Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What I Learned This Week - Grammar Lesson


Did you know that "can't help but..." is not proper grammar?

As in, "I can't help but think she is about to make a wrong turn."
Or, "I can't help but wonder if that skirt goes with those shoes."


I did not know this.
Really?
It sounds so right.
I know I've used this phrase before.

I guess it is just "I think she is about to make a wrong turn."
Or, "I wonder if that skirt goes with those shoes."

I mean, it's not like I am some Grammar Queen or anything. Spend some time on my blog and you'll figure that out pretty quickly. I was just surprised by this one, that's all.

BUT, never fear Amazon is here. I know the above statement is not proper grammar because of my handy dandy book The Only Grammar Book You'll Ever Need.

I like this little book because I keep it right by my computer to use when I have a question about the use of a comma or choosing the right pronoun. If I really dig into the book, it will even explain what a Gerund is. What is a Gerund? Well, I'm glad you asked. It is a word that begins with a verb and ends in -ing and acts like a noun. Like Running or Singing.

Are you impressed? Not really, huh?

So, what grammar mistake are you surprised by? Please don't include the 10 or so I've made in this post - my ego just can't take it.

What is your favorite book about grammar usage or writing?

Jo-Lynne recommended On Writing Well to me a year or so ago and it has been very helpful as well.

For more great lessons learned this week, be sure to visit Jo-Lynne at Musings of a Housewife.
She's got a new look over there!


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8 comments:

Musings of a Housewife said...

I was going to suggest On Writing Well, lol. Now I think I have to get your book. I love grammar rules. I know, I'm a nerd.

Missy said...

I love grammar rules too. Thanks for this post. A co-worker once told me I always use "than" and "then" wrong and ever since I've been paranoid about it. I'll definitely have to get this book!

Terra said...

My grammar flat out sucks. Nough said.

Kristin said...

It always irritates me when I see the word "myriad" used incorrectly. Sigh. But life goes on.....

Wendy said...

So why is "I can't help but..." incorrect? I'm really curious now...

I'm a little afraid of getting a grammar book because I don't want to know how wrong I am!

Kim said...

I do that all the time. I have no doubt that my poor grammar drives JL crazy!!

Browningdeb said...

Who and whom confuse me sometimes!

Anita said...

Well I can't help but be amazed that I'm the only one concerned about grammar at my age...lol.

I don't have a good book, I have 3 children in school and I have to assist them at times. It's enough for me right now.

Thanks for the tip.

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