Admire Your Adverbs
Mrs. Grammar Person wants to admire your adverbs.
Are you as fond of adverbs as we are? We have been waiting for months for Mrs. Grammar Person to return.
And now Mrs. Grammar Person has a few things to say:
Fear not, Gentle Writer, Mrs. Grammar Person is here and intends to make adverbs perfectly clear.
Adverbs are our versatile friends that answer the question: how, where, why or when (but not who).
They modify verbs, adjectives, other adverbs as well; Mrs. G.P. will explain if you sit for a spell.
Adverbs work alone and with others in a number of ways; if there’s no verb or subject, it’s an adverbial phrase (during class, to the moon).
Mrs. G.P. will try to clear the haze; sometimes an adverb is an infinitive phrase (to catch the train, to see her father).
Now that you are in a daze, Mrs. G.P. will explain the prepositional phrase (under the bed, behind the dresser).
This next rule may give you pause, but if there’s a verb and a subject, it’s an adverb clause (when she arrives, after we eat).
More and less, least and most, comparative adverbs allow one to boast.
The most familiar adverbs all end in ‘lee’ (-ly), like the dog ate his treat happily.
Extremely, quite, just, almost, very, – and too, and enough are adverbs of degree.
Being punctual is an uphill climb- without early, late, now and first, our adverbs of time.
Some adverbs are superfluous, which is rather sad, but very, extremely, and really have nothing to add.
Adverbs are grand and we use them like crazy, but use them too often, readers think you are lazy.
And adverbs of frequency, like every day, let Mrs. G.P. know when you’ll be passing her way. (Do drop by for tea, won’t you?)
(Tell us what you think of her teatime book. We hope to see Mrs. GP again very soon!)
The Chicago Manual of Style has so many delightful rules. I’m here to use them and my handy broom to sweep through your manuscript and fix errors in punctuation, spelling, sentence phrasing, dangling things, hyphens, em dashes, and verb tense agreement. And oh, so much more!
Line editing is fun!
Things to look for
Click open a tab for descriptions.
Are the sentences in your paragraphs all the same length? Is there enough construction variety, or do you have all clause-comma-clause sentences?
Compounds and Hyphens
I’ll go through and correct hyphens such as making sure mid-morning is midmorning and half asleep is half-asleep.
Magazines, titles, songs, books, newspapers. I’ll make sure your Movie Titles are italicized and “Song Titles” are in quotes.
Commas, smart vs. curly quotes, question marks placement, ellipses usage, em vs. en dashes, hyphens, digit vs. spelled numbers, speech tags, percent usage, spaces and tabs, etc.
Spelling and Grammar
Do you have wear when it should be where? I’ll also look for the times when the same word each time is used too many times in the same paragraph all the time.
We know that spell-check doesn’t catch everything. I’ll find when hi should be his or the is supposed to be they. I’ll make sure your past tenses are in the past, subjects and verbs happily agree, and adverbs and adjectives are properly connected.
Does Becky Sue have green eyes in chapter one but somehow has blue eyes in chapter four? Did your murderer use a jade knife, but the detective found the ivory-handled blade in a later chapter? Did Becky Sue have her back to the door while waving goodbye but somehow reached forward to turn the knob? Was your main character born in Akron but later on tells everyone it’s Arkon?