General hints and tips 2
Quotation marks or inverted commas
If quoting direct spoken speech use double ones, if quoting the written word use single ones. For example
- “Buzz off!” he said.
- The phrase ‘buzz off’ in the rehabilitation unit’s grammar guidelines is offensive.
Starting a Sentence
Do not start a sentence with ‘And’ or ‘But’ and if at all possible avoid starting with ‘Thus’, ‘Therefore’, or ‘However’.
Keep to the same tense - do not hop about between past and present. Always use the past tense to describe observations and methods.
Avoid Split Infinitives
- Right: Boldly to go (or, to go boldly) where none has been before.
- Wrong: To boldly go where none has been before.
Singles and Plurals
Remember that a singular noun uses a singular verb. ‘None’, ‘Team’, ‘Group’, ‘Committee’ and so on are singular nouns. ‘Data’, ‘Children’ and so on are plural nouns.
- Right: None of the onions is mouldy Wrong: None of the onions are mouldy
- Right: The data suggest that onions keep well Wrong: The data suggests that onions keep well.
- Right: The team of therapists was late. Wrong: The team of therapist were late
Numbers from zero to ten in the text should always be spelled out. Numbers above ten can be written as numerals. For example 85 except when they start a sentence, when they must be spelled out.
- Right: Thirty-five per cent were pink and one was mushroom-coloured but had 15 mauve speckles.
- Wrong: 35% were pink and 1 was mushroom-coloured but had fifteen mauve speckles.
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