Using the quotation marks

April 10, 2014

Quotation marks (“ ”) are used to set off text that denotes quoted or spoken language. Quotation marks are also used to set off titles of stories, novels and poems. In American English, it is not uncommon for periods and commas to go inside quotation marks. For example, an American may write: My favorite novel […]

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Using the apostrophe

April 7, 2014

An apostrophe (’) is used to create possessive forms, contractions and some plural forms. It indicates where the letter has been omitted. I am = I’m He’s = he is They’re = they are Do not = don’t I’d = I would or I had She would have failed. = She would’ve failed. Contracted forms […]

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Uses of comma in a simple sentence

December 4, 2011

The comma is the shortest pause between words. The comma has the following uses in a simple sentence. To mark off nouns, pronouns or phrases in apposition  James, my neighbor, is a doctor. Wordsworth, the famous English poet, was a lover of nature. To mark off each one of a series of words belonging to […]

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Using Colon

October 4, 2011

Colons are used before explanations. We decided to cancel the match: it was raining. A colon is used when direct speech is introduced by a name or short phrase. It is also used when famous sayings are quoted. Bacon says: ‘Reading makes a full man, writing an exact man, speaking a ready man.’ Polonius: ‘What […]

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Punctuation Exercise

June 4, 2011

Use appropriate punctuation marks in the following sentences. 1. We had a great time in France  the kids really enjoyed it 2. Some people work best in the mornings others do better in the evenings 3. What are you doing next weekend 4. Mother had to go into hospital she had heart problems 5. Did […]

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Punctuation: Colon

November 20, 2010

The colon (:) marks a bigger pause than that is expressed by the semicolon. It is sometimes used with a dash after it. We cancelled our decision to go on a holiday: we had too little money. Jane had to be hospitalized: she had heart trouble. Direct speech A colon is used when famous sayings […]

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Comma – Part II

November 19, 2010

To separate adjectives used in the predicative position Adjectives used in the predicative position are always separated by commas. He is tall, dark and handsome. That was a lovely, long, cool drink. Sometimes commas are not used between the last two adjectives which are usually separated by a conjunction like and or or. Commas are […]

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November 18, 2010

The punctuation mark comma (,) has the following uses. To connect the items in a list Commas are used to connect the items in a list, except for the last two which are usually connected by a coordinating conjunction like and or or. My favorite writers are Charles Dickens, Emily Bronte and Jane Austen. The […]

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November 4, 2010

The punctuation mark (‘) is called apostrophe. It has the following functions. In writing a contraction The apostrophe is used in writing a contraction. It shows the place of the omitted letters. Examples are: it’s (for it is or it has), hasn’t (for has not) and doesn’t (for does not). The apostrophe is also used […]

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November 3, 2010

Hyphens are the short lines that separate the words in the expressions ‘non-English’ and ‘ex-husband’. When to use hyphens? We usually use a hyphen between the two words in a two-part adjective in which the second part ends in -ed or -ing. Good-looking Broken-hearted Blue-eyed Two-part adjectives which contain the sense of ‘between’ are also […]

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