When to Indent Paragraphs

Questions about when to indent paragraphs may constitute typographic minutia, but getting it right is important nonetheless, especially if you intend to produce writing that will be professionally published. Many people believe that every single paragraph in a piece of text should be indented. This is actually unnecessary. You should use indentation to indicate a …

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When to Use a Colon: 9 Simple Rules

Picture of a colon punctuation markIt is important that you know when to use a colon, as good writing in English will usually make use of this punctuation mark. A colon consists of two dots, one above the other, and it should not be confused with the semi-colon, which looks similar but has very different uses.

There are several rules that are useful when you are learning when to use a colon.

When to use a colon: Nine Simple Rules

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Should You Use a Colon or a Comma Before Quotation Marks?

Many people do not understand whether they should use a colon or a comma before quotation marks, to introduce direct speech. In truth, it doesn’t really matter, and if you are introducing a quotation by using words such as “he said,” “she commented,” “they asserted,” etc. using either a comma before the quotation mark or a …

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When to Use Commas: 15 Comma Rules Everyone Should Know

Comma rules are pretty complicatedMany people find it difficult to understand when to use commas. Comma rules appear to be extremely complicated, and it is very easy to make mistakes when using them. In this article, we present a comprehensive list of 15 comma rules that you should know in order to master the use of commas in your writing.

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An Unbelievable Twist of Fate That Superbly Demonstrates the Real Meaning of the Word Irony

Ronald Opus story demonstrates the true meaning of the word ironyThe word ironic is one of the most abused words in the English language. Isn’t it ironic? Actually, no, you can learn why here: 10 words that you think you know the meaning of, but probably don’t.

One story that perfectly illustrates the true meaning of the word irony was presented during the 1994 annual Darwin Awards ceremony. The Darwin Awards commemorate individuals whose foolish and idiotic behavior leads to their own death and simultaneously protects the gene pool of the human race.

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5 Complicated Punctuation Marks Explained in One Simple Picture

Punctuation marks are pretty complicated and getting your head around them won’t happen overnight. One of the most common uses of many punctuation marks is to give the reader an indication of when they should pause or take a breath. However, such pauses need to be managed carefully: you certainly do not want to leave your reader hyperventilating after a continual stream of shallow breaths forced by over-punctuation. Nor do you want them to be gasping for breath at the end of a long sentence that completely omits any punctuation marks.

It is also important that you use the right punctuation mark to correspond with the length of pause that the sentence requires. Here’s a quick overview of five punctuation marks that can be used to denote pauses, together with their corresponding duration of pause.

If you think you could benefit from more help with your punctuation, take a look at our free punctuation cheat sheet.

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When to Capitalize: A Free Printable Cheat Sheet

Wondering when to use capital letters? Knowing the basic rules of capitalization dos and don’ts does not come easily to anyone, and if you find that you are never quite sure which words should start with a capital letter and which should not, don’t worry, you are certainly not alone. Approximately 80% of the documents that are submitted for our editing and proofreading service contain at least one capitalization error, so it is pretty clear that those pesky capital letters confuse even the smartest people.

To help you, we have put together a capitalization cheat sheet that should give you an idea of when to capitalize. It contains a list of the common situations within which you should, and should not, start a given word with a capital letter. It’s free to print out and keep… so now you have no excuses!

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Top 7 Made-Up Words Found in Everyday Language

The English language is under serious threat from people who like to use made-up words that don’t really exist or who use words they don’t know the real meaning of.
The following seven words are completely made-up items of vocabulary that have crept into the English language and are misused on a very regular basis.

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Dependent and Independent Clauses

Commas change the meaning of sentencesThis article takes a look at dependent and independent clauses, give you tips on how you can identify them, and explains why understanding what they are is important for correct punctuation.

A clause is a group of words that contains both a subject (a noun or noun phrase) and a predicate (a simple verb or compound verb phrase, along with any objects
complementing the verb). There are two types of clauses: independent and dependent. Independent clauses are also referred to as main clauses, and dependent clauses are also known as a subordinate or relative clauses.

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Is the Word “It” a Noun?

Sign reads: "perfection has it's price."In this quick article, we answer the question, is the word “it” a noun?

We also review what nouns are and investigate the circumstances in which the word “it” may be construed as a noun. Before answering the question “is the word ‘it’ a noun?”, it is worth taking a look at the difference between nouns and pronouns.

What is a noun?

A noun is a naming word that is used to name a person, place, thing or abstract idea. There are abstract nouns and concrete nouns.

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