Found 294 articles starting with P:

paid - correct spelling

paid - verb (past tense and past participle of the verb pay)  Example: She paid...

Palate vs. Palette vs. Pallet

Ever come across words in your writing experiences which sound the same? However and in whatever accent you pronounce them, they always seem to sound exactly alike. Their spellings ...

palpable - vocabulary

nounPlainly or readily seen, heard, or understood; evident; obvious; capable of being felt or touched; tangible. Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee. ...

pamphlet - correct spelling

pamphlet - noun  Example: The pamphlet described various mutual funds....

panacea - vocabulary

nounA remedy or medicine for all disease, a cure-all; a solution for all difficulties or problems. "It's not all rubbish," cried Amory passionately. "This is the first time in my life I've argued Socialism....

pandemic - vocabulary

adjective, nounAffecting a whole people, all classes, or the whole world, as a disease; general or universal, as in pandemic fear of a pandemic. “The threat of an influenza...

panicky - correct spelling

panicky - adjective  Example: She became panicky when her car failed to start....

parable - vocabulary

nounA brief story used to teach a truth or moral lesson; a statement or comment that conveys an indirect meaning through analogy or comparison. He put before them another parable: “The king...

paradigm - vocabulary

nounA pattern or model; a set of assumptions, values, concepts, and practices that forms a way of viewing reality for the people who share those assumptions, etc., especially in an intellectual discipline. ...

paragon - vocabulary

nounA pattern or model of excellence. Based on the novel by Charles Baxter, the movie is ostensibly an exploration of love in its many forms, but mostly it sticks to the credulity-and-patience-straining kin...

parallel - correct spelling

parallel - adjective, noun, and verb  Example: They learned the art of parallel structure in Gram...

parallel construction

When you write a series of elements in a sentence, each element must (1) appear in the same grammatical form and (2) perform the same grammatical function. This is the rule of parallel construction. If any element fails to satisfy either criterion, y...

Parallelism

Rule of Parallel StructureNote: We devote an entire section to parallel structure in the eBook Develo...

parallelism - correct spelling

parallelism - noun  Example: They learned the art of parallelism in Grammar.com’s eBook Developing a Powerful Writing Style....

Paralyze vs. Paralyse

“The patient’s spinal cord is paralyzed,” said the doctor. ...

Parentheses and Other Punctuation

Drop Other PunctuationBefore the closing parenthesis, drop almost all punctuation, such as commas, semicolons, and colons.PeriodsRetain a period inside the closing parenthesis if you've writte...

Parenthetical Pauses

If the information in a parenthetical pause relates closely to the sentence, enclose it in commas. Otherwise, use the dash or parentheses: The committee's decision, to say the least, sparked considera...

Parentheticals Within Parentheses

If you write a parenthetical statement and need to include another parenthetical statement within it, then enclose the second one in brackets: While visiting Virginia, Dr. Smith and his assistant (Fred Jones, who woul...

Parents - Take Note

Bribe Your ChildrenParents, you might try an exercise out on your children. Bribe them. Put a $10 bill on the breakfast table and challenge them to make it through a second helping of waffles without using the tobelike...

parlance - vocabulary

nounA manner or way of speaking, vernacular, idiom, as in legal parlance. Every president after Jefferson has professed agreement with Jefferson’s concept that the freedom of the American press to ...

parliament - correct spelling

parliament - noun (capitalized when referring to a particular parliament)  Example: He served with distinction in the English Parliament....

parody - vocabulary

verbA satirical or humorous imitation, usually of a serious piece of literature; any humorous, burlesque, or satirical imitation of a person, event, etc. The parody is the last refuge of th...

parsimonious - vocabulary

adjectiveUnduly sparing in the use or expenditure of money; stingy; cheap. The noun form is parsimony. England, however, as it has never been blessed with a very pa...

participle

Every main verb has two kinds of participles: a past participle and a present participle.The past participle shows up in verb conjugati...

particular - correct spelling

particular - adjective and noun  Example: His particular talent will strengthen the team. adject...

partner - correct spelling

partner - noun and verb  Example: Our partner in the venture put up most of the money. noun...

parts of speech

We have eight parts of speech in the English language: (1) nouns, (2) verbs, (3) adjectives, (4) adverbs, (5) pronouns, (6) ...

Parts of Speech

To become an accomplished writer, you must know all about these eight parts of speech. Each is discussed thoroughly in ths section. See below for a table of contents.Download Our Grammar eBooksYou may download our...

passed, past

The word pass has more than two dozen distinct meanings as a verb, another dozen as a noun, and perhaps that many again as part of a ...

passive voice

An action verb is either transitive or intransitive. A transitive verb can hook directly to a noun or pronoun (the direct object). An intransitive verb cannot ...

past participle

The past participle shows up in verb conjugation in two ways: (1) to form the perfect tenses with the auxiliary verb have (I ...

Past Participle - The -ed Verb

Every verb also has a past-participial form, which, for most verbs, you create by adding ‑ed, ‑d, or ‑t. As with present participles, you’ll sometimes have to double up an ending consonant: The past participle of occur...

past tense

The past tense of a main verb shows what happened or what state of being existed earlier at a definite time. When you use the past tense, the activity or state of being is over, finished, done (I ...

Past Tense - How to Form

Here’s the tense the novelist should use, for the past tense describes what took place yesterday and not right now on the beach. Thus, from our novel of purple beach prose above: Juan looked longingly at Teresa, who ...

Past Tense vs. Past Participle

Past Tense vs. Past ParticipleSome people confuse the past tense with the past participle. Usually, they will use the past participle instead of the correct past tense. You will hear some people say I ...

past-participial phrase

Regular verbs typically form their past participles by adding ‑ed. Irregular verbs, however, form their past participles in some other way. For example,...

past-perfect progressive tense

There are six progressive tenses. Some grammarians refer to the progressive tense as the progressive aspect of a verb. The progressive tense shows an “ongoingness” of the action denoted by the verb.Th...

past-perfect tense

The perfect tenses are formed by using the auxiliary verb to have and adding the past participle of the main verb. Thus, the ...

past-progressive tense

There are six progressive tenses. Some grammarians refer to the progressive tense as the progressive aspect of a verb. The progressive tense shows an “ongoingness” of the action denoted by the verb.Th...

pastime - correct spelling

pastime - noun  Not pasttime.Example: Playing poker is his favorite pastime....

patience - correct spelling

patience - noun  Example: The loud barking caused him to lose his patience....

patience, patients

Patients often go to the doctor’s office.Patience is the ability to tolerate the inevitable delay when waiting at the doctor’s office.Example: In most hospital waiti...

patronize - vocabulary

verbTo give a store or business one’s regular patronage; to trade with; to behave in an offensively condescending way. “Of course,” his mother persevered, “some of the programs are not very good, but we oug...

paucity - vocabulary

nounSmallness of quantity; scarcity. It is very strange, and very melancholy, that the paucity of human pleasures should persuade us ever to call hunting one of them.—Samue...

pavilion - correct spelling

pavilion - noun and verb  Example: They rented the picnic pavilion for their son’s birthday. noun...

peace - correct spelling

peace - noun  See piece.Example: The country had not experienced peace in decades....

peace, piece

Peace is “tranquility” or “the absence of war.”Piece means a “portion” or “part,” usually of a larger item or group of similar items.Example: There would never be ...

peaceable - correct spelling

peaceable - adjective  Example: He proposed a peaceable solution to settle the nerves of all parties....

Peadiatric vs. Pediatric

Have you been to a hospital and read the board Pediatric Department? Or you might have read a board of Peadriatric Department in some other hospital. So, what is the right word? Whi...

peak, peek, pique

A peak is a “summit” or a prominent “point” that protrudes from another object or series of values.To peek means to “glance quickly.”To pique means...

pear - correct spelling

pear - noun  Not pair.Example: He selected a pear, not an orange....

peculiar - correct spelling

peculiar - adjective  Example: She wore a peculiar hat, which caused the children to laugh....

pecuniary - vocabulary

adjectiveOf or relating to money. No genuine equality, no real freedom, no true manhood or womanhood can exist on any foundation save that of pecuniary independence. As a right over a ...

pedagogy - vocabulary

nounThe science and art of teaching; the function or work of a teacher. The first thing to know about Lan Samantha Chang, who has been named the new director of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, is that she has s...

pedantic - vocabulary

adjectiveOstentatious in one’s learning; characterized by a detailed, often ostentatious, attention to formalisms, especially in teaching. Here, Nabokov's aristocratic dilettantism is perfect, because ...

Peddle vs. Pedal

English spelling is full of apparent idiosyncrasies – native speakers and learners alike grapple with doubling consonants, how to form plurals, ‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’’, and have to dodge umptee...

peddle, petal, pedal

Peddle means “to sell.” Peddled is the past tense and past participle of that verb....

Peer vs. Pier

Pier and peer are homophones, meaning they sound alike but are spelled differently, and mean different things. They are also easily confused words. The spell-check application in word-processing softwar...

pejorative - vocabulary

adjectiveCharacterized by a belittling, disparaging, or derogatory force or effect.nounThe statement itself. Never . . . use the word gossip in a pe...

pencil - correct spelling

pencil - noun and verb  Example: He sharpened his pencil and began the audit. nounExam...

penetrate - correct spelling

penetrate - verb  Example: Bullets failed to penetrate the armored car....

peninsula - correct spelling

peninsula - noun  Example: The peninsula of Florida attracts many elderly people, who, as a rule, hate snow....

penultimate - vocabulary

adjectiveNext to the last. When I was a school-boy, during the penultimate decade of the last century, the chief American grammar was “A Practical Grammar of the English Language,” by ...

penurious - vocabulary

adjectiveExcessively sparing in the use of money; extremely stingy; extremely poor or destitute. These new "malefactors of great wealth" are not just distant figures hurrying toward their private jets ...

people - correct spelling

people - noun and verb  Example: “… that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people,...

perceive - correct spelling

perceive - verb  Example: She failed to perceive the jealousy of her coworkers....

perception - correct spelling

perception - noun  Example: That’s your perception, but you are wrong....

perfect - correct spelling

perfect - adjective and verb  Example: The perfect couple got married in the garden. adjective...

perfect tenses

The perfect tenses are under attack by many misinformed, but otherwise well-educated, writers and speakers. The tense does express qualities of verbs that are otherwise incapable of expression and is therefore worth retaining.We have three pe...

Perfect Tenses - How to Form

In addition to the three main tenses of present, past, and future, the English language allows us to make three statements about accomplished facts. We use one of the three perfect tenses to show an action that ...

perform - correct spelling

perform - verb  Example: We waited for her to perform on the piano....

performance - correct spelling

performance - noun  Example: The performance by the tenor overshadowed the other singers....

perhaps - correct spelling

perhaps - adverb  Example: Perhaps she will call tonight....

Perhaps from now on you’ll say…

Our chapter title looked like this: “Like, I’mlike gonna learn how to like talk.”Ouch. From now on, perhaps you’ll say …“I’m going to learn how to talk.”Please Note:...

Period Goes Inside Quotation Marks

The period goes inside the closing quotations marks. Ed said, "Here is a sentence with the period properly placed inside the ending quotation marks." (Period goes inside.)  ...

Period with Parentheses or Brackets

Where Does the Period Go?If an entire sentence or group of sentences appears in parentheses, then put the period inside the closing parenthesis. This is a parenthetical sentence. Thus:Parenthetically ...

Periods with Quotation Marks

Periods Come InsideWith only one exception, the period always comes inside closing quotation marks. This rule applies even if only one quoted word ends the sentence. Thus: ...

permanence - correct spelling

permanence - noun  Example: She wanted a sense of permanence in her new home....

permanent - correct spelling

permanent - adjective  Example: The conservatives wanted to make the tax breaks permanent....

permissible - correct spelling

permissible - adjective  Not permissable.Example: Paving the roads is a permissible role of government....

permitted - correct spelling

permitted - verb (past tense and past participle of the verb permit) and adjective  Example: She ...

pernicious - vocabulary

adjectiveCausing serious ruin or harm; injurious; deadly. The machine has had a pernicious effect upon virtue, pity, and love, and young men used to machines which induce inertia, and ...

perpendicular - correct spelling

perpendicular - adjective and noun  Example: The lines are perpendicular to each other. adjectiv...

perquisite - vocabulary

nounA payment, advantage, benefit, or privilege received beyond regular income or salary; something claimed as an exclusive right.Note: The expression “perk” comes from perquisite. ...

perquisite, prerequisite

These words have entirely different meanings. A perquisite is a privilege or a benefit often given in addition to wages or salary. We often refer to the shortened version: perk.A ...

perseverance - correct spelling

perseverance - noun  Example: Her perseverance enabled her to succeed....

persevere - correct spelling

persevere - verb  Example: If you persevere, you will get the promotion....

persistence - correct spelling

persistence - noun  Not persistance.Example: The persistence of the salesman began to irritate us....

persistent - correct spelling

persistent - adjective  Not persistant.Example: The persistent salesman irritated the visitors....

person

The concept of person applies to pronouns and reflects a universal truth: There are only three types of people on earth. We have the speaker (first person), the listener (second person), and the person being gossiped a...

Person - Three People

Only Three People Exist on EarthAmber, Igor, and Miss Hamrick realized a long time ago that people mostly talk about only one thing—other people. That is, they gossip. They recognized, therefore, a universal truth:Whe...

personal - correct spelling

personal - adjective and noun  See personnel.Grammar.com’s section on Problem Words discusses persona...

personal pronoun

We have seven kinds of pronouns in the English language (personal pronouns, reflexive and intensive pronouns, relative pronouns, ...

personality - correct spelling

personality - noun  Example: The politician’s jovial personality attracted a strong following....

personnel - correct spelling

personnel - noun  See personal.Grammar.com’s section on Problem Words discusses personal and personnel. ...

personnel, personal

Personnel is an administrative group or a group of people involved in a particular business, group, or activity.Personal has a host of meanings: “relating to a specific person” (a ...

Perspective vs. Prospective

English, like all languages, contains many words which differ from each other by only a few characters, yet have totally different meanings and usage cases. Prospective and perspective are two such words in English. These words a...

perspicacious, perspicacity - vocabulary

adjectivePerspicacious: having a keen mental understanding or perception; shrewd; astute; discerning.nounPerspicacity: keen menta...

perspiration - correct spelling

perspiration - noun  Example: His nervousness caused excessive perspiration....

persuade - correct spelling

persuade - verb  Example: She tried to persuade her daughter to study at night....

persuasion - correct spelling

persuasion - noun  Example: Writing with persuasion will help your career....

pertain - correct spelling

pertain - verb  Example: This statute does not pertain to our case....

perusal, peruse - vocabulary

nounPerusal: the act of reading carefully or thoughtfully; scrutiny; survey.verbPeruse: to read thoroughly and carefully; to examine o...

petulant - vocabulary

adjectiveShowing sudden or impatient irritation, especially over something trifling; irritable, peevish, fretful, petty. The faces of most American women over thirty are relief maps of petulant...

pharaoh - correct spelling

pharaoh - noun  Not pharoah.Example: The tomb of the pharaoh contained gold and jewels....

Phase vs. Faze

Words that sound the same but mean different things are difficult to master when learning a new language. Th...

phenomenon, phenomena

The word phenomenon is singular. Its plural is phenomena....

phlegmatic - vocabulary

adjectiveNot easily roused to feeling, emotion, or action; composed, calm, self-possessed; having a sluggish, unemotional temperament. Phlegmatic natures can be inspired to en...

phrase

A phrase is a multiword group having no conjugated verb in it. We have various kinds of phrases, which perform all sorts of functions in the language. Basically, the phrases can serve as nouns, ...

physical - correct spelling

physical - adjective and noun  Example: The physical activity was too much for the elderly man. ...

physician - correct spelling

physician - noun  Example: He became a successful physician after years of study in medical school....

picture - correct spelling

picture - noun and verb  Example: The picture showed the family at the beach. nounExam...

piece - correct spelling

piece - noun  See peace.Example: He ordered a piece of cake....

pigeon - correct spelling

pigeon - noun  Not pidgeon.Example: The pigeon looked for food in the park.Example: ...

pilgrimage - correct spelling

pilgrimage - noun  Example: During her illness, she made a pilgrimage to the shrine....

pique - vocabulary

verbTo excite a degree of anger and resentment, as in She was piqued by their refusal to attend the party; to excite interest or curiosity in; to arouse or provoke to action. "It naturally happens ...

pistachio - correct spelling

pistachio - noun  Not pistacchio.Example: The pistachio nut broke his fingernails when he tried to open it....

pitiful - correct spelling

pitiful - adjective  Example: The pitiful little orphans just wanted some love and attention....

plagiarize - correct spelling

plagiarize - verb  Example: Way too many students plagiarize by copying information from the Internet and using it in their term papers....

plain - correct spelling

plain - adjective  Not plane.Example: The plain brown wrapper made him suspicious ...

plane - correct spelling

plane - noun and verb  Not plain.Example: The top of the box formed a horizontal ...

planning - correct spelling

planning - verb (past tense and past participle of the verb plan) and noun  ...

playwright - correct spelling

playwright - noun  Not playwrite.Example: As a playwright, he penned many award winners....

pleaded, pled

The preferred past tense and past participle of the verb to plead is pleaded...

pleasant - correct spelling

pleasant - adjective  Example: The pleasant breeze wafted through the cabin....

please - correct spelling

please - adverb and verb  Example: Would you please turn off the radio. adverbExam...

pleasure - correct spelling

pleasure - noun and verb  Example: He took great pleasure in handing out the awards. noun...

plebeian - vocabulary

adjectiveCommonplace, vulgar or coarse in nature; of or associated with the great masses of people; relating to or belonging to the ancient Roman plebs.nounA member of the common pe...

plenitude - correct spelling

plenitude - noun  Not plentitude.Example: There was a plenitude of food from many nations....

plight - correct spelling

plight - noun and verb  Example: We found ourselves in a terrible plight. nounExample:...

plural

Nouns and pronouns are either singular or plural. Nouns typically form their plurals by adding ‑s, (boys), ‑es (torches), or ‑ies (cit...

Plurals of Nouns

Notice that words are characterized as nouns by their ability to form plurals. (Some pronouns have this ability as well, e.g., other and others.) You will form the plural for most nouns by adding ‑s or ‑es. Jus...

pneumonia - correct spelling

pneumonia - noun  Example: He barely survived the pneumonia....

pocket - correct spelling

pocket - noun and verb  Example: He hid the pistol in his pocket. nounExample: ...

poignant - vocabulary

adjectiveProfoundly touching or moving; strong in mental appeal; affecting the emotions. There are few sorrows, however poignant, in which a good income is of no avail....

poinsettia - correct spelling

poinsettia - noun  Not pointsettia.Example: The red poinsettia graced the Christmas table....

poison - correct spelling

poison - noun and verb  Example: She put out some rat poison in her attic. nounExample...

Pole vs. Poll

The director promised to strike the poll in the ground if the results of the pole were in his favor....

policeman - correct spelling

policeman - noun  Example: The armed policeman overpowered the thug....

political - correct spelling

political - adjective  Example: The political debate lasted far into the night....

population - correct spelling

population - noun  Example: The U.S. population now exceeds 300 million....

pore, pour, poor

To pore means “to read” or “to ponder.”To pour means "to cause a liquid or granular solid to flow."Poor means to be "of bad quality or low economic status."...

portend - vocabulary

verbTo indicate in advance, especially by previous signs; to presage, foreshadow; to signify, mean. “Rise in Cases of West Nile May Portend an Epidemic” —Denise Grady ...

portent - vocabulary

nounAnything that indicates what is about to happen; a significant threat; a marvel or prodigy, something amazing. Self-parody is the first portent of age.—Larry McMurtry ...

portray - correct spelling

portray - verb  Example: She will portray the events in a positive light....

portrayal - correct spelling

portrayal - noun  Example: His portrayal of the king impressed the critics....

positive - correct spelling

positive - adjective and noun  Example: The positive results of the meeting increased our confidence. ...

positive state

Adjectives and adverbs exhibit a positive state, which simply shows the attribute expressed by the adjective (hot) or adverb (quickly). If the adjective or adverb seeks to show that som...

Positive, Comparative, Superlative

Postive, Comparative, Superlative - Good, Better, BestRecall how we defined nouns as words capable of having plurals and possessive endings. Adjectives (and their first cousin, the adverb) also have a feature that di...

possess - correct spelling

possess - verb  Example: He wanted to possess fancy cars and fancy clothes....

possession - correct spelling

possession - noun  Example: He sold his last possession and moved to the beach....

possessive - correct spelling

possessive - adjective and noun  Example: He was overly possessive, so she left. adjective...

possessive case

The personal pronouns (and the relative or interrogative pronoun who) exhibit case. The case of a pronoun reveals how th...

possessives

One of the distinctive features of the noun is its ability to own something, to possess something. We show this act of possession by adding a possessive ending, typically an “apostrophe ‑s” (Fred's report) to a ...

Possessives of Nouns

Words are also characterized as nouns by their ability to form possessives. Again, some pronouns have this ability as well (other, other’s). So before we explore the main functions of nouns, let’s pause to address an issue that spar...

possibility - correct spelling

possibility - noun  Example: He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole....

possible - correct spelling

possible - adjective  Example: Lying was a possible response, but she decided to tell the truth....

potato - correct spelling

potato - noun  Example: The baked potato came with sour cream....

potatoes - correct spelling

potatoes - noun (plural of the noun potato)  Example: He grew corn, beans, and potatoes....

Pour vs. Pour

Take a look at the above two sentences. One of them is not correct. Can you identify which one? Pore...

practical - correct spelling

practical - adjective  Example: Let’s take a practical approach and ignore all those theories....

practically - correct spelling

practically - adverb  Grammar.com's section on the Parts of Speech discusses the demise of -ly adverbs. Click here f...

Practice vs. Practise

Even though English speakers in the U.K. and North America use English in mostly the same ways, small differences persist. Many of these differences are in the spelling of words. Practice and practice are one of the examples of s...

prairie - correct spelling

prairie - noun  Example: The cowboy felt at home on the prairie....

pray, prey

To pray means "to meditate or communicate with God."As a verb, prey means “to hunt.” As a noun, prey...

precarious - vocabulary

adjectiveDependent on circumstances beyond one’s control; lacking in stability or security; subject to change; based on unproved premises; perilous. A politician never forgets the precarious...

precede - correct spelling

precede - verb  Not preceed.Example: The best man will precede the groom in the procession....

precedence - correct spelling

precedence - noun  Grammar.com’s section on Problem Words discusses precedence and precedent. Click here for that discussio...

precedence, precedent, precedential - vocabulary

nounPrecedence: the fact or act of preceding, as in The first patent application receives precedence in Europe; priority in place, time, or rank because of superiority, as in The company relied on its prec...

precedent, precedence

The meaning of the word precedent in law—a judicial decision that sets a rule—is very close to the common usage of the word: an “example” or “custom resulting from long practice.” A lawyer might find several prec...

preceding - correct spelling

preceding - adjective and verb (present participle of the verb precede)  Not preceeding.Example: He looked at the footnote ...

precise - correct spelling

precise - adjective  Example: The architect studied the precise measurements of the room....

preclude - vocabulary

verbTo prevent the occurrence or existence of something; to exclude from something. Anyone who has breast-fed knows two things for sure: The baby wants to be fed at the most inopportune times, in the most i...

precocious - vocabulary

adjectiveUnusually mature or advanced in development, especially in mental aptitude; usually in reference to children. What might be taken for a precocious genius is the genius of chil...

precursor - vocabulary

nounA person or thing that precedes; a person, animal, or thing indicating the approach of something or someone, a harbinger. In his very rejection of art Walt Whitman is an artist. He tried to produce a ce...

predicate

Every sentence or clause has a subject and a predicate. The subject is a noun, pronoun, or group of words acting as a noun, and the words ...

predicate adjective

A predicate adjective is an adjective appearing in the predicate of a sentence or clause and modifying the grammatical subject of t...

predicate nominative

A predicate nominative is also called a subject complement or a predicate noun. The predicate nominative typically follows the verb to be. Sometimes a predicate nom...

predicate noun

 See predicate nominative....

predictable - correct spelling

predictable - adjective  Example: New polls show the predictable winners in the election....

predilection - vocabulary

nounA tendency or inclination to think favorably about something, a preference, as in a predilection for Mozart. The parrot holds its food for prim consumption as daintily as any debutante, [with] ...

predominant, predominate

As an adjective, predominant describes something with the greatest influence or authority.As a verb, predominat...

prefer - correct spelling

prefer - verb  Example: We can go to the opera, if you prefer....

preference - correct spelling

preference - noun  Example: My preference is Coke, not Pepsi....

preferential - correct spelling

preferential - adjective  Example: The boss’s daughter received preferential treatment....

preferred - correct spelling

preferred - verb (past tense and past participle of the verb prefer) and adjective  Not prefered.Example: She ...

Prefix Words

IntroductionMany words start with prefixes; e.g., nonresident, antitrust, coparty, and a spate of others. As a writer, you must learn the rules of hyphenation. So let's start with this observation:...

Prefix Words - Exceptions to the Rule

Important ExceptionsThere are some exceptions to the basic rule that prefix words do not include the hyphen: Root word is capitalized. Root word is a date. Hyphenate to avoid ambiguity. ...

prejudice - correct spelling

prejudice - noun and verb  Example: In the 1960s, they fought the war against racial prejudice. noun...

premier, premiere

Premier is both a noun and an adjective associated with the highest status or rank.Premiere can be used as a noun ...

premise - vocabulary

nounA proposition on which an argument is based or from which a conclusion is drawn. In law, premises refers to land and buildings on the land.verbTo assume or state as a propos...

preparation - correct spelling

preparation - noun  Not preperation.Example: Careful preparation ensured the physician’s success....

prepare - correct spelling

prepare - verb  Example: He tried to prepare a gourmet dinner....

preposition

A preposition is one of the eight parts of speech. The preposition serves as a dab of glue, sticking a noun, a group of words acting as a noun, or a pronoun onto the ...

prepositional phrase

When a noun or pronoun combines with a preposition, it forms a prepositional phrase, which primarily acts as either an adjective (the book ...

Prepositional Phrase - Two Parts

The prepositional phrase consists of two major parts:1. the preposition 2. the object of the prepositionThe object is the noun (or pronoun) attached to the sentence by the preposition. That noun might be a true noun, a noun phrase, or...

Prepositions - Definition, Overview, and Lists of Examples

WelcomeBelow you’ll find links to our discussion on prepositions. We recommend that you start with the first topic, Prepositions - Words ...

Prepositions - Words That Glue

Now let’s explore a very important part of speech, the preposition. This little word helps us hook nouns onto sentences. When we do, we form prepositional phrases. When you complete this section, you might decide that a preposition is a good word to ...

prerogative - vocabulary

nounExclusive privilege or right, obtained or exercise because of rank or office, as in prerogatives of a member of Congress. Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just...

prescience, prescient - vocabulary

nounPrescience: knowledge of events before they take place.adjectivePrescient: perceiving significance of events before ...

prescription - correct spelling

prescription - noun  Example: The doctor’s prescription alleviated her pain....

presence - correct spelling

presence - noun  Example: She felt a strange presence in the room with her that night....

present participle

All main verbs have a present-participial form. Just add ‑ing and you've got a present participle. Sometimes you have to drop a silent ‑e as in writing. And sometimes you double an ending consonant,...

Present Participle - The -ing Verb

Every verb in the English language has a present participle, and you form it the same way for every verb: Just add ‑ing. Sometimes you’ll have to drop an ending silent ‑e, as in write and writing. Sometimes you’ll ...

Present Participle - The -ing Verb

Every verb in the English language has a present participle, and you form it the same way for every verb: Just add ‑ing. Sometimes you’ll have to drop an ending silent ‑e, as in write and writing. Sometimes you’ll ...

present tense

The present tense of a verb designates an action or state of being going on or existing at the time of speaking or writing, as in John walks across the street or She ...

Present Tense of Verbs

Some authors write novels in the present tense, and it drives me bats. Whenever I browse in a bookstore, seeking the latest in top beach literature, I always sneak a few peeks to make certain the author does not use the present tense in the narrative...

present-participial phrase

All main verbs have a present-participial form. Just add ‑ing and you've got a present participle. Sometimes you have to drop a silent ‑e as in writing. And sometim...

present-perfect progressive tense

There are six progressive tenses. Some grammarians refer to the progressive tense as the progressive aspect of a verb. The progressive tense shows an “ongoingness” of the action denoted by the verb.Th...

present-perfect tense

The perfect tenses are formed by using the auxiliary verb to have and adding the past participle of the main verb. Thus, the ...

present-progressive tense

There are six progressive tenses. Some grammarians refer to the progressive tense as the progressive aspect of a verb. The progressive tense shows an “ongoingness” of the action denoted by the verb.Th...

presently, currently

See currently, presently....

president - correct spelling

president - noun  Example: The company’s president addressed the meeting of the shareholders....

presumption, presumptuous - vocabulary

nounPresumption: that which may be logically assumed to be true until disproved; an assumption. In law, a fact assumed because of the proof of other facts; in patent law, for example, a patent enj...

presumptuous - correct spelling

presumptuous - adjective  Not presumptious.Example: She dismissed her presumptuous servants....

Pretence vs. Pretense

This not very common word is often confused for its alternative half making it difficult for young writers to make a decision on what the right spellings of the word are. Consider t...

prevalent - correct spelling

prevalent - adjective  Example: Illicit drugs were prevalent at the party....

prevaricate - vocabulary

verbTo use ambiguous or evasive language for the purpose of deceiving or diverting attention; to tell a falsehood; to lie. Lying is the same as alcoholism. Liars prevaricate even on their d...

primary auxiliary verb

We have roughly 16 auxiliary verbs in the English language. Three are called primary auxiliaries: to be, to have, and to do. These three words perform special functions.The ...

primitive - correct spelling

primitive - adjective and noun  Example: He collected primitive furniture in Virginia. adjective...

principal - correct spelling

principal - noun and adjective  Note: For a discussion of the differences between principal and principle, see Grammar.com’s section on Common Gramm...

principal parts

Main verbs have four principal parts: (1) infinitive (to decide), (2) past tense (decided), (3) past participle (de...

Principal vs. Principle

Our principal ma...

principal, principle

Note: The differences between principal and principle are discussed in depth in the Common Grammatical Mistakes section of Grammar.com. ...

principal, principle - vocabulary

nounPrincipal: the head of a school; also means “money” or “the balance on your mortgage.” As an adjective, principal means “main.”Principle: act...

principle - correct spelling

principle - noun  Note: For a discussion of the differences between principal and principle, see Grammar.com’s section on Common Grammatical Mistakes. ...

printout - correct spelling

nounThe verb form (complement verb) is print out.Here’s a usage note from Dictionary.com.The transition from ...

prior to, subsequent to

The expression prior to means nothing more than before. Yet many professionals insist on using prior to because it sounds intelligent. It isn’t. All it does is stuff up you...

prioritize

The word prioritize gums up the styles of many people lacking an ear for good writing. Delete it from your vocabulary. Instead, use set priorities or establish priorities....

privilege - correct spelling

privilege - noun  Not priviledgeExample: It was his privilege to be at that meeting....

privity, privy - vocabulary

nounPrivity: knowledge shared with another or others regarding a private matter. In law, a relationship between or among parties, typically to a contract.Privy: a...

probably - correct spelling

probably - adverb  Grammar.com's section on the Parts of Speech discusses the demise of -ly adverbs. Click here for ...

probity - vocabulary

nounVirtue or integrity tested and confirmed; honesty; the trait of having strong moral principles. Once regarded as the model of probity, Mayor Bradley, now 71 years old, is under investig...

Problem Words - Definition, Overview, and Lists of Examples

The TroublemakersMany words in the English language set traps for even the most accomplished writer. Here, on Grammar.com, we’ve provided discussions of over 200 of these troublemakers. (Scroll down for an alphabetical list.)...

procedure - correct spelling

procedure - noun  Example: This medical procedure can save her life....

proceed - correct spelling

proceed - verb  Example: You must proceed with caution....

Proceed vs. Precede

The English language is full of words that are similar to each other but also quite distinct. Some of these words sound the same, some are spelled the same, and some have similar origins, but they are all different in their meani...

proceed, precede

To proceed means “to go forward,” “to carry on,” or “to originate from a source.” The verb proceed is distinctly intransitive. That is, you...

prodigious - vocabulary

adjectiveImmense, extraordinary in size; wonderful, marvelous. America makes prodigious mistakes, America has colossal faults, but one thing cannot be denied: America is always on the ...

prodigy - vocabulary

nounA person, especially a child, with remarkable gifts or qualities; a marvelous example; a wonder. Today’s pressures on middle-class children to grow up fast begin in early childhood. Chief among them is ...

produce - correct spelling

produce - verb and noun  Example: This plan will produce the best results. verbExample...

Products Page

[productspage]...

profession - correct spelling

profession - noun  Example: The medical profession has improved healthcare for all....

professional - correct spelling

professional - adjective and noun  Example: Their professional approach with their clients ensured their success. ...

professor - correct spelling

professor - noun  Example: The professor urged his students to learn grammar....

proffer - vocabulary

verbTo offer to another for acceptance.nounThe offer itself. During my employment of seven years or more in Washington after the war (1865–72) I regularly saved part of m...

profitable - correct spelling

profitable - adjective  Example: The company will be profitable early next year....

profligacy, profligate - vocabulary

nounProfligacy: the trait of spending lavishly or extravagantly; unrestrained indulgence in sensual pleasure.adjectiveProfligate:...

profuse - vocabulary

adjectivePlentiful, copious, abundant; giving or spending freely, often to excess, as in profuse praise. The little flower which at this season stars our woods and roadsides with its p...

progeny - vocabulary

nounDescendant, offspring, child; something originating or resulting from something else. Preschoolers sound much brighter and more knowledgeable than they really are, which is why so many parents and grand...

Program vs. Programme

You may notice a doubled consonant and an extra –e at the end of many words, depending on the source of the material you are reading. That extra letter is an example of spelling conventions in British English. American writers om...

progressive tense

The progressive tense (also called the progressive aspect) is sometimes referred to as the imperfect tense.There are six progressive tenses: present, ...

prolific - vocabulary

adjectiveAbundantly producing offspring or fruit, as in a prolific orange tree; very productive, producing in large quantities. Debt is the prolific mother of folly and of cri...

prolix - vocabulary

adjectiveVerbose, wordy, extended to unnecessary and tedious length. In a succinct 354 pages (shockingly brief for the normally prolix [Susan] Faludi), she argues that in the months an...

prominent - correct spelling

prominent - adjective  Example: He was a prominent member of his community....

promise - correct spelling

promise - verb and noun  Example: The politician will promise anything to get elected. verb...

promulgate - vocabulary

verb To make known through public declaration; formally proclaim; publish. Note: In law, we say that Congress enacted a statute. But we say that a federal agency prom...

pronoun

We have seven kinds of pronouns in the English language.A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. Personal pronouns (words like I, me, my, we, our, us...

Pronoun as the Object of a Preposition

Object of a PrepositionA noun attached to a sentence by a preposition is the object of the preposition, which requires the objective case of a pronoun taking the place of the noun.Wrong: A Grammar...

pronounce - correct spelling

pronounce - verb  Example: They must learn to pronounce words properly....

Pronouns - Definition, Overview, and Lists of Examples

WelcomeBelow you’ll find links to our discussion on pronouns. We recommend that you start with the first topic, Pronoun...

Pronouns - Words Substituting for Words

In this section, we’ll learn about pronouns. We have seven kinds in the English language. They cause all kinds of problems, even to people in positions of power. After all, haven’t you heard someone say, “Evan and myself want to thank you for the won...

pronunciation - correct spelling

pronunciation - noun  Not pronounciation.Example: His lack of education was evident in his pronunciation of ...

propaganda - correct spelling

propaganda - noun  Example: The citizens were accustomed to governmental propaganda....

propagate - correct spelling

propagate - verb  Example: He sought to propagate a new hybrid tomato....

propeller - correct spelling

propeller - noun  Example: The plane’s propeller revved up before takeoff....

proper noun

A proper noun names a specific person, place, time period, work of literature or art, and so on. It begins with a capital letter. Examples include: New York City Friday Shakespeare's play Hamlet Fre...

prophecy - correct spelling

prophecy - noun  Example: The prophecy of the ancient seer came true....

prophet - correct spelling

prophet - noun  Example: Moses was the greatest prophet in the Old Testament.Example: She turned out to be a false ...

propitious - vocabulary

adjectivePresenting favorable conditions; favorably inclined, auspicious. The time is now propitious, as he guesses, The meal is ended, she is bored and tired, Endeavours to engage her...

prosaic - vocabulary

adjectiveUnimaginative, dull, commonplace, matter-of-fact; vapid; humdrum; tiresome. It is better to have a prosaic husband and to take a romantic lover.—Stendhal (Mar...

proscribe - vocabulary

verbTo denounce or condemn something as dangerous or harmful; to prohibit, forbid. The public is harmed when lawmakers proscribe the use of a product that has been proved safe and useful. I...

prospect - correct spelling

prospect - noun (often in the plural) and verb  Example: The favorable business prospects...

prostrate - vocabulary

adjectiveLying prone, or with the head to the ground, as in a gesture of humility, adoration, or subservience; physically weak or exhausted; utterly depressed or disconsolate.verbTo...

prostrate, prostate

As a verb, to prostrate means "to throw oneself on the floor or lie facedown."The word prostrate also serves as an adj...

prototype - vocabulary

nounThe model or original on which something else is based or formed; a thing or person serving to illustrate typical qualities of a larger class or group; something analogous to a later thing. The Ancient ...

protract - vocabulary

verbTo prolong, draw out, lengthen the duration of.Note: The past-participial adjective protracted often appears, as in protract...

proverbial - vocabulary

adjectiveDerives from the noun proverb, which means a popular saying, usually of ancient and unknown origin, that expresses a commonplace truth. In the Bible, a proverb is a profo...

prowess - vocabulary

nounExceptional strength, skill, and courage in battle; superior skill or ability. I am really greatly pleased at your standing so high in your form, and I am sure that this year it is better for you to be ...

prurient - vocabulary

adjectiveInclined to lascivious or lustful thoughts and desires. Nothing is more repulsive than a furtively prurient spirituality; it is just as unsavory as gross sensuality....

psychiatrist - correct spelling

psychiatrist - noun  Example: The psychiatrist testified for the defendant....

psychology - correct spelling

psychology - noun  Example: She studied psychology in an attempt to understand herself....

publicly - correct spelling

publicly - adverb  Not publically.Grammar.com's section on the Parts of Speech discusses the demise of -ly adverbs. ...

puerile - correct spelling

puerile - adjective  Example: He engaged in puerile behavior when he made a face at the meeting....

puerile - vocabulary

adjectivePertaining to childhood; childish, immature, or trivial. The idea that leisure is of value in itself is only conditionally true. . . . The average man simply spends his leisure as a dog spends...

punctilious - vocabulary

adjectiveStrictly observant of the rules or forms prescribed by law or custom; precise, scrupulous. His courtesy was somewhat extravagant. He would write and thank people who wrote to thank him for wed...

Punctuation - Definition, Overview, and Lists of Examples

WelcomeBelow you’ll find links to our discussion on all punctuation marks. We have broken some of the longer topics into multiple pages. So watch for references to “Pages 1-2-3” at the bottom of the topic. Click the next page...

punitive - vocabulary

adjectivePertaining to punishment.Note: In law, punitive damages are awarded in civil suits to punish the wrongdoer and serve as an example to deter others from similar, egregious con...

Purchase Confirmation

Thank you for your purchase!...

Purchase History

[download_history]...

purport - vocabulary

nounThe meaning or sense or import, as in the main purport of the article; also the purpose or intent, as in the purport of the trip to Italy.verbTo present, especially...

pursue - correct spelling

pursue - verb  Example: She tried to pursue her dream of fame and fortune....

pursuit - correct spelling

pursuit - noun  Example: The sheriff and his men were in hot pursuit....

pusillanimous - vocabulary

adjectiveWithout spirit or bravery; lacking courage; timid; faint-hearted. A Prince is despised when he is seen to be fickle, frivolous, effeminate, pusillanimous, or irresolute, again...

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