Commas on Steroids Starts This Sunday

Margie Wakeman Wells Clauses, Essential versus Nonessential, The Comma Leave a Comment

My first-time-ever class on commas alone, Commas on Steroids, begins this Sunday, January 13, and then meets both days next weekend, January 19 and 20. (As I am putting the class together, I am thinking we need more time, but that will have to be a Part 2 comma class at a later date!) We will spend the entire six …

“Margie Rules” — The Subscription

Margie Wakeman Wells The Comma, The Dash, The Semicolon Leave a Comment

I have an excellent example this morning of what we do in Margie Rules. This is my $10-a-month subscription program. We offer a 10 percent discount on all my books and seminars; a live monthly session online for questions and discussion of English topics; and a dedicated FB page, where I answer questions and explain the grammar/punctuation that applies to …

“That Is…” and Others

Margie Wakeman Wells The Colon, The Comma, The Dash, The Semicolon Leave a Comment

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 …

Compound Question

Margie Wakeman Wells The Comma, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

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 …

A Little-Known Dash Rule

Margie Wakeman Wells The Comma, The Dash Leave a Comment

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 …

The Idea of “Essential”

Margie Wakeman Wells Essential versus Nonessential, The Comma Leave a Comment

As I have stated on other occasions, there is widespread confusion or perhaps lack of understanding of what the terms “essential” and “nonessential” mean in punctuation. I would say again: Putting a pair of commas around an element does not always mean that you can take it out of the sentence and have the sentence make sense. In other words, …

The Word “Then”

Margie Wakeman Wells The Comma, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

When “then” means “at that time,” it does not take a comma as it is an adverb. …He was then on his way to becoming successful. …I saw them and then began to wonder what would happen. If “then” is at the beginning of a sentence, it starts a new sentence and needs a semicolon or a period in front …