Tips and helpful links: 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

Or, That versus which and when to use a comma


Go to: Misplaced modifiers


Hyphens, en and em dashes

Go to: Tips: hyphens, en dashes 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

Go to: Editing poetry vs editing prose

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


Other information

Formatting tips

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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