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’.

Tenses 

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   

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.

Creative Commons Licence
SMILE - Grammar by Vince Ricci: CIEE, Joe Schall: Penn State University, Glynis Perkin: Loughborough University, edited by Marion Kelt: GCU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.