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stanzas-an arrangement of a certain number of lines forming a poem
Livie Killian moved away.
I didn’t want her to go.
We’d been friends since first grade.
The farewell party was
Thursday night
At the Old Rock Schoolhouse.
Use a comma before the conjunction to separate two independent clauses in a
compound sentence.
Example: We had been traveling for ten hours, so we were happy to reach the
Use a comma after a dependent clause when it comes at the beginning of a
complex sentence.
Example: When it rains, I have to use my umbrella.
Use commas to separate three or more words, phrases, or clauses in a series.
Example: The dish included chicken, cream, and vegetables.
Use commas to separate adjectives of equal rank. Do NOT use commas to
separate adjectives that must stay in a specific order.
Example: The tired, hungry hikers straggled back to camp.
Use a comma after and introductory word, phrase, or clause.
Example: Furthermore, you should have read the warning label.
Example: Annoyed with the delay, Uncle Al became grumpy.
When a date is made up of two or more parts, use a comma after EACH item.
Example: Thursday, March 30, 2012, was opening night.
When a geographical name is made up of two or more parts, use a comma after
EACH item.
Example: Cleveland, Ohio, is the home of the Browns football team.
Use a comma after EACH item in an address made up of two or more parts.
Example: I live at 106 Brook Hollow Road, San Antonio, TX 77854, but will be
moving soon.
Use a comma after the salutation in a personal letter and after the closing in all
Example: Dear Aunt Sue,
Example: Yours truly,
With numbers of more than three digits, use a comma after every third digit,
counting from the right. *Do NOT use commas in zip codes, phone numbers,
serial numbers, social security numbers, years, etc.
Example: 3,085,254
Use commas to set off a direct quotation from the rest of the sentence.
Example: “I hope,” Brenda said, “that we will be back in an hour.”
Use commas to set off appositives from the rest of the sentence.
*Remember, appositives are nouns or pronouns that identify or add information to
nouns or pronouns.
Example: The best racers, the fastest skiers, often live in a snowy and mountainous
climate for most of their lives.
A parenthetical expression is a word or phrase that is not essential to the meaning
of the sentence. Use commas to set off parenthetical expressions. *this includes
names or words of direct address
Example: We know,
Lucy, that you tried your best.
*mild exclamations
Example: My, it’s warm!
*certain adverbs and transitional words
Example: It seems clear, therefore, that there has been a mistake.
*and common expressions
Example: Several people, in fact, missed the opening number.
Use apostrophes to show where letters have been left out in a contraction.
Example: can’t, won’t, she’ll, he’s
Use apostrophes (and an s) to make nouns show possession.
Example: It’s Sally’s book.
*Remember: if the noun is singular add an ‘s
if the noun is plural but doesn’t end in s add an ‘s (men’s)
if the noun is plural and ends in an s only add the ‘ (dogs’)
Capitalize proper nouns (the names of specific people, places, or things).
Example: Memorial Middle School
Example: Jane Smith
Capitalize titles if they come before a name.
Example: Dr. Brown
Capitalize the first letter of a sentence.
Example: He went to the store.
Capitalize titles of books, movies, etc, except small words such as: a, an, the, but,
as, if, and, or, nor (unless they begin the title)
Example: Out of the Dust
Capitalize the opening and closings in letters.
Example: Dear Friend,
Capitalize subjects/classes if they have a number or are proper adjectives.
Example: Spanish
Example: Algebra II
Parts of a sentence
Noun-person, place, or thing
-proper noun-a specific person, place, or thing. Example: Memorial Middle
School, Ms. Weir, Apple computer, etc.
-common noun-a non specific person, place, or thing. Example: school, principal,
computer, etc.
Subject-who or what a sentence is about, it’s always a noun or pronoun.
Example: Sarah went shopping.
-compound subject-when you have two or more subjects doing the same thing.
Example: Sarah and Lucy went shopping.
Verb-what the subject is doing.
-action verb-when the subject is performing an action (physical or mental).
Example: run, talk, think, etc.
-linking verb-links the subject to a word or words that rename or describe it,
usually be verbs. Example: The lady was happy.
-“be” verbs-commonly used as linking verbs or helping verbs. Example: is, are,
was, were, am, be, been, being
-helping verb-the first verb in a verb phrase, helps show when the action is taking
place, usually be verbs. Example: He was studying very hard.
-verb phrase-when the verb is made up of more than one word, has a helping verb
and a main verb. Example: He is running.
-compound verb-when you have two or more separate verbs. Example: The man
went to the grocery store and bought a cake.
Adjective-describes a noun or pronoun. Example: It was a pretty day.
Adverb-describes a verb, adjective, or other adverb. *but usually describes the
verb Example: She wrote quickly.
Preposition-shows the relationship between words in sentences. Example: to,
from, around, beyond, above, etc.
Prepositional Phrase-begins with a preposition and ends with the object of a
preposition (a noun or pronoun). Example: The astronaut walked to the space
Direct Objects-a noun or pronoun that receives the action of a verb. It always
comes after an action verb. Example: The boy hit the baseball.
Indirect Objects-a noun or pronoun that comes after an action verb and before the
direct object. It tells for whom or to whom the direct object is directed. Example:
He gave us the money.
Predicate Nominatives-a noun or pronoun that comes after a linking verb and
renames or could replace the subject. Example: The girl was a student.
Predicate Adjectives-an adjective that comes after a linking verb and describes
the subject. Example: The dog was furry.