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Macmillan Library Presents: Tips from Grammar Girl #2

grammar girl cartoonGrammar goddess Mignon Fogarty (a.k.a. Grammar Girl) has agreed to teach us the proper way to talk to librarians about the books and genres we love. We'll be posting her monthly tips here on the blog. Take it away, Grammar Girl!

Ali, a sci-fi nerd from planet 645 asked, "I have trouble with verb tense in our present timeline, but when I time travel, I get especially confused. Can you help?"

Ah, the complexities of time travel. If you think the hazards of disrupting the space-time continuum are daunting, consider the grammar. Time travel requires some of the trickier tenses:

Simple Future

Tomorrow, I am going to be born. [going to + verb]

Future Progressive

The robots will already be waiting to kill me. [will be + present participle]

Past Perfect Progressive

Ali had been lying unconscious for three days before she was able to locate herself and surreptitiously attach the  beacon that would send her home. [had been + present participle]

Past Perfect

She had made this trip before, so she knew how it would work out. [had + past participle]

I hope that helps, Ali, and stay safe in the future. It can be a dangerous place.

Thank you, Grammar Girl! Unfortunately in my time traveling experience there's no such thing as a simple future or a perfect past, but one can always hope! 

See Grammar Girl's previous column in which she taught Talia how to talk about her favorite gory mysteries! Look for 101 TROUBLESOME WORDS YOU'LL MASTER IN NO TIME available now from St. Martin's Griffin. Visit her at Grammar.QuickandDirtyTips.com.

Also, we're giving away one full set of her latest Quick and Dirty Tips books (this set includes four signed(!) books and one unsigned audiobook). 


UPDATE: This contest is now closed.
The winner is Ramona L. Grimsley of the Berkeley County Library System!

Enter to win these signed books by sending your name, your library, and your full mailing address to Library-at-MacmillanUSA.com (subject: Grammar Girl) by Monday, July 23rd.

This sweepstakes is open to librarians in the United States. More eligibility details below.

Entrants must be age 18 or older. No purchase necessary.

Entries must be received by Monday, July 23rd 2012 to be eligible. We will select the potential prize winner at random from among all eligible entries received. If a potential prize winner cannot be reached after three (3) business days, we will select an alternate winner, so check your email!

The winners grant Macmillan Library the right to announce their names on Twitter, MacmillanLibrary.com, and any other platform we want to congratulate them on.

Please note: we can't guarantee that the books will all arrive in mint condition, but we will pack them with care!

10 Responses to Macmillan Library Presents: Tips from Grammar Girl #2

  1. ali says:

    And the winner is… Ramona L. Grimsley of the Berkeley County Library System!

    Congratulations to Ramona and thanks to everyone who entered!


  2. Sarah Rice says:

    Strayer University Louisville Learning Resource Center

    Please only thank me by name and not by library if I win. Thank you.

    [info redacted by admin]

  3. Maggie says:

    Would love to win the set. I hope we enter here, as the link in the blog post is to a website and not an email address….

    Thanks for the opportunity

    [info redacted by admin]

  4. Mamie says:

    Would love to win these books for my teens!


  5. Jen Bigheart says:

    Would love to win for our library! Thank you…always love the newsletters.

    [info redacted by admin]

  6. Amy Bruno says:

    My name is Amy Bruno,
    Dacono Public Library
    [info redacted by admin]

  7. Emma Kent says:

    Nice contest

  8. Margo Jantzi Librarian says:

    Cub Run Library
    [info redacted by admin]

  9. Pat Hartmann says:

    Cleveland loves Grammar Girl!

    Pat Hartmann
    Cleveland State University
    [info redacted by admin]

    Thanks and we would love any or all of these books.


  10. ali says:

    Hi all!

    So sorry about the link trouble! It should have opened a new e-mail addressed to Library-at-MacmillanUSA.com (“-at-” being “@”).

    I’ll include your entries in the drawing and then delete them after we have a winner so your information doesn’t stay up.


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