Common Mistakes

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Commas with Paired Adjectives

Coordinate Adjectives If two adjectives modify a noun in the same way, place a comma between the two adjectives. These are called coordinate adjectives. There is a two-part test for coordinate adjectives: (1) Can you replace the comma with the word and? (2) Can you reverse the order of the adjectives and keep the same

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Than/Then

Than is a conjunction used with comparisons. It rhymes with pan. Then is an adverb that refers to time. It rhymes with pen. Examples: He likes you more than me. First you take a cup of flour, and then you sift it.

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Warranty/Warrantee/Warrant

A warranty (accent on first syllable) is a guarantee. A warrantee (accent on last syllable) is a person or party who is guaranteed something. Neither word is used as a verb. The verb form is warrant.

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Commas and Introductory Words

Commas are used to set off certain items that often begin a sentence and have no grammatical connection with the rest of the sentence. These items include certain common expressions, unemphatic interjections, and direct addresses. Common Expression: But of course, we have mustard in the car. Unemphatic Interjection: Yes, we have no bananas. Direct Address:

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That/Where

Do not use where to replace that. This mistake is common with verbs like read or see. Incorrect: Joanna saw where the president was coming to town. (Unless you mean she saw the place he was coming to!) Correct: Joanna saw that the president was coming to town.

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