The Dash —

Rather than thinking of the dash as being used for an “interruption,” it will serve you better to frame that rule as “A dash is used for a sentence that got started and did not get finished — broken sentence structure.” This thinking will allow you to use a dash in some places that may feel uncomfortable but where it …

English Review…

I am doing a five-hour English review on February 7 and 8. This course is designed for those taking certification exams but is open to anyone who wants to improve English skills. We will cover grammar and punctuation, hyphens, apostrophes, vocab development, one-word/two-words, proofreading, et cetera. Here is the link for information and registration: http://ccr.edu/index.php/component/content/article/43-loocs/437-cre301-csrrpr-english-review Happy punctuating! Margie

That Pesky Word “So”

When so is said at the end of a thought, it seems to say “So that is my explanation; that is my reason.” The word so can mean “for that reason” or “therefore” when it is used as a conjunction. In this case, at the end of a sentence that does not go on, so means “therefore.” And when so …

The Word “This” or “That”

This and that should NOT be used to express “to what extent.” It is NOT ever correct to say …It was not that bad. …I didn’t expect it to be this easy. Instead, you want the word so, which is what is called an adverb of degree, telling “to what extent.” …It was not so bad. …I didn’t expect it to …

“Incident/Incidence”

Incident is an individual occurrence; incidence is the rate of occurrence. We seem to get into trouble in the plural. …There was an incident last night that required an ambulance. …There were several incidents during the night. …The incidence of violence crime in the area has decreased. Incidences is rarely used. It would have to mean the “rates” of something …

Possessive of “Parent”

Is it my parent’s house or my parents’ house? Except for a child custody matter, where one parent’s rights might be called into question, I am going to say that we use this word in the plural. We don’t really talk of one parent as in “I am going to see my parent tonight” or “My parent is in the …

Prefixes and Suffixes

The rule says to add standard prefixes and suffixes to the word to form a solid word. …postaccident investigation… …subpar performance… …manlike features… …praiseworthy performance… Happy punctuating! Margie

A Little Grammar, Part 2

Yesterday we determined that the verb form in a dependent clause is determined by the word the clause modifies, which sets us up for a bit of a dilemma in this sentence: …John is one of the men who IS/ARE attending the convention. To determine whether it is is or are in “who is/are attending the convention,” we have to look at what …

A Little Grammar to Bring Joy to the Soul, Part 1

From the many rules for subject/verb agreement, we are picking the most difficult one to discuss. First, the groundwork: When the subject is singular, the verb is singular; when the subject is plural, the verb is plural. …One of the boys HAS to be the leader. …Several of the boys HAVE to be the leaders. …Each of the employees IS …