Punctuating a sentence containing em dashes within commas [duplicate]

This question already has an answer here: em-dash and comma, which comes first (1 answer) Closed 6 years ago. I always find myself writing sentences that contain clauses within clauses, and I can never decide what the right way to punctuate this is. I’m not specifying what kinds of clauses because they could technically be … Read more

Are commas and dashes truly interchangeable?

My English teacher told me that “dashes and commas are interchangeable”. For instance, “My friend, Alex, ran to the store.” and, “My friend–Alex–ran to the store.” are both grammatically correct sentences and have the same meaning. However, is, “My friend–Alex, ran to the store.” a correct sentence? Or can the sentence only have one or … Read more

Independent clause with no subject

Like this “Read, write, and think”, this is classified as independent clause but they contain verbs only. Is it possible to thave an Independent Clause with no subject? Answer You don’t use a subject when creating an “imperative sentence”. “You” is generally omitted, but sometimes it is used. You (pointing one among multiple people) go. … Read more

How the west was won – Is this a noun phrase?

I’m trying to determine what the following types of phrases (in bold within the sentences below) would be called. I want to say they’re noun phrases, but I may be wrong. To me, these resolve to nouns that can be used as subjects or objects, so that’s why I think they might be noun phrases, … Read more

Using a comma before “and we already have a toaster.” [duplicate]

This question already has answers here: Is it mandatory to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction uniting the two independent clauses in a compound sentence? (2 answers) Closed 7 years ago. Which of the following is correct? No gifts please, we don’t need any orchids and we already have a toaster. No gifts please, … Read more

Identifying parts of a sentence

How do the bolded sections of the sentences below function grammatically? (taken from David McCullough’s John Adams) Philadelphia, the provincial capital of Pennsylvania on the western bank of the Delaware River, was a true eighteenth-century metropolis, the largest, wealthiest city in British America, and the most beautiful. It seems to me that “most beautiful” could … Read more

How very dare you!

The phrase: How very dare you! … was originally used by English comedian and actor Frankie Howard, but has since found fame in the UK through the Catherine Tate show. In this sentence, is the word very a modifier, and if so, what does it modify? This sentence is obviously exclamatory in force, but, syntactically, … Read more

“Note that, because English orthography, there are two verbs tear, pronounced differently, one transitive……”

While reading an answer by John Lawler, I got puzzled by a sentence with unfamiliar phrasing. I for the life of me can’t understand the meaning of that sentence. I read it for about 30 times. Here is the full paragraph with the bold sentence confusing: The up particle in the verb tear up doesn’t … Read more