Elements Out of Their Natural Order

When a noun clause direct object is pulled out to the front of the sentence — where it does NOT belong — it takes a comma after it before the subject and verb in the sentence. …Where she was that night, I don’t know. …How far we traveled that day, I don’t remember. Happy punctuating! Margie

Do Not Use a Separating Comma…

Do not use a separating comma after the coordinate conjunctions — and, but, or, nor — nor after the one-syllable conjunctive adverbs — thus, hence, still, then, so, yet. However, don’t forget that a pair of commas can go anywhere. …And he was not involved in the issue with the report. …And, Ms. Andrews, he was not involved in the …

“Where are you going? is my question.”

When there are two parts to a sentence, one a statement and one a question, it is the part at the end that determines the terminal punctuation. …My question is where are you going? …Where are you going? is my question. In the second example, since the sentence ends in a period, there has to be a question mark mid-sentence …

“Are You Done?” — My Least Favorite Question

…I am done with dinner. …I am through with dinner. …I am finished with dinner. …I have finished with dinner. WRONG! INCORRECT! …I have finished dinner. This is the only correct form as the language works. I = subjecthave finished = verb dinner = direct object Happy punctuating! Margie

The Subjunctive

Verbs in English (and many other languages) have a characteristic called “mood.” When you make a statement or ask a question, the mood of the verb is indicative. When you directly tell someone to do something, the mood of the verb is imperative. With a bunch of grammar “stipulations,” when you are trying to persuade someone to do something, the …