#EdenLit - Lessons: Some Grammar Rules

Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
I am going to run through some common grammar errors we are all guilty of in our work! We'll look at clauses, comma usage, proper use of punctuation marks with quotation marks, and how to show slang in writing.

Clause- a group of words that contains a noun and predicate (the part that tells what the noun did, does, or has done). If the clause can stand alone it is referred to as an Independent Clause. If the clause cannot stand alone it is a Dependent Clause and must be combined with an Independent Clause.

Say, however that you want to combine two Independent clauses instead of leaving them separate; what should you do? You would use a comma followed by a conjunction, a semi colon alone, or a semi colon followed by a sentence modifier.
*Incorrect- The policeman knew it was dangerous, still he drew his gun.
*Correct- The policeman knew it was dangerous, and still he drew his gun.
*Incorrect- The Eden Lit Club manager doesn't know grammar, she should go back to school.
*Correct- The Eden Lit Club manager doesn't know grammar; she should go back to school.
*Incorrect- Her addiction has not changed her physically, but has given her a wall to hide behind.
*Correct- Her addiction has not changed her physically; however, it has given her a wall to hide behind.

Comma Usage- Use commas to enclose clauses or phrases that are not essential to the sentences meaning. Basically, if the sentence can stand alone without the extra clause or phrase put commas around it. These commas serve the public speaker as it indicates a changing emphasis in the sentence.
*Incorrect- Even a dirty mirror streaked with age can reveal a soul.
*Correct- Even a dirty mirror, streaked with age, can reveal a soul.
Notice how if we take out the three extraneous words the sentence is still complete: Even a dirty mirror can reveal a soul.

Here's a tricky rule to remember:
Form the possessive singular of nouns by adding 's regardless of the final consonant. It doesn't matter what the noun ends with you add an 's to make it possive in the singular, EXCEPT in the case of ancient proper names.
Example: Bella's choices
Chatterly's lovers
Aimes's cakes

Example: Jesus' sermons
for conscience' sake
for righteousness' sake

Example: Achilles' heel would, more properly, be the heel of Achilles.
Isis' temple should be the temple of Isis.

*You all know that to share a list of items, thoughts or descriptions you should separate each item with a comma except the last.

Quotation Marks and Setting Apart Dialogue
*Periods and commas should be included inside the quotation mark unless you are using the Modern Language Association format.
*Semicolons and colons go outside the quotation mark.
*Now the tricky part: exclamation points and question marks should be inside the quotation mark if the (! or ?) are part of the quote.
For example: She walked to the open door and yelled, "Son, close the damn door!" Then she turned to her daughter and asked, "Does he think he was born in a barn?"

~Now if the actual quote is not an exclamation or question the points go outside the mark.
For example: Doesn't every Mother say, "You can't make an omelete without cracking a few eggs"? The quote isn't a question but the entire sentence is!

*If you are quoting someone word for word quotation marks should be used around the entire length of what the person said...or is saying.
For example: Jenny said, "All things good come from Texas." or "All thing good come from Texas," Jenny said.

Single quotation marks, my personal bugaboo, are utilized to show quotes inside larger quotes.
For example: "I always sit my potential partners down and ask them, 'Is there anything you think I should know about making love to you?' and I expect an honest answer," I said as she made herself comfortable at my feet. Tricky, no?

While we, as writers, tend to want to emphasize a slang word or phrase by putting quotes around it this should be avoided as it can be confusing to a reader. Write the sentence without special punctuation as though it is acceptable speech.

Ok, this should be about all the review we need to get into some lessons about character development and dialogue writing.
09/24/2012
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travelnurse travelnurse
Thanks for the info!! I haven't done writing for the club. I did do 4 articles for SexIs though. Take a look at them!
09/24/2012
Kissy Kissy
This is great, I am so bad with grammar!
09/25/2012
Total posts: 3
Unique posters: 3