Who’s “Able To?”

So what’s funny about this grammar tip is the regard to people vs. things.  As always let’s start with the definition of ‘able’:

Able (adjective): having sufficient power, skill, or resources to accomplish an object – (www.Webster.com)

  • INCORRECT: The proposal was able to show our clients why they should expand.
  • CORRECT: With the proposal we were able to show our clients why they should expand.

The rule of thumb here, things cannot be done only people are ‘able’ to do things.

If you need writing assistance, contact the professionals at Writing It Right For You. We’re here to help because “It Matters How You Say It!”


Try and/Try to

This is something interesting.  The phrase “try and” has been used in modern culture many times.  Also, you can hear it used in regular conversation.  However, the correct phrase is “try to.”

  • INCORRECT: I am going to try and fix the sink myself.
  • CORRECT: I am going to try to fix the sink myself.

The very definition of the word “try” can help to explain the difference in the two example sentences.

  • Try (transitive verb): To make an attempt at – (Merriam Webster)

Since “try” is the transitive verb, that transitions one verb to the next, with “and” serving as the conjunction, that would normally be used to join two verbs, “and” is not needed.

If you need writing assistance, contact the professionals at Writing It Right For You. We’re here to help because “It Matters How You Say It!”


What Happened to Your Facebook Friends?


If you have noticed that things have changed in your newsfeed since Facebook made that drastic profile change a few weeks ago, you’re not alone. Thanks to my Facebook friend Robert Randall for these tips.



Pam’s Facebook is: http://facebook.com/pamelahilliardowens

Writing It Right For You Facebook Fan Page: http://facebook.com/wirfy

Please make sure you are on both of my pages!


Have you noticed that you are only seeing updates in your newsfeed from the same people lately? Have you also noticed that when you post things like status messages, photos and links, the same circle of people are commenting and you are not hearing from anyone else?

…The problem is that a large chunk of your contact list can’t see anything you post and here’s why:

The “New Facebook” has a newsfeed setting that by default is automatically set to show ONLY posts from people you’ve recently interacted with or have interacted the most with (which would be limited to the couple of weeks just before people started switching to the “new profile”). So, in other words, for both business and personal pages, unless you or your friends/fans commented on one anothers posts within those couple of weeks – you are now invisible to them and they are invisible to you!!


On your homepage click the “Most Recent” title on the right of the Newsfeed, then click on the drop down arrow beside it and select “Edit Options”. Click on “Show Posts From” and change the setting to “All Of Your Friends and Pages” (you can also access the “Edit Options” link at the very bottom of the Facebook homepage on the right)

Note: Business pages do not have a newsfeed. Owners of business pages should adjust the settings on their personal accounts.

The good news is:

You can now view all of your friends and fans again.

The bad news is:

YOU ARE STILL INVISIBLE to a large portion of your list. If you want to re-establish contact, you will need to get the word out to ALL of your contacts by inviting them to this “event” or creating one of your own so they can read the post and adjust their settings.

To invite your friends:

Click on “Attending” at the top and then you will see an option to invite your friends under the smiley face. It’s public so everyone who logs onto Facebook can view it and even the friends who can’t see your posts WILL see the event invitation. You can also tweet about it, create a blog post or send out an email to your subscribers in hopes of reaching them all.


It’s “email” not “e-mail”

English is an ever-changing language and sometimes it is hard to keep up with the changes for acceptable usage; especially for writers and academics. The Associated Press is one of the standards for correct usage, and through its AP Stylebook, the AP constantly issues updates to English words and phrases for the United States.

One recent change was “email”. Most of us have spelled it with a hyphen (e-mail), but according to the AP Stylebook Online, you should no longer insert that hyphen in “email”. The recent press release from AP explains it:

email Acceptable in all references for electronic mail. Many email or Internet addresses use symbols such as the at symbol (@), or the tilde (~) that cannot be transmitted correctly by some computers. When needed, spell them out and provide an explanatory editor’s note. Use a hyphen with other e- terms: e-book, e-business, e-commerce.

If you do a lot of writing and/or editing, it would be beneficial to sign up with the AP Stylebook Online to keep apprised of all of the changes in English usage and spelling.

If you need assistance with your writing, editing, book proposals, or academic submissions, make sure to contact the writers and editors at Writing It Right For You.

What We Do: Dissertations

This is IT.  Senior year at your college/university is coming to a close.  You’ve “busted your hump” getting in all of your work, getting financial clearance for graduation, all ducks are in a row.


The last thing on your list, the dissertation has to be completed.  You’ve already done your research, it’s solid, and you’ve stayed up for hours writing your first draft.  At this point, you don’t want to look at it anymore, let alone make corrections.


We understand.  The team at Writing It Right For You will help you with grammar, spelling, usage and helping to show your paper with the potential it has.  First, second and third drafts (could be more) will be reviewed meticulously and any changes are sent to you for your approval.  Although we are a writing service we want to be sure your thoughts and opinions are ‘heard’ loud and clear.


Our pricing is results-driven as opposed to hourly rates.  At Writing It Right For You, we are happy to work directly with you.  Contact us for your free 30 minute consultation.



A lot of grammar errors are due to the incorrect combination of conversational and written English.  While some things are acceptable in conversation, if written and turned into an editor or employer, a sideways glance is subject to occur before being sent back to the “drawing board,” so to speak.  A common misconception is found with the usage of ‘real’ and ‘really.’


Incorrect: After all of that running around, I’m real sleepy.

Correct: After all of that running around, I’m really sleepy.


Reading both sentences aloud, both sentences sound right, but they aren’t.  ‘Real’ is an adjective, so is ‘sleepy’ and adjectives can’t be used to describe one another.  In the incorrect example, ‘real’ is being used incorrectly as an adverb.  In order for the sentence to make sense (written) the adverb ‘really’ is placed to describe just how ‘sleepy’ the subject (I) is.


If you need writing assistance, contact the professionals at Writing It Right For You. We’re here to help because “It Matters How You Say It!”


Unnecessary Tense Shifts


Shifts in tense that are not needed are actually quite common.  But, not to worry we’ve got our handy examples:


Incorrect: In history, Harriet Tubman was a pioneer for the freedom of slaves.  She is an awesome woman.

Correct: In history, Harriet Tubman was a pioneer for the freedom of slaves.  She was an awesome woman.


In the incorrect version of the sentence, while it’s true that Ms. Tubman was a pioneer, the sentence is incorrect due to the fact that Ms. Tubman passed away many years ago, rest her soul.  So, referring to her in the present isn’t correct.   A helpful hint to avoid unnecessary shift changes is to look at the first verb used in the sentence and determining what tense it is referring to the subject in.  Always, follow suit or change the sentence.

If you need assistance , contact the professionals at Writing It Right For You. We’re here to help because “It Matters How You Say It!”




The Dangling Participle

Unfortunately, this isn’t a mystery story.  The dangling participle is actually a grammar error.


INCORRECT: Walking down the road, the houses were gorgeous.

Although this sentence sounds correct, it’s not.  Why?  Because when looking at it, the sentence implies that the gorgeous houses themselves were walking down the road!  The speaker of the sentence is not mentioned. 

CORRECT: Walking down the road, the houses I saw were gorgeous.

The corrected version added the subject (I) and verb (saw) needed to make this sentence complete.

If you need assistance with the English language rules, contact the professionals at Writing It Right For You. We’re here to help because “It Matters How You Say It!”