Presentation on theme: "ACT Grammar Lesson More PUNCTUATION. Semicolons (;) Punctuation marks used to put two or more clauses together to form one big sentence. Falls somewhere."— Presentation transcript:
Semicolons (;) Punctuation marks used to put two or more clauses together to form one big sentence. Falls somewhere between a heavy comma and a light period. Use one instead of a period to connect two related independent clauses. Example: – Just then, the woman screamed the bird jumped up and perched on her head. – Just then, the woman screamed; the bird jumped up and perched on her head.
How do you spot a SEMICOLON error? If the underlined portion of any of the answer choices contains a semicolon, you should ask yourself whether the sentence contains two related independent clauses not joined by a conjunction (For And Nor But Or Yet So). If it does, the semicolon is probably correct. You might be wondering how you would decide if the ACT gave you a choice between a semicolon and a period. Don’t worry. Test writers know that they are often interchangeable, and I’ve never seen them offer that choice.
COLONS (:) Usually used after a complete statement to introduce a list of related details. It can have many items, or just one. Example: – Maria just purchased all the camping supplies for our trip, a backpack, a sleeping bag, and a pair of hiking boots. – Maria just purchased all the camping supplies for our trip: a backpack, a sleeping bag, and a pair of hiking boots.
How do you spot a COLON error? If the underlined phrase or answer choices contain a colon, you should has yourself: Is it a list of some kind introduced by an independent clause? If so, a colon preceding the list or statement is correct. If not, a colon is probably incorrect.
DASHES (-) Separate a word or group from the rest of the sentence. Used to either indicate an abrupt break in thought, or to introduce an explanation or afterthought. Example: – I tried to express my gratitude not that any words could be adequate but she just nodded and walked away. – I tried to express my gratitude- not that any words could be adequate- but she just nodded and walked away.
DASHES (-) When the group of words that needs isolating is in the middle of a sentence, dashes function like a pair of less formal parentheses. When the phrase that needs isolating is at the end of the sentence instead, only one dash is required: – Just outside the door to the cabin, we heard the howling of wolves- a sound that make our hair stand on end.
How do you spot DASH errors? If the underlined portion or any of the answer choices contains a dash, compare the dash to the punctuation marks available in the answer choices. Also check the non-underlined portion of the passage for dashes that might be linking up with this one to isolate a clause/phrase. Ask yourself whether the sentence contains a sudden break in thought, an explanation, or an afterthought. Remember that if the group of words that need isolating is in the middle of the sentence, there should be a pair of dashes. If the group of words is at the end of the sentence, there should be only one.
Apostrophes (‘) Used either to indicate possession or to mark missing letters in a word. When it is used to indicate possession, it appears either right before or right after the “s” at the end of a possessive noun. Examples: – Peter’s new car is extremely expensive. – Women’s issues will be important in the next election. – The girls’ room will be renovated this summer.
Apostrophes (‘) Peter’s new car is extremely expensive. – The apostrophe tells us that the car belongs to Peter. If the noun in possession is singular, the ‘ falls before the “s”. Women’s issues will be important in the next election. – If the noun is plural and it doesn’t end in in “s”- like this example- the ‘ falls after the “s”. The girls’ room will be renovated this summer. – If the noun is plural and it ends in “s”-as in this example- the ‘ falls after the “s”.
Apostrophes (‘) Note: Don’t worry too much about the plural nouns. ACT writers are more interested in your ability to form singular possessives correctly. ACT writers are interested in whether you know when an apostrophe is unnecessary: some questions will require you to drop the apostrophe. Remember, in order for the apostrophe to be correct when forming a possessive, the noun containing it must be followed by another noun, or an adjective and a noun: – Peter’s new car – Women’s issues – Girls’ room
Apostrophes (‘) If a noun containing the apostrophe is followed by a verb, no apostrophe is needed. Example: – Students must have identification cards. The apostrophe is also used to indicate missing letters in a word (contractions). – I’m sorry. I couldn’t make it to your party.
Special Cases… Its/It’s/Its’ The most common apostrophe error you’ll see tested on the ACT is misuse of it’s and its, which have their own special rules. It’s = it is or it has Its = the possessive form of the word it Its’ = this is not a word at all!
How do you spot APOSTROPHE errors? If a word in the underlined portion or any of the answer choices contains an apostrophe, you should ask yourself whether the apostrophe is being used to form a contraction, or to make a noun followed by another noun possessive. In either case, the apostrophe is probably correct. Any other use of an apostrophe is probably wrong, unless you see the words it’s or its in the underlined portion or any of the answer choices.