Grammar check – assure/ensure/insure, further/farther and a little punctuation

Image: Pixabay

Though a dry subject, it’s always a good idea to refresh your grammar knowledge. Here are a few rules I have recently checked:


Further vs farther: use farther for physical distance and use further for metaphorical distance.

Examples:

Keep going, my palace is farther down the road.
We will proceed without further delay.


Number of spaces after a colon: use only one. For those of us who learned to type on a manual typewriter, it can be a hard habit to break, but The Chicago Manual of Style says just one!


Assure vs. ensure vs insure:

Assure means to say with confidence.
Ensure means to make certain.
Insure means to protect against risk.

Examples:

I assure you I did not eat the last brownie!
Please ensure you can work next week before I put you on the schedule.
Jeeves told Bertie he’d better insure his fancy car.


Sources:

QuickandDirtyTips.com
The Chicago Manual of Style Online
HubSpot

What grammar rules trip you up? Do you break any on purpose? (I do!)

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

21 thoughts on “Grammar check – assure/ensure/insure, further/farther and a little punctuation

  1. The text books I use for EFL say farther and further are interchangeable. I always thought so too. I’m glad I use the help of two professional editors, one US and one UK. I really don’t trust myself on some grammar details!

  2. Barbara, a good brush-up on these areas of grammar. As for the spacing after full-stop, colon, etc I was doing two until quite recently! Not sure when it changed but I hadn’t caught up until I started sending work out! Oh, I quite like the nuances of grammar, not dry at all! I like how it’s organic, changeable…

  3. I just had this discussion with Rick vis a vis further v. farther! Never too old to learn – or re-learn! Do you have snow? Its a big nothing here.

    1. I never get that one right! And some sources say it’s no big deal. As for the weather, just a dusting – G had classes canceled yesterday bec of the snow they got in the south! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I actually did learn to type on a typewriter but never learned to leave two spaces after a colon, so at least that’s one habit I never had to break. My biggest grammar head scratcher is the lie-lay-lain-laid-etc difference (My solution? Just use a synonym to avoid them altogether!)

  5. Nice post! I think for me being a polyglot has messed my sense of grammar forever… I do my best.

    For example in English you put a comma after Sincerely, and in Finnish, you just write it without a
    comma…

  6. This is a topic upon which I can geek out endlessly. I’m the type who feels personally offended when presented with “it’s” when it should be “its” and so on. And yet, I continually struggle over whether to use a colon or a semi-colon.

    1. Same here – I recently broke that habit! Thanks for stopping by – I owe you an email with our library address so you can send your book. Sorry I’m so late in getting back to you – digging out of a bunch of stuff!

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