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Quick Grammar Tips
By Neil Neches, MTA Corporate
Communications


Since many of us studied grammar and word usage a long time ago, here are a few tips for commonly confused words.

Currently
AND presently:


“Currently” refers to something happening in the
present.
“Jane is currently at lunch, but will return
shortly.”
“Presently” means something that will happen soon.
“Jane is
currently away, but will return to the office presently.”

e.g. AND
i.e.:


They are not interchangeable.
Use “e.g.” when you want to
say “for example.”
“There are many forms of transportation in addition to
cars, e.g., a subway, bus, or bicycle.”
Use “i.e.” to say “in other words.”

“The fastest way to travel in Manhattan is underground, i.e., via the
subway.”
In this case, you clarified “traveling underground.”
Use this memory trick to remember which to use when: e.g. means “example given,” while “i.e.” means “in essence.”

Everyday AND every
day:


“Everyday” means ordinary, or something that happens
routinely.
“Every day” (two words) means “each day.”
“Since the sun rises
every day, this is an everyday occurrence.”

Healthy AND
healthful:


People are healthy.
Foods are
healthful.

It’s AND its:

“It’s” with the apostrophe
is a contraction of “it is.”
“It’s going to be another hot summer.”
If
you can substitute “it is” in a sentence, use “it’s.”
“Its” is a possessive
pronoun such as “his” or “her.”
“The angry dog barked at its owner.”


I recommend reading THE reference book for grammar, The Elements of Style (Fourth Edition) by William Strunk, Jr., and E. B. White, which was listed by Time magazine in 2011 as one of the 100 best and most
influential books written in English since 1923.

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