Watch Out for the Run-On

Remember that, even though there are little short sentences, they are still sentences if they have their own subject and verb and can stand alone. Punctuating them with a comma creates a run-on. …That’s right. He was long overdue for the visit. …Let’s see. I think it was May. …He’s an adult. He needs to get a job. …He works …

A Different Meaning for the Period or Semicolon Before “Is That Correct?”

Deciding to use a period versus a semicolon before “Is that correct?” and expecting your reader to distinguish that they mean something different is an exercise in extreme subtlety. This distinction has been pushed around out there for a long time. …You testified that he arrived at 9:00; is that correct? — meaning is it correct that you testified to this?  …You testified that he …

“Yes” and “No”

I think we have done this recently, but here it is again. There are several rules floating around on what comes after yes and no. The easiest and simplest is this: When the words after yes and no echo or repeat the words in the question, use a comma. Otherwise, use a period.…Q Were you there on Friday?…A Yes, I …

The Fragment

One of the rules that we need most in this field: Punctuate a fragment exactly the same way that you would punctuate the grammatically complete sentence that it stands for. …Q  What time did you leave? …A   I left at 10:00. I was a little late. …Q  What time did you leave? …A   At 10:00. I was a little late. …

A Period or an Interrog

When there are two parts to a sentence and one is a statement and the other is a question, it is the one at the end that determines the terminal punctuation. …What he wants to know is where were you going? …The question I am asking is how far were you willing to take this? …Where were you going? is …

Period After the Fragment Answer

Remember to put a period after a fragment answer. Do not attach it to the following part of the answer. Q  Where were you waiting at the time? A   At the bus station. We had been there several hours. Q  When did the appointment take place? A   On Monday. We all went with him. Happy punctuating! Margie

Greetings from WA State

This is one beautiful place. I am looking forward to seeing the WA reporters on Saturday for a second time this year! After “yes” and “no,” we need to use a comma when the words after the “yes” or “no” echo the words of the question. …Q     Did you see him later in the evening? …     A     Yes, I did. …

The Word “So”

When the word so means “therefore,” it begins a new sentence and needs to be preceded by a semicolon or a period. It NEVER takes a single separating comma after it but can always have something after it that requires a pair of commas. …We live near the beach; so there are issues with dampness and mold. …The vegetation had …