Holiday Sale

The holidays are upon us. You are looking for that perfect gift for your son who is in court reporting school, your colleague whom you share an office with, your daughter who is in high school. Would you have thought to look at Margie Holds Court? We can all use the definitive text for punctuation or a book that lays …

Oops. Need to Make a Correction

I have a sentence in the last post that is missing a comma. The commas are surrounding the dependent clause. …Do you remember [that, (when I saw you at Christmas), you promised to help me with that]? It just goes to show that we can miss something no matter how many times we proofread! Happy punctuating! Margie

The Adverb Clause

In my opinion, understanding dependent clauses and the way they work inside a sentence and how they are punctuated is at the very heart of understanding the language. When clauses are punctuated correctly, it helps the reader decipher what is going on in a sentence and produces a sentence that flows and is easy to read. With that said, I …

More Hyphen Stuff…

When a prefix goes with both words in a hyphenated combination, do not add the prefix and make it solid word. Hyphenate the prefix. …In your opinion, are the non-work-related conditions also disabling to Jane? When a prefix goes with a compound that is separate words, do not add the prefix to make a solid word. Hyphenate the prefix. …Please run down …

Compound Question

When someone asks two questions and uses “or” in between, there are two options: Put a comma/semicolon before the “or” that separates the two sentences and a question mark at the end; or make it into two questions. When the questions are lengthy or there is a lot of other punctuation, it is probably best to break them into two …

That Confusing “S”

The last post on the “s” engendered more than a few questions. Here are a couple of answers. In the construction, “…one of the girl’s/girls’ phones…” or “…one of the voter’s/voters’ choices…,” the form should be plural possessive. …We were talking with one of the girls’ friends at the time. …It has to deal with one of his friends’ mothers. …

That Confusing “S”

When a proper name ends in “s” and we have to make it plural or possessive, it seems it is always a bit jarring. There are several things to keep in mind: First, when a surname has the word “the” in front of it, it is always plural. …I saw the Cohens when I visited D.C. …The Johnsons joined us …

20-Hour Punctuation Class Begins Sunday

Good morning. Just a reminder that I am beginning a 20-hour punctuation class this coming Sunday. The ten two-hour class sessions will meet on Saturdays and/or Sundays and continue into June. This is your chance to pull all of those rules together and better understand how everything goes together. There will be a question-and-answer time in each session to discuss those …

A Little-Known Dash Rule

Besides using the dash for interruptions (broken sentence structure), there are some grammar rules that govern the use of the dash. When a pronoun refers back to one noun, use a comma in front of the pronoun; when a pronoun refers back to several nouns, use a dash in front of the pronoun. …We received several letters, each of which …

Sentences Joined by “And”

If there are several sentences that have a coordinate conjunction between them — usually this is the word “and” — it is correct to put a comma before the coordinate conjunction, the “and.” There seems to be some discussion that, when there is a string of these sentences, there is no need for the commas. I know of no such rule. This is …