Common Mistakes

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The Three Most Common Comma Rules

While there are many specific uses for commas, nearly eighty-five percent of the commas used in written English are used in a mere three situations. If you know the basic rule for these three cases, you can use commas in over four-fifths of the times you need to use commas. 1. Put a comma before

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Commas with Quotations

Commas are used to set off the “he said/she said” clause. The comma always goes before the quotation marks. Incorrect: Henrietta asked “Do you want to go with me?” (Comma must set off “she said” clause.) Incorrect: Henrietta asked”,Do you want to go with me?” (Comma must go before quotation mark.) Correct: Henrietta asked,”Do you

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Tactics/Strategy

Tactics is the science and art of handling troops and military units in the presence of the enemy. By extension, it can mean any maneuvering or adroit device to accomplish a goal. The adjective form is tactical. As an illustration, the military term tactical unit refers to the largest group of troops or troops and

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Unique (and Other Absolute Modifiers)

Unique means “one of a kind.” Therefore, comparatives, superlatives, and words like very, so, or extremely should not be used to modify it. If it is one of a kind, it cannot be compared! Incorrect: He is a very unique personality. Correct: He is a unique personality. This same logic applies to other words which

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Commas in Compound Sentences

Use a comma to separate independent clauses in a compound sentence when they are separated by a conjunction. The comma goes after the first clause and before the coordinating conjunction that separates the clauses. Make sure they are independent clauses and not some other construction where commas are not required. Correct: We washed the dog,

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