Writing at Work: How to Write Clearly, Effectively and Professionally

By Neil James | Go to book overview

9
Grammar

At a glance

The toolbox
⊡ Overcome your grammar phobia170
⊡ Remember the major word classes171
⊡ Learn which proper nouns still take a capital letter172
⊡ Prefer concrete to abstract nouns173
⊡ Use verbs to make your writing precise173
⊡ Stick mainly to the simple tenses174
⊡ Embrace modal auxiliary verbs175
⊡ Avoid the verb 'to be'175
⊡ Add adjectives and adverbs for detail and colour176
⊡ Use a balanced proportion of the open-class words178

The living language
⊡ Understand the difference between grammar and usage179
⊡ Resist attempts to fix the tongue180
⊡ Use a more modern grammar182

Power tools
⊡ Use pronouns to tighten your expression183
⊡ Understand determiners to help those using English as a second language184
⊡ Use conjunctions for effective joinery, even at the start of a sentence185
⊡ Use single prepositions rather than wordy phrases186

-169-

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Writing at Work: How to Write Clearly, Effectively and Professionally
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Planning 11
  • 1: Readers 13
  • 2: Content 30
  • 3: Structure 50
  • Structure 77
  • 4: Focus 79
  • 5: Persuasion 97
  • 6: Coherence 116
  • 7: Design 134
  • Expression 151
  • 8: Tone 153
  • 9: Grammar 169
  • 10: Words 188
  • 11: Clutter 205
  • 12: At a Glance 222
  • 13: Sentences 241
  • Review 259
  • 14: Punctuation 261
  • 15: Style 280
  • 16: Editing 297
  • 17: Proofing 313
  • Further Reading 330
  • Chapter Notes 343
  • Acknowledgements 361
  • Index 363
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