March 4th is National Grammar Day! Here are Grammar Girl's most searched for articles from the last year—don't worry, you're not alone in wondering about these tough grammar questions!
On the mysteries of combining quotation marks with other punctuation marks.
2. 'Lay' Versus 'Lie'
The present tense is relatively easy: "lay" requires an object (you lay a book on the table), and "lie" doesn't (you lie on the sofa). The past tense and participles get so confusing though that we made a chart!
Many people have been taught that it's wrong to start a sentence with a conjunction, but nearly all major style guides say doing so is fine. Neal Whitman investigates why there seems to be such a difference between what teachers say and what style guides say
When to use the first, second, and third person point of view in your writing.
5. 'A' Versus 'An'
The rule for using "a" and "an" is actually more complicated than you may have been taught.
You may hear people say "in regards to," but the proper phrase is singular: "in regard to." But ugh! You send your (plural) regards. Here's how to make your sentences better, with a show tune thrown in for good measure. Also, take the quiz at the end!
A memory trick and helpful chart so you can remember how to use semicolons.
8. When to Use 'Nor'
Remember to keep your balance.
Style and context matter when you're using numbers in a sentence
The colon signals that what comes next is directly related to the previous sentence. Often, it’s almost a definition of what came before.