commas Separate adjectives that come before a noun “They were attacked by a gigantic, ferocious shark”
Commas continued - Set off a speaker from a quotation Jason said, “Those clowns look like they’re up to no good.” Set off phrases and words that introduce a sentence Even though he’s smart, he’s very lazy.
Commas continued Set off words that are not necessary for the basic meaning of the sentence “Calgary, the 1989 Stanley Cup champion, has only one championship in their history.”
Apostrophes Used for contractions (word shortening). “He’s (He is) a great player.” “I wouldn’t (would not) do that if I were you.” Used for possessives (shows ownership). “ Jason’s ipod has gone missing.”
Apostrophes continued Exception to this rule: ITS – is a possessive (The dog wagged its tail.) IT’s – is a contraction (It’s (It is) a beautiful day.)
Colons Introduce a list. Ex: The following students come to the office: Jason, Michael, Robert, and Harry. Introduce a formal quotation. Ex: The king leapt to his feet and said: “All of my people must obey!”
Colons continued After the salutation of a formal letter (used to address people in an official manner). Ex: Dear Sir: I am writing to request information about...
Semi-colons To separate items in a list that already use commas. Ex: The best cities in Canada are St. John’s, Newfoundland; Toronto, Ontario; and Edmonton, Alberta. Act as a period but shows a greater connection between sentences than a period does. Ex: Most of the students are here now; the rest are coming in the afternoon.
Dashes (—) 1. Show a change in thought: “He went this way–no, that way.” 2. Show an interruption to the main idea “The Super Bowl—remember last year’s game?—is the most exciting part of January.”
Dashes (—) 3. Sets off a summary of what came before as a list. “Campfires, dirtbiking and swimming—all part of a great summer.”
Hyphens (-) Half as long as dashes 1.Used in some names: Terri-Lynn, Jean- Jacques, etc. 2. Used in some adjectives when they come before the noun A twenty-year-old man
Quotation marks (“ ” or ‘ ’) Can be “double” or ‘single’ Used to show someone is speaking – Ex: “Hold on,” said Mark. Used to show sarcasm or insincerity. – Ex: He burned down my house and killed my dog! Some “friend” he turned out to be!
Quotation marks continued Use single quotation marks inside of double quotation marks to prevent confusion – Ex:Mark said, “Some ‘friend’ he turned out to be!”
parentheses () Not to be called “brackets”! Enclose extra material in a sentence. – Ex: John (if that’s his real name) seems to be a nice guy. Around letters or numbers in labeling. – Ex: For this assignment you will need (1) a sledgehammer, (2) a cabbage, and (3) all of Elmer’s School Glue you can find.
ellipses (…) Three dots... not two, not four, not twelve, not a hundred. THREE Shows an interruption in dialogue. – Ex: “I don’t know if we can trust him if he’s... wait, is that him coming now?”
Ellipses continued Identify incomplete thoughts – Ex: “He had to do something... but what?” Indicate that words have been left out of a quotation. – Ex: Original quote: “Someday, we, along with our fathers, mothers and children, will be free.” Quote with ellipses: “Someday, we... will be free.”
HOMOPHONES Words that are sound alike, but have different meanings and spelling. Their, There, They’re – Their – relating to or belonging to people. Ex: The home team enjoys playing in their own arena. – There – referring to a place or location. Ex: Let’s sit over there. – They’re – they are. They’re going to a movie.
HOMOPHONES To, Too and Two – To - indicates a place, person or thing that someone/thing is moving towards. Ex: Let’s go to the mall. – Too – means also or extreme. Ex: I like red too! Ex: It is way too warm out! – Two – refers to the number 2. Ex: I had two pieces of pizza for lunch.
HOMOPHONES Its and It’s – Its – shows ownership. Ex: The giraffe showed off its long neck. – It’s – means ‘it is.’’ Ex: It’s going to be a long week.
HOMOPHONES Through and Threw – Through – used to describe movement Ex: I walked through the hall. – Threw – past tense of ‘to throw’ Ex: I threw my water bottle in the recycling bin.
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