facebook pinterest twitter google instagram rss

Witch or Which or Sandwich?


Earlier in the week as I was grading my college comp I papers, I noticed a few mistakes with the witch and which. So, in honor of my college students, here’s your 5 Minute Grammar Lesson!

#1. A WITCH is a magical woman. A noun. She might ride a broom and wear a pointy hat. Or, she may have tattoos and like to knit. You never know. Which is why you might not want to judge and brings me to point #2.

#2. WHICH is an adjective or a pronoun. You generally want more information when you use WHICH. WHICH car did you buy? WHICH book did you read? WHICH witch did you see last night?



#3. Of course, just to utterly confuse you, English has a third type of wich – SANDWICH – notice, no t or extra h as found in #1 and #2. But doesn’t that look good? 😉

Unfortunately, these three words are NOT interchangeable. As with so many other things in English, they just have to be memorized. I highly suggest not getting them confused on formal papers for English teachers! 🙂

And that’s your 5 Minute Grammar Lesson! Enjoy!!

Witch or Which or Sandwich ~5 minute grammar lesson

Should have gone? or Should have went? ~ 5 Minute Grammar Lesson

I haven’t written a 5 Minute Grammar post in a long time…and it’s high time for a new one!

Should have gone or Should have went? Not sure which is grammatically correct? Here's a quick five-minute grammar lessons to teach you!

I’m not sure if my topic today is an Iowa-ism, or a common problem, but I hear it so often here in Iowa, it grates on me. Even my own dear hubs gets this one wrong, which is confusing to me. I don’t remember him saying this before we moved to Iowa in 2006 – but as often as I hear it now – and as many times as I have “gently” (and not so gently) corrected him – it must be normal to him or he would fix it. 🙁

Should have gone or Should have went?

Which is right?

I should have gone to the store.


I should have went to store.

If you chose #2, you’re WRONG!  If you chose #1, you’re RIGHT!


If you got it right, pat yourself on the shoulder (or your back if you can reach it…)! 🙂

The nitty gritty for this particular grammar rule involves irregular verbs and past participles. If you really care, read this.

Otherwise, please trust me. I teach College Composition. I have a Master’s Degree in English. Never, ever, ever, ever say “I SHOULD HAVE WENT.”  Or, for that matter, never put have and went together in any construction. Have and Went never go next to each other in educated English.

And that’s your 5 Minute Grammar Lesson! Enjoy!

Is the correct phrase should have gone or should have went? Learn which is correct and why!

More grammar posts you may like:

Your welcome or You’re welcome?

How to make the word PEOPLE possessive

Bias or Biased?

Do to or Due to?

Less or Fewer?

If you’re looking for helpful grammar resources, here are my top picks:

Grammarly – Instantly fix over 250 types of errors with this free web-based grammar checker!

Strunk & White Elements of Style

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation 

The Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing


Well or Good? ~5 Minute Grammar Lesson

It’s time for a 5 Minute Grammar Lesson! Today’s topic is WELL and GOOD. Do you know when to use them correctly? 🙂

Here’s a standard question:

How are you?

And here are two answers:
A. I am well.
B. I am good.

Which one do you think is correct?

Well or Good? ~5 Minute Grammar Lesson

A sounds more formal, doesn’t it? And some people insist that it is the proper answer, but they are generally WRONG. Usually the correct response to the question How are you, is B: I am good. (The exception is if you ask the question to someone who has recovered from an illness. In that case, A is correct.)

Why? You may ask.

WELL is an adverb (a word that describes a verb). GOOD is an adjective (a word that describes a noun). So, what noun is GOOD describing in the sentence I am good? Well, technically it’s not describing a noun and that’s what confuses people.

The exception to the adjective/adverb rule is that GOOD should be used to modify LINKING verbs. Examples of linking verbs are TO BE (am & is), seem, appear, feel (verbs that describe feelings).

WELL is used to describe ACTION verbs: run, jump, play. If you want to describe how your kids run, jump, or play, you should say: My kids run, jump and play WELL.  AND NOT: My kids run, jump, and play GOOD…

Since the question How are you? uses a linking verb, the correct answer to the question is:


Make sense?

Happy Sunday! Have a great day!

Advice or Advise? ~5 Minute Grammar Lesson

Happy Sunday! It’s time for another 5 Minute Grammar Lesson.

Advice or Advise? ~5 minute grammar lesson

Here’s are two commonly mistaken words that I have to think about to get the correct one:


AdviCe is a noun. It means opinion or suggestion: My friend gave me really good advice.

AdviSe is a verb. It means to offer advice: She advised me to trust my “mom sense.”

The way I distinguish between the two is to simply pronounce the word. AdviSe sounds like it has a “z” in it. I always pronounce the two correctly, so if I simply remember that AdviSe is a hard S (z sound) and AdviCe has a soft C (sounds like s), then I can get the two words right. (An S can sound like a Z, but a C cannot.)

That may be overly complicated; alternatively, you could just memorize the rule! There are many rules in English that must simply be memorized, unfortunately.

Do you ever confuse these two words? Might this advice be helpful? Or should I find another way to advise you? 😉

And that’s your 5 Minute Grammar Lesson! Have a great day.