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Grammar Police Monday - The Bank You're Welcome To Rob

Announcements first!

It's finally time to reveal the cover for 
Carol Kilgore's new book!

When U.S. Coast Guard Commander Taylor Campbell discovers her uncle’s drowning death was murder, she must determine the killer’s identity in order to prevent another murder. Jake Solomon’s job is to make sure Taylor isn’t the next victim.

Mark your calendars. Release day is April 2nd.
Carol Kilgore is an award-winning author of several published short stories and many essays and articles. Solomon’s Compass is her second novel, a blend of mystery, suspense, and romance she calls Crime Fiction with a Kiss – always at least one crime; always a love story. Carol and her Coast Guard husband live in San Antonio, Texas, with two herding dogs that like nothing better than pack time on the patio.

 You can find Carol here:


Now for GPM...

Today, I'm addressing some commonly-confused words and phrases, all of which happen to be verbs.

Dispose vs Dispose of
Dispose means to incline toward, to arrange or place, to prepare, and to decide or settle.

His background in aviation disposes him for this kind of work.
And just like that, the matter was disposed.

The phrase dispose of can also mean to settle, but conveys more of a finality. It also means to discard, do away with, or destroy.

After killing his mark, the hit man disposed of the murder weapon.

Dispense vs Dispense with
Dispense means to deal out or distribute.

A pharmacy dispenses medication.

The phrase dispense with means to do without, to forgo, or to rid one’s self of.

You can dispense with the introductions. We already know each other.

Gone vs Went
Gone is the past participle of go. It requires a helping verb—in this case had.

By the time we returned, they had gone.

Gone can also be used as an adjective meaning departed, left, or dead. 

The days of black and white television are gone.

Went is the simple past tense of go. Do NOT use a helping verb with went.

Yesterday, we went to the mall.

Rob vs Steal
Both rob and steal mean to take something without the owner's consent, but there is a subtle difference. You can rob a bank, but what you actually steal is the money. You can also rob a person, but what you steal is their belongings or more abstract things, such as their pride.

Chronic, degenerative illness often robs a person of their dignity.

Steal also means to move about secretly, unobserved.

The boy stole into his mother's room and returned the ring without her ever knowing he was there.


I hope you found something useful.

If this lesson didn't cover the topic you needed, 
check out the Grammar Police Files
It's a permanent page on my blog with links to all the posts.

Next week, I'm planning to (finally) post grammar by request and answer a few questions visitors have had over the last few months.

Thanks for visiting. :) 


  1. Congratulations to Carol and her up and coming release! And another great round of GPMs, love them. (:

  2. I love your GPMs! You mentioned one in particular that irks me to no end:

    "Yesterday, we went to the mall." One of my teens used to say:

    "Yesterday, we *HAD* went to the mall." It drove me crazy!! Thankfully, with enough intervention, he's cured. =)

    1. Ha! You can thank the motherly grammar intervention *I* received over the years for my ability to do this series. hahaha

      Thanks for visiting. I'm glad you found it helpful.

  3. Carol's cover rocks.
    The way you present your grammar police topics makes it easy to see how to use the words properly.

  4. Oh! Great for the lessons. I love lessons. And I love the cover too. :) Nice to meet you.

  5. That cover is just stunning. LOVE it.

  6. Alas, our past participles are being ignored. I have went?

  7. I'm so excited to see Carol's cover again. That's awesome!! I love your Grammar Police. :)

  8. Oo, this was a great GPM! Very helpful. :)

    Congratulations to Carol!

  9. Congrats to Carol!! I'm seeing the cover everywhere, which is awesome!!

  10. I love your Grammar Police. I have a gone/left problem that I usually try to write around. But I can add another helper for the rob/steal confusion. Robbery is a crime against persons. Burglary is a crime against property. So a perpetrator robs a person on the street but burgles the person's home while the person is out.

    Thanks for sharing my cover :)

    1. True!

      You bet. I was glad to be part of the reveal. ;)

  11. I love your grammar lessons! LOL. Carol's book looks great! Will keep an eye out!

  12. I love GPM - even on a Tuesday.

    These were great! I laughed at "do not use a helping verb with went." Had went. LOLOLOL! Yes, I've heard that. Many, many, many, times. I live in the south.

    Thanks for spreading these. We're out to clean up the world's word at a time.


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