Category Archives: parts of speech

Double Possessive Revisited

The other day, I received this message from a visitor to Writing Tips: Which is correct? To be used as a caption under a picture. The Wright and Hilyer family vacation The Wright and Hilyer families vacation The Wright’s and … Continue reading

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Double Possessive

Last week, I received this question from Cherie: Which is correct? the College’s associate’s degree programs or the College’s associate degree programs? First things first. If the college uses associate degree programs, I’d recommend: The college’s associate degree programs. If … Continue reading

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Compound Possessive (noun + pronoun)

This morning, I received the following question about compound possessives from William Tate: What about when yourself and someone else are in possession. Do you say “me and Sarah’s house” or “Mine and Sarah’s house” or “Sarah’s and my house”? … Continue reading

Posted in possessive noun, possessive pronoun, word usage | 12 Comments

Grammar Contest Winner

Tim Dougherty, an English teacher at a Catholic school in Delaware, is the third winner of a March 2008 grammar contest on this blog. Here is the sentence that I invited readers to correct: Dr. Gonstead was a pioneer in … Continue reading

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Prepositional Phrase, Adverbial Phrase

Heard on the radio: In a startling announcement, the New York Mint plans to release a limited number of $100 union silver coins to the public. There’s only one thing wrong with this sentence: it doesn’t make sense. The opening  … Continue reading

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Comma (with coordinate conjunction)

This use of the comma is simple. If a coordinate conjunction (and, but, or) connects two independent clauses, insert a comma before the conjunction: I prefer classical music, but Wilbur likes jazz. I picked blackberries, and Alphonso went swimming. When … Continue reading

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Comma (after dependent clause)

As a general rule, use a comma when a dependent clause precedes an independent clause. The sentence above is an example of the rule it describes! “As a general rule” is incomplete; it can’t stand on its own. That makes … Continue reading

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