Pre* – Proofreading and Editing

The Safe House brings you Pre*, a proofreading and editing service that gives you more.

At Pre* we will help you:

  • obliterated parking sign close upcheck for spelling, punctuation and grammar errors and issues of sentence structure.
  • communicate your meaning and your voice to your audience.
  • get your message across clearly and accurately.
  • develop your writing, proofreading and editing skills.
  • make the most of your communication.

Pre* can help all sorts of writers with all sorts of writing. We will help you with:

  • assignments, essays, portfolios, dissertations.
  • job application forms, introduction letters personal statements and biographies.
  • flyers, leaflets, posters, business cards.
  • reports, e-mails, business and official letters.
  • blog posts, stories, poems.
  • long texts, short texts.
  • fiction or non-fiction.

italian dog logoIf you would like more information about Pre* – Proofreading and Editing at The Safe House, just fill in the form below and we will get back to you with details of this part of the work of The Safe House.


This IS The Safe House 

“We can take you to a better place.”

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The Present Perfect Tense

What’s it for?

There are about five main reasons for using the present perfect tense in English.

livia-bitton-jackson1. To talk about something that started in the past and is still going on: “I have lived a thousand years.”

2. When the time period has not finished: “More than 3,000 migrants have died crossing the Mediterranean this year.”

3. To talk about actions repeated a number of times in the past and now: “I have died multiple times and the doctors have brought me back.”QA-Nile-Rodgers-008

4. To talk about things completed recently: “I have just knocked over a cat and killed it. What should I do?”

5. When the actual time of the action is not known or not important: “I have been to the mountain top.”

 How’s it constructed?

Use ‘have’ (or ‘has’) and the past participle of the main verb.

In a question, invert the auxiliary verb (‘have’ or ‘has’) with the subject pronoun, as usual with questions in English: “What have you knocked over?” “A cat!”

In the negative, put ‘not’ (or  ‘n’t’) after the ‘have’ or ‘has’: “I haven’t died yet.”


Is it ‘have’ or ‘has’?

How do you say (or spell) the past participle?

never and ever / since and for / just, already and yet

Why’s it difficult?

Hmm … some languages use it differently so the meaning can be confusing and there’s a bit to remember in its construction. Look here if you want some more detail.

How about this?

What’s the closest you’ve ever come to death?


‘Science Is Proving Some Memories Are Passed Down From Our Ancestors’

Click on the image to read the article.

(A Vocabulary Expansion Session from The Safe House)

Click on the image if the title of this article has made you want to find out more.

You could take a closer look at the words in the title first, though …

• Science?
• Proving?
• Memories?
• Passed down?
• Ancestors?

What do they mean?

Do you know them in other languages?

What ‘type ‘ of words are they?

·         Science Noun Oo
·         Proving Present participle
·         Memories Noun (plural)
Oo (!) / Ooo
·         Passed down Phrasal verb
·         Ancestors Noun (plural)

What other words can you create that link to these?

Are there any examples in the text?

Complete this table:

Oo oO Ooo oOo ooO
Science (n)proving (PP)

memories (n/pl)



passed down (Ph v)
Scientist (n)Ancestors (n/pl)



Oooo oOoo ooOo oooO  
    Scientific (adj)    
Ooooo oOooo ooOoo oooOo ooooO
    Scientifically (adv)    

Maps through your Bones and Skin

(A Flash Fiction Writing Session from The Safe House)There are maps

This is a short poem by Christopher Poindexter.

It would be so easy to do an “All Curious Cats” analysis on this poem.

The poem seems to make the point that our past thoughts and experiences  act on our physical appearance and offer evidence, in the present, of our pasts.

Things in the past are connected to the present.


Write a paragraph where someone talks about their past experiences and how they have made them the person they are today.


Take a look at the links behind these phrases.

Choose one of the people involved, or create a character based on one of these people. Write about how their experiences have changed them in some way.


The task here is to reflect on the experiences of the people involved and imagine how they have affected the character’s lives and perhaps still affect them in the present.

You could write in the first person, which means you will need to imagine how this person feels about his or her past experiences and describe them as if you, the writer, have been in their shoes.

Or, you could use the third person, in which case you will still need to use your imagination but you can also take on the role of omnipotent author and describe things that your character perhaps does not consciously know or feel.

Word count and process

watts quoteThe first thing to do is to look at the links and choose one. Read the information in detail and make notes about the things that have happened and the effects they have had on your character. Think about the physical, but also about the emotional changes that have happened. How has your character’s life been changed? Has his or her appearance changed? Has their work life  been affected? Have your character’s personal relationships been more difficult because of what has happened?

Take your notes and turn them into sentences. You could imagine that the person is talking to a friend and trying to explain what has happened and why they are the way they are today. Maybe your character is apologising for something that has happened as a result of their past experiences and the effect it has had on them.

Write as much as you can then take a break. Read what you have written and edit it. You might want to add bits of detail, delete things you have written, change the order of events. You might want to think again about the causes and effects you have described and rewrite all of it.

This is quite a complex exercise as you are writing explanations for things that have happened in the past. You should probably aim for at least 500 words if not more. A thousand…?

When you have written your piece and are happy with what you have included and the order in which you have written it, have a look again but this time for issues of accuracy. Check for spelling, punctuation and grammar. In particular, check that your piece makes sense in terms of the tenses you have used.

Make sure you are happy for people to read your writing!

What next?

italian-dog-logo2.jpegIf you feel like it, or if you want some ideas about how you can develop what you have written, you could share it by sending it to The Safe House at:

At This IS The Safe House we will give you feedback to support you in what you are creating.

3. Irreclaimable Vagabonds

(A Flash Fiction Writing Session from The Safe House)

Roger_Fry_-_Virginia_WoolfIt is words that are to blame.
They are the wildest, freest,
most irresponsible, most unteachable
of all things. They live in the mind,
variously and strangely.
They hate being useful;
They hate making money.
They hang together,
in sentences, in paragraphs,
sometimes for whole pages at a time.
When they are pinned down
they fold their wings and die.
Our unconsciousness is their privacy;
Our darkness is their light. (from – Virginia Woolf’s ‘On Craftsmanship)


Take a set of words and ‘hang’ them together in sentences, a paragraph or even a page.


dump        heart          kids              happiest      Chicago      bone       defence     sombrero    cloud    dead       taught      rebel      pleasuresbooks for words


If you look at the extract above, taken from Virginia Woolf’s 1937 lecture on the craft of writing, you will see that she has some interesting things to say about words.

In her lecture, Woolf uses a number of human qualities to point out the difficulties that arise when we try to make words do what we want.

In this session, you are invited to take words that have not been pinned down into sentences and bring them alive using your creativity and imagination. The session is about creating a piece of writing that has meaning for you, the writer, and which could have meaning for a reader too.

Word count and process

wordThere are thirteen words to begin with. You could use less or more, of course.

The words we have used come from the titles of thirteen books we have been reading or dipping into at The Safe House recently.

You could use these words, or you could look at your bookshelves and find your own.

Take the words in the order you find them, or jumble them about. When you have a set sequence, put them into sentences in the order you have chosen.

lowYour sentences do not necessarily have to have logical meaning, of course, but it would be good if you could use the words as accurately as possible with regard to grammar and sentence structure. That way the reader will probably be able to get to grips with your sentences and your paragraphs more easily.

Take a moment. Read what you have written. Have another go.

Try it a few times with a different idea or theme in your head. Maybe take a title of one of the books and use that as a theme to create your piece around.

Later, spend some time re-reading, re-writing, deleting, revising, re-reading, re-writing, deleting, revising again and again for as long as you can. That way you can be as sure as possible that you have produced a piece you are happy with.

Concentrate on grammatical accuracy, but don’t worry too much about the actual meaning of the piece you are writing.

Let the reader worry about that!

italian-dog-logo2.jpegWhat next?

If you feel like it, or if you want some ideas about how you can develop what you have written, you could share it by sending it to The Safe House at:

Here at The Safe House we will give you feedback to support you in what you are creating!




Pre* – Proofreading and Editing

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