Some Grammar and Punctuations Rules 5

Are prepositions something you can end a sentence with? Yes. Most grammarians now disregard the old rule about not ending sentences with prepositions. It’s better to end a sentence with a preposition than write an awkward, stilted statement.

Awkward: This is the manual with which the computer came.

Better: This is the manual the computer came with.

Pronouns are substitutes for nouns (or other pronouns). The key in understanding how to use pronouns is knowing whether they are subjects or objects in their sentences. When the pronoun is part of the subject of a sentence, use a nominative pronoun (see below). When the pronoun is part of the object in a sentence – the thing acted upon – or the object of a preposition, use the objective case.


A pronoun that follows a preposition is the object of that preposition and should therefore be in the objective case.

Correct: It was I who wrote the report.

Incorrect: It was me who wrote the report.

Correct: Let’s keep this between you and me.

Incorrect: Let’s keep this between you and I.

Another point about pronouns: Be clear about which noun they’re replacing.

Ambiguous: After Rick spoke to the man, he felt better.

(Who felt better? Rick or the man?)

Clear: After speaking with the man, Rick felt better.

Clear: After Rick spoke with the man, Rick felt better. (It’s better to repeat the noun and sound repetitive than to be unclear.)

One way to reduce confusion is to place the pronoun as close as possible to the noun it is replacing.

quotation marks (“ ”)                                  
The main function of quotation marks is to signal the beginning and end of a direct quote: “Tell my husband I’ll call him back,” the CEO said to her secretary. Also use quotation marks:

Around the titles of articles, stories, speeches, and chapters and other parts of a larger printed work

When introducing a new term (We’re calling our new toy a “zigley.”)

Punctuating with quotation marks: Many people find the question of whether to place periods and other punctuation inside or outside quotation marks confusing. The rules are simple:

Periods and commas go inside the final quotation mark.

Semicolons and colons go outside the final quotation mark.

Question marks and exclamation points go inside the final quotation mark when they are part of the quoted material; they go outside the quotation mark when they are not.

Incorrect: After the sales pitch he asked, “So how much will this really cost us”?

Correct: After the sales pitch he asked, “So how much will this really cost us?”

Quotes within quotes: Use single quotation marks to note quotations within quotations.

The manager said, “During our presentation, I overheard the client say, ‘I’m impressed.’”

Do not use quotation marks to indicate that you are being sarcastic or using a word loosely.

Incorrect: She thought the top made her look “with it.”

run-on sentence                                         
A run-on sentence is two or more sentences without punctuation separating them.

The economy is good however the market for our product is poor.

Ways to fix run-on sentences include:

Dividing them into separate sentences.

The economy is good. However, the market for our product is poor.

Joining them with a comma and a conjunction.

The economy is good, but the market for our product is poor.

Joining them with a semicolon.

The economy is good; however, the market for our product is poor.

semicolon (;)                                            
The semicolon has two main uses:

To connect two closely related sentences that are not joined by a conjunction.

Red is my favorite color; half my wardrobe is red.

To separate items on a list when the items are long, complex, or have commas within them.

I will need the following: two highlighters, one yellow and one green; three pencils; poster board, preferably the thick kind; and a large roll of masking tape.

serial comma                                          
The comma before the and or or in a series is now considered optional, but I include it to avoid confusion. Whether or not you choose to include this serial comma, be consistent throughout your document. See also comma.