Use Commas: -Between items in a series: All my cousins, aunts, and uncles came to our family reunion. **Commas do go before the and! -If all the items are joined by and, or, or nor donot use commas to separate them! I need tacks and nails and a hammer. -Between short independent clauses The engine roared, the wheels spun, and a cloud of dust swirled behind the sports car.
USE COMMAS: -Before and, but, for, nor, so, or yet when it joins independent clauses. Hector pressed the button, and the engine started up. -To set off nonessential clauses (which aren’t needed to complete the sentence) Tim Ricardo, hoping to make the swim team, practiced every day. -To set off elements that interrupt the sentence Their new parrot, Mina, is very gentle An amateur photographer, my cousin prepared a slide show on soil erosion.
USE COMMAS: -After introductory elements such as: -An interjection. Oh, I didn’t see you there. -A prepositional phrase (which will start with a preposition) Near the door to the garage, you will find hooks for the car keys. -A participle phrase (where a verb form is used as an adjective because it modifies a noun) Watching the clock, the coach became worried (The word watching is actually an adjective that modifies the noun coach— “The clock watching coach became worried”) -An adverb clause (a clause that modifies a verb, adjective, or an adverb) After I had proofread my paper, I input the corrections. (The clause After I had proofread my paper tells when I input the corrections)
; Semicolon ; -Use between independent clauses that are closely related in meaning Patty likes to act; her sister gets stage fright. -Use to separate clauses that contain many commas Alana, Eric, and Kim voted for her; and Scott, Roland, and Vanessa voted for Jason. -Use between items in a series if the items contain comma The Photography Club will meet on Wednesday, September 12; Wednesday, September 19; and Tuesday, September 25.
: Colon : • Use to mean “note what follows” You will need to bring the following equipment: a sleeping bag, a warm sweater, and extra socks. • Use before a long, formal statement or a long quotation Horace Mann had this to say: “Do not think of knocking out another person’s brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.” • Use between independent clauses when the second clause explains or restates the idea of the first (capitalize the first word of a sentence following a colon) Thomas Jefferson had many talents: he was a writer, a politician, an architect, and an inventor.
“Quotation Marks” • A direct quotation: • Generally begins with a capital letter (unless it is a fragment of the original quote and fits seemlessly into your sentence) Miss Perez answered, “The rest of the chapter, of course.” Are our ideals, as Scott says, mere “statues of snow” that soon melt? • Has comas and periodsinside the quote “I haven’t seen the movie,” remarked Jeannette, “but I understand that it’s excellent.” • Has semicolons and colons on the outside of the quote The following actresses were nominated for the award for “best performance in a leading role”: Helen Hunt, Meryl Streep, and Jodie Foster. • Question marks and exclamation points are placed inside the quote if the quote itself is a question or exclamation, otherwise they are placed outside. “Is it too cold in here?” the manager asked as I shivered. It’s not an insult to be called a “bookworm”!
“Quotations” continued… • When you write dialogue, begin a new paragraph every time the speaker changes. “What’s that?” Sally demanded impatiently Luisa seemed surprised. “what’s what? “That thing, what you got in your hand.” • Use single quotation marks to enclose a quotation within a quotation Annoyed, Becky snapped, “Don’t tell me, ‘That’s not the way to do it.’” • Articles, Essays, Short Stories, Poems, Song, Episodes of TV series, and chapters of books go in quotes
‘ Apostrophes ’ • To form the possessive case, add an apostrophe and an s The mayor’s desk, a dollar’s worth • Add both an apostrophe and s if the added s is pronounced as a separate syllable the actress’s costumes, the dress’s sleeves • To form the possessive case of a plural noun ending in s, add only the apostrophe two birds’ feathers, all three cousins’ vacations
- Dashes - • Use to indicate an abrupt break in thought or speech or an unfinished statement or question There are a thousand reasons—well, not a thousand, but many—that we should go. “You’re being—” Tina began and then stopped. • Use a dash to indicate namely, that is, or in other words or to otherwise introduce an explanation. I know what we could get mom for her birthday—a new photo album. (namely) She could put all those loose pictures—the ones she’s taken since Christmas—in it. (that is)
(Parentheses) • Use to enclose material that is added to a sentence but is not considered to be of major importance During the Middle Ages (from about A.D. 500 to A.D. 1500), both Moors and Vikings invaded parts of Europe. • Use punctuation inside the parentheses when the punctuation belongs to the parenthetical matter Fill in the application carefully. (Use a pen.) • Do not use punctuation within the parentheses if such punctuation belongs to the sentence as a whole After we ate dinner (we had leftovers again), we went to the mall.
Passive Voice • A verb in active voice expresses an action done by its subject. The coach instructed us. • A verb in the passive voice Expresses an action done To its subject. We were instructed by the coach.
Modifiers • Modifier= a word or word group that makes the meaning of another word or word group more specific. • Adjective: Samia gave a broad smile. • Adverb: Samia grinned broadly.
Modifiers, continued • Phrases can be used as modifiers: It was time for celebration.(the prepositional phrase “for celebration” acts as an adjective that modifies the noun time) • Clauses can be used as modifiers: Before Toni left for work, she took the dog for a walk.(The adverb clause “Before Toni left for work” modifies the verb took)
Troublesome Modifiers Bad=An adjective: The dog was bad. Badly=An Adverb: The dog behaved badly. Good=An adjective: His Italian sounds good. Well=Adverb: He speaks Italian well. Slow=Can be both and adjective and adverb: Go slow. We took a slow drive. Slowly=An adverb: The train slowly came to a stop.
Misplaced Modifiers • A misplaced modifier= a word, phrase, or clause that seems to modify the wrong word or word group in a sentence. • Example of MM:My cousin’s dog was chasing the geese, yapping and barking • Correct: Yapping and barking, my cousin’s dog was chasing the geese.