“That Is…” and Others

This is an abbreviated version of what is in my book on these eight parentheticals. PARENTHETICAL TO INTRODUCE AN APPOSITIVE Sometimes, when a person wants to explain, reiterate, rename, or restate something — that is, he wants to use an appositive — he uses a parenthetical before the appositive. These are the expressions most commonly used as parentheticals before an …

What about…? How about…?

“What about…?” and “How about…?” are idiomatic expressions that are meant to ask a question. It is true that they are not grammatically complete sentences in that they do not have a verb. However, idioms are unique unto themselves, and these two indicate questions and must stand alone with a question mark. If there is a question after this expression, …

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 …