2 years ago

How does American Grammar differ to Australian Grammar?


With American and Australian English, the languages are the same. Any American should understand the basics of anAustralian's written or spoken communication, and an Australian should have no trouble understanding an Americaneither. However, there are some subtle differences in the common usage of grammar, phrases, and words that might behelpful to learn. 



Australian vs. American English


More like British, Australian English speakers are more likely to say "shall." In other words, it would be common to hear an Aussie say, "I shall return." You would almost never hear an American say that unless they were trying to sound upper-class and fussy. It would be more common to hear an American say, "I will return" or "I'll return." 


Similarly, an American would ask, "Should we do this thing?" On the other hand, a native from Down Under might ask, "Shall we do this thing?" Of course, either would understand the other, but there is a difference in common word selection. 


The Oxford comma is one debated punctuation mark. However, Australians are more likely to use the last comma. For example, a list like eggs, bread, and milk would have a comma before the last conjunction. 


In this case, the conjunction is "and." However, some American styles, particularly AP, omit this last comma unless the sentence might be difficult to understand without it. In this case, the list would read: eggs, bread and milk. For everyday writing, this is more of a preference and it can be subjective. However, Australian grammar is more closely related to British grammar where the Oxford comma rules. Also, some American styles do use it, but it is commonly omitted in the news or other publications that adhere to a strict AP style. 



Spelling Differences 



Americans write favor and color, but Australians are likely to write favour and colour. At some point, American English omitted that extra "u" that was introduced in British English



Is Australian Or American English Better? 



Obviously, it is better to write to Australian standards for an Australian audience. This is particularly true if the writer is trying to appear Australian. If an Australian audience knows the writer is an American, they will probably overlook style differences. 



For international English exams, either style is probably acceptable unless stated otherwise. This is a good thing to find out before taking the exam. While either style might be fine, it is also best to remain consistent. In other words, if Australian phrases, grammar, and spelling gets used sometimes, it should get used all the type. The same is true for American grammar. Consistency is a good rule to follow at all times. 



Otherwise, neither slight variation of the language is better or worse than the other. They are just the standards that are commonly adhered to in order to make communication clear from one speaker or writer to the next. Though there are some differences between Australian and U.S. English, they are not so distinct as to make the two versions different dialects or languages.


For more information on how to improve your English, click here.

2 years ago

Ask an Author: Why is Loose Sentence Writing the Choice Structure for Writers?

Ask an Author: Why is Loose Sentence Writing the Choice Structure for Writers?

There are many writing styles, each of which is suited to a particular form of literature. Among them is the loose sentence structure which is the most common writing style in English. A loose sentence is also sometimes referred to as a cumulative sentence.


Writer, Motti Eisenbach, elaborated for us on this writing style and why explained why it is his ideal writing style. Motti explained how to pin-point a loose sentence; "the main characteristics of loose sentences is that the most important part or main idea of the sentence is placed right at the start of the sentence, and everything else that follows after accumulates further information". He continued to explain how the independent clause at the beginning is something that conveys definite information all by itself and does not need anything else as an explanation.


In the loose sentence writing style the main idea is expounded right at the start, and what follows is only an elaboration and gives a lot of supplementary information. A loose sentence can be brought to a close grammatically, even before the end of the sentence is reached. Loose sentences are direct, natural, easier, and simpler. Loose sentences come straight to the point and fit writing in a flat way.  


The subordinate clauses that follow the main clause in a loose sentence may add to information and modify the main statement. A loose sentence has a basic subject and verb construction and all subsequent clauses build on the earlier construction. The main statement will always be able to stand by itself as a sentence. By contrast a periodic sentence will keep the main idea truncated or pending till the end.


Mr. Eisenbach gave us some examples to help us understand further:
-“I have decided that I will write my memoirs, but am not sure whether I should use a loose sentence style or a periodic sentence style, though friends tell me, that it would be best to use a balanced writing style.”
In this example the main idea is to convey Motti's decision of writing memoirs.  The style to be used, and his friend's opinions are just supplementary information that makes no difference to his decision to pen the memoirs. The first clause can stand independently as a sentence that conveys that decision. 


This same sentence can become periodic if the sentence reads as: “Should I use a periodic or loose style of writing sentences, or as friends suggest, a balanced style of sentence writing, now that I have decided to write my memoirs?” 


Loose sentences as a writing style have a more powerful effect, as invariably, phrases are added to the main idea of a sentence, that really allow a writer to stress on the topic that is being written about. The main idea is immediately conveyed, while all other information only goes to reinforce something that the writer has already elucidated. This means that the reader has already got the gist, while the other phrases go on to further elaborate on that point.


The main idea in any writing style has to be that it must fit the ideas or topics being written about.  It has to be the idea that must decide the writing style. Loose sentences are quite often likely to be long sentences, and many speed readers will skip phrases, once they have grasped the essential idea of the writer.