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Capitalization Rules

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Capitalization Rules

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  1. Capitalization Rules 1. Capitalize the names of: • organizations (Rotary Club, National Honors Society) • government bodies (Supreme Court, Student Council) • political parties (Democrats, Republicans) • nationalities (Chinese, German, Iranian) • Languages (English, Spanish, Swahili)

  2. 2. Abbreviations (a shortened form of a word or phrase) • Austin, TX • Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. 3. Acronyms (an abbreviation that takes one or more letters from each word) • NASA • CHAMP • Ben King, M.D. 4. Initials • E.B. White • George W. Bush

  3. Commas have many uses! Here are a few: • To separate two main or independent clauses: Chimpanzees are fully grown at age five, but their mothers still take care of them. • To separate three or more words, phrases or clauses in a series: Desert animals include camels, toads, and insects. • To separate adjectives: A smooth, round, gray stone was cupped in her hand.

  4. Semicolons 1. To join independent clauses separated by a conjunctive adverb: • We were impressed with Martin’s knowledge of history; indeed, he was very well informed about colonization. 2. To avoid confusion when items in a series already have commas: • My brother, Cory; his girlfriend, Monica; and my mom, Mrs. Schulz, all went to the concert together.

  5. Hyphens 1. When you write two-word numbers: • Seventy-eight, thirty-five, twenty-two 2. When you use a fraction as a describing word but not as a noun: • The glass is two-thirds full. • Two thirds of the class was present.

  6. Hyphens 3. After a prefix that’s followed by a proper noun or adjective: • Pre-Columbian mid-August 4. In words with the stems all-, ex-, self-, and -elect: • All-American mayor-elect ex-girlfriend 5. To connect two or more nouns used as a compound word: • Great-grandfather secretary-treasurer T-shirt 6. To connect a compound modifier that comes before a noun: • Cass was a big-hearted dog lover.

  7. Hyphens 7. Try not to divide a word at the end of a line, but if you MUST, divide it between two syllables: • The soccer coach’s pep talks are usually short and unin-spiring. (Not uni-nspiring) 8. DO NOT divide one-syllable words, or divide a word so that a single letter stands alone: • scho-ol, bru-ised, thro-ugh, a-mid, o-kay, ver-y 9. AVOID dividing proper nouns or adjectives: • Eliza-beth, Ger-man (Tiffany NOT Tif-fany, Ja-vi)

  8. Apostrophes 1. Add an apostrophe to show possession: • Singular words: My dog’s favorite toy is a ball. • Plural words: The bears’ den is hidden in the mountains. • Indefinite Pronouns: nobody’s business, another’s preference 2. In a contraction to show where letters have been omitted: • Is not = isn’t cannot = can’t I will = I’ll 3. To create the plural form of a letter, number , (or word used as a name for itself): • Mind your p’s and q’s Remember your please’s, please.

  9. Ellipses 1. To show where words have been omitted from a quoted passage: • Original: “It’s amazing that anyone would think this was a love story.” • Reworded: “… amazing … love story” 2. To mark a pause in dialogue or speech: • “But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate … we cannot consecrate … we cannot hallow … this ground.” 3. Along with an end mark at the end of a sentence to show an omission, pause or incomplete statement: • “I wonder how we are ever going to finish. Maybe we could… .”

  10. Dashes 1. To show a strong, sudden break in thought or speech: • I can’t believe how many free throws my brother missed – I don’t even want to think about it! 2. In place of in other words, namely, or that is before an explanation: • Ruth plays ball for one purpose – to win. • To see his jersey hanging from the rafters – this was his greatest dream. 3. To set off nonessential modifiers: • The selfish player – a “star” who is concerned mainly with his own glory – will not pass the ball.

  11. Colons 1. To introduce a list of items: • At Claire’s, we bought: a necklace, earrings, and a bracelet. 2. To introduce an instruction • Warning: No Swimming 3. To introduce a long or formal quotation: • Benjamin Franklin said: “Tis better to be silent and thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”

  12. Sentence Scavenger Hunt • Number your journal #1-15 (skip lines, please!) • Choose a sentence to stand at around the room. • Write that sentence down in your journal (Notes section). Make sure to correct all capitalization and punctuation errors as you are writing. • Work quickly so you can write down ALL the sentences!! • You will be graded and for every sentence NOT corrected, you will lose five points! (You should be WORKING not talking.)