I’ve decided against taking the Berkeley editing course I wrote about earlier (internal link); I am asking for a refund.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been furiously studying English grammar, trying to get ready for the Berkeley study program. I’ve learned that I don’t need a copyediting course, I need to take basic grammar lessons first. I’ve been stuck for a week on subject-verb agreement with little progress. And something as simple as routinely identifying verbs in complex sentences eludes me. But back to subject-verb agreement. Take a look at this problem:
Basic Principle: Singular subjects need singular verbs; plural subjects need plural verbs.
Did you know the word ‘hopes’ is singular? Nor did I. (Or is it, “Neither did I?”) Before I can reach the matter of subject-verb agreement I’ll need to figure out a simple and instant solution to determining tenses. Only after I can confidently say what verbs are singular and which ones are plural will I be able to move on.
I did enroll in an on-line grammar course which I am taking right now (internal link). Unfortunately, the lessons take four or five days to be graded so my progress through the course is very slow.
The good news is that I have six or seven current grammar books and that I am thinking about grammar, studying it on my own, and looking up troublesome word constructions more than I ever did before. I am much more aware. And that has to be good.