July 25, 2014

Punctuation: The basics

Punctuation is more than simply a series of rules to be memorized. It is the tool that can most effectively fine tune your writing. The choice to use a semicolon rather than begin a new sentence. The decision to string series of phrases one after … [Read more...]

Case: Possessive Nouns


A possessive noun is a noun that names who or what owns or has possession of something. In most cases, for singular nouns to show that possession, we add an apostrophe and an a ('s). For plural nouns we simply an apostrophe except for those few … [Read more...]

Punctuation: Quotation Mark

1) Set off explanatory expressions with commas. In this example, attribution ("the mayor said") is inserted between the dependent clause ("If we ...") and the independent clause, ("we will") "If we can win this election," the mayor said, "we will … [Read more...]

Punctuation: Hyphen

Smaller than a dash, the hyphen brings words together rather than setting them apart.Use a hyphen to form compound modifiers. COMPOUND MODIFIER: The Definition: Two or more words are acting as a single modifier for a noun. The Clue: They … [Read more...]

Punctuation: Dash

Use a dash to notify the reader of a surprising element at the end of a sentence. The trapper gave his grandson a coat made of fur—skunk fur. Use a dash to announce a list, restatement or an amplification. The waiter's first … [Read more...]

Punctuation: The Colon

1)When the colon is used to introduce a complete sentence, the first word of that sentence should be capitalized. The announcement caught John by surprise: Fans who are standing on the field will be arrested. 2) But when the colon is used to … [Read more...]

Punctuation: Semicolon

1) When each item in a series includes commas, a semicolon is used to separate the items. The pilots were delighted that the owners approved the new contract, the one with the pay increase; accepted changes to the benefits package, changes that … [Read more...]

Punctuation: Comma

There are 11 simple rules that govern the comma in AP style. Be aware that this is a particular style. Other styles have different rules for comma use. 1) When the last item in a series is connected by a coordinating conjunction (e.g., and, or, … [Read more...]

Small Things that Matter #4: Hyphen Hassles


Perhaps no piece of punctuation gives us more trouble than the hyphen, in particular when we are trying to decide whether to hyphenate a compound modifier. In that realm, the average writer is as consistent as the stock market these days. So, … [Read more...]