Author Archives: clanier

Idiomatic Expressions

Some expressions are idiomatic to English – that is, they are peculiar to English – and their meaning can’t be determined from the elements in the phrase. Some idiomatic expressions are metaphorical. Some cannot be translated word for word into another language. They are used frequently in both speech and writing. Familiar idioms include ‘get…
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Idiomatic Expressions” »

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Idiomatic Expressions

Comma Splices

A comma splice contains two main clauses (independent sentences that make sense by themselves) that are stuck together with just a comma. This is also known as a comma fault. Here are some tips for recognizing and fixing them. For a basic sentence you need a subject and verb, and the sentence must be a…
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Comma Splices” »

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Comma Splices

Other Comma Uses and Misuses

Commas are used to separate items in a series to prevent confusion. Use a comma before the “and” in the series. If you have three items in a series, two commas are needed. In a four item series. three commas are needed, and so on. Here’s an example: Peter drove his friend the minister and…
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Other Comma Uses and Misuses” »

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Other Comma Uses and Misuses

Sentence Fragments

A sentence fragment is a group of words beginning with a capital letter and ending with a period. Though written as if it were a sentence, it’s not only part of a sentence and can’t stand on its own. For a basic sentence, you need a subject and verb, and the sentence must be a…
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Sentence Fragments” »

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Sentence Fragments

Subject-Verb Agreement

The subject of a sentence is the focus of the sentence, and it performs the action. The verb in a sentence is the action word. Determine what or who is performing the action of the sentence, and then choose the verb form that fits the subject, not the intervening words. My sister plays the French…
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Subject-Verb Agreement” »

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Subject-Verb Agreement