5 common language questions—answered

Punctuating a series of bulleted items, confusing homonyms and the tenses of lie and lay can vex writers in any field. Here is a handful of frequent fumbles, and how to get them right.

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You’re writing a paper, but suddenly you stop because you’re not sure about a grammar rule. What do you do?

Many turn to grammar handbooks. Others use question-and-answer sites such as Grammarly Answers. Some questions are unique; others have been asked hundreds of times.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have the answers to some frequently asked grammar and language questions in one handy guide? Here’s a handful to get you started:

What’s the difference between fewer and less?

Can you count the items? Use fewer. Otherwise, use less!

Correct: Fewer than 20 of the 314 applicants received an invitation to interview for the position.

Correct: I have less time to read this year than I would like.

Is it me or I?

Remove the other noun and say the sentence aloud. If it sounds wrong, switch the pronoun.

Correct: Did you invite Billy and me?

Did you invite Billy? Did you invite me? They both sound correct, so me is correct.

Correct: Should Billy and I go to the store?

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