50 Language Rules
Terms in this set (50)
When speaking directly to a person, place a comma after the name. If the name is at the end of a sentence, place the comma before the name.
Subject Verb Agreement
The verb in a sentence must agree in number with the subject. Both must be singular or both must be plural.
Quotation Rules - letter case
When you break up a quote, the word after you resume the quote is lowercase, unless the word is a regularly capitalized word.
It's vs. Its
"It's" is a contraction of it is. "Its" is a possessive pronoun meaning belonging to.
Quotation Rules - quotation marks
When breaking up a quote use quotations before and after the split.
Capitalization of a Title
When the title is with a name you capitalize it. When the title is not with a name you do not capitalize it.
An abbreviation is followed by a period.
Pair "neither" with nor and "either" with or.
Good vs. Well
"Good" is an adjective and is used to modify a noun or pronoun. "Well" is an adverb and is used to modify a verb. Remember: Superman does good (deeds), you're doing well.
There, They're, and Their
"There" is an adverb meaning that location. "They're" is the contraction for they are. "Their" is a possessive pronoun.
Capitalization of Street Names
Always capitalize the names of streets.
"I" is a subject pronoun. "Me" is an object pronoun.
Should Have and Could Have
"Should of: or "Could of" is incorrect. Always say "should have" or "could have."
Use a colon to introduce a list of items.
An adverb modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. Many adverbs (not all) end in -ly.
An appositive is a noun or noun phrase that follows a noun or a pronoun and renames or describes that noun or pronoun. Set off appositives with commas.
Do Not Capitalize Seasons
Seasons of the year such as fall, summer, winter, spring and autumn are not capitalized unless they are part of a proper name.
Lie vs. Lay
"Lie" means recline. "Lay" means to place or put. The past tense of lie is "lay." The past tense of lay is "laid."
Use question mark at the end of a sentence when the sentence is a question.
Comma Usage - series of items
Use commas to set apart a series of items.
Capitalization of Schools
Do not capitalize "elementary school," "high school," or "college" unless you are referring to a specific elementary school, high school, or college.
An action that has completed in the past. The past participle of run is "had run."
Plural Personal Pronoun
"We" is a plural subject pronoun. Use "we" as the subject of a sentence. "Us" is a plural object pronoun.
Who vs. Whom
"Who" is a subject pronoun. "Whom" is an object pronoun.
Your vs. You're
"Your" is a possessive pronoun. "You're" is a contraction for you are.
"He" and "She" are subject pronouns while "him" and "her" are object pronouns.
Farther vs. Further
"Farther" is used with a physical distance. "Further" is used with an abstract distance or depth.
Parallel Sentence Structure
Use the same verb construction for all verbs in a sentence.
"Me" is an object pronoun. It is used as an object of a preposition.
Comma Usage - adjectives
Don't use a comma between an adjective and the word it describes. But do use a comma to separate two adjectives which modify the same word.
Do not use two negatives in the same sentence.
Use an apostrophe "s" to show singular possession or ownership.
Comma Usage - Parenthetical Elements and Introductions
Use commas to set off parenthetical elements or introductory words.
Incorrect Word Usage
"Off you" or "Off of" is incorrect. It should always be "from you" or "from."
Use a semicolon to join two independent clauses. An independent clause is a clause that can stand alone as a separate sentence.
Capitalization of Locations
Capitalize word like north, south, east and west when they are the names of specific areas of the country or the world. Do not capitalize these terms when they mean a direction.
-er form vs. -est form
When comparing TWO people or things, use the "-er" form of the verb. When comparing MORE THAN TWO people or things, use the"-est" form of the verb.
Singular Possession vs. Plural Possession
Place an apostrophe before the"s" when you are indicating a singular possessive. Examples: the man's hat; the dog's bark. Place an apostrophe after the "s" when you are indicating a plural possessive. Examples: the ladies' coats; the Smiths' new car.
Note 1: When a word is made plural without adding an"s" (like man to men) you make the plural possessive by adding an apostrophe "s" (men's).
Note 2: If the plural word does not show possession, do not use an apostrophe. Examples: the ladies entered the room; the Johnsons did not attend.
Punctuation goes inside the quotation marks.
More Quotation Punctuation
When the speaker of the quote comes before the quote, use a comma before the quote and capitalize the first word of the quote.
Be aware of words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings. Some examples of this are "herd vs. heard," "new vs. knew" and "deer vs. dear."
The correct reflexive pronouns are "himself" and "themselves."
Less vs. Least
"Less" is the comparative form; it is used when comparing two persons or things. "Least" is the superlative form; it is used when comparing more than two persons or things.
Too vs. To
"Too" is an adverb; it is used to modify an adjective or another adverb. It can mean "very," "a lot," or "also." "To" is a preposition; it is used to show relationship.
Who's vs. Whose
"Who's" is a contraction for "who is." "Whose" is a pronoun showing possession or ownership.
Use a comma after "he said," "he asked," etc. to introduce a quotation.
Correct Use of Quotation Marks
Put the quotation marks around the words quoted, not around the introduction to the quote or around the entire sentence. Be sure that the words are the exact quote of the speaker.
Among vs. Between
Use "between" when talking about two people or things and use "among" when talking about more than two people or things.
Less vs. Fewer
"Less" is used to modify a singular word. For example: less money, less time, less patience. "Fewer" is used to modify a plural word. For example: fewer friends, fewer hours, fewer items.
Possessive pronouns such a ours, theirs, yours and its do not have an apostrophe.
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