Home Random Page




· Here are examples of correct and incorrect apostrophe usage:

CORRECT - apple → apples

INCORRECT - apple → apple's



Part 7 of 8: Using Slashes


Use the slash to separate and from or, when appropriate. Slashes ( " / " ) in phrases like and/or suggest that the options described are not mutually exclusive.

· Here is an example of good "and/or" usage:

To register, you will need your driver's license and/or your birth certificate.

2. 2

Use the slash when quoting lyrics and poetry to denote a line break. Slashes are especially useful when it is impractical to recreate the original formatting of a poem or song. When using slashes in this way, be sure to include spaces before and after the slashes.

· Here is an example of slashes used to mark line breaks in a song:

Row, row, row your boat / Gently down the stream. / Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, / Life is but a dream.

3. 3

Also use the slash to replace the word and when joining two nouns. By replacing and with a slash, you suggest that there is equal importance in both options listed. Use these replacements in moderation to place greater emphasis whereand may not do so, as well as to avoid confusing the reader. You can also do the same for or, as in his/her. However, you should not use the slash to separate independent clauses.

· Here are examples of how to use and how not to use a slash in this way:

"The student and part-time employee has very little free time."
"The student/part-time employee has very little free time."

"Do you want to go to the grocery store, or would you prefer to go to the mall?"
"Do you want to go to the grocery store / would you prefer to go to the mall?"


Part 8 of 8: Using Miscellaneous Punctuation Marks


Use the double quotation mark ( " ) to enclose a direct quotation derived from either a spoken or written source. Generally speaking, quotation marks are used to denote that the information is a quote. In other words, whether you're recreating someone's verbal speech or simply re-writing something that they wrote elsewhere, you'll use quotation marks.

· Below are two examples of quotation mark usage:

"I can't wait to see him perform!" John exclaimed.

According to the article, the value of the dollar in developing nations is "strongly influenced by its aesthetic value, rather than its face value."


Use parentheses to clarify. Parentheses are often used to explain something that can't be deduced from the rest of the sentence. When using parentheses ( " ( ) " ), be sure to include the sentence's period after the closing parenthesis, except in the case that an entire sentence is within parentheses. Note that sometimes parentheses and commas can be used interchangeably.

· Here is an example of parentheses used for clarification:

Steve Case (AOL's former CEO) resigned from the Time-Warner board of directors in 2005.


3. 3

Use parentheses to denote an afterthought. Parentheses can also be used to contain information that is supplementary to the sentence they are part of. In this case, the line between using parentheses and starting a new sentence instead can be somewhat murky. A good general rule is to use parentheses for short additions and quips, not complex ideas.

· Here is an example of parentheses used for an afterthought. Note that the period (full stop) follows the last parenthesis — not before the first. Also note that replacing the parentheses with a comma may not be entirely suitable here, while a period or a semicolon may work:

You will need a flashlight for the camping trip (don't forget the batteries!).

4. 4

Use parentheses for personal comments. One additional usage of parentheses is to contain the writer's direct comments to the reader. Usually, the comments contained in parentheses refer to the preceding sentence. As above, the shorter and simpler the better. If you have to expound at great length or reference several disparate pieces of your writing, it's usually best to start a new sentence.

· Here is an example of parentheses used for a personal comment:

Most grammarians believe that parentheses and commas are always interchangeable (I disagree).


5. 5

Use brackets to signify an editor's note in a regular piece of writing. You can also use brackets ( " [ ] " ) to clarify or to revise a direct quote. Brackets are often used to encompass the word "sic" (Latin for thus), indicating that the previous word or phrase was presented "as is," retaining an error in the original version.

· Here is an example of brackets used for clarity in a direct quote. (Note that the original quote was, "It was absolutely devastating!")

"'[The blast] was absolutely devastating!' said Susan Smith, a local bystander at the scene of the incident.

6. 6

Use braces to denote a numeric set in mathematics. Less commonly, braces ( " { } " ) can also be used in regular writing to indicate a set of equal, independent choices.

· Here are two examples of brace usage. Note that the second is exceedingly rare:

The set of numbers in this problem is: { 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 }

Choose your favorite utensil { fork, knife, spoon } and bring it to me.


· In formal writing, try to avoid excessive use of question marks and exclamation points. Most of your sentences should be declarative statements.

· If you decide against the serial comma in your work, make sure that the meaning of the sentence can stand without its use. Think about the classic example of a sentence in which the serial comma is needed: "My heroes are my parents, Mother Teresa and the Pope."

· Although dashes and parentheses have similar uses, remember that parentheses indicate a stronger "side notion" than dashes.

· Dashes are usually considered to be informal. You might want to replace the use of a dash with a set of parentheses, or even commas. Similarly, limit the frequency of dash use in your writing; it should be reserved to emphasize a limited number of important points.

· Never be afraid to have short sentences in your writing by splitting up long sentences that contain several points. Your reader will appreciate writing that is clear and concise with briefer statements, as opposed to a one-page paragraph with twenty words per sentence.

· If you write in a professional capacity, be sure to follow any guidelines or style guides provided by your employer. In some cases, their rules can be at odds with what you read here or elsewhere, but their rules should take precedence. For example, some companies use serial commas (a, b, and c) and others do not (a, b and c).

· The placement of punctuation marks before or after a closing quotation mark varies.

o American English always places periods (full stops) and commas inside the quotation marks, "like so." British English generally places the periods (full stops) and commas after the quotation marks, "like so", except in dialogue, where punctuation would go inside the quotation marks: "like so," he said.

o Semicolons and colons always go outside the quotation marks, "like so";

o The use of question marks and exclamation marks varies depending upon context. If the whole sentence is a question, and the quotation is a word or phrase at the end of the sentence, the question mark goes outside the quotation marks. If the whole sentence is a statement and the quotation is a question, the question mark goes inside the quotation marks.

§ Do you like to watch "The Office"?

§ He shouted, "Where do you think you're going?"

· Many grammar experts believe that parentheses and commas are often interchangeable when setting off information. While this is sometimes true, there are some cases where a set of parentheses might be more suitable, such as in indicating one's personal thought.

· There are exceptions to the hyphen-dash rule. In making compound words, when one of the words is itself composed of two words, use an en dash ( – ) rather than a hyphen, as in, "He took the Paris–New York route." En dashes are also used between numbers, as in page numbers or years, to denote a range. ("A discussion on personal finance is found on pages 45–62.")

· If you find that a sentence seems to drag on, find a way to add a comma or two, so that it is easier on the reader's eyes. If a sentence becomes too long, consider splitting it into two or more sentences.

  • State quotations when needed.


· Try to distinguish between the punctuation rules of different languages in order to avoid using punctuation incorrectly.

· While using English punctuation appropriately may help your writing to flow more smoothly, don't overdo it. It's better to err by omission than to include superfluous, even confusing apostrophes, commas and other marks.

· Keep in mind that punctuation should be used to enhance writing and create a more "intelligent" appearance. The whole point of punctuation is to increase clarity.

· Do not use punctuation just because it seems more intellectual.

· “Mom’s apple pie is the best dessert at the party.”

· The word best in the above sentence is an adjective that describes the word dessert. I could have said that mom’s apple pie is a good dessert or that her pie is better than Aunt Susie’s. Instead, by using the special type of adjective best I was able to let the readers know that mom’s apple pie surpassed all desserts in the group. This special type of adjective is called a superlative adjective.

· What Are Superlative Adjectives?

· A superlative adjective is used to compare three or more objects, people, or places. Using the superlative form takes a comparison to the highest degree possible. As shown in the beginning sentence example, the adjective best is a superlative adjective that compares three or more desserts. You can’t get better than best!

· The rules for creating superlative adjectives are similar to those used when making comparative adjectives. Here they are:

· For a one-syllable word simply add the suffix –est to the word. Often times it is necessary to double the final consonant.

· Long-longest

· Big – Biggest

· If the one syllable word ends with an “e” you only need to add an -st. An example is:

· Fine-finest

· If a two-syllable word ends with a “y” then change the “y” to “I” and add -est.

· Pretty – prettiest

· Words that contain two or three syllables are preceded by the words most or least. An example would bemost handsome or least perfect.

· Examples of Superlative Adjectives

· Perhaps the best way to get a clear idea of superlative adjectives is to show examples of regular adjectives and their comparative and superlative forms. Here is a list of several common adjectives and their degrees of comparison.

Regular Comparative Superlative
sweet sweeter sweetest
angry angrier angriest
bright brighter brightest
calm calmer calmest
cold colder coldest
cool cooler coolest
curly curlier curliest
early earlier earliest
rich richer richest
lovely lovelier loveliest
smart smarter smartest
simple simpler simplest
famous more famous most famous
immense more immense most immense
long longer longest
perfect more perfect most perfect
quick quicker quickest
thin thinner thinnest

· Sentence examples containing superlative adjectives:

  • Michael is the oldest boy at the party.
  • That is the flimsiest excuse I’ve ever heard.
  • Katie wore the prettiest dress she owned.
  • Snow white was the fairest maiden of them all.
  • These are the thinnest pancakes I’ve ever made.
  • Aunt Jane was the least upset when the spilled coffee stained her tablecloth.
  • Rebecca was the most talented singer in the competition.
  • John is the smartest boy in his class.
  • Who is the richest man in America?
  • Luke threw the longest touchdown pass in high school history.
  • February was the coldest month of the year.
  • Highway 96 is the simplest route to take.
  • Some say Elizabeth Taylor was the most famous film star of all time.
  • This iced tea is the sweetest I’ve ever tasted.

· Irregular Forms

· There are some adjectives that have irregular forms meaning that the superlative can’t be formed by adding the suffix -est or by using the words most or least. Here are some examples:

· Good–the best

· Little–the least

· Add–the worst

· Far– the furthest

· Understanding the proper use of superlative adjectives isn’t difficult once you understand the rules. Remember superlatives are used to compare three or more objects, people, or places and adding the suffix -est creates them. If the regular adjective is two or three syllables then precede it with the wordsmost or least. You’ll have to memorize a few irregular forms but if you keep these simple rules in mind you can add a new dimension to your writing with superlative adjectives.

· Type the superlatives in the boxes for the words below.

For example: wet - wettest difficult - the most difficult
1. This is the (high) mountain in Australia.
2. That's the (poor) country in the world.
3. They're the (beautiful) flowers I've ever seen.
4. George is the (slow) runner in the race.
5. Anne is the (young) in class.
6. That's the (difficult) exercise I've ever done.
7. This is the (busy) restaurant I know.
8. Who has the (fast) car?
9. Your pillow is the (soft).
10. The room at the back is the (quiet).

· Gap-fill exercise

  • Fill in all the gaps, then press "Check" to check your answers. Use the "Hint" button to get a free letter if an answer is giving you trouble. You can also click on the "[?]" button to get a clue. Note that you will lose points if you ask for hints or clues!
  • make sentences using the superlative form:

    Elvis Presley/good/singer:.
    Marilyn Monroe/beautiful/actress:.
    Will Smith/rich/actor:.
    Julia Roberts/pretty/woman:.

Date: 2015-12-11; view: 2035

<== previous page | next page ==>
HOW TO GIVE PEOPLE GOOD ADVICE 3 page | Adverbs Can Modify Adjectives and Other Adverbs
doclecture.net - lectures - 2014-2024 year. Copyright infringement or personal data (0.009 sec.)