How Verbatim Do You Want to Be?

Number form in some instances depends upon the answer to the question “How verbatim do you want to be?” If the witness says “…a hundred fifteen…,” whether you put the number into words or figures depends upon what you are going to do with “a” hundred. If the witness says “…three and three quarters…,” whether you put the number into words or figures depends …

The “Summary” Dash

There is a little-known dash rule that is called the “summary dash.” It is used when a sentence has concluded and a clause refers back to the subject of that sentence. The clause is really an appositive to the subject of the sentence. (There are other instances of a summary dash that we will save for another day.) …It was something I never …

“Full-Time” and “Part-Time”

These two words are hyphenated in the dictionary as adjectives and adverbs. However, as we know, the adjective form in the dictionary is the direct adjective form, i.e., the form right in front of the noun. Predicate and appositive adjectives are not hyphenated. So they are hyphenated as direct adjectives   …full-time job …part-time position   and as adverbs   …

Two Questions

Even when said as one thought with NO pause and NO change of the timbre of the voice, this construction takes two question marks.   …Were your car windows open? Do you remember? …Was your radio on? Do you know?   Reversing the subject and verb in English is the indication that there is a question. These are questions — …

Does “-ly” Always Mean an Adverb?

I had a question in my grammar class last night that I want to address. It is true that very often a word that ends in -ly is an adverb. We actually add the -ly to the adjective form of many words to form the adverb. …firm, firmly …smooth, smoothly …quick, quickly So, yes, many -ly words are adverbs. However, …

Watch Out for the Run-On

Remember that, even though there are little short sentences, they are still sentences if they have their own subject and verb and can stand alone. Punctuating them with a comma creates a run-on. …That’s right. He was long overdue for the visit. …Let’s see. I think it was May. …He’s an adult. He needs to get a job. …He works …