. If you're writing Latin, or perhaps you have an appointment with the Queen of England, sure, avoid the preposition at the end of the sentence. But in any other situation, it's fine.



Using A Comma For A Pause

Using A Comma For A Pause

A lot of the time people decide that they will use a comma in their writing where they may expect to take a breath if they were reading it aloud. Quite simply, this is false.

When adjectives, nouns, phrases or clauses get a bit too cosy within a sentence it's a good idea to separate them with a comma. However, based on the fact that English grammar is as hotly debated as a really hot debate, we're not going to take it much further than that.

Adjectives For Description

Adjectives For Description

So many people will attempt to make their writing sound more descriptive by quite literally doing more describing, adding as many adjectives as they can cram in. However,  you might end up like one of those overly-dramatic-sounding writers who take seven pages to describe how a flower smells. Ain't nobody got time for that!

A good writer knows that sentence structure and choosing the right nouns for the job is better than overdosing on adjectives. Is it a "big house" you're trying to describe or is it a "mansion"?



Adverbs End In "ly"

Adverbs End In "ly"

The truth is that some do and some don't.

Of course, adverbs (as the name might suggest) add to the verb. Take a word such as "deep" for example. You could say that your sexual encounter went deep in to the night, and then it would be an adverb. Of course, you could use the term "deep penetration"and it would be an adjective. It's important to remember that a word is just a word until you assign it a job.

Yes, you could say that "he penetrated her deeply" but hey, we're trying to prove a point here and you can't stop talking about sex all the damn time!