“Each other’s” or “Each others’ “??

I saw this in an article online today. Where does the apostrophe go?

If you remember that everything in front of the apostrophe has to be a word, you know that it cannot be each others’ because there is no such word as each others. There is just one person involved. It is always singular possessive.

…part of each other’s lives…
…no need to know each other’s business…

Happy punctuating!

Margie

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Handle “i.e.” and “e.g”

When i.e. or e.g. are used, they introduce a renaming of what was just said. How they are punctuated depends upon where they are in the sentence and what follows them.

When they are at the end of the sentence…

When followed by a fragment, use a pair of commas.

…was following the red car, i.e., the Ford…
…including a good source of protein, e.g., nuts…

When followed by a complete sentence, use a semicolon or period in front and a comma after.

…was following the red car; i.e., it was the Ford…
…including a good source of protein; e.g., she ate a lot of nuts.

When followed by a list, use a colon in front and a comma after.

…was following two cars: i.e., the Ford and the VW…
…including a good source of protein: e.g. nuts, eggs, chicken…

Stay tuned!

Happy punctuating!

Margie

 

“Than I” versus “Then Me”

I have been on Facebook a couple of times in the last couple of days and am seeing away too much of then instead of than!

When there is a comparison word — that would be the word more or an “-er” on the end of a word — you want to use the word than.

The word then, which means “next” or “at that time,” simply does not work in this comparison construction.

…taller than Bill…
…reads better than Mary…
…makes more than Patti…

…we then delivered it…
…then had to leave…
…went with them then…

Watch the case of the word that follows than. You have to put in the whole clause to determine the form you need.

…taller than I//me…
…taller than I am tall…

…reads better than I/me…
…reads better than I read…

…makes more than I/me…
…makes more than I make…

…likes him better than I/me…
…likes him better than he likes me…

Watch it! These two errors are instantly noticeable. Don’t make these errors again!!

Happy punctuating!

Margie

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“I Wish I Were…”

The use of the word were in this construction is fading from our language as people do not understand the correctness of it.

This construction is called “contrary-to-fact” subjunctive. It is a situation in which one wishes for something that is not true.

…I wish I were able to attend (but I cannot)…
…I wish he were here with me (but he is not)…

Often the verb form in this subjunctive is not different from the regular verb we would use.

…he wishes I had gone (but I didn’t)…
…she wishes he had been there (but he wasn’t)…

It is the form of to be that we have to watch out for.

Remember: “I wish I WERE….”

Happy punctuating!

Margie

“Than” and “Then”

When there is a comparison, the word you want is than, not then.

…harder than I thought…
…smoother than the last one…

…acts better than she…
…performed better than he did the last time…

More and more, we are seeing the word then in this pattern — taller then John — just wrong, wrong, wrong!!! Then means “next” or “at that time.”

…saw him then at the match…
…then we turned to the…

Happy punctuating!

Margie

 

Capping the Words for the Directions

The words for the directions — north, south, east, west — and any “combined” forms of those are capped when they represent a “recognized” geographical area. There are those we would all recognize.

…lived in South America for a while…
…visited the North Pole…
…vacationed in the South of France…
…moved to Northern California…

These words are not capped when they refer to a direction.

…driving northbound on the freeway…
…lives just south of the capital…
…happened west of the city…

Our “recognition” of an area might depend upon how familiar we are with an region. I live in Los Angeles. I know there is a West Los Angeles and an East Los Angeles. These are capped.

If I were to hear “north Los Angeles,” I would have no clue. That is not a “recognized” area of Los Angeles. The word north in “north Los Angeles” is not capped. It is not a recognized area; it is just a direction. I am sure you know things like that about where you live — which fact makes it difficult for the reporter to always know what should be capped.

Happy punctuating!

Margie

Single Separating Comma after “And”

This question keeps coming up. When you have a coordinate conjunction — and, but, or, nor — there is never a single comma by itself after it. You might want to surround something after a coordinate conjunction, but there is not a single comma.

No matter how long the pause after these words nor how much the word is drawn out, there is never a single comma after the conjunction.

NO  …And, so we all left…
NO  …But, then she showed her true character…
NO  …Or, she will have to join in…

…And so we all left…
…But then she showed her true character…
…Or she will have to join in…

…And, by the way, he was not a part of the argument…
…But, like, we didn’t want to go…
…Or, Your Honor, we can wait until tomorrow…

Happy punctuating!

Margie

“Anymore” versus “Any More”

As one word, anymore means “from this time forward, from now on.”

…don’t like him anymore…
…will not go there anymore…

When it is any more, two words, the word more means “additional.” Two words, any more means “anything/anyone additional.”

…don’t need any more to do…
…didn’t see any more that have to be dealt with…

Happy punctuating!

Margie