10 Rules for Dating an English Language Lover

10 Rules for Dating an English Language Lover
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Updated on 1 October 2014

10 Rules for Dating an English Language Lover

Do you value strong English language skills? Perhaps more critically, would you like to impress someone who values strong English skills? There are several facts about English grammar and usage that will inevitably impress those who love proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Additionally, there are certain “acts of love” that will be a whole quiver of Cupid’s arrows for wooing a English language lover.

1. Always proofread.

Whether you’re sending a text message or a thoughtful love letter, always read, revise, and—when necessary—rewrite.

2. Learn the differences between the most frequently used homophones.

Homophones are words that sound the same but are spelled differently. Some of the most common mix-ups are your-you’re, to-too-two, and there-their-they’re. Here is a great list of some more of the most common homophones and how they are correctly used.

3. Read more books.

Bookworms aren’t the only ones who value books. English language lovers cherish books because reading helps build a strong vocabulary and improves thought construction in speaking and writing. (Though to be honest, most English language lovers are proud bookworms, and many proud bookworms are lovers of language.) It is always a great idea to be able to discuss passions with friends and lovers. In order to discuss books, however, you must—you guessed it—read books. If you are short on time, you can find some lists of quick-reads here and here.

4. Stop misusing apostrophes.

Apostrophes are used only to show possession (ownership) or to signal missing letters, as in we’ll (we will). They are never used to form the plural of a word. That is, you should never write: “The cat’s love to play.” It is always “The cats love to play.”

5. Learn the proper use of whom and whomever.

Whom is an objective form of who, just like him is the object form of he. Usually you should use whom wherever you would use him. “To whom did you give the roses? To him.” Whomever is a little more tricky but follows similar logic. Whoever is used as the subject of the sentence. Whomever is used as the object. So, for example:

“Whoever wants to go to the movies on Friday is welcome to join us.”

“Give the package to whomever is at the front desk.”

6. Write more.

It should come as no surprise that English language lovers are crazy about words. There is something about the permanence of the written word that intensifies thoughts. Writing letters and thoughts down—whether on paper or beautifully in a text message—will win the heart of a English language nerd.

7. Never misspell a lot.

A lot is always two words. Period.

8. Avoid using non-words.

There are some words that you should not use around language pedants. Many English language lovers are fairly traditional in their interpretations of grammar and lexicon (vocabulary). Knowing this, it is probably safer to avoid using what are often considered non-words in English—irregardless, supposably (actually a real word but often used incorrectly), etc.

9. Learn basic punctuation and capitalization.

You probably learned the basics of capitalization and punctuation in elementary school but haven’t reviewed them since. If you doubt the placement of that comma or the capitalization of the seasons (hint: you don’t capitalize seasons), check out our writing guide on punctuation and capitalization.

10. Correctly use less and fewer (as well as much and many).

Less and fewer are commonly confused. (Next time you check out at the grocery store, look for “12 items or less.” Oops.) The same rule for remembering which to use works also for much and many. Fewer and many are used with countable, discrete items, like socks or coins. Less and much are used with uncountable, collective nouns, like milk or money.

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