Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Today's Writing Tip – Close Your Clauses

Often in haste, or without realizing that we need to do so, writers will begin to separate a segment of a sentence and then forget to close it off.

Here's an example – "My brother is bringing his fiancée, Diane to Thanksgiving dinner." What's wrong with that sentence? Diane is my brother's one and only fiancée – one would hope. We start out by separating her first name by a comma, but then we don't add the remaining comma which would complete the sentence.
How should we write it? "My brother is bringing his fiancée, Diane, to Thanksgiving dinner." The way you can tell that the latter is right is that you can eliminate Diane altogether from that sentence and it will still make sense. "My brother is bringing his fiancée to Thanksgiving dinner."

Of course, Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without Diane so we are not eliminating her invitation!

Sigrid Macdonald is an editor and the author of five books including How to Be Your Own Editor, available on Amazon:





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