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 …

Trailing Off with the Word “So”

There is a difference of opinion about the function of the word “so.” Some think it is a coordinate conjunction like the word “and,” in which case it would take nothing in front of it as it has no subject and verb after it.   Others think it is an adverb that has been turned into a conjunction and takes …

“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 …

National Punctuation Day

Certainly this is a day to celebrate for all of us who deal each day with commas and dashes and question marks and semicolons. I am so thankful that I have the perfect place to “play” with punctuation on a daily basis. Thank you to all of you.

“Yes” and “No” and Their Friends

When “yes” and “no” are being used generically, there are no quotes. That is, when they are being used to refer to a positive or negative answer, they are not quoted. Attorneys are generally looking for a generic response and are not requiring that those words and only those words be used. When the “yes” and “no” are mixed in …

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 …

What about…? How about…?

“What about…?” and “How about…?” are idiomatic expressions that are meant to ask a question. It is true that they are not grammatically complete sentences in that they do not have a verb. However, idioms are unique unto themselves, and these two indicate questions and must stand alone with a question mark. If there is a question after this expression, …

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 …