Write for Business - Blog

UpWrite Press understands the importance of writing skills in business: We're business people just like you. On this blog you'll find tips to improve your writing, along with topics of interest to our staff.

Featured Product

Write for Work

Our newest book Write for Work, a practical guide to writing and communicating in the workplace. This 8½ x 11 inch work-text is designed specifically to teach writing, grammar, and communication as it applies to the workplace.

Subscribe to the Blog

Add to Google Add to My Yahoo!

Subscribe to eTips

eTips includes the best information for effective business writing, along with helpful advice and updates on evolving communication practices.

Stay Connected


Tag Cloud

Recent Posts


    Avoiding Sentence Errors: Subject-Verb Agreement: Nouns That Are Plural in Form

    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    Some nouns that are plural in form but singular in meaning require a singular verb: economics, news, mathematics, summons, mumps, and so on.

    Economics is a social science, not a pure science.

    Exceptions: assets, earnings, premises, proceeds, quarters (These plural-form nouns, though singular in meaning, use a plural verb.)

    Last year's earnings were up from 2001!
    Our greatest assets are our employees.

    (From Write for Business, page 324, and Proofreader's Guide PDF, page 74)

    Avoiding Sentence Errors: Subject-Verb Agreement: Indefinite Pronouns with Singular or Plural Verbs

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    The indefinite pronouns all, any, most, none, and some may be either singular or plural. These pronouns are singular if the number of the noun in the prepositional phrase that follows is singular; they are plural if the noun is plural.

    Most of the manuals were missing. (Manuals, the noun in the prepositional phrase, is plural; therefore, the pronoun most is considered plural, and the plural verb were is used to agree with it.)
    Much of the meeting was over by the time we arrived. (Because meeting is singular, much is also singular, requiring the singular verb was.)
    All are expected to attend.

    (From Write for Business, page 324, and Proofreader's Guide PDF, page 74)

    Understanding Grammar: Parts of Speech: Overview

    Thursday, July 15, 2010
    1. A noun is a word that names something: a person, a place, a thing, or an idea.
      Tony Blair/prime minister      South Africa/country
      Working Woman/magazine     World Federalism/ideology
    2. A pronoun is a word used in place of a noun.
      I    you    she    it    which    themselves
      me    that    he    they    whoever    whatever
      my    mine    ours
    3. A verb is a word that expresses action or state of being.
      fight    walk    drive    rip    dive    jump
      play    write    lift    type    call    work
      is    are    was    were
    4. An adjective describes or modifies a noun or pronoun. (The articles a, an, and the are adjectives.)
      good    bad    tall    wide    clear    fast
    5. An adverb modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. An adverb tells how, when, where, why, how often, or how much. (Not and never are adverbs.)
      tomorrow    near    far    perfectly    well    completely
      surely    regularly    greatly    partly    slowly    quickly
    6. A preposition is a word (or group of words) used in front of a noun or a pronoun to form a phrase that modifies some other word in the sentence.
      above    across    after    with    by    for
      from    in    of    off    on    out
      over    through    to    until    up    away from
    7. A conjunction connects individual words or groups of words.
      and    but    or    nor    for    yet
      so    because    when    though    whereas    while
    8. An interjection expresses strong emotion or surprise.
      Help!    Yikes!    Wow!

    (From Write for Business, page 252, and Proofreader's Guide PDF, page 66)

    Understanding Grammar: Parts of Speech: Interjection

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    An interjection is a word or phrase that expresses strong emotion or surprise. Punctuation (usually a comma or an exclamation point) sets off an interjection from the rest of the sentence.

    Help! The elevator is stuck!
    Oh my, that happens often.

    Caution: Use strong interjections sparingly. Like shouting, they can diminish the dignity of your writing.

    Understanding Grammar: Parts of Speech: Coordinating Conjunctions

    Thursday, July 08, 2010

    Coordinating conjunctions connect grammatically equivalent elements, that is, a word to a word, a phrase to a phrase, or a clause to a clause.

    "It's not the most intellectual job in the world, but I do have to know the letters."
    - Vanna White

    (From Write for Business, page 251, and Proofreader's Guide PDF, page 65)