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Okay, I admit it: When I try to think about participles, my brain leaves me dangling. Attempting to identify past perfect or present progressive leaves me tense. I knew all this stuff back when I needed to — in high school English — but it has no real world application.1
In a way, my knowledge of English grammar is very similar to my grasp of music theory. When I create music, I have no idea what key I'm in or that I'm employing a tertian harmonic system; I just know what sounds good. Likewise, I couldn't tell you if my writing uses primordial pluperfect prepositions or future conditional subjunctive. I just know what sounds good.
I agree with most grammar rules,2 but to keep your writing feeling natural, you'll need to break a few of them now and then. End a sentence with a preposition if you want to. I give you permission to recklessly (and needlessly) split infinitives. And sentence fragments? Powerful stuff. If used in moderation.
We have the rules for a reason. But you can ignore them, within reason. Give it a try; you (and your readers) will be glad you did.
Which grammar rules do you break, bend, or shatter?
1 Whereas Apple and Android devices come with a real world application already installed. It's called the power button.
2 Such as the one about minding your P's and Q's. They're like rabbits, I tell you. Best to keep an eye on them (or an I between 'em).
This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, hosted by Talli Roland and seven others. Go check out the other participants!