Posted on 10/10/2020 at 12:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

When you see the word “expletive,” you probably expect something profane.

But in the world of grammar, an expletive is really just a placeholder or filler in a sentence — e.g., “there are/is/was/were” and “it is/was.”

Editor Louise Harnby won’t forbid you from ever using them, though she does recommend that you use them judiciously and to a particular linguistic effect.

See examples of passages both heavy and light on expletives to understand Harnby's point on her blog.

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