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 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 …

Prepositional Phrase

Margie Wakeman Wells General Leave a Comment

The terms “essential/nonessential” NEVER apply to a prepositional phrase. Prepositional phrases that are adjectives tend to be right after the word they modify; prepositional phrases that are adverbs can float around in the sentence. One prepositional phrase that just modifies rarely has punctuation. …The man in the red shirt is my dad. …The car near mine was also damaged. …We …

Prepositional Phrases

Margie Wakeman Wells General, Uncategorized 2 Comments

When a short prepositional phrase is a simple adverb, it is never punctuated based on essential/nonessential. When it is an adverb, it usually takes no punctuation since adverbs get to wander around in the sentence. …On Monday we visited her in the hospital. …We visited her in the hospital on Monday. …We visited her on Monday in the hospital. There …

More on the Prepositional Phrase at the Beginning of the Sentence

Margie Wakeman Wells The Comma 8 Comments

We said earlier that a short prepositional phrase at the beginning of a sentence that is just a simple modifier does NOT take a comma. Let’s look at what prepositional phrases do take a comma. RULE: Put a comma after a “long” prepositional phrase. (Though there is no set number of words to necessarily count, the dividing line is somewhere …

Prepositional Phrase at the Beginning of the Sentence

Margie Wakeman Wells The Comma 7 Comments

So let’s talk prepositional phrases at the beginning of a sentence. What if this prepositional phrase is just a simple modifier, a simple adverb modifier? …On Monday we will begin the new program. …On April 9 he came in and resigned. …In the afternoon I had the responsibility to gather them together. …Before the contract we had to go in …