Common Mistakes

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Commas After Introductory Clauses

Place a comma after an introductory adverb clause. An adverb clause shows time, place, degree, extent, cause, or condition. It is a subordinate clause which begins with a subordinating conjunction. Correct: Before the curtain fell, the actors bowed. Correct: If the next two nights are sellouts, the play will be extended. Note that if a

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That/Which/Who

That, which, and who when used as relative pronouns each has a distinct function. In modern speech, which refers only to things. Who (or its forms whom and whose) refers only to people. That normally refers to things but it may refer to a class or type of person. Examples: That is a book which

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Went/Gone

Gone is the past participle of to go. Used as the verb of a sentence, it must always be preceded by an auxiliary verb such as has, have, had, is, am, are, was, were, be, or one of their contractions. Went is the past tense of to go. It never takes an auxiliary verb. Incorrect:

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Commas with Interrupting Expressions

In addition to the items covered in Commas with Introductory Words, conjunctive adverbs are also set off by commas. Conjunctive Adverbs are adverbs which join sentence parts. The following words are the most common conjunctive adverbs: also besides furthermore however indeed instead moreover nevertheless otherwise therefore thus Correct: John headed this way; however, he did

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