Even though we may be proficient users of the English language, not many of
us have the benefit of learning all the rules of the English language.
It is confusing at times and I'm sometimes lost for words when I'm asked to
explain certain rules of the English Language (I was educated in the
Communicative & the Audio Lingual Method).
Well, look no further as I've found a mailing list called Acu_Write that
sends the explanations right into your mailbox. Subscribe to it if you find
it useful. The subscribe email is right at the bottom of the article.
Rodney Tan Chai Whatt
January 10, 2005 Vol. 5, No. 1
If you're a new subscriber (or a long-time subscriber who needs a
reminder), _Acu-Write_ is no longer a weekly publication. We will
attempt to publish a couple of issues a month.
* * *
Upcoming Conferences: NABE in San Antonio, CABE in Los Angeles
Hands-On English is currently being piloted with intermediate
English learners in the Orange (CA) Unified School District.
Teachers' initial response is enthusiastic.
In order to introduce these materials to more educators who work
with people learning English as a subsequent language, Fran will
be exhibiting at the following conferences:
National Association of Bilingual Educators (NABE), San Antonio,
January 19-22, 2005
California Association of Bilingual Educators (CABE), Los
Angeles, February 23-26, 2005
If you know people who are involved in bilingual education,
please suggest that they consider Hands-On English for their
* * *
I. Words: anytime / any time
"Anytime" is an adverb (modifying a verb). It means "at any
time," "whenever," or "always":
Drop by to visit me anytime. [answers the adverb question "when"]
Anytime you need help, just call on me. ["whenever"]
You might have noticed "any time" in the definition of "anytime"
above. This phrase comprises a noun and an adjective:
Do you have any time to help me with my project? [Noun is needed
to serve as the direct object of "do have."]
I'll be glad to help you at any time. [Noun is needed to serve as
the object of the preposition "at."]
People tend to use the solid form ("anytime") more often than it
is appropriate. If you are using "anytime," ask yourself whether
an adverb works in that spot. In the examples above, we noticed
that a noun was needed to serve as an object.
_Hands-On English_ includes additional word pairs and more than
200 word parts to help you expand your vocabulary exponentially.
Learn more -- and place your order -- at
II. Mechanics: Punctuating sentences with "however"
To correctly punctuate sentences using "however," you must
first understand what makes up an independent clause. An
independent clause (also known as a "simple sentence") is a
group of words containing a subject (noun or pronoun) and a
predicate (verb), and expressing a complete thought.
"However" -- whether it appears at the beginning, at the end,
or in the middle of an independent clause -- is set off by
commas. Notice that each of these sentences would be complete
even if "however" were deleted; the relationship between the
ideas simply would not be shown:
I saw the film. However, I did not understand it.
I saw the film. I did not understand it, however.
Alex enjoyed the film. I, however, did not understand it.
A common error involving the use of "however" occurs when the
word appears between two independent clauses with a comma
before it and after it. This punctuation is not strong enough,
however, since a comma is not strong enough to separate two
independent clauses; a period or semicolon is needed:
Incorrect: I saw the film, however, I did not understand it.
The preceding example has two independent clauses: "I saw the
film" and "I did not understand it." Stronger punctuation is
needed to separate them. A period can be used, as in the first
example above; a semicolon is also appropriate:
I saw the film; however, I did not understand it.
When "however" has a comma before it and after it, you should
be able to remove "however" and be left with one simple
sentence. Study additional correct examples:
The temperature was high. However, the humidity was low.
The temperature was high; however, the humidity was low.
The temperature was high; the humidity, however, was low.
Do you think you don't need _Hands-On English_ because you
subscribe to _Acu-Write_? Think again! Each publication includes
material that the other does not. In addition, _Hands-On English_
makes grammar visual and puts a wealth of information at your
fingertips so that you can quickly find what you need to know
about grammar, usage, capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and
more. Get details -- and place your order -- at
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© 2005 Fran Santoro Hamilton
Author of _Hands-On English_
Providing Quick Access to English Fundamentals