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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    Using Punctuation: Semicolon to Separate Items in a Series

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    A semicolon is used between items in a series if any of those items already have commas.

    When renting a car, consider your budget restrictions; the model, type, and size of the car required; and any mileage, insurance, or additional charges that may apply.

    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: Semicolon with a Conjunctive Adverb

    Monday, March 07, 2011

    A semicolon is used before a conjunctive adverb (also, besides, however, instead, then, therefore) that connects two independent clauses; a comma is used after the adverb.

    Too many overtime hours can lead to insanity; however, you'll probably be too busy to notice.

    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: Semicolon to Join Two Independent Clauses

    Friday, March 04, 2011

    A semicolon is used to join two closely related independent clauses. (Remember: Independent clauses can stand alone as separate sentences.)

    When business is good, it pays to advertise; when business is bad, you've got to advertise.

    Note: A comma may be used if the two clauses are short or express a contrast in ideas.

    Acquiring new technology is one thing, using it efficiently is another.

    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.

    Pronoun/Antecedent Agreement: Collective Noun Antecedents

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Use a singular pronoun in place of a collective noun that refers to a group as a unit. Use a plural pronoun when the collective noun refers to the individuals in the group.

    The committee reported that it will present its agenda to the board of directors at noon.
    (group as a unit)
    The committee must sign their names to the document before they leave.
    (group as individuals)

    (From Write for Business, 2nd ed., page 325)

    Pronoun/Antecedent Agreement: Masculine and Feminine Antecedents

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    If one of the antecedents is masculine and one is feminine, the pronouns should also be masculine and feminine.

    Will either Sandra or Rob return her or his extra laptop battery?

    (From Write for Business, 2nd ed., page 325, and Proofreader's Guide PDF, page 75)