What is the proper use and spelling of “nowadays?”
This is something I see a lot of students struggle with. I have seen so many varieties of the phrase that it is a big mindboggling! I can only assume that these issues come up because of poor pronunciation and not having seen this in writing.
Many students like to use the term or phrase “Nowadays” to indicate that something may be different now than it was previously. For example, “Nowadays, children often use technology before they can even walk!”
This phrase is perfectly fine to use, but make sure you are spelling it correctly. The only proper way to spell it is “nowadays” – as one word, with “a” combining the two words “now” and “days.”
Some incorrect versions I have seen are as follows – make sure to avoid them:
- Now and days
- Now days
- Now a days
Grammarly also discusses this issue in depth in their article: “Nowadays or Now a Days?”
Next time you use that phrase, be sure you are using the right spelling.
What is a sentence fragment?
A sentence fragment occurs when the main clause has become separated or is missing from the sentence, or the sentence is missing a subject, verb, or object.
For example, people will often forget something in the sentence
- While we enjoyed the music last night. <–this is missing an independent clause. What is the point of this sentence? What is this dependent clause affecting?
- Leaving nothing to the imagination. <–this is missing a subject. What is leaving nothing?
Here is a great resource on Sentence Fragments: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/mechanics/sentence_fragments.html
When do I use “Affect” or “Effect?”
Affect is a verb meaning “to influence;” effect is a noun meaning “result.” Occasionally, effect is also used as a verb meaning “to bring about.”
The lightning greatly affected the mood of the night.
The lightning had a tremendous effect on my mood yesterday.
When should you use a single quotation mark?
You should only use single quotation marks when you have a quote within a quote. If you are quoting a section from a source, and that source is quoting another source, then you would use single quotations.
“Jennifer called to tell me that Tom told her, ‘The party is this Friday.'”
When do I use a semi-colon in writing?
Add a semicolon when you have two independent clauses in a sentence that can be their own separate sentences. For example, “There are many times when you might use a comma; however, there are only a few times when you want to use a semi-colon.” Here is a great resource on semi-colons: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/english_as_a_second_language/esl_students/punctuation/semicolons_colons_and_parentheses.html
When do I use an apostrophe?
Thanks for asking! An apostrophe is only used in a few situations. Primarily, apostrophes are used only for contractions and to show possession. For example, you would use one in “She’s here” (in place of “She is here”) or “That is Jonathan’s car” to show that the car belongs to Jonathan. Here is a great resource on apostrophes: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/punctuation/apostrophe_introduction.html
How do I write a thesis statement that compares two positions?
Thanks for asking! In the situation where you are comparing two positions. For instance, “While some people believe XXX, others take the stance of XXX.” You can find more information on thesis statements here: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/thesis_statement_tips.html .