“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 …

The “Summary” Dash

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 …

The Sentence Is Over…

We see this same pattern often: We have finished a sentence; then we throw in something that renames the subject of that sentence. …We decided to spend the weekend away — my husband and I….The company had been in the red — Mitchell Engineering. …That is what I wanted to tell you — that he was here today. The grammar …

Capping After the Dash

Do not cap a word after a dash unless it always has to be capped. …He was on his way to — to visit her in the hospital. …She helped him to — helped her to the couch after she fell. When there is a complete chance of topic after the dash, paragraph the next sentence. Of course, the paragraphed …

Commas Around Them, Commas Inside Them

When elements that have commas around them also have commas within them, the commas around them change to dashes. …If it has misspellings — whether they be medications, medical terms, or names — you’ll end up having to change them yourself. …The men who helped us — Ron, Ross, Ralph, and Manny — volunteered on their own. …All of the …

The Dash —

Rather than thinking of the dash as being used for an “interruption,” it will serve you better to frame that rule as “A dash is used for a sentence that got started and did not get finished — broken sentence structure.” This thinking will allow you to use a dash in some places that may feel uncomfortable but where it …

A Not-Very-Well-Known Dash Rule

Most reporters use the dash simply for that ever-present interruption. There are, however, grammar rules associated with the dash. Here’s one: When an indefinite pronoun follows ONE word and renames it, there is most often a comma. When an indefinite pronoun follows MORE THAN ONE word and renames each word, there should be a dash. …He took medications, some of …

The Dash

Just the basic rules for the dash. It is the third one that many people don’t always remember. There are three basic reasons to use a dash:1. broken sentence structure (This is where the interruption fits.)2. full sentence dropped into another full sentence…I want to read to you from — can you hear me? — your deposition on May 5.…I …