Friday, February 15, 2013

Pay Attention to Parts of Speech

The last post for this week on the things that will keep you from sloppy writing is about the parts of speech. Those words that have useful places in a sentence. Nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions and more. You often include them in your writing without giving a whole lot of thought to their meanings and usage. 

Google parts of speech and you'll come up with an amazing number of articles to review using them. One I liked can be read here.

Strong is a keyword for all the parts of speech. You want strength in your verbs especially. It's all too easy to use those weak, passive verbs that are like limp spaghetti. Strive for as many actions verbs as possible. They will help show rather than tell, another important part of writing. 

Use one strong adjective rather than 3 weak ones. Overuse of adjectives is a common mistake new writers make. Watch the use of adverbs. Fewer is better than too many. Again, using too many adverbs results in more telling than showing. 

An entire article could be written about each of the parts of speech, but today I have two grandchildren watching over my shoulder as I write this, so I'm keeping it short. The main idea here is to be aware of the parts of speech and what they can or cannot do for the quality of your writing. 

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