WRITERS BLOCK: Simple English Resources- Spelling, Grammar, Conjunctions, & How to Pronounce Certain Words



You still recall all that "am-is-are-was..." stuff you memorized in school
(Either nobody explained WHY, or if they DID, you were looking out the window.)
But once in a while you still slip up and use the wrong word...
To, Too, Two, There, Their, They're, Were, We're, Then, Than, Further, Farther

HEY! A lot of people are reading your work.
Get it together!


WHICH WORDS GO TOGETHER? WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU USE?
We WAS going fishing or - We WERE going fishing.

UNSURE? No problem. Just use the chart.
WORDS THAT LOOK OR SOUND SIMILAR WHICH WORD SHOULD YOU USE?

WE'RE, WHERE, WERE, WEAR
I don't know _____ those cookies went, Mom.

THEIR, THEY'RE, THERE
The kids have finished _______ice cream.

A bit rusty on this stuff? Check the chart.
OFTEN MISPRONOUNCED WORDS (Realtor, Nuclear, etc.) Ever pronounce it REAL-A-TOR? - Nope! It's REAL-TOR
Ever pronounce it NOOK-U-LER? - Nope! It's NEW-CLEE-ER
OFTEN MISUSED WORDS Ever ask "CAN I help you?" - Nope! It's MAY I help you.
ShouldaWouldaMightaMustaCoulda done it right. Ever say "I SHOULD HAVE WENT"? Nope! It's I should have GONE.
CONTRACTIONS: Loosen your tie, get comfortable You could say: HAVE YOU NOT seen this?
You could also say: HAVEN'T you seen this?.


WHICH WORDS GO TOGETHER? Just use the CHART!.
HERE'S HOW YOU USE THE FOLLOWING CHART
JUMP RIGHT TO THE CHART

If you DON'T see an "X", DON'T use those words together.
DO IT: "I" and "AM" line up with an X, so you could say. "I AM learning", or "I AM smart"
DON'T DO IT: "I" and "IS" DON'T have an X, so you WOULDN'T say "I IS learning", or "I IS smart".

WHAT IF you see blue word(s) above your choice?
Those are helpers. That means you NEED to use one with that particular selection.
For example: To use "I" and "BE" in the same sentence, you NEED a helper word.
DO IT: "I shall be strong", "I will be smart", I can be happy, etc.
DON'T DO IT: "I be happy". Whoops. No good. We forgot to use a helper word.

WHICH HELPER? EASY. Just look for the "X".
Example: "I (has - have - had) BEEN working".
The word "I" has an "X" in both "HAVE" and "HAD" rows, but NOT in the "HAD" row.
DO IT: I have been working. - I had been working.
DON'T DO IT: I has been working.

Scroll down or click on the word:
AM - IS - ARE
WAS - WERE
BE - BEING -BEEN
HAS - HAVE - HAD
DO - DOES - DID
SHALL - WILL
SHOULD - WOULD
MAY - MIGHT - MUST
CAN - COULD




The ShouldaWouldaMightaMustaCoulda Chart:

PICK ONE: I You He She It We They


PICK ONE: SHOULD have WOULD have MIGHT have MUST have COULD have


RIGHT WORD GONE TAKEN BROUGHT STAYED
WRONG WORD WENT TOOK BRANG/BRUNG
No such words
STOOD
past tense of TO STAND.
Has nothing to do with STAY.
SAMPLE SENTENCE You should have gone with me. You might have taken me with you. I would have brought the ice cream. He should have stayed in bed.





The GET IT RIGHT CHART
(don't forget to read the directions FIRST!)

 
I
YOU
HE
SHE
IT
WE
THEY
AM
X
           
IS    
X
X
X
   
ISN'T (is not)    
X
X
X
   
ARE  
X
     
X
X
AREN'T (are not)  
X
     
X
X
 
I
YOU
HE
SHE
IT
WE
THEY
WAS
X
 
X
X
X
   
WASN'T (was not)
X
 
X
X
X
   
WERE  
X
     
X
X
WEREN'T (were not)  
X
     
X
X
 
I
YOU
HE
SHE
IT
WE
THEY
shall will should would
may might must can could

BE
xX
xX
xX
xX
xX
xX
xX
am is are was were
BEING
xX
xX
xX
xX
xX
xX
xX
has have had
BEEN
xX
xX
xX
xX
xX
xX
xX
 
I
YOU
HE
SHE
IT
WE
THEY
HAS  
 
xX
xX
xX
   
HASN'T (has not)    
xX
xX
xX
   
HAVE
See also:I-you-he-she-it-we-they:
shouldawouldamightamustacoulda
X
X
     
X
X
HAVEN'T (have not)
X
X
     
X
X
HAD
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
HADN'T (had not)
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
 
I
YOU
HE
SHE
IT
WE
THEY
DO
X
X
     
X
X
DON'T (do not)
X
X
     
X
X
DOES    
X
X
X
   
DOESN'T (does not)    
X
X
X
   
DID
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
DIDN'T (did not)
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
 
I
YOU
HE
SHE
IT
WE
THEY
SHALL
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
SHAN'T (shall not)
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
WILL
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
WON'T (will not)
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
SHOULD
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
SHOULDN'T (should not)
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
WOULD
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
WOULDN'T (would not)
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
 
I
YOU
HE
SHE
IT
WE
THEY
MAY
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
MAYN'T (may not)
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
MIGHT
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
MIGHTN'T (might not)
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
MUST
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
MUSTN'T (must not)
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
 
I
YOU
HE
SHE
IT
WE
THEY
CAN
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
CAN'T (can not)
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
COULD
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
COULDN'T (could not)
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
               


HEY! THEY SOUND THE SAME, WHICH DO I USE?
DIFFERENCES IN WORDS THAT SOUND SIMILAR:

Word: HOW it's different: Examples:
THEN Time/status related. If you're ready for ice cream THEN let's go.
Back THEN we had real ice cream..
THAN Instead of. I like your bike better THAN mine.
I'd rather have chocolate THAN vanilla.
     

TO
Transport or action related. I'm going TO the store.
Do you want TO go?
Come TO the store with me.
TOO Also. Me TOO.
I want to go to the store with you TOO.
TWO The number 2. Alright, the TWO of us will go to the store.
In TWO more days we'll order extra chocolate ice cream.
     
YOUR Belonging to Is this YOUR ice cream cone?
YOU'RE Contraction of YOU ARE YOU'RE going to eat all your ice cream aren't you?
     
WERE Past tense or possibility WERE you going to share that ice cream with me?
You WERE, I just know it.
WE'RE Contraction of WE ARE WE'RE going to eat too much ice cream if WE'RE not careful.
     
THERE A situation or a place THERE must be a non-fattening ice cream.
Say, look over THERE.
THERE are lots of people here.
THERE'S Contraction of THERE IS THERE'S a ton of ice cream in their freezer.
THEY'RE Contraction of THEY ARE THEY'RE going to get ice cream all over their shirts.
THEIR Belonging to others Look at the people next to the fan, THEIR ice cream is melting.
     
FURTHER Advance/promote/additional We'd like to FURTHER the sale of ice cream in our city.
He has FURTHER plans for his career as king of ice cream makers.
FARTHER Distance related. How much FARTHER is it to the next ice cream store?.
     
HOMEY Friendly, home-like atmosphere. This ice cream store has a HOMEY feel to it, with those red-checked curtains in the window.
HOMELY Not very pretty. That's a pretty HOMELY looking ice cream store, the paint is peeling off the walls.
     
KNEW Past-tense of KNOW . I know you want ice cream today, and I KNEW you wanted cookies yesterday.
NEW Unused, fresh That's a brand NEW carton of ice cream.
Tomorrow is a NEW day.
     
NO Negative Give up ice cream? NO way, Jose.
NO, you may not stay up late.
KNOW Informed I KNOW you got into the ice cream.
You KNOW you can't fool me.
     
ACCEPT Receive I'm pleased to ACCEPT this award.
I'm not about to ACCEPT that assignment
EXCEPT Left out Everybody went to the game EXCEPT Sam.
I answered every question EXCEPT the last one.
     
RIGHT correct, completely, reverse placement I got every answer RIGHT.
The books tumbled RIGHT off the table.
The chair tipped over and I'm going to RIGHT it.
RIGHT opposite of left We're turning RIGHT at the next corner.
WRITE to put words onto paper (or virtual paper) I'm going to get out a pencil and WRITE a story after I WRITE an e-mail to Grandma.
WRIGHT a craftsperson I want to be a shipWRIGHT and help build sailboats.
I want to be a wheelWRIGHT and make wagon wheels.
RITE a ceremony, an occasion Marriage is a RITE of passage. Puberty is also a RITE of passage. A RITE is an occasion on the way to adulthood. It can also be a formal occasion. Ministers and Priests perform marriage RITES.
     
PLAIN Nothing special.
Not particularly attractive.
Simply, Exactly.
That's a pretty PLAIN looking house.
Their clothes are very PLAIN.
Dogs that fly are PLAIN wierd.
PLAIN Flat surface.
Flat Landscape or terrain.
We studied the Great PLAINS, and learned it's a sloping plateau, 400 miles wide, in Western North America. The PLAINS Indians lived there. Settlers there were known as PLAINSMEN.
PLANE Smoothing tools used for carpentry, clay, etc. He used a PLANE to smooth the wood edges.
PLANE Flat or uncurved surface We are studying PLANE geometry
PLANE Airborne vehicles took their name from the flat wings We're leaving on a jet AirPLANE.
     
LOSE To misplace, or not to win.
Lose rhymes with snooze
Here I go and LOSE Dad's car keys and then we LOSE the ball game. What a day!
LOOSE Not tight. Rhymes with goose I lost so much weight my shorts are LOOSE
I forgot to tie my shoes so they feel LOOSE
     
BASES Places or positions which serve a purpose Baseball players must touch all the BASES.
There are three themes in the book report, so I better remember to touch all BASES.
BASIS Logical foundation, proof I said that some squirrels can fly, so Dad asked me what the BASIS for my statement was.
BASE Low, less than level, disreputable That house has a BASEment.
That guy lies. He is a really BASE character.
BASE Opposite of acidic Anybody remember what color Litmus paper turns when you dip it in a BASE solution?
BASS Type of Musical Instrument That BASS Cello looks like a great big violin.
(rhymes with Base Chello)



OFTEN MISPRONOUNCED WORDS

WRONG WAY RIGHT WAY TO PRONOUNCE IT
NUCLEAR NOOK-YOU-LER NOOK-LEE-ER
( Both Former President Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush often struggled with this one )
REALTOR® REEL-AH-TOR REEL-TOR
There is no "A" in the middle.

( You don't pronounce Doctor as DOCK-AH-TOR do you? )
ASK AX AS-K
( it's the exact same "K" sound you use in the word "COOK" )
OIL EARL OY-UL
( there is no "R" in the word OIL )



OFTEN MISUSED WORDS

WRONG WORD RIGHT WORD UNDERSTANDING WHY:

CAN

CAN I have another cookie?
CAN I go to the mall?
CAN I please be excused?

Hello.. CAN I help you?
HOW CAN I help you?
HOW CAN I direct your call?



MAY

MAY I have another cookie?
MAY I go to the mall?
MAY I please be excused?

Hello.. MAY I help you?
HOW MAY I help you?
HOW MAY I direct your call?

WORK WORK WORK
Telephone receptionists and retail sales personnel often create that all- important first impression of their employers firm.
It should be a good impression.


PERMISSION and ABILITY

CAN
refers to your ABILITY to DO something.
CAN I help you? Well perhaps you CAN help, but that's not the question here.

You're asking for PERMISSION.
The word MAY requests permission.
MAY I help you? -No thanks, I'm just looking.

Say somebody has a flat tire, or is juggling a small child and a bag of groceries, THEN you could state "Wait, I CAN help you with that". That's because you are STATING your ABILITY to do so. You CAN help.


     


MAKING SENTENCES SOUND LESS FORMAL:
CONTRACTIONS: Loosen your tie, get comfortable Speak informally

(Using the SHORTENED combination of two words, joined together by an apostrophe)

to COMBINE use the CONTRACTION SAMPLE SENTENCE
WE ARE WE'RE We're going to the movies.
I AM I'M I'm coming with you.
HE IS HE'S He's coming too.
WE HAVE WE'VE We've been waiting for you.
ARE NOT AREN'T Aren't you coming with us?
THEY ARE THEY'RE They're coming with us.
THEY HAVE THEY'VE They've got our tickets.
YOU ARE YOU'RE You're running late.
HAVE NOT HAVEN'T Haven't we seen that movie?
HAD NOT HADN'T Hadn't we better hurry?
SHOULD NOT SHOULDN'T Shouldn't we take a shortcut?
WOULD NOT WOULDN'T Wouldn't it be faster?
WERE NOT WEREN'T Weren't you getting the popcorn?
WAS NOT WASN'T Wasn't he getting the candy?
There are more on the GET IT RIGHT chart

An excellent site to use to brush up on your writing skills can be found here:
http://www.dailywritingtips.com/




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.I-KNEW-THAT@bedtime-story.com


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