Grammar Tip: Hyphenating Compound Adjectives

Hyphens play a wide variety of roles in written English. One of those roles is to add clarity to compound adjectives (adjectives made of two or more words) that immediately precede and modify nouns in sentences.

A woman sitting at a desk using a word processor on her computer to add commas to a title

Grammar Tip: Should I Put Commas Around a Title?

Let our own editor, Roger Siebert, guide you on whether you need commas around a book title! If you find yourself wondering whether you should put commas around a word or phrase that restates another noun, such as the book title in the sentence “The novel Carrie was published in 1974,” ask yourself if the word or phrase answers the question “Which _____?” So in this case, does “Carrie” answer the question “Which novel?” Yes, it does. Countless novels exist, and “Carrie” specifies which one we’re referring to. So the book title is necessary information and should not be set off with commas.

Grammar Tip: Parenthetical Content

Let our own editor, Roger Siebert, guide you on parenthetical content. Parenthetical content is a word, phrase, or sentence that functions as an aside, briefly departing from the main discourse. The punctuation normally used to separate parenthetical content from the main text is, of course, parentheses, but parenthetical commas or em dashes may also be used.