• Writing

    Adjectives

    This is a compilation of my comments posted on the Grammar and Style course‘s week 5 discussion boards. Effective adjective use is an important mark of a good writer. I don’t know if it’s the most important mark of a good writer, but I understand why Ben Yagoda would suggest that. Adjectives add creativity and clarity to a sentence. Knowing their proper placement is also knowing proper sentence form. Vladimir Nabokov is one of my favorite writers because his adjectives are evocative. Below is part of a poem from Lolita. In it, Nabokov repeats “wanted” and does the same with other adjectives in the poem, in order to maintain the…

  • Writing

    Verbs

    Let’s school some verbs! The Grammar and Style course‘s lectures for week three covered main types of verbs and their subtypes and aspects. Some verb types are pretty confusing to decipher because they are so similar, including the gerund and present participle, and phrasal verbs and verbal phrases. It would be great to go through what these types are, along with some info on the secretive passive voice. Present participles and gerunds are verbs ending in -ing. However, a gerund always functions as a noun. (I thought all words ending in -ing were gerunds, so it’s nice to know the difference.) For example, “swimming” in “Swimming can be good” is…

  • Writing

    Grammar and Style Online Course

    Writing effectively is a genuine interest of mine. To me, it’s also a lifelong process and journey. I guess that’s why I chose to major in English in college, and why, when I’m choosing which online courses to take in my free time, I prioritize the writing ones. Week one of edX’s¬†English Grammar and Style course consists of the basics. The results of the first quiz reminded me that my writing flaws tend to revolve around the passive voice and the usage of me versus I. I especially liked the course’s differentiations between grammar (the way sentences are constructed; underlying system of rules of a language) and syntax (arrangement and…