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.


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.


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.

The Chicago Manual of Style Online

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

  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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