Grammar and punctuation


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Grammar and punctuation

  2. 2. Grammar – a brief definition <ul><li>Grammar is a system of rules for speaking and writing in a particular language </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is a a sentence? <ul><li>A sentence is a group of words that can stand alone and, in context, make sense. </li></ul><ul><li>A sentence can have one complete idea in it, or more. </li></ul><ul><li>Sentences are made up of clauses and phrases. </li></ul>
  4. 4. How long should a sentence be? <ul><li>To make sentences easy to read, it is best not to include more than three separate ideas, or clauses. </li></ul><ul><li>A good average sentence length is 15 – 20 words </li></ul><ul><li>For variety, you should vary the length of sentences in your writing </li></ul>
  5. 5. What is a clause? <ul><li>A clause contains a verb and can stand as a sentence on its own. </li></ul><ul><li>The phone rang </li></ul><ul><li>The members have arrived </li></ul><ul><li>The meeting will start later </li></ul>
  6. 6. What is a clause? <ul><li>A clause can be part of a larger sentence. </li></ul><ul><li>The phone rang as I was leaving. </li></ul><ul><li>I am surprised that the members have arrived early. </li></ul><ul><li>The meeting will start later because of the security alert. </li></ul>
  7. 7. What is a phrase? <ul><li>A phrase does not usually have a verb and is not a complete sentence (except possibly as the answer to a question). </li></ul><ul><li>after the meeting </li></ul><ul><li>in the meantime </li></ul><ul><li>in reply to your complaint </li></ul>
  8. 8. Paragraphs <ul><li>We divide our writing into paragraphs to make things easier for the reader. </li></ul><ul><li>A paragraph is as group of sentences relating to one idea. </li></ul><ul><li>A new paragraph can indicate a slight change of direction on the same subject. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Paragraphs – how long? <ul><li>There are no rules about how long or short a paragraph should be </li></ul><ul><li>The longer it is, the more the reader will see the text as a barrier </li></ul><ul><li>We can have a one-line, one-sentence paragraph </li></ul><ul><li>Consider if a paragraph of more than 8 lines could be split into two </li></ul>
  10. 10. A list which is a continuous sentence <ul><li>If you are the last person to leave the office, please make sure that you: </li></ul><ul><li>turn out all the lights </li></ul><ul><li>lock the office door </li></ul><ul><li>inform security that you are leaving the building. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Function and parts of speech <ul><li>A word can only be identified as a particular part of speech if we know what job it is doing in the sentence. </li></ul><ul><li>The function defines the part of speech </li></ul><ul><li>“ Fast” can be an adjective, an adverb, a verb, a noun. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Verbs <ul><li>The function of a verb is to show doing, having or being. </li></ul><ul><li>Verbs have tenses to show when they take place. </li></ul><ul><li>In writing, keep to the tense you begin with unless there is a good reason to change it. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Verbs: participles <ul><li>Verbs can be made up of two parts: a secondary or supporting verb and a participle from the main verb </li></ul><ul><li>The supporting verb is usually “to be” or “to have” </li></ul>
  14. 14. Verbs: Present participles <ul><li>Present participles end in –ing </li></ul><ul><li>The manager is asking him </li></ul><ul><li>He is agreeing to do it </li></ul><ul><li>Note that if there is no supporting verb you may have a non sentence: </li></ul><ul><li>Traffic piling up on the M8 this morning. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Verbs: past participles <ul><li>Past participles usually end in -ed </li></ul><ul><li>They have agreed to the proposals </li></ul><ul><li>But some don’t: </li></ul><ul><li>They have broken the agreement </li></ul><ul><li>She had read the report beforehand </li></ul><ul><li>Usually, if the past tense of the verb ends in –ed, so does the past participle </li></ul>
  16. 16. Verbs: active and passive <ul><li>With an active verb, the “doer” comes before the verb </li></ul><ul><li>We cannot consider your application until we receive the form </li></ul><ul><li>With a passive verb the “doer” comes behind the verb, introduced by the word “by” (sometimes “by” is understood but does not appear) </li></ul><ul><li>Your application cannot be considered until the form is received </li></ul>
  17. 17. Verbs: singular and plural <ul><li>“ None” takes a singular verb because it means “not one” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Neither” take a singular verb as long as the subject are both singular </li></ul><ul><li>Names of organisations usually take a singular verb </li></ul><ul><li>Collective nouns usually use a singular verb </li></ul>
  18. 18. Adverbs <ul><li>The function of an adverb is to show how, where or when a verb happens such as: </li></ul><ul><li>quickly, slowly, carefully, reliably </li></ul><ul><li>Most adverbs end in – ly but some don’t: </li></ul><ul><li>Fast, well, often, now, there, later </li></ul><ul><li>Adverbs can be linked to adjectives or other adverbs: </li></ul><ul><li>completely safe, totally worn out, too quickly </li></ul>
  19. 19. Nouns <ul><li>The function of a noun is to name a person, place or thing. </li></ul><ul><li>There are four types of noun. </li></ul><ul><li>Common nouns: desk, computers, offices </li></ul><ul><li>Proper nouns: Scotland, The Minister, The Parliament </li></ul><ul><li>Abstract nouns: decision, principles, values </li></ul><ul><li>Collective nouns: team, committee, audience </li></ul>
  20. 20. Pronouns <ul><li>Personal pronouns take the place of nouns to make sentences run more smoothly </li></ul><ul><li>First person: I, me, my, we, us, our </li></ul><ul><li>Second person: you, your, yours </li></ul><ul><li>Third person : he, she, it, they, him , her, them, his, hers, its, their, theirs. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Adjectives <ul><li>The function of an adjective is to describe a noun </li></ul><ul><li>Adjectives are words such as: quick, slow, careful, reliable </li></ul><ul><li>Words which are used as nouns maybe used as adjectives: police van, committee papers, security check </li></ul>
  22. 22. Prepositions <ul><li>Prepositions come before nouns or pronouns and usually show a connection: </li></ul><ul><li>in the office </li></ul><ul><li>to the meeting </li></ul><ul><li>on the desk </li></ul><ul><li>Other common prepositions: at, for, up, over, by, from, near </li></ul>
  23. 23. Articles <ul><li>The definite article is “the” </li></ul><ul><li>The indefinite article is “a” or “an” </li></ul><ul><li>We use “an” before a vowel sound: </li></ul><ul><li> an MSP, an hour, an honour </li></ul><ul><li>We use “a” before a consonant sound: </li></ul><ul><li>a unique opportunity, a useful idea, a European country </li></ul>
  24. 24. Using punctuation <ul><li>Compare these two statements: </li></ul><ul><li>A woman, without her man, is nothing. </li></ul><ul><li>A woman: without her, man is nothing </li></ul>
  25. 25. Using punctuation <ul><li>Dear Jack, </li></ul><ul><li>I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart. I can be forever happy – will you let me be yours? </li></ul>
  26. 26. Using punctuation <ul><li>Dear Jack, </li></ul><ul><li>I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men I yearn! For you I have no feelings whatsoever. When we’re apart I can be forever happy. Will you let me be? </li></ul><ul><li>Yours, </li></ul>
  27. 27. Punctuation? <ul><li>Charles the First walked and talked half an hour after his head was cut off. </li></ul><ul><li>Leonora walked on her head, a little higher than usual. </li></ul><ul><li>The driver managed to escape from the vehicle before it sank and swam to the river-bank. </li></ul><ul><li>The convict said the judge is mad. </li></ul><ul><li>The society decided not to prosecute the owners of the Windsor Safari Park, where animals, have already been fed live to snakes and lions, on legal advice. </li></ul>
  28. 28. The comma <ul><li>In simple terms, the comma indicates a pause in a sentence </li></ul><ul><li>To show where there would be a natural pause if we were speaking </li></ul><ul><li>In a list, to separate the items </li></ul><ul><li>In pairs, in the same way that we would use brackets </li></ul>
  29. 29. The colon <ul><li>We use a colon to introduce a list, as we saw in the section on bullet points. </li></ul><ul><li>We can use a colon to make a break to indicate we expect something to follow: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Only three people turned up for the meeting: the HR manager, the team leader and the case worker. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  30. 30. The semi-colon <ul><li>Can act as a weak full stop, to separate two very closely related sentences </li></ul><ul><li>We have studied this problem for several days; there are no easy answers </li></ul><ul><li>Can separate items in a long complicated list </li></ul>
  31. 31. Inverted commas <ul><li>To show direct speech </li></ul><ul><li>To quote a section from a report or to quote a title of a book or paper etc </li></ul><ul><li>Note: If you are quoting part of a text , the use of ellipsis should keep the sense of the sentence. </li></ul><ul><li>The report stated that “The Management have carried out a consultation and have recommended various steps……………to remedy the situation.” </li></ul>
  32. 32. The apostrophe <ul><li>To show that a letter has been left out </li></ul><ul><li>To show possession </li></ul><ul><li>In the singular it comes before the “s” </li></ul><ul><li>In the plural it comes after the “s” </li></ul><ul><li>If the plural doesn’t end in “s” we add an apostrophe and an “s” (women’s committee etc) </li></ul><ul><li>With names ending in “s” we can add an apostrophe or an apostrophe and an “s” (Mr James’ statement or Mr James’s statement) </li></ul>
  33. 33. Brackets <ul><li>We use brackets to separate a word , or a group of words from the rest of the sentence (or to add something) </li></ul><ul><li>The full stop comes outside the bracket, as it does in the last sentence, unless what is in the brackets is a full sentence. </li></ul><ul><li>(So if the sentence is complete, like this one, we put the full stop inside.) </li></ul>
  34. 34. The dash <ul><li>We can use two dashes – but only in the middle of a sentence – in the same way that we use brackets (in parenthesis) </li></ul><ul><li>We can use a single dash in the same way that we use a colon – to mark a break when we expect something to follow </li></ul>
  35. 35. Capital letters are used <ul><li>To begin every sentence </li></ul><ul><li>For “I” </li></ul><ul><li>For proper names – Edinburgh, Jane </li></ul><ul><li>For titles – First Minister, Prime minister </li></ul><ul><li>For days of the week, months of the year </li></ul><ul><li>In letters – Dear Sir, Yours sincerely </li></ul><ul><li>For abbreviations – MSP, SCE, SQA </li></ul>
  36. 36. Some words commonly confused <ul><li>affect to influence </li></ul><ul><li>effect consequence </li></ul><ul><li>alternately one after the other </li></ul><ul><li>alternatively one instead of the other </li></ul><ul><li>continuous unceasing </li></ul><ul><li>Continual recurring </li></ul><ul><li>enquire to ask </li></ul><ul><li>inquire to investigate </li></ul>
  37. 37. More words commonly confused <ul><li>emotional affected by emotions </li></ul><ul><li>emotive affecting the emotions </li></ul><ul><li>stationary not moving </li></ul><ul><li>stationery writing materials </li></ul><ul><li>proscribed outlawed </li></ul><ul><li>prescribed ordered </li></ul><ul><li>transitional passing from one stage to another </li></ul><ul><li>transitory lasting only a short time </li></ul>
  38. 38. Checking and Redrafting <ul><li>Does what you have written sound right when you read it aloud? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the punctuation make the meaning clear? </li></ul><ul><li>Do the sentences make sense? </li></ul><ul><li>Are the sentences an appropriate length? </li></ul><ul><li>Are the sentences grouped in paragraphs? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you used Capitals correctly? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the spelling accurate? </li></ul>