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BloodMoney
11-05-2008, 01:44 AM
My grammar and spelling is a little shite to be honest, despite getting some good marks at school and a lot of praise from teachers in English, and having written for some time now, Ive been lazy and let it slip.

I can't afford to nor do I have the time for University or the like, any tips on how I can improve my Grammar and/or spelling a bit? My spelling is okay and I have a fairly large vocab, but my grammar is pretty bad sometimes.

Shadow_Ferret
11-05-2008, 01:46 AM
I've always heard the advice that you should find a couple 7th grade texts on grammar. They're usually pretty easy to understand and thorough.

I have a ton of grammar books that I scan on occasion as refreshers. It's amazing how much one forgets.

kct webber
11-05-2008, 01:47 PM
Like the good Ferret, I have a few grade school, high school, and college grammar books that I flip through on occasion. Just pick some up and give yourself a review. Even old ones work. I got all of mine at stores like the Salvation Army, Goodwill, etc, for anywhere from 10 cents to 75 cents.

Ms Hollands
11-05-2008, 02:18 PM
I really have to have something interactive to learn: I think I learnt basic grammar through trial and error when writing essays at school.

So, if I wanted to improve my grammar, I'd go with these BBC freebie weekly tutorials:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/grammar_challenge/

whiterose
11-05-2008, 02:21 PM
Read the Elements of Style (http://www.bartleby.com/141/).

Bill Ward
11-05-2008, 04:55 PM
And just read more period. Works on the instincts.

stephenf
11-05-2008, 10:35 PM
Have a look at grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/ It's a bit on the big side if you don't have much time ,but it's handy to bookmark and look things up when you need to.

ComicBent
11-06-2008, 09:25 AM
I would suggest that you ask questions here about things that puzzle you. Then try to remember the principle involved when someone explains it.

Grammar is not difficult. However, I doubt that fat books on grammar are an appropriate option for you. They would be entirely too intimidating and boring.

Some of us here know grammar perfectly and can help you. Just ask. We enjoy helping. :)

Chase
11-06-2008, 05:12 PM
Improving our grammar on our own usually requires more than one approach.

I agree about reading to improve grammar, with the caveat that we pay attention while enjoying the pastime--how it's put together rather than just skimming through pages, skipping the different or unfamiliar.

I can't imagine writing for publication without a grammar guide at hand. Be sure your reference is appropriate for your target audience. MLA or APA guides may not be best for newspaper columns.

The problem with asking here is choosing among four different answers, each the "only" way and probably correct depending on the country and the market the adviser writes for. Then there are at least a couple of "not so right" answers thrown in by the "I was always taught" crowd or those writing in worship of the latest "how-to-write" book.

Everyone has an opinion--just like this one.

bergalia
11-06-2008, 05:19 PM
In writing, BloodMoney - stuff the grammar. Just write as though you are talking to your reader across the table. It's more natural than fretting about the pedantry of '"do's" and "don'ts." And I believe even PC's (I'm an Apple/Mac man myself) have spell checkers... although they try and convert every word into a dreadful American style.

Cybernaught
11-06-2008, 05:19 PM
English Grammar for the Utterly Confused. I used it last semester in my grammar class and it was a very easy book to follow.

Chase
11-06-2008, 07:20 PM
In writing, BloodMoney - stuff the grammar. Just write as though you are talking to your reader across the table. It's more natural than fretting about the pedantry of '"do's" and "don'ts." And I believe even PC's (I'm an Apple/Mac man myself) have spell checkers... although they try and convert every word into a dreadful American style.

As I said, everyone has an opinion to share. Yeah, who cares if they're misunderstood? I love the idea to lace prose with pejorative nationalistic sentiments, too. It's all the rage again.

Grate idea too gist putt it threw the old spell ling Czech her. Screw pedantry and scholarship.

The circular files of the magazine group I edit for are full of the above. It keeps the janitors and garbage processors busy, so it's not completely an excercise in futility.

DecSigns12
03-13-2009, 09:05 AM
You mentioned no time for the university. Maybe, you can find an English course that is short term at a local school that focuses on grammar, even an ESL class might work.

benbradley
03-13-2009, 09:51 AM
Go here and sign up for the SAT Question Of The Day:
http://collegeboard.com
They'll email you a link to the question every day. Go to the webpage, log in (after the first time it should save your name and email, and you just have to click 'login" - I guess the reason they don't have it do it automatically like AW is because several people are likely to use one computer for that site), answer the day's question see if you got it right and read the explanation of the answer. Okay, you don't have to do the math questions, fortunately it keeps the math scores separately. There are actually three "areas" it gives multiple-choice question for: Math, critical reading, and writing, so only 1/3 of the questions are on math. I'm not sure what the difference between the last two areas is, but whatever.

There's also the Word Of The Day you can sign up for at:
http://m-w.com
This won't actually help you with spellings of common words, but will help increase your vocabulary, which can only help. I think other sites such as dictionary.com have a word-of-the-day as well. I often go to m-w.com when I have any doubt about the spelling or meaning of a word.

And don't let this keep you from taking everyone else's advice too. :D

Bartholomew
03-14-2009, 03:06 AM
Heya,

To be honest, my grammar and spelling is are a little shite, to be honest, despite getting some good marks at school, and a lot of praise from English teachers in English,. And, having written for some time, now, Ive I've been lazy, and let it slip.

I can't afford to nor do I have the time for University or the like,; any tips on how I can improve my Ggrammar and/or and spelling a bit? My spelling is okay and I have a fairly large vocab, but my grammar is pretty bad sometimes.

Honestly, you don't need a lot of coursework to improve your grammar. I've been a prick and corrected your initial post--several of the corrections are of actual problems, several reflect conventions, and one or two reflect my personal preferences. I've probably made worse mistakes on this very forum.

I work at a writing center as a tutor, and part of our job is answering quick questions via e-mail. If you want to make sure something is correct, or if you want a quick review of a concept, don't hesitate to ask.

wcenter [at] jccc [full stop] edu