Tag Archives: Commas

Verbs as Nouns: participles and gerunds—grammatical chameleons

Verbs as nouns Some words are like amphibious vehicles that can be both a boat and a truck: the same basic word form is equally at home behaving in very different ways One of the confusing aspects of English is that the same word can act as different parts of speech, or change the function

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Nouns: Proper nouns and common nouns – and capital letters

Proper or common? Of queens, receptionists and capital letters One useful way to split up the infinite number of nouns is to divide them into common and proper nouns. It is a useful division, because proper nouns are a very strange group of nouns: in several ways, they have quite different characteristics from all other

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The multimillion-dollar comma

Whoever thought punctuation wasn’t important? One little, seemingly insignificant comma cost a Canadian company more than $2 million.  Consider the next two sentences and consider what the difference in meaning is. The question is:  how long does the agreement have to last until it is terminated? [The agreement] shall continue in force for a period

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Commas: used with interchangeable expressions (expressions in apposition)

Apposition: unless you’re a grammar trivia fiend, you’ve probably never heard of this word, and think it is a typo for opposition. But apposition is a real word and, apart from being a useful word to know for crosswords and Scrabble, it describes a particular way that words can be arranged in part of a

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