Grammar: short and sweet!



A few nights ago, I found myself stumped with how to use the words lie and lay. (I somehow always seem to forget!)

 This prompted me to look up a few other things, and I am happy to share a short, sweet post from a great website.


Lie or Lay ?

The verb lay means to place or to set down. It always takes a direct object, the thing that is placed or set down.
Examples: Lay the magazine on the table. 
              I have laid the bike under the tree.
The verb lie means to recline. It does not take a direct object.
Examples: I will lie down around noon.
                 Let’s go lie out on the grass.

Like or Such as?

“Writers whom we respect disagree on whether there is any significant difference between like and such as. Wilson Follett and Theodore Bernstein say no. James J. Kilpatrick says yes. We come down gingerly on the side of Kilpatrick. His argument seems valid: ‘When we are talking of large, indefinite fields of similarity, like properly may be used. . . . When we are talking about specifically named persons [places or things] . . . included in a small field, we ought to use such as.’ In ‘Books like this one can help you write better,’ like means similar to. In ‘Cities such as Atlanta and Birmingham are important to the economy of the Southeast,’ the intent is to specify those cities as examples, not merely to put them into a broad category of cities that are important to the economy of the Southeast” (Lederer and Dowis, Sleeping Dogs Don’t Lay)

Try and or Try to?

“The phrase try and is colloquial for try to. [. . .]
[Example:] Please try and finish the report on time.” (Alred, Brusaw, and Oliu, The Business Writer’s Handbook).

Unique or More unique?

“The primary meaning of unique is ‘one of a kind’; it’s an absolute, so something can’t be more unique than something else.” (Fogarty, Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips 66).

 It’s her or It’s she?

“In all but the most formal circumstances, it’s OK to use It is me, That’s him, It’s her, and similar constructions, instead of the technically correct but stuffier It is I, That’s he, and It’s she” (O’Conner, Woe Is I 186).

find more excellent tips here

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