Category Archives: sentence structure

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

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Diagramming Sentences

I learned the rudiments of diagramming sentences when I was in grade school. Or was it junior high? In any case, diagramming is a valuable tool for writers and editors who want to know not only how, but why, one … Continue reading

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Parallel Construction

Greetings! This is a line from an ad I have heard on the radio: It doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive or the home you live in. The sentence starts out fine: It doesn’t matter what kind of … Continue reading

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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

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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

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Syntax Afflictions Contest

I just LOVE sentences with syntax afflictions. Here are two for your enjoyment. In a future post, I’ll mention the first person to send in cures for both of them. His wife was in the studio, a radiating woman named … Continue reading

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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

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