Write with TASTE Blog

TRIM the Prepositions—Reduce the Trouble

28 June 2012


Prepositions are little words that cause big trouble for non-native English speakers.


Today I’d like to talk about some ways to eliminate prepositions and reduce the trouble. As a bonus, your sentences will also be more concise.


Use active voice

One of the benefits to using active voice is that you can eliminate the preposition ‘by’.


For example, instead of writing, ‘These cabinets were built by a master carpenter’, write, ‘A master carpenter built these cabinets.’

Grammar Bite #22—Use of ‘pieces’ and ‘sets’

21 June 2012


As many of you know, I live in Hong Kong. So, many of the grammatical mistakes I see result from Chinese to English ‘crossovers’.


One of those crossovers is the misuse of pieces and sets.


Here are some examples:

We want to order 25 pieces of sofa.

Please send us 10 sets of computer.


In Chinese, nearly every common noun has a ‘classifier’ word, similar to the English words ‘piece’ or ‘set’.

Writing Lessons from ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ – Part 2

 14 June 2012

 Image by pedrosimoes7

In last week’s post, we compared the art of writing to the art of dance – talking about how writers lead and support their reading partners. Today we’ll continue with some other thoughts on how the two art forms are alike.



Dance is as old as humanity. Traditional dances are still performed in cultures around the world. …

Writing Lessons from ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ – Part 1

7 June 2012

image by Un Milonguero Mejicano


About twenty years ago, my husband and I went to a show performed by the Montreal Jazz Ballet Company. Up to that time, we hadn’t seen many live dance performances. Indeed, since neither of us can dance, we never really got into it that much.


But the performance that night inspired us, and since that time we’ve become aficionados of the art of dance. …

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