Write for Business - Blog

UpWrite Press understands the importance of writing skills in business: We're business people just like you. On this blog you'll find tips to improve your writing, along with topics of interest to our staff.

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    Constructing Sentences: Dependent Clause

    Thursday, February 03, 2011

    A dependent clause cannot stand alone. It can, however, add important detail to a sentence.

    When there's no one available to take calls, your voice-mail system can take a message.

    For more business-writing tips, browse our blog or use the search box atop the page. Or purchase our handy Proofreader's Guide ebook or Write for Business handbook.

    Constructing Sentences: Independent Clause

    Tuesday, February 01, 2011

    An independent clause has both a subject and a predicate and expresses a complete thought; it can stand alone as a sentence.

    An answering machine can record messages, but voice mail can do so much more.

    Note: The above sentence has two clauses; each independent clause can stand alone as a sentence.

    For more business-writing tips, browse our blog or use the search box atop the page. Or purchase our handy Proofreader's Guide ebook or Write for Business handbook.

    Using Punctuation: Commas in Large Numbers

    Monday, January 31, 2011

    Commas are used to separate numerals or "digits" in large numbers. For numbers of four digits or more, place a comma before every third digit, counting from the right.

    This printer costs $3,045.

    Note: It is also acceptable to omit the comma in numbers with only four numerals or "digits."

    Exceptions: Commas are not used in address numbers or in identification numbers.

    12345 Karry Place room 5496
    invoice 17823  

    Note: Spaces, not commas, are used in metric measurements. (This avoids confusion in those countries where commas are used as decimal points.)

    14 267.9 hectares (U.S.A.)
    or 14 267,9 hectares (European)

    For more business-writing tips, browse our blog or use the search box atop the page. Or purchase our handy Proofreader's Guide ebook or Write for Business handbook.

    Using Punctuation: Using Commas to Set Off Appositives

    Friday, January 28, 2011

    Commas are used to set off an appositive, a noun or phrase that identifies the noun or pronoun it follows. (A restrictive appositive is essential to the basic meaning of the sentence; do not set it off with commas. See the second example below.)

    Scott Erickson, a landscape designer, uses his laptop computer in the office and in the field. (nonrestrictive appositive)
    Landscape designer Scott Erickson uses his laptop computer in the office and in the field. (restrictive appositive)

    For more business-writing tips, browse our blog or use the search box atop the page. Or purchase our handy Proofreader's Guide ebook or Write for Business handbook.

    Constructing Sentences: A Closer Look at Participial Phrases

    Thursday, January 27, 2011

    Be careful to place participial phrases next to the nouns or pronouns they modify so that you don't create a dangling or misplaced modifier.

    Panicked by the turbulence, I reminded my seatmate to breathe deeply. (This misplaced modifier is confusing: Am I panicked, or is my seatmate?)
    Panicked by the turbulence, my seatmate needed to be reminded to breathe deeply. (Clear)

    For more business-writing tips, browse our blog or use the search box atop the page. Or purchase our handy Proofreader's Guide ebook or Write for Business handbook.