1. Know your grammar.
a. Identifying a Simple Sentence
i. It has a Subject and a Predicate
ii. Know how to Identify Both (How do you find a Subject & Predicate)
iii. A simple sentence is an Independent Clause (It can stand alone)
1. Ex. The diplomats took them to Jamaica. (Independent)
2. Although the diplomats took them to Jamaica (Subordinate, Cannot stand alone.)
2. Distinguishing Independent Clauses from Subordinate Clauses
a. Independent clauses have both a subject and a predicate and are grammatically independent
b. Subordinate clauses have subjects and predicates and are therefore clauses, but they are subordinate to other grammatical constructions
3. How to spot a Subordinate clause
a. Recognize the kinds of words that usually introduce such clauses. These words are subordinating conjunctions (such as if, since, and unless), relative pronouns (that, who and whoever, (adjectives such as whose, which and what), and some adverbs (such as when, where, whether, why, and how). These words signal that the clause is subordinate.
i. Ex. If you take one more step….
ii. …who seized the day…
iii. … whose book on mediation and motorcycles was captivating…
4. Identifying Phrases
a. Are words or groups of words without a subject or a predicate or both
b. They usually function in a sentence like single words
i. Noun- has a noun in the phrase
ii. Verb phrase has a verb as its head word
5. Common areas to review
a. How to Identify nouns and pronouns
b. How to Identify verbs
c. How to Identify adjectives
d. Prepositional Phrases
6. Compound, Complex and Compound Sentences
a. Compound sentences include two or more independent clauses
b. Commas are the links between the independent clauses of compound sentences. When the function this way, commas are almost always accompanied by either coordinating or correlative conjunctions.
i. Coordinating conjunctions are: and, but, or, for, nor, so and yet.
ii. The comma precedes the Coordinating Conjunction
iii. If a compound sentence has more than two independent clauses, only the last two require both a comma and a coordinating conjunction
iv. If a compound sentence is short, it may be ok to omit the comma
1. Ex. We tried and we failed
7. Indentifying Complex Sentences
a. Includes an independent clause and one or more subordinate clauses.
i. While they were on the island…Sub (must modify another group of words or words.)
ii. Where they were on the island, they heard cannons being shot over the water. (heard is the verb modified)
a. Sentence Fragments
i. Identifying Sentence Fragments
ii. It begins with a capital letter and ends with a period, a question mark, or an exclamation mark. However it is not a sentence.
iii. It may lack a subject – And spent all afternoon in a video arcade (they)
iv. It might lack a verb – She and her friends over the years (mellowed)
v. The Fragment might be a subordinate clause (If President Lincoln had signed the treaty) How would you fix this based on what you learned about subordinate clauses earlier?
b. Comma Splices and fused sentences
i. Comma splice
1. In a comma splice, a comma links, or splices, two or more independent clauses, unless the independent clause makes up a series in which the last independent clause is introduced by a coordinating conjunction.
c. Identifying Fused Sentences
i. In a fused (or run-on) sentence, one independent clause follows another with no mark of punctuation between them. Most fused sentences contain two independent clauses; a few contain three or more.
1. The park is lovely it is also dangerous after sunset.
d. Other areas to review (SUBJECT VERB AGREEMENT) TEST
9. Punctuation and Mechanics
i. Sentences consisting of a statement or mild command should end with a period.
ii. Abbreviations, Figures, Quoting from a play or Long poem, Decimals Fractions
b. Question Mark
i. Use after a direct question.
c. Exclamation Point
i. Use only if the form it follows carries emotional force
1. Conveys a sense of astonishment, shock, joy, grief, outrage, or great irony
d. The Semicolon
i. Use a semicolon between independent clauses not joined by coordinating conjunctions. The clauses closely relate.
ii. Ex A student assistant was quite helpful; he showed us a good index.
e. The Colon
i. In almost all cases an independent clause must precede a colon
ii. Only one space should follow a colon
iii. Use a colon before a list or series.
iv. Use a colon before an element that defines renames explains or illustrates the preceding independent clause. Ex they gave in to the temptation: they bought the compact discs.
v. Use a colon before a formal quotation
1. Use a colon if an independent clause introduces the quotation.
vi. Other areas include: salutations, memorandums, subtitles of books, divisions of time, biblical citations, entries or list of references or works cited
f. The comma
i. Use a comma between independent clauses linked by coordinating conjunctions
ii. Use a comma after most instructor elements. Ex. Finally, however, to win, stalling etc.
iii. Use commas with elements in a series. Ex. The rugby player spoke of loyalty to god, king, and country.
iv. Use commas with Coordinate adjectives
1. Ex clean quiet neighborhood
v. Use with quotations
1. According to the scientist, “some people have changed the course of events.”
g. Quotation Marks, the slash, Ellipsis points, and brackets
i. Quotation marks to enclose direct quotations.
ii. Ellipsis omit words or phrases