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Grammar Openers. Capitalization. Rule #1: Capitalize the first word of every sentence. Jack told me all about it. Rule #2: Always capitalize the pronoun I . Bob, Fred, and I went fishing.

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  • Rule #1: Capitalize the first word of every sentence.

    Jack told me all about it.

  • Rule #2: Always capitalize the pronoun I.

    Bob, Fred, and I went fishing.

  • Rule #3: Capitalize the first word of a quotation, but not the continuation of a quotation after an interrupter of some kind.

    “As I was counting them,” she said, “he started to wrap them.”

Practice sentence 1
Practice Sentence #1

  • “i’m not sure,” Roger said, “but i think there is a great place to camp in that wooded area.”


  • Rule #4: Capitalize the first word after a colon (:)only if the word begins a complete sentence. Do not capitalize the word if it begins a list of words or phrases.

    He asked for a ride: He could not take another step.

    I will leave the following items for you: my toolbox, the saw, and some tape.

  • Rule #5: Always capitalize the first word in each line of traditional poetry.

Practice sentence 2
Practice Sentence #2

  • the mayor announced the outcome: all groups reached an agreement on the site of the new recreation center.


  • Rule #6: Capitalize all proper names.

    Hi, my name is Tom, and I’m from Texas.

  • Rule #7: Capitalize geographical and place names.

    This summer, I visited Ireland and the Tower of London.

  • Rule #8: Capitalize the names of specific events and periods in history.

    Our first break this year will be Labor Day, Monday, September 2nd.


  • Be careful when capitalizing directions, names of celestial bodies, and buildings and places. There are certain words that are never capitalized and others that are only capitalized in certain circumstances.

  • Words indicating direction are capitalized only when they refer to a section of a country—Cotton was a major crop of the South, but Lewis and Clark headed west to explore the American continent.

  • Capitalize the names of all celestial bodies except for moon, sun, and earth.

  • Do not capitalize words such as theater, hotel, university, and park unless the word is part of a proper name—She went to Yellowstone National Park last summer, but I love to walk in the park.

Practice sentence 3
Practice Sentence #3

  • We mapped columbus’s travels through the new world as our opening activity on Columbus day.


  • Rule #9: Capitalize the names of organizations, government bodies, political parties, races, nationalities, languages, and religions.

    I’m from the Department of Agriculture, and I’m sorry, but I don’t speak Spanish.

  • Rule #10: Capitalize the names of awards; the names of specific types of air, sea, and spacecraft; and brand names.

    The Nobel Peace Prize was given to Woodrow Wilson aboard the USS Missouri.

Practice sentence 4
Practice Sentence #4

  • Mrs. O’neill gave us the task of planning the girl scouts of america camping trip this year, where one of our members will have the honor of winning the gold award.


  • Rule #11: Capitalize proper adjectives.

    Jaime owns a German shepherd.

  • Rule #12: Do not capitalize prefixes attached to proper adjectives unless the prefix refers to a nationality.

    Judy subscribes to a Spanish-language newspaper.

Practice sentence 11
Practice Sentence #1

  • Being japanese-speaking or pro-german during World War II in America was not a good thing.


  • Rule #13: Capitalize a person’s title only when it is used with the person’s name or when it is used as a proper name by itself.

    Senator Pilter was re-elected for a second term.

    The congressman followed the results of the election.

    I’m glad you can join us, Grandmother.

    Evan’s mother looks nice for graduation.

Practice sentence 21
Practice Sentence #2

  • A colonel without a captain is useless, according to general Campbell.


  • Rule #14: Capitalize the first word and all other key words in the titles of books, periodicals, poems, stories, plays, paintings, and other works of art.

    “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Declaration of Independence represent America’s philosophy.

    The English are known for great literature, such as Shakespeare’s Hamlet, while Germans are known for their music, such as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Practice sentence 31
Practice Sentence #3

  • In the movie one flew over the cuckoo’s nest, nurse Ratchet plays the antagonist.


  • Rule #15: Capitalize titles of educational courses when they are language courses or when they are followed by a number or preceded by a proper noun or adjective. Do not capitalize school subjects discussed in a general manner.

    This year, I will be taking woodworking, English, Honors Chemistry, and world history.

    After French class, I have to rush across the building to biology.

Practice sentence 41
Practice Sentence #4

  • My senior year, I want to only take four classes: government, economics, english, and algebra II; however, I think my counselor is going to recommend art I as an elective.


  • Rule #1: Use a hyphen when you spell out two-word numbers from twenty-one through ninety-nine.

    The room is fifty-two feet long.

  • Rule #2: Use a hyphen when you use a fraction as an adjective but not when used as a noun.

    The recipe calls for one-half cup of milk when three quarters of an hour has passed.

  • Rule #3: Use a hyphen between a number and a word when they are combined as modifiers. Do not use a hyphen if the word in the modifier is possessive.

    The members took a 20-minute break.

Practice sentence 12
Practice Sentence #1

  • The forest, thirty three miles long, is full of three hundred year-old trees, and can be driven through in about 40-minutes.


  • Rule #4: Use a hyphen after a prefix that is followed by a proper noun or proper adjective.

    In mid-March, we are going to see a post-Renaissance art exhibit.

  • Rule #5: Use a hyphen to connect two or more words that are used as one compound word.

    The five-year-old boy had no idea that he had just met his future mother-in-law.

Practice sentence 22
Practice Sentence #2

  • The anti obama coalition decided to generate an up-to date list of new members.


  • Rule #6: If a word must be divided at the end of a line, always divide it between syllables.

  • Rule #7: A hyphen used to divide a word should never be placed at the beginning of the second line, but at the end of the first line.

    The teachers and the students plan to su -pport the principal as long as he is here.

    The teachers and the students plan to sup- port the principal as long as he is here.

  • Rule #8: Do not divide one-syllable words, even if they seem long or sound like words with two syllables.

Practice sentence 32
Practice Sentence #3

  • At the close of the ceremony, fireworks bri-ghtened the sky.


  • Rule #9: Do not divide a word so that a single letter or the letters –ed stand alone.

    Dan, a tennis champion, serves more a- ces than anyone I know.

  • Rule #10: Avoid dividing proper nouns and proper adjectives.

    After hitting the game-winning run, Ty- ler celebrated with his teammates.

  • Rule #11: Divide an already hyphenated word only after the hyphen.

    Hybrid cars, wind turbines, and solar-pow- ered houses are environmentally friendly.

Practice sentence 42
Practice Sentence #4

  • Flowers are brightly color- ed to attract insects and birds.


  • Rule #1: Add an apostrophe and –s to show the possessive case of most singular nouns.

    The boy’s hat blew off in the wind.

  • Rule #2: Add only an apostrophe after the last s to show the possessive case of plural nouns ending in –s and –es and singular nouns that end with an -s.

    James’ parents’ jobs were eliminated during the recession.

  • Rule #3: Add an apostrophe and –s to show the possessive case of plural nouns that do not end in –s or –es.

    The men’s coats were drenched by the sudden rainshower.

Practice sentence 13
Practice Sentence #1

  • The childrens boots were jumbled in a big mess by my sister agnes front door.


  • Rule #4: Add an apostrophe and –s (or just an apostrophe if the word is a plural ending in –s) to the last word of a compound noun to form the possessive.

    [Wichita Falls High School]’s main office is to the right of the front door.

  • Rule #5: To form possessives involving time, amounts, or the word sake, use an apostrophe and –s or just an apostrophe if the possessive is plural.

    For goodness’ sake, five days’ vacation is not too much to ask.

  • Rule #6: To show joint ownership, make the final noun possessive.

    I enjoyed Patricia and Tom’s dinner party.

Practice sentence 23
Practice Sentence #2

  • [Bob and Ted] wives are not in the [Country Club] dining room cheating on their husbands, for heavens sake!


  • Rule #7: Use an apostrophe and –s with indefinite pronouns to show possession.

    [Someone]’s raincoat was left wet on the floor of the kitchen.

  • Rule #8: Do not use an apostrophe with possessive personal pronouns; their form already shows ownership.

    Unfortunately, his red truck ran into their white house, causing a lot of damage.

Practice sentence 33
Practice Sentence #3

  • Someones sister in law couldn’t wait to get her hands on the family recipe for chili.


  • Rule #9: Use an apostrophe in a contraction to show the position of the missing letter or letters.

    Don’t even try to tell me it’s all going to be OK.

  • Rule #10: Use an apostrophe and –s to create the plural form of a letter, numeral, symbol, or a word that is used as a name for itself.

    We have had two ?’s in a row about a’s and an’s.

Practice sentence 43
Practice Sentence #4

  • Rufus [did not] make it a point to say “No ifs, ands, or buts are acceptable” for no reason at all.


  • Rule #1: Use a comma before a conjunction to separate two or more independent clauses in a compound sentence.

    Jane is getting ready to compete, but I won’t be able to see her perform.

  • Rule #2: Avoid comma splices—never join two sentences together without a FANBOYS.

    The snow clumped on the house, some of the gutters snapped under the weight.

*Commas are used more than any other internal punctuation mark.

Practice sentence 14
Practice Sentence #1

  • The struggling artist had to work at a pizza place to get by, doing so let her paint during the mornings.


  • Rule #3: Use commas to separate three or more words, phrases, or clauses in a series.

    The critic wrote that the food was great, the atmosphere was exceptional, and the music was beautiful.

  • Rule #4: Use a comma after an introductory word, phrase, or clause.

    Working next to each other in the office, we introduced ourselves and started to chat.

Practice sentence 24
Practice Sentence #2

  • Obviously Tom was late for work but he had a really good excuse this time since his car wouldnt start, he got into an accident and the taxi was late picking him up.


  • Rule #5: Use commas to separate independent modifiers, or adjectives of equal rank.

  • Rule #6: Do not use commas to separate the last adjective in a series from the noun it modifies.

    After a long, tiring, challenging race, Susie was ready for a soak in the hot tub.

  • Rule #7: Do not use a comma between cumulative adjectives (order cannot be reversed).

    After many long days of work, we were tired.

Practice sentence 34
Practice Sentence #3

  • Join us for the rally because its going to be a wild exciting ride!


  • Rule #8: Use commas to set off parenthetical expressions (“interrupters”) from the rest of the sentence.

    Eve’s personality, not her beauty, won Frank’s heart.

    We could not, therefore, buy them.

  • Rule #9: When a date is made up of two or more parts, use a comma after each item, except in the case of a month followed by a day.

    The engagement took place on February 10, 2009, and they were married on June 6, 2010.

Practice sentence 44
Practice Sentence #4

  • Graduation Day is June 7 2014 not June 1st as it was last year.


Rule #10: When a geographical name is made up of two or more parts, use a comma after each item.

My parents, who moved to Dallas, Texas, missed their old friends.

They’re going to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, for their spring choir trip.

Rule #11: With large numbers of more than three digits, use a comma after every third digit starting from the right.

1,000,000 dollars 2,500 cars

Practice sentence 15
Practice Sentence #1

We visited our friends house in Helena Montana on september 17 2008.


Rule #12: Do not use commas in ZIP codes, telephone numbers, page numbers, years, or house numbers.

Rule #13: Use a comma after each item in an address made up of two or more parts.

Send a card to the Santana family, 350 Ocean Lane, Brooklyn, New York 11201.

Rule #14: Use a comma after the salutation in a personal letter and after the closing in all letters.

Dear Aunt Sarah, Your friend,

Practice sentence 25
Practice Sentence #2

Send an invitation to Theodore Keyes 112 Jackson Lane Miami Florida 33126.


Rule #15: Use a comma to indicate the words left out of an elliptical sentence [a sentence where understood words are left out].

The Brinks celebrate their holidays formally; the Blanes, casually.

Rule #16: Use commas to set off a direct quotation from the rest of a sentence.

“I hope,” Anna’s mother said, “the professor doesn’t forget the test.”

Practice sentence 35
Practice Sentence #3

“Igneous rock is formed from the cooling and solidification of magma of lava; sedimentary from sedimentation of surface and underwater material” said Mrs. Nader.

Practice sentences 4
Practice Sentences #4

Marlene, the spelling bee winner is a good writer, too.

Who said “To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short”?

Marilyn and John live on Wells Hill Road in Lakeville Connecticut.

Lila wants to walk along the beach, and swim in the Caribbean at night.