“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 …

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 Colon or the Dash

Margie Wakeman Wells The Colon, The Dash Leave a Comment

There is a place where the rule for the colon and the rule for the dash overlap, in other words, a place where each one is correct. …There are several things to consider: money outlay, time spent, manpower involved. …There are several things to consider — money outlay, time spent, manpower involved. In this instance, it is really best to opt for the colon …

The “Summary” Dash

Margie Wakeman Wells The Dash, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

There is a little-known dash rule that is called the “summary dash.” It is used when a sentence has concluded and a clause refers back to the subject of that sentence. The clause is really an appositive to the subject of the sentence. (There are other instances of a summary dash that we will save for another day.) …It was something I never …

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 …

The Dash You Hate

Margie Wakeman Wells The Dash 4 Comments

…The key that was hidden on the premises — is it the one you used to get in that night? “The key that was hidden on the premises” is the start of a sentence that never gets finished. Then the person comes back and uses a complete sentence with a reference to “key” with the word “it.” There is nothing …