Tag Archives: Punctuation

How to use hyphens and dashes

A hyphen is a short line used in compound words and double-barrelled names. There’s one there in “double-barrelled”, which is a compound word. Hyphens don’t usually have spaces before or after them. A dash is a long line used as a punctuation symbol. … Continue reading

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How to use commas part 4

The bracketing comma Bracketing commas usually come in pairs. They are used to mark information which is not essential to the meaning of a sentence. Such non-essential information is called a “non-restrictive phrase” or a “weak interruption”. E.g.: All the … Continue reading

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How to use commas part 3

The gapping comma The gapping comma is very simple. It is used to avoid repetition and to show that words have been left out. For example: The blue files contain invoices from 2012; the red files, from 2013. The words … Continue reading

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How to use commas part 2

The joining comma The joining comma is used to join two complete sentences into a single sentence. It must be followed by one of the following conjunctions: and, but, or, so, while, yet. Have a look at this example: The … Continue reading

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How to use commas

Following up on the previous post, here’s more on how to use commas in English. There are 4 different kinds of comma. I will look at each in a separate post. 1. Listing comma 2. Joining comma 3. Gapping comma … Continue reading

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Comma before “that”

Different languages have different rules about how to use commas. You cannot use the punctuation rules of your native language when you write in English – you must use English rules. Putting a comma before “that” is a very common … Continue reading

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How to use apostrophes

An apostrophe is one of these: ’ It is NOT one of these: ‘ That is an inverted comma (or quotation mark/speech mark), which is used for opening quotations.  ’ is also used to close a quotation, in which case … Continue reading

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Differences between British and American English

When you write in English you should decide whether to use British or American. Some companies have a policy about this, but many do not. Either way, you should aim to be consistent throughout a piece of writing. The table … Continue reading

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The difference between Shareholders’ meeting and Shareholders meeting

Do you add the apostrophe to Shareholders’ meeting? Or do you prefer Shareholders meeting, without the apostrophe? Both are in fact correct. It may seem like a very small point, but misunderstanding the underlying grammar is the source of some … Continue reading

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How to start emails

If you don’t know the name of the person you are writing to, start business emails with either of the following: Dear Sir, Dear Madam, Dear Madame, is wrong. If you don’t know whether you’re writing to a man or … Continue reading

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