Is ‘Alright’ All Right? (Tricky Compound Words)

Compound words combine two or more terms to make a new word. They can be tricky, though, especially when working out whether to write a word as a closed compound (i.e. with no space between the terms,...

Word Choice: That vs. Which

Mix ups over when to use ‘that’ and ‘which’ are common, especially among those for whom English is an additional language. But there’s also a difference between Australian English and Americ...

Idiom Corner: Does the Exception Prove the Rule?

‘The exception that proves the rule’ is one of the most misused phrases in English. Yet it’s also one that most people will have heard, so it’s time to clarify how it should be used. So strap ...

Vocabulary Tips: Is Data Singular or Plural?

Some debates seem like they’ll never end. The Beatles or the Rolling Stones? White bread or brown bread? Did the moon landing really happen? Is ‘data’ singular or plural? And unfortunately, whil...

Idiom Corner: Free Rein or Free Reign?

Today in Idiom Corner, we’re looking at a common expression: ‘free rein’. Or should that be spelled ‘free reign’? In short, no: ‘free rein’ is the original and correct term here. Neverth...

Word Choice: Assume vs. Presume

‘Assume’ and ‘presume’ are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings. So although both are related to the word ‘suppose’, it’s important to understand when to use each ...

Grammar Myths: Infinitives and Conjunctions

The rules underpinning English are not always black and white. And while we appreciate proper grammar, we’re also aware that a lot of the ‘rules’ surrounding grammar can be misleading, especiall...

Grammar Tips: Subject–Verb Agreement

When writing in English, it’s important to make sure that the subject and verb in a sentence agree. This post covers the basics of subject–verb agreement, which will give you the foundations to bu...

Word Choice: Into vs. In To

In spoken English, it’s common to pronounce ‘into’ and ‘in to’ in the same way. This can make it difficult to understand the difference when using them in writing. Although this isn’t the ...

Spelling Tips: The Doubling Up Rule

As far as English spelling rules go, the ‘doubling up rule’ is one of the more reliable. This isn’t to say there are no exceptions (there are). But you can trust it in most situations. Knowing t...