Category Archives: punctuation

Punctuation Clinic

As I was reading along, thoroughly enjoying a murder mystery, this sentence stopped me cold. It’s a terrific example of a run-on sentence, and I couldn’t make sense of it: “I’ve said no comment can’t comment and plain I really … Continue reading

Posted in punctuation, sentence structure | 3 Comments

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

Posted in comma, coordinate conjunction, punctuation | Leave a comment

Comma (be aware of the verb)

Here’s an intriguing example of when not to use a comma: The secret pact that had saved them in their turbulent adolescent years, could spell his doom now. Do you see the problem? The comma interrupts the flow of the … Continue reading

Posted in clear thinking, comma, punctuation, sentence structure | Leave a comment

Comma (not)

The Copyeditor’s Handbook author Amy Einsohn offers a clear and simple rule for one of the cases in which a comma is not appropriate: Do not insert a comma between a subject and the second member of a compound predicate. … Continue reading

Posted in comma, punctuation, sentence structure | Leave a comment

Restrictive vs. nonrestrictive clause (a comedian’s view)

Georg Muntingh in Norway wrote that my recent post about the comma and restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses reminded him of something comedian Demetri Martin once said. According to Georg, Demetri told of a time that he was in a clothing … Continue reading

Posted in clear thinking, punctuation, sentence structure, usage | 2 Comments

Comma (and restrictive vs. nonrestrictive clause)

In a previous post, I wrote that using a comma after an introductory dependent clause is standard practice, no thinking required. To refresh your memory, here’s a sentence that begins with an introductory dependent clause: If you’d like to go … Continue reading

Posted in Blogroll, clause, comma, dependent, independent, punctuation, sentence structure | 1 Comment

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

Posted in comma, parts of speech, punctuation, sentence structure | Leave a comment