Tag Archives: English language

Arrive To Vs. Arrive At

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A prepositional error usually associated with ESL learners seems to be gaining ground with native English speakers. It’s the error of following the verb arrive with the preposition to:

The 23-year-old actress arrived to her taping of The Tonight Show… sporting a long blonde beard to match her hair.

When many early Europeans first arrived to our shores, they were surprised at the lack of organized law enforcement.

As soon we arrived to the restaurant she made sure she was secretive about my daughters [sic] B’day surprise!!!

Ipanema Flip Flops have arrived to Tony Walker & Co.

To is a preposition of movement. One travels to a restaurant, but arrives at a restaurant.

Prepositions that can follow arrive include at, in, and on.

Use at to express arrival at a small place:

The 23-year-old actress arrived at her taping of The Tonight Show.

As soon as we arrived at the restaurant, they brought out the cake.

Use in to express arrival when the destination is a large one like a country or a city:

We arrived in France in November.

When did you first arrive in Milwaukee?

The sentence that has the Europeans arriving “to our shores” can be rewritten with on:

When many early Europeans first arrived on our shores, they were surprised at the lack of organized law enforcement.

I’m back and Ready to Write With Confusion

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First of all let me give you an update on my dad, since he is the reason I stopped blogging for a while.  He is doing much better, is now able to walk around with constant oxygen running.  He has about twenty percent of his heart muscle functioning but the good Lord has seen fit to let us keep him for awhile longer.

Now on to the subject and hand.  My confusion over using comma‘s and conjunctions.  I thought I had a handle on the punctuation but not any more.  It seems comma’s aren’t used in fiction as they are elsewhere.  I always had been taught and everything I read says to use a comma before a conjunction.  Now I have multiple people telling me to take the comma’s out because comma’s are used to much.

It seems writing rules are not rules anymore.  I am beginning to come to the conclusion every writer does his own thing, and then the publisher  and editor comes along telling the writer how they want it to be punctuated.

I am interested in finding how what everyone else thinks and what they do when it comes to comma’s and conjunctions.

http://youtu.be/keZpj7PjNEo  Todays video is on the basic rules of comma usage.

What’s The Word!

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a detail of a page from William Morgan's 1588 ...

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Do you know what the word is?  I certainly don’t know myself all the time.  The word is one little part of a whole that we writers put down on paper or screen to say what we want said.  Do we always use the right words?  I don’t because I don’t know them all.

We all search for the right words to use in our writing.  That one word that will add strength to what we are saying.  I was told that the dictionary or thesaurus, could be my best friend.  The English language as drawn words from other languages such as Latin, French, Spanish and Asian and more.  We do have quite an assortment of words to choose from.

We use words to describe what we want to say.  So how do we pick the right one? You and I as the writer determine that word or string of words.  I was told to beware of adjectives, and adverbs because it can lead to weak writing.

She skipped lightly into the large room, swiftly looking about to spot the one thing she wanted from the large ornate desk sitting amidst the shiny mahogany furniture.

The sentence above is just a bit heavy with adjectives that is not needed.  It can be written so simply by leaving out what is not needed.  She skipped into the large room, looking on the desk for the one thing she wanted.

We didn’t need all of the words in the first sentence to make a sentence which had a clearer read.  I had more than I needed.

Nouns and verbs can make a sentence very vibrant without all of the adjectives.  Focus on the best nouns and verbs  the find the modifiers that add to these words.

“Adjectives and adverbs are helper words, what the grammarians call “Modifiers.”  They help refine the impression cast by your true building blocks, nouns and verbs.  At a writers’ conference a few years ago, a supposedly clever expression was circulating:  Are your verbs working hard enough?  Granted, the expression isn’t all that clever, but it points to a truth.  The stronger your nouns and vers are, the better they can support your carefully chosen modifiers.”

This is a video by Adora Svidak which pertains to word choices.  Enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCH3ciUK_X8