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Universities vs. University’s: Understanding the Difference between Plural and Possessive

The plural and possessive noun forms are both crucial components in the English language. As such, it’s essential to know how to distinguish between a plural and a possessive so that you can communicate effectively, as illustrated in the difference between “universities” vs. “university’s.” When considering the two forms, “universities” or “university’s, “universities,” is in …

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Sweetie or Sweety: Determining the Correct Spelling and Meaning

English spellings can quickly become confusing, especially when certain words can be spelled more than one way. Unfortunately, there are not always grammatical rules that can easily be memorized and applied.   The adjective “sweet” refers to something sweet-tasting, but it can also be written as a noun — an affectionate term of endearment spelled “sweetie” …

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Momma or Mama: Which Spelling is Correct?

In nearly every language, we find shortened nicknames for parents, siblings, or other family members. And almost universally, we find that children often refer to their mothers as “mama,” “mamma,” or “momma,” but which one is correct?   Mama is the infantile/childish form of mother, while Momma is the colloquial form of mother. There is no …

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Humble or Modest: What’s the Difference?

Even English native speakers are sometimes uncertain of the real meaning and nuances of words, especially if they often hear and see the terms misused. Two such confusing words, which are even listed as synonyms in thesauruses though they convey different nuances, are “humble” and “modest.” The difference between “modest” and “humble” is that “modest” …

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How to Properly Address a PhD

Honorifics play an important role in the English language. Not only do honorifics signify rank, but they help to convey courtesy and respect. In academia, honorifics are especially important, so it’s vital to address someone correctly. Many people wonder if they should address a PhD as doctor. You should address a PhD with the honorific term …

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Food Types: Understanding the Various Food Groups

Since the late 19th and early 20th century, recommendations for a healthy diet have changed repeatedly. Food groups have shifted and changed since the early 20th century, so what are the different types of food? Food types are now grouped into what we know as the five food groups, although this has varied from four …

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