The Word “Remember” at the Beginning

…Remember that she has an appointment. …Remember she has an appointment. We can always leave out the word that when it begins a clause and doesn’t really do anything in the clause. In neither of the sentences above is there a need for a comma. You certainly wouldn’t want a comma in the first one; the second one is exactly …

Fractions and Hyphens

Fractions are written out in words. They are hyphenated only when they come right in front of a noun, called a “direct” adjective. …increased by seven eights… …only one third of them remained… …a seven-eights increase… …one-third reduction in staff… If there is a mixed number, a whole number and a fraction, in the sentence also, the fraction is in …

The Words “Quote” and “Unquote”

When someone says the words quote or unquote or quote/unquote, they should be surrounded by punctuation, AND the word or words that follow should still be quoted. There is no rule in the literature that supports leaving out the quote marks because the words are said. It is not an either/or. The words quote/unquote have a slash mark between them. …

Hyphenating

When you are trying to decide whether to hyphenate something, try this: …It is a large green bug that…. It is a bug. What kind of bug? It is a green bug. What kind of green bug? It is a green bug that is large. If this works and you can “build” it like this, it is not hyphenated. …It …

“Anymore” Versus “Any More”

Anymore, one word, means “no longer” or “from this time forward.” …will not do that anymore… …do not see him anymore… Any more, two words, means “any or anything additional.” …do not need any more to do… …does not have any more options… Happy punctuating! Margie

Quotes This Weekend

This coming weekend on Sunday, September 23, from 5:00 to 7:00 Pacific time, I will be presenting a seminar on quotes — when to quote, what to quote, the use of italics, quotes in lieu of italics. Hope you will join me. It is a two-hour seminar for .2 CEU’s. To register, go to http://www.ccr.edu/index.php/margie-holds-court-webinar-series-qdo-i-put-it-in-quotes-why-whereq Happy punctuating! Margie P.S. A …

Comma Basics 3

So we are working on the idea that many times an element needs commas around it in the sentence but that this does not necessarily mean that element is “nonessential” or “isn’t necessary to the meaning of the sentence.” A parenthetical is an element that can be dropped into any sentence we say. We can say “well” somewhere in every …

Comma Basics 2

So comma rules fall into these two categories: Every time you use a comma, you are either separating two elements that should not bump up against each other, or you are using a pair of commas to surround an element. It is in this second category that we need to understand some terminology. We get into the habit of thinking …

Comma Basics 1

No matter how many rules you know for commas, every one of those uses for the comma fits into one of two categories: 1. You are using a comma to separate two elements. You are using the comma to push two elements apart so that they do not pile up on each other. …on June 5, 2012… …in El Paso, …

The Hyphen with a Name

…Ray Charles-inspired arrangement… …Ray Charles-inspired and -motivated arrangement… …John Andrews-led department… …John Andrews-led and -directed committee… When the proper name has a “suffix,” it should be hyphenated to the last name. If there are two of them, “hang” a hyphen in front of the second one also to show it goes with the name. Happy punctuating! Margie