Tips: grammar, punctuation, spelling
‘That’, ‘which’ and whether to put a comma before which
Traditionally, we use “that” with restrictive clauses and “which” with non-restrictive clauses. A restrictive clause ‘restricts’ the identity of the subject in some way. A non-restrictive clause does not restrict, or define, the subject but might tell us something incidental about the subject.
For a detailed explanation go to: That versus which
Go to: Misplaced modifiers
Hyphens, en and em dashes
Punctuation of dialogue
Go to: How to punctuate dialogue
Whether you should or can use the ‘Oxford’ or ‘serial’ comma (the comma that is placed before the ‘and’ that goes before the last item in a list of things) depends on the style guide you are using, which may depend on which country the publication is intended for (e.g. USA uses the serial comma style; UK and Australia generally do not, although some style guides/publishers do require the US-style Oxford comma to be used).
In other words, it’s like Holden and Ford, Mac and PC, and all those other things people have different views about. Some editors prefer to use the Oxford comma; others prefer to not use it; but in the end, the decision must always be based on the style guide that has been chosen for that publication. For a detailed explanation of where the Oxford comma came from and its place in our world today, go to: The Oxford (or serial) comma.
Other information about commas:
Colons, semicolons, commas
Go to: How to use a semicolon
Go to: Common spelling mistakes.
Grammar, spelling and punctuation when editing poetry
About grammar, punctuation and spelling in general
For detailed information on punctuation (UK and Australian usage), go to: University of Sussex guide to punctuation.
Go to Mary Norris’s blog about grammar and punctuation (noting her articles pertain to American usage): The Comma Queen – blog
Quirky comedy for people who love grammar, punctuation and spelling
- Jake corrects Amy’s Grammar (from Brooklyn 99) (video)
- Having dinner with your editor (image)
- How ironic – (image)
- Beware grammar police – (image)
- Last person to use two spaces after a fullstop dies (article)
For tips to help you with various formatting issues (e.g. creating a table of contents), go to: Tips for formatting in Word.
Note: this is a work-in-progress article comprising tips and links to helpful articles about punctuation, grammar and spelling which I continually update as I come across new items of interest. As I include more information, I’ll create new headings and subheadings so it’s easy to look up information.
Image: Pixabay Creative Commons Licence (no attribution required)
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