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5 Grammar Rules You CAN Break

One of the first rules in writing—one that should never be broken—is to consider your audience. To best communicate and relate with your audience, some grammar rules must necessarily be broken. Whether you're writing an article, blog post or e-mail, consider breaking these infamous grammar rules to connect with your clients.

1. Never start a sentence with a conjunction.

Conjunctions are typically used to join parts of a sentence, so it doesn't make much sense to begin a sentence with one. But beginning a sentence with a conjunction may be useful in conveying a conversational tone in e-mails, articles, blog posts and more.

2. Use "whom" when referring to someone as an object of a preposition or verb.

For grammarians, this might be a tough one to break. Traditionally, "who" is used as a subject and "whom" is used as an object. For instance: "Suzy is the one who is handling the itinerary" and "Suzy is the one to whom you'll be speaking."

We don't typically use "whom" in everyday speech. Use your best judgment on your audience, but your reader might trip over the word when reading it—and even question if you used it correctly.

3. Don't end sentences with prepositions.

Sometimes writers twist and contort sentences in order to avoid ending sentences with prepositions, and the end product sounds awkward and bulky. Ending a sentence with a preposition often sounds more natural. You know what I'm talking about?

4. Do not use contractions.

Contractions are one of the best ways to convey a relatable, personable writing voice to your audience. If your writing is studded with cannots, have nots and do nots, you might sound unapproachable—or like a robot.

5. Never use one-sentence paragraphs.

Today's readers are adept Internet readers. That means they're unlikely to sit down and read every word. Most likely, they'll skim—rather than read—your e-mail, article, blog post or article. It's in your best interest and theirs to highlight the most important facts.

One-sentence paragraphs are just as effective as five-sentence paragraphs.

Written by Cassie Westrate, Groups Today staff writer, and adapted from an article by Jamie Izaks on PR NEWS.


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