12 Most Go-To Grammar Tips

This post by Becky Gaylord originally appeared on 12 Most on 8/19/14.

Most of us must communicate in writing — not necessarily with paper and a writing instrument anymore, yet digital media has changed only the tools we use. In fact, as new-fashioned means of communication have multiplied, so have demands for the old-fashioned skill of conveying information in writing.

See, we still write cover letters, memos and notes. But now, we also write status updates, blog posts, emails, online comments, tweets, bullets for slide presentations, captions for visuals to share on social media, and so on.

In nearly all cases (text messages aside) correct grammar matters. This is especially true if communicating for work or to a professional audience. Using correct grammar begets credibility. Think of it as an extension of appearance: Spiffy beats sloppy.

The goal, though, is to be spiffy, swiftly. And that’s the purpose of this post: It’s an organized, streamlined guide. It’s alphabetized. And, it gives one-word answers. (Example sentences follow each answer, giving context.)

So, next time you need grammar help on the fly, here are 12 go-to tips!


1. Accept/Except

Accept = Receive
I must accept blame for the accident because I ran the red light.
He accepted the award on behalf of the whole group.

Except = Excluding
Everyone is going except Harry.
I like all vegetables except broccoli.


2. Advice/Advise

Advice = Noun
The advice you gave me was really useful.
No, I don’t need, or want, your advice.

Advise = Verb
He advised her to be careful in dealing with the complicated situation.
I don’t know anything about it; please advise me how to proceed.


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