More on the Prepositional Phrase at the Beginning of the Sentence

Margie Wakeman Wells The Comma 8 Comments

We said earlier that a short prepositional phrase at the beginning of a sentence that is just a simple modifier does NOT take a comma. Let’s look at what prepositional phrases do take a comma. RULE: Put a comma after a “long” prepositional phrase. (Though there is no set number of words to necessarily count, the dividing line is somewhere …

A Very Messy Sentence

Margie Wakeman Wells General 5 Comments

This was over on FB with lots of comments and suggestions. Here is my take: That means that, if a body part is lost — for example, in an amputation — or if a body part if not functioning properly — for example, if somebody experiences stiffness — it could result in deficiency doing some kind of activity of daily …

“The Years in 2000” Problem

Margie Wakeman Wells Numbers 9 Comments

Good morning, In Fergus Falls, MN, this morning, headed for Bismarck, ND, and then Grand Forks — two groups of fabulous North Dakota reporters. This question came up on my page on Facebook: “More and more since we have entered the year 2000 and beyond, people are starting to shorten the years as they say them. It’s not 2007; it’s …

Questions of the Day: “Because” and Email Addresses

Margie Wakeman Wells General 28 Comments

These are two questions I have answered this morning: I hate “because” clauses. Does this get a comma? “I am not asking about conversations you had with your attorney because that’s privileged. A clause that starts with “because” is an adverb clause. When an adverb clause is at the end of the unit it modifies, it does NOT take a …

Prepositional Phrase at the Beginning of the Sentence

Margie Wakeman Wells The Comma 7 Comments

So let’s talk prepositional phrases at the beginning of a sentence. What if this prepositional phrase is just a simple modifier, a simple adverb modifier? …On Monday we will begin the new program. …On April 9 he came in and resigned. …In the afternoon I had the responsibility to gather them together. …Before the contract we had to go in …

Is It a Phrase or a Clause? It Matters!

Margie Wakeman Wells Definitions 9 Comments

I want to get some terminology straight. I often see posts on Facebook that use the terms phrase and clause — incorrectly. It is important to recognize the difference because whether something is a phrase or a clause directly affects punctuation. Here is the “CliffsNote” version of the grammar of phrases and clauses. A phrase is a group of related …