Clause and clause. Dick ran, and Jane jumped.
Introductory clause, then clause. When Dick ran, Jane jumped.

Compound subject. Dick, and Jane ran. NO!
Compound predicate. Dick ran, and jumped. NO!

Short introductory phrase, then clause. Before going, Dick slept. NO!
Long introductory phrase, then clause. Before going to the library, Dick slept.

Punctuation and quotation marks

American and British:

Dick said, "I'll pay."
Dick asked, "Who will pay?"
Dick shouted, "You pay!"

"I'll pay," Dick said.
"Who will pay?" Dick asked.
"You pay!" Dick shouted.

Did Jane spell "Paris"?
Don't you dare spell "Paris"!


Jane spelled "Paris."
After Jane spelled "Paris," she left.


Jane spelled "Paris".
After Jane spelled "Paris", she left.

Do not begin sentences with the following:

This is . . . .
There is . . . .
It is . . . .

Avoid referring to "the doctor," "the patient," etc.

(a) No such generality as "the doctor" exists.
(b) "The doctor" requires such clumsy pronouns as she/he, her/him, etc. Doctors do exist, and doctors can be referred to by plural pronouns--e.g., they, them.

Apostrophes are used for possessives, not plurals.

The play was boring. The plays were boring.
The theme of the play was boring. The play's theme was boring.
The theme of the plays was boring. The plays' theme was boring.

1952 was a boring year. The legacy of 1952 was boredom.
1952's legacy was boredom.

The 1950s were boring. The legacy of the 1950s was boredom.
The 1950s' legacy was boredom.

The plural of numbers, letters, signs, and words considered as words is formed by adding an apostrophe and an s.

In the equation are two t's.
There are three 7's in my address.
Please don't use so many and's

That versus which

Restrictive clauses, which are essential to the meaning of the sentence, begin with "that" and are not set off by a comma.
The rats that performed well in the first experiment were used in the second experiment.

Unrestrictive clauses, which are not essential to the meaning of the sentence--they merely add further information--begin with "which" and are set off by a comma.
The rats, which performed well in the first experiment, were not proficient in the second experiment. [The second experiment was more difficult for all the rats.]

Adverbs that do not end in -ly

Do not add -ly to words that are already adverbs without adding -ly.

First, she ran. Second, she jumped.
Firstly, she ran. Secondly, she jumped. NO!

Further hints

My turn has come.
His turn has come.
Her turn has come.
Their turn has come.
Our turn has come.
Your turn has come.
Its turn has come.
It's turn has come. NO!
It is my turn. It's my turn.

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