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Grammar and Word Usage

If you adhere to English grammar guidelines and use terms correctly in your documentation, you can eliminate much of the ambiguity that slows the translation process.

Follow These Grammar Guidelines

  • Ensure that spelling and word usage are correct.

    Use electronic spelling checkers and copy editors to ensure accuracy.

  • Do not leave out articles such as “the,” “a,” and “an.“

    Incorrect: Place screwdriver in groove.

    Correct: Place the screwdriver in the groove.

  • Include the word “that” when it is used to introduce a restrictive clause.

    See “Differentiate Between Restrictive Clauses and Nonrestrictive Clauses” on page 68.

    Incorrect: Verify your configuration matches what is shown in the example.

    Correct: Verify that your configuration matches what is shown in the example.

  • Avoid passive clauses, such as “the program was activated.”

    See “Use Active Voice and Passive Voice Appropriately” on page 65.

  • Do not put a list in the middle of a sentence.

    See “Introducing Lists” on page 35.

  • Check for the correct placement of prepositional phrases.

    Incorrect: Remove the filler panel from the slot with the pliers.

    Correct: Use pliers to remove the filler panel from the slot.


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