Use it when you are making a list, and the list items already have commas.
— I’ve lived in Los Angeles, California; Denver, Colorado; New York, New York; Miami, Florida; and Seattle, Washington.
How many times have you read someone’s status update on a social media site and wondered about their egregious use of that little hash mark at the top of the writing space–the apostrophe? Lately, it seems that people strew them about like leaves in fall! Let’s lessen the confusion and have a quick refresher on the subject.
An apostrophe serves three purposes:
Omission… Continue reading
Quotation marks are inverted commas that are put around a word or set of words to show that someone else has said, is saying, or will say them. In American English, the standard is to use the double quotation mark ( “words” ) for identifying a speaker’s words, although technically, single ( ‘words’ ) and double quotation marks are interchangeable.
Periods and commas always go INSIDE the quotes. (American English)
— He said, “Don’t stop.” OR “Don’t walk,” he said.
Question marks follow logic. Is the question part of the quote or not?
— She asked, “Do you love me?” (Inside the quotes because she asked the question.)
— Do you agree with the quote, “Haste makes waste”? (Outside the quotes because the whole statement is a question and the quote itself is not a question.
If the statement is a question, AND the quote is a question, use… Continue reading
For our second lesson in my ABCs of English series: commas again! I guess these little punctuation marks are pretty important to writing, aren’t they? Commas seem to be fairly self-explanatory, but when I do my editing work, I find that many people–from authors to students to a wide array of professionals–just don’t understand where commas are meant to go. In this section, we’ll delve just a little deeper into how the little guys work.
— He is an experienced, attentive lover. (Yes, because you can say “experienced and attentive.”)
— They stayed at an expensive summer resort. (No, because you wouldn’t say “an expensive and summer resort.”)
Commas surround phrases that interrupt the flow of the sentence.
— I am, as you can see, too busy to chat.
Test… Continue reading
Hello! My name is Kristina; I’m a writer and editor. I love everything about my native tongue: English, but it often seems that, as students, we aren’t taught the rules of our language very clearly. Well, English doesn’t have to be that complicated, and hopefully I can help clear up a bit of the mystery for you guys. Every Wednesday, I’ll stop by with a short note dealing with a certain part of grammar or punctuation, some spelling tips, or other ways to help you polish up your language skills. Don’t worry, I promise to make it fun, or at least quick! And if you have any questions you’d like me to tackle, always feel free to ask.
First lesson: Commas. Easy, right? 😉
Commas separate adjectives. –She is a tall, thin woman.
Commas separate a list of three or more nouns. — Please… Continue reading