Punctuation Quiz #22: Introductory Phrases

An introductory adverbial phrase is often set off by a comma, but the comma can be omitted if no misreading will result. Short adverbial phrases do not always need a comma. The following sentences are written without punctuation. Insert a comma if you think one is needed.

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70 “Home” Idioms and Expressions

1. A man’s home is his castle: a sentiment that a man should have freedom to do what he wants in his home (originally “An Englishman’s home is his castle”) 2. A woman’s place is in the home: a largely outdated notion that a woman’s activities should be limited to child-rearing and housekeeping 3. At […]

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Top 11 Writing Apps for iOS (iPhone and iPad)

Finding the best writing apps for iOS can be challenging. Arguably the best word processor in existence, Microsoft Word, was designed with Windows in mind. Still, developers have answered the call and diehard Apple fans can still find several high-quality writing apps to help them write down their ideas.

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3 Sentences That Require a Tense Shift

Many writers seem to assume that all verbs in a sentence must be in the same tense, but the tense for each verb should be appropriate to the context. Here are three examples of sentences in which a statement about a past event should reflect a continuous state. Discussion after each sentence explains the reasoning, and revisions illustrate it.

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Patron and Matron

As Latin scholars may recognize, patron and matron are cognate with the Latin words for “mother” and “father.” However, their senses, and those of inflectional forms of these words, extend beyond the immediately family.

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3 Cases of Incomplete Parallel Structure

In each of the sentences below, an action or result is described in comparison or contrast to another, but the phrasing that expresses the parallel between the two phenomena is faulty. Discussion after each example explains the problem, and revisions illustrate solutions.

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The Prefix “Hypo” and Related Words

A recent post listed and defined words with the Greek prefix hyper– (meaning “above,” “beyond,” or “over”). Here, words based on its antonym, hypo-, are the focus.

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More About “Mission”

A recent post listed and defined many words containing the element mit and miss and descended from the Latin verb mittere, meaning “send.” This follow-up offers related words not as easily discerned as being part of the mittere family.

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3 Easy Ways to Write More Concisely

Writers can employ various categorical strategies to make their writing more active and concise. Here are three simple types of unnecessary wording to keep in mind (and out of one’s writing).

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The Prefix “Hyper” and Related Words

Words with the Greek prefix hyper– (meaning “above,” “beyond,” or “over”) are listed and defined in this post. (A subsequent post will focus on words with the antonymic prefix hypo.)

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  • Mark Nichol on
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