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Understanding and Correcting Common Writing Errors Pt. I Grammar and Punctuation
Understanding and Correcting Common Writing Errors Pt. I Grammar and Punctuation
Understanding and Correcting Common Writing Errors Pt. I Grammar and Punctuation
Understanding and Correcting Common Writing Errors Pt. I Grammar and Punctuation
Understanding and Correcting Common Writing Errors Pt. I Grammar and Punctuation
Understanding and Correcting Common Writing Errors Pt. I Grammar and Punctuation
Understanding and Correcting Common Writing Errors Pt. I Grammar and Punctuation
Understanding and Correcting Common Writing Errors Pt. I Grammar and Punctuation
Understanding and Correcting Common Writing Errors Pt. I Grammar and Punctuation
Understanding and Correcting Common Writing Errors Pt. I Grammar and Punctuation
Understanding and Correcting Common Writing Errors Pt. I Grammar and Punctuation
Understanding and Correcting Common Writing Errors Pt. I Grammar and Punctuation
Understanding and Correcting Common Writing Errors Pt. I Grammar and Punctuation
Understanding and Correcting Common Writing Errors Pt. I Grammar and Punctuation
Understanding and Correcting Common Writing Errors Pt. I Grammar and Punctuation
Understanding and Correcting Common Writing Errors Pt. I Grammar and Punctuation
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Understanding and Correcting Common Writing Errors Pt. I Grammar and Punctuation

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  • 1. Understanding and Correcting Common Writing Issues Pt. I Grammar and Punctuation
  • 2. Phrases and Clauses • Phrases are groups of words that include a noun but no verb. They can act as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs. o Prepositional phrase: “I went from rags to riches.” o Infinitive phrase: “To live well is my only goal.” o Participle phrase: “Screaming wildly, the man fell off the mountain.” • Clauses are groupings of words that include both a noun and a verb.
  • 3. Phrases and Clauses • Independent clauses can stand alone. They act as complete sentences. • Dependent clauses cannot stand alone. They are created by using relative pronouns or subordinating conjunctions (i.e. while, since, after, although, until, etc.)
  • 4. Essential and Non-Essential Phrases and Clauses • Essential (or restrictive) dependent clauses and phrases are those that are crucial to the overall meaning of the sentence. You tend to use that for essential clauses and phrases. o “The books that I have read prepared me for the test.” o We found the treasure in the woods near the barn.” • Non-essential (or non-restrictive) dependent clauses and phrases are those that are not crucial to the overall meaning of the sentence. You tend to use which for non-essential clauses and phrases. o “The books, which contained some interesting data, prepared me for the test.” o “We found the treasure, which included three gold coins, in the woods near the barn.”
  • 5. Essential and Non-Essential Phrases and Clauses • “The hardware store that is around the corner will have the hammer that I need.” • “The hardware store, which is having a sale on screwdrivers, will have the hammer that I need. • The students who have band practice after school will be late. • The students, who have band practice after school, will be late.
  • 6. Sentence Types • Simple sentences: a sentence with no dependent clause or conjunction o Jane bought a soda. • Compound sentences: two independent clauses joined by a conjunction o Jane bought a soda, but Jerry dropped it. Both “Jane bought a soda” and “Jerry dropped it” are independent clauses, as they can stand alone as complete sentences. “But” serves as the conjunction.
  • 7. Sentence Types • Complex sentences: contains one independent clause with at least one dependent clause. In this case, the clauses are joined with conjunctions and subordinators (terms that bring together the clauses). Subordinators can refer to the sequence/time (since, while), the subject (who, which), or the causal elements (because, if) of the independent clause. o Note: I will use red to signify the independent clause and blue to signify dependent clauses. o Even though (subordinator) the weather is awful, and (conjunction) I am beginning to feel sick, I am going to walk my dog with Jane.
  • 8. Sentence Types • Compound-complex sentences: contain at least two independent clauses and at least one subordinate clause (a dependent clause joined with a subordinator). They will also include a conjunction. o Note: I will use red to signify the independent clause and blue to signify dependent clauses. o Because (subordinator) I forgot milk, Jack had to run back to the store and (conjunction) he is rather upset about the whole ordeal.
  • 9. Plurals/Possessives • Plurals indicate more than one of something: girls boys dogs men women • Possessives indicate that one or more things belong to someone or something else: girl’s boy’s dog’s • Plural Possessives indicate that one or more things belong to a group of people or things: girls’ boys’ dogs’ men’s women’s
  • 10. Punctuation • A semi-colon is used to join certain kinds of independent clauses. o closely related independent clauses (it acts like a “weak period”) • “We stayed out; he went home.” o Related independent clauses joined by a conjunctive adverb • “I like you; however, I find your ideas to be repugnant.” • You should never use a semi-colon to join a dependent and an independent clause. o “During the game; the umpire got hit by a pitch.”
  • 11. Punctuation • A colon is used to indicate additional information, such as a list, result or illustration. • “He wants three things out of a partner: trust, commitment, and responsibility.” • “You only have one problem: you don’t have any money.” • A complete statement (i.e. an independent clause) must precede a colon. o NOT “During the meeting, we did things such as: yelled, screamed, and punched.”
  • 12. Common Sentence Errors • Run-on sentences are those that try to fit multiple independent ideas into a single sentence without proper coordination or punctuation. • “Every time we go to the store we buy chicken and fish because they are good to eat when we spend too much money because food is expensive and we don’t have any way to pay for it.” • Sentence fragments cannot stand alone as full sentences. • “Meaning that we were the last ones in the room.”
  • 13. Valuable Questions to Ask Regarding Grammar, Syntax, and Punctuation 1. Who does what (and to whom)? 2. How many ideas are in this one sentence? 3. How does this idea connect with that one? 4. If we take this (word, phrase, clause) away, does the sentence still make sense?
  • 14. Conjunction, Etc. • Coordinating Conjunctions join two or more words, phrases, or clauses of equal value o For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So • Subordinating Conjunctions join two or more words, phrases, or clauses of unequal value o After, Although, As, Because, Before, Since, Though, Unless, When, While, etc. • Relative Pronouns connect a noun to a dependent clause providing information about that noun o That, Which, Who, Whom, Whose • Conjunctive Adverbs join two independent clauses o However, Nevertheless, Therefore, Accordingly, Indeed, Moreover, Consequently
  • 15. Commas • Use a comma and a coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so) to join independent clauses. o “Before dinner, we went to the store together, and we went to see a movie.” • Use a comma to set apart non-essential phrases or clauses. o “That man, who can eat more than anyone else I know, is well-known throughout town.” • Omit commas with essential phrases and clauses. o “The ice cream that I like is expensive. • Use a comma to separate an introductory clause from the independent clause that follows. o First, we’ll eat dinner. Then, we’ll go to work.”
  • 16. References Lamos S. Clarity, Cohesion, Parallelism, and Precision. [Handout]. Program for Writing and Rhetoric, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO.

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