The Parenthetical

Margie Wakeman Wells The Comma Leave a Comment

Don’t forget that a parenthetical has to be surrounded by punctuation. When the parenthetical follows the word and, for example, there has to be a pair of commas around the parenthetical. …And in the morning we noticed the crack. (a prepositional phrase that is NOT a parenthetical but is just a modifier) …And, by the way, we noticed the crack. …

A Rather Obscure Dash Rule

Margie Wakeman Wells The Comma, The Dash 2 Comments

When an indefinite pronoun renames one noun, use a comma. …He saw several books, none of which interested him. …We looked at three models, each of which had some interesting features. …I talked to the kids involved, all of which told the same story. When an indefinite pronoun renames several nouns, use a dash. …He saw books, pamphlets, and magazines …

Clauses, Part 2

Margie Wakeman Wells The Comma Leave a Comment

When dependent clauses are joined by a coordinate conjunction, there is no comma because there is not an independent subject and verb after the conjunction. …I was more concerned when I got there and when I saw his condition. Sometimes the second “when” is omitted — and it is perfectly correct to do so. …I was more concerned when I …

Clauses, Part 1

Margie Wakeman Wells The Comma Leave a Comment

When two INDEPENDENT clauses are linked by a coordinate conjunction, there is a comma before the conjunction; when there is not an independent clause, independent subject and verb, after the coordinate conjunction, there is NOT a comma before the conjunction. …I left the office early that day, and I went straight to the doctor. …I left the office early that …

Is It a Phrase or a Clause? It Matters

Margie Wakeman Wells General, The Comma Leave a Comment

A dependent clause has a subject and a verb; a phrase does not. …after lunch (phrase) …after we ate lunch (clause) …since Friday (phrase) …since I left Friday (clause) …before the session (phrase) …before the session ended (clause) The difference matters. For example, at the beginning of a sentence, the phrases above do NOT take a comma; the clauses do. …

The Word “That” — Omitted

Margie Wakeman Wells General, The Comma 2 Comments

We have to be aware when the word “that” is omitted — which usually makes something a dependent clause, needing no comma, rather than an independent clause, which would need a comma. …Suppose [that] a patient arrives on an afternoon and [that] you’ve been in there in the morning. No comma before “and” because the “that” is understood, beginning a …

“Such As”

Margie Wakeman Wells General, The Comma Leave a Comment

The phrase “such as” is punctuated according to the rules of essential/nonessential. …The sciences such as chemistry and physics are viewed to be… …Cars such as Ford and GM are beyond… ..He enjoys Pepsi products, such as Mug root beer, more than… Frankly, it is difficult for me to think of a good example where it does take a comma. …