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What’s up with split infinitives?

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Some people make a big fuss about splitting infinitives, but most experts do not. As long as the meaning of your sentence doesn’t change depending on where you place the adverb, you’re fine.

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TL;DR: Split infinitives are no longer viewed as errors.

But because many teachers still think they are incorrect, put the adverb after “to” and the “verb.” Since you won’t be able to change your teacher’s mind, your best move is to do what he or she says (until you move on from that class).

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(Spock doesn’t seem amused that we just busted an age-old grammar myth.)

What’s up with “you and I” and “you and me”?

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Let’s see:

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The short answer is no. It should have been “you and me.”

Here’s the long answer:

This topic deals with subject pronouns and object pronouns.

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Therefore, if “you and I” are performing the action, it should be “you and I”:

  • You and I are best friends.”
  • You and I are supposed to work together.”
  • You and I crossed the finish line at the same time.”

(TIP: Never use “you and I” at the end of a sentence.)

If “you and I” are receiving the action, it should be “you and me”:

  • "The teacher picked you and me as study partners.”
  • "My parents will give you and me a ride to school today.”
  • "John promised to take you and me to Disneyland.”

(TIP: Never use “you and me" at the beginning of a sentence.)

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Anon, we’re glad that you trusted your instincts to find out whether the song lyrics were grammatical.

After all,

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Sorry, Niall.

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What’s up with the colon?

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The colon is actually a pretty useful punctuation. It’s too bad that most people think it’s only good for making lists (and even then, most people misuse it).

The most important thing to know about colons is that the statement before the colon has to be a complete sentence, i.e., an independent clause.

In that regard, they are very much like semicolons.

However, unlike semicolons, colons do not have to be followed by complete sentences. In that sense, they are “superior” to semicolons. Perhaps that’s why semicolons have the “inferior” prefix “semi-” (half; partly).

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The colon is a versatile punctuation that does a lot more than start a list of items.

Put it to good use in your next post, tweet, or … essay!

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What’s up with “e.g.” and “i.e.”?

There are four important points to clear up regarding e.g. and i.e.:

  1. They are not the same thing, nor can they be used interchangeably.
  2. You should never add “etc.” after either one.
  3. They don’t need to be italicized.
  4. You should put a comma after e.g. and i.e.

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In case you’re wondering, e.g. is short for exempli gratia; i.e. is short for id est. They’re both from Latin.

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Right, Doctor(s)?

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