Those Pesky Conjunctive Adverbs

The rule is that, when an adverb is pulled out to the front of a COMPLETE sentence, it becomes a “conjunctive” adverb, begins a brand-new sentence, and needs a period or a semicolon in front of it and a comma after it if it has more than one syllable. It is common to do this with certain adverbs such as …

“Margie Rules” — The Subscription

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 …

The Connecting Adverb

A “conjunctive adverb” is a word that is usually an adverb that has been pulled out to the front of the sentence to connect the sentence it is in to the one in front of it. It has a semicolon in front of it and a comma after it if it is more than one syllable. …He had been on …

Punctuation Precision

Good morning. Just a reminder that Punctuation Precision begins this Saturday. This is your chance to “pull it all together.” In the 20 hours we will cover all the marks of punctuation and show how each fits into the big picture. There will be time to cover those crazy things that seem unique to reporting transcripts. If you need CEUs …

“Self” Words

I have had a request to explain pronouns that end in self/selves. This is a category of words called “compound personal pronouns.” They are …myself, ourselves …yourself, yourselves …himself, herself, itself, themselves First, let’s say that there are several mistakes made in the way these words are said. Plural mistakes: …ourselves, not ourself …themselves, not themself  or theirself Form mistakes: …

“That Is…” and Others

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 …

Oops. Need to Make a Correction

I have a sentence in the last post that is missing a comma. The commas are surrounding the dependent clause. …Do you remember [that, (when I saw you at Christmas), you promised to help me with that]? It just goes to show that we can miss something no matter how many times we proofread! Happy punctuating! Margie

The Adverb Clause

In my opinion, understanding dependent clauses and the way they work inside a sentence and how they are punctuated is at the very heart of understanding the language. When clauses are punctuated correctly, it helps the reader decipher what is going on in a sentence and produces a sentence that flows and is easy to read. With that said, I …

Compound Question

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

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 …