Monday, October 17, 2011

L3 Punctuation Rules

Here you will find wrong sentences containing punctuation *errors (in red) preceded by an asterisk (and the correct form in parenthesis):

1. Sentence fragments, i.e. dependent clauses or phrases standing alone:
*Tom listened. Although he was very angry.
*Having worked hard all day and played basketball most of the evening.

2. Commas.
Comma splices, i.e. joining two independent clauses only by a comma:
*We were an hour early for the meeting, we though it started at eight. (We were an hour early for the meeting; we thought it started at eight.)
*Rachel was having difficulty, she had never studied English before.

The lack of comma in: *Yes I do. *No he didn’t. etc. (Yes, I do.)
The use of comma after a subject clause: *My mother and I,. (My mother and I.)
The incorrect use of comma after but and so.

3. Fused sentences, i.e. two or more independent clauses joined neither by punctuation nor conjunctions:
*We were an hour early for the meeting we thought it started at eight.
*Rachel was having difficulty she had never studied English before.

4. Run-on sentences, i.e. excessively long sentences with lots of conjunctions, that could and should be broken up by full stops/periods.

5. The use of a full stop/period after another form of punctuation:
*What was I thinking?. *She had to do it!. (What was I thinking? She had to do it!)

6. The inappropriate use of ellipsis:
*Last year I went to Paris, Rome, London… (Last year I went to Paris, Rome, London, etc.)
*The teacher called on me, so… I had to read out loud in English. (so I had)

7. Direct speech in an essay should be punctuated correctly.
The incorrect use of quotation marks:
*Last weekend I went to “Disneyland”/”London”. (Last weekend I went to Disneyland/London.)
The lack of any form of punctuation before quoted material:
*David shouted “you are mad”. (David shouted: “you are mad”.)
*Have you seen Woody Allen’s Match Point? (…Woody Allen’s “Match Point”?)

8. The use of < > or « » as punctuation.

9. The lack of a question mark at the end of a question.

10. The use of Spanish inverted exclamation or question marks at the beginning of a sentence:
*¡Wow! *¿You what? (Wow! You what?)

11. Failure to capitalize the first word of a sentence.

12. Capitalizing words other than proper nouns within a sentence:
*When I got to the office, It was closed. (When I got to the office, it was closed.)

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