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10 shortcuts to writing correct English sentences without headache


by Micheal Ace

1. If you're not sure whether present tense or past, use 's in place of is & was. Same goes for 're for are & were. E.g. "She's here to tell us they're coming"

2. In narratives, use & maintain your verbs in past tense to save yourself from unnecessary stress. 

3. Whenever you're confused whether to use been or being. Use this simple trick:
a. If any of the auxiliary verbs (has, have, had) precedes, go for 'been'.
b. Look at the context, if the verb 'be' would fit in, use 'being:. 'Being' is just the present participle of be.

4. What depicts maturity in English sentences is not big grammars. It's tense, sentence construction & diction. Use words placing more preference on their contextual meaning. Grey is lexically a colour but can be contextually used for 'old'.

5. It's not always about full stop & coma. When doing professional writing, learn to use dash, colon, semicolon, hyphen & other important punctuation marks.

6. Most lines of poem people consider deep contain more metaphors & personifications. But don't overuse them. Poetry goes beyond figures of speech.

7. Most sentences will make complete sense even when you omit words like 'that'. E.g "The prophet said that Micheal Ace will win Grammy next year". Remove 'that' from that sentence and see what you have. Stay away from unnecessary words.

8. You can win prizes even when your poem lacks punctuation. The only rule is this: if you're punctuating, do it well. If not, then stay away totally from it.

9. If you're a writer, avoid using abbreviation on your messenger/whatsapp. Write your words in full, it will help you. Moreso, you'll have less issue with autocorrect.

10. English is not the language they speak in heaven. So take it easy, anyone can make mistake. Besides, no one knows it all. Ask questions, use the dico & Google is always there to help.