National Grammar Day – 12 Do’s and Don’ts

grammarIt’s National Grammar Day and we’re here to help you stay on track with our Rules of Netiquette.

Here are Some Common Grammar and Spelling Issues

1. Oxford Comma

Also known as a serial comma, the Oxford comma is used to separate units in a list. Some people want to eliminate the Oxford comma altogether, while others don’t know when to use it.

The Oxford comma belongs just before “and” and the last unit in the list.

Incorrect Example:

I like to cook, my family and my dog.

Correct Example:

I like to cook, my family, and my dog.

The Oxford comma is needed because otherwise, the sentence is read as the things you like to cook are your family and your dog, instead of three separate things that you like – to cook, your family, and your dog.

2. Apostrophes

This tricky little punctuation mark is used to show possession, but is often used incorrectly. If the object in the sentence belongs to the subject, an apostrophe is needed to show possession. However, apostrophes aren’t used after possessive pronouns such as my, mine, our, ours, his, hers, its, their, or theirs. Another common apostrophe mistake is using them on items that are not possessive, but plural.

Incorrect Examples:

Are you doing anything special for your mothers birthday?

Monday’s are the worst day of the week.

Correct Examples:

Are you doing anything special for your mother’s birthday?

Mondays are the worst day of the week.

An apostrophe is needed on “mother’s” because it’s possessive, meaning that the birthday belongs to your mother. “Mondays” does not need one because, in this particular sentence, it’s plural, meaning more than one Monday.

A correct example of a possessive day of the week would be “Are you going to make it to Wednesday’s meeting?” because the object (meeting) “belongs” to the subject (Wednesday).

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