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Friday, February 17, 2012

Fun Grammar Rules 1


GET READY:

Do you think grammar is "fun"? Most people don't. (I hope you'll find this lesson fun!)

READ THIS:

Read these "Grammar Rules" and try to find out what's wrong with each one.

1. Make sure each pronoun agrees with their antecedent.
2. Just between you and I, the case of pronoun is important.
3. Verbs has to agree in number with their subjects.
4. Don't use no double negatives.
5. A writer must be not shift your point of view.
6. About sentence fragments.
7. Don't use run-on sentences you got to punctuate them.
8. In letters essays and reports use commas to separate items in series.
9. Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and omit it when its not needed.
10. Don't abbrev.

ANSWERS:

1. PROBLEM: When a pronoun refers to something earlier in the sentence (its "antecedent." It must match in number (singular or plural=one or many) and person (first=I, we; second=you, you; third=he, she, it, they). In the example, "each pronoun" is singular but "their" is plural.
CORRECT FORM: Make sure each pronoun agrees with its antecedent.
2. PROBLEM: There are several cases for pronouns, including subject (I, you, he, she, etc.), object (me, you, him, her, etc.), and possessive (mine, yours, his, hers). In the sentence, since the pronouns are the object of the preposition "between," they should be "you" and "me."
CORRECT FORM: Just between you and me, the case of pronoun is important.
3. PROBLEM: Another singular/plural problem. "Verb has" but "verbs have."
CORRECT FORM: Verbs have to agree in number with their subjects.
4. PROBLEM: Saying "no" or "not" twice in a sentence is generally wrong, but some teachers now find it acceptable in some cases.
CORRECT FORM: Don't use any double negatives. OR Use no double bnegatives.
5. PROBLEM: "Point of view is often called "person," as in "first person," "second person," and so on. The sentence below shifts from third ("a writer") to second "you").
CORRECT FORM: A writer must be not shift his or her point of view.
6. PROBLEM: Proper sentences must have a subject and a predicate. The sentence below has no verb (and furthermore is a prepositional phrase, which cannot stand alone).
CORRECT FORM: Be careful about sentence fragments. (There are other ways to fix this, too.)
7. PROBLEM: When a complete sentence (subject and predicate) is finished, we must isolate it either with punctuation (see 1), a conjunctions (see 2), or other ways. Also, the sentence uses "got" instead of "have."
CORRECT FORM: 1a. Don't use run-on sentences. You have to punctuate them. 1b. Don't use run-on sentences; you have to punctuate them. 2. Don't use run-on sentences, because you have to punctuate them.
8. PROBLEM: Read the corrected sentence to understand the rule.
CORRECT FORM: In letters, essays, and reports, use commas to separate items in series.
9. PROBLEM: "Its" is a possessive; "it's" is a contraction for "it is." This is a common mistake.
CORRECT FORM: Reserve the apostrophe for its proper use and omit it when it's not needed.
10. PROBLEM: Some abbreviations are acceptable in formal writing "p.m." "e.g." "etc." for instance). Others are not, like "abbrev."
CORRECT FORM: Don't abbreviate.

QUESTION FOR DISCUSSION OR WRITING:

Try to think of more examples of "wrong" use of the rules above; then write some correct sentences. For example:

#4 (wrong): "I don't see no reason I should go."
#4 (right): "I don't see any reason I should go."

#9 (wrong): "Theyre going to leave soon."
#9 (right): "They're going to leave soon."

This lesson is ©2012 by James Baquet. You may share this work freely. Teachers may use it in the classroom, as long as students are told the source (URL). You may not publish this material or sell it. Please write to me if you have any questions about "fair use."

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