Margie Wakeman Wells Essential versus Nonessential, MWW Blog, Phrases, Sentence Structure, The Comma, The Semicolon Leave a Comment

Just a reminder: Sentence Structure, a study of clauses and phrases, begins this Saturday, August 10, at 8:30 A.M. PDT. Go to margieholdsclass.com for details and registration. And, yes, I had a MAJOR grammar mistake in my last post!!! …I give this class ONLY once a year. The placement of “only” matters!!!! Happy punctuating! Margie

Phrases and Clauses — The Never-ending Dilemma

Margie Wakeman Wells Clauses, MWW Blog, Phrases, Sentence Structure Leave a Comment

Phrases and Clauses: How can I tell the difference? Does it matter? Can I punctuate them the same? Do adverb phrases always take commas or never take commas? Does “essential” have anything to do with it? These two language elements, phrases and clauses, function differently from each other and are punctuated according to two different sets of rules. Understanding how …

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 …

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 …

Noun Clause out of Place

Margie Wakeman Wells General, The Comma, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

We generally start a sentence with the subject and verb and put direct objects and objects of prepositions later in the sentence. When these objects are clauses, they usually go after the verb. …I do not remember whether he paid me or not. …He is not aware of what you are saying. Sometimes a speaker decides to move that clause …

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 …

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 …