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GRAMMAR LESSON ONE

November 22, 2017

Our illustrious Henderson Writer’s Group el-presidente, Linda Webber, has been presenting grammar lessons each week on the back of our meeting agendas. The gist of them are the improper use of words.

BACK IN THE DAY

I once wrote a screenplay with my bud, Doug Lubahn, a famous musician. During our correspondence, I once told him I was waiting with “baited” breath instead of “bated” breath. He’s never let me live that one down.

The proper use of words is something a lot of, especially, new writers don’t always get. So, for your reading pleasure, below is a list of words and how to use them properly.

The list is not near complete, so that’s why this is called Grammar Lesson One.

Once again, my many thanks to Linda Webber, who has gone through the trouble to compile these words all in one place for me to steal and present to you here at Fred Central.

This is a common word that’s often used out of context. It can be a quandary for a writer and a quick trip to a dictionary or on line.

HOW TO USE LIE, LAY, LAID, LAIN

The first one is lie, lay, laid and lain.

Pres tense                               Past tense                   Past Participle

Be recumbent              Lie                                           Lay                              Lain

(recline)

Joe is going to lie down. Beth lay on the bed for two hours. Margaret had lain on the bed for two hours.

Deposit                        Lay                                          Laid                             Laid

(set down)

Joe will lay the watch on the nightstand. Beth laid the watch on the nightstand. Margaret had laid the watch on the nightstand.

Tell an untruth             Lie                                           Lied                             Lied

(fib)

Don’t lie, Joe. Beth lied when she said she liked you. Margaret had lied that night she was there.

FARTHER AND FURTHER

Farther is something you can measure as in distance.

How much farther is the gas station?

Further is a continuation of a thought or idea – figurative distance.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

POTPURRI OF WORDS

All together    all in one place, all at once

We gather all together to celebrate!

Altogether      completely, on the whole

That’s altogether a separate issue.

Along              moving or extending horizontally on

Move along, keep up the pace!

A long             referring to something of great length

That’s a long way!

Aloud              out loud

Meleena didn’t mean to say it aloud.

Allowed          permitted

No dogs allowed!

Altar               a sacred table in a church

She gazed up at the blood dripping from the stone altar.

Alter               to change

It’s not right to alter the sacred document.

Amoral           not concerned with right or wrong

They have an amoral view of life.

Immoral         not following accepted moral standards

Murder is an immoral way to handle that.

SUMMARY

There’s sure to be more to come. I’ve outlined a few common mistakes writer’s make, whether through lack of knowledge or from just typos, we all do it occasionally. It’s good to catch this stuff before we get caught with “baited” breath.

Happy writing!

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