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Grammar Lessons

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by

Liisa Kleemola

on 14 January 2014

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Transcript of Grammar Lessons

Daily Lessons
Grammar with Miss Kleemola!
There, Their, and They're; What's the difference?
It's and Its
It's:
It's is a contraction for it is or it has.
Your and You're
Eg. Make sure your using they’re paintbrushes correctly. There over their in you’re drawer.
When to Use:
There: Naming a place, a thing, or the existence of something
(How to test: Replace “there” with “here”)
Examples:
1. “I’ve never been there before.”

Test: “I’ve never been here before.” (Correct!)

2. “This is there ball of green string.”

Test: “This is here ball of green string.” (Incorrect.)
When to Use:
Their: Showing possession
(How to test: Replace “their” with “our”)
Their:
1. “I went to their cottage last summer.”

Test: “I went to our cottage last summer.”
(Correct!)

2. “Their is the pizza place I was telling you about!”

Test: “Our is the pizza place I was telling you about!”
(Incorrect.)
When to use:
They’re: Combining the words “they” and “are”
(How to test: Replace “they’re” with “they are”)
They’re:

1. “They’re the two best players in the league.”

Test: They are the two best players in the league.”
(Correct!)

2. “My cousin is one of they’re closest friends.”

Test: “My cousin is one of they are closest friends.”
(Incorrect.)
Examples:
It's = It is
• "It's my bedtime."
• "It's time to go."
• "It's only 11 o'clock."
• "It's over there."

It's = It has (not possessive)
• "It's been a long time."
• "It's been brewing awhile."
• "It's got to happen soon."
A Mnemonic Device:
It's an apostrophe.
Its:
Its indicates possession.
Or, put in a more technical way, its is the possessive form of the neuter pronoun "it" — his, her, its.
Examples:
Its possessive

•"Every dog has its day."
•"The jury has reached its decision."
•"Stop its momentum!"
•"Guess its color."
A Good Rule of Thumb:
If you can replace it with his or her, there's no apostrophe.

A Mnemonic Device:
The possessive dog had its tail removed.
Its':
Its' is never correct.
Ever.
Commas
Pet Peeves
It's "I couldn't care less."
"I could care less" means that you actually do care.
Rule 1
To avoid confusion, use commas to separate words and word groups with a series of three or more.

Example:
My $10 million estate is to be split among my husband, daughter, son, and nephew.
Omitting the comma after son would indicate that the son and nephew would have to split one-third of the estate.
To, Two, and Too
Double negatives: "I don't know nothing" and "We don't go nowhere" are the worst offenders.
Now, lend me your ear: Don't use "loan" as a verb, as in, "Loan me a 20."
It should be, "Lend me a 20."
"Loan" is a noun; "lend" is a verb.
"Irregardless" is not a word.
The "lie" and "lay" confusion: To "lay" means to set or put; to "lie" means to recline. Remember, chickens lay eggs. People lie down.
The use of "all are not" when the person means "not all are." Example: Saying, "All women are not beautiful," when one means, "Not all women are beautiful."
We frequently hear "between you and I."
Wrong!
It's "between you and me."
People use the word "snuck" instead of "sneaked."
Although "snuck" somehow sneaked into the dictionary, it's not used by people who use proper English.
And how about "he's got," "she's got" and "they've got"?
The better word is "has." ("He has," "she has," etc.) "Got" has got to go!
Another error -- using the word "myself" instead of "me."

Example: "If you have any questions, see Bobby or myself after the meeting."
"See Bobby or me" is correct.
The "infer" and "imply" mix-up:
The writer "implies"; the reader "infers."
(It's like pitching and catching.)
An apostrophe is never used to form a plural.
"Literally" means it actually happened, not that it figuratively happened.
"Loose" and "lose" are two different words.
"Nonplus" does not mean what you think it means.

Definition:
1. verb (used with object): to render utterly perplexed; puzzle completely.
2. noun: a state of utter perplexity.
"Affect" is a verb. "Effect" is a noun.
"A lot" is two words.
Everyday means common. Every day means daily.
Fewer is for times you can count. Less is for mass nouns.
Literally means actually, not a million gagillion.

Presently means soon. Currently means now.
“To”
- part of infinitive verb phrases, such as in “to eat” or “to go”
- as a preposition with widespread connotations, such as in “Let’s go to the store,” “Give it to me,” “The Cubs are down 84 to 11 to the Pirates,” or “To this day, I hate mushrooms.”
“Too”

- It can mean “in addition,” as in “I want to go, too!” or “You two hate to eat mushrooms and onions, too”

- Or can refer to excess or degree, as in “You are too funny!” “Iv was out too late last night,” or “Tom wasn’t too amused by Hannah’s theatrics.”
“Two”

- Simply the number 2
When in doubt, use “to,” but remember that if you’re meaning to say “in addition” or “to an excessive degree,” use “too.” If you’re referring to a numerical amount, use “two.”
Rule 2
Use a comma to separate two adjectives when the word and can be inserted between them.

Examples:
He is a strong, healthy man.
We stayed at an expensive summer resort.
You would not say expensive and summer resort, so no comma.
Rule 3
Use a comma when an -ly adjective is used with other adjectives.

NOTE: To test whether an -ly word is an adjective, see if it can be used alone with the noun. If it can, use the comma.

Examples:
Felix was a lonely, young boy.
I get headaches in brightly lit rooms.
Brightly is not an adjective because it cannot be used alone with rooms; therefore, no comma is used between brightly and lit.
Rule 4
Use commas before or surrounding the name or title of a person directly addressed.

Examples:
Will you, Aisha, do that assignment for me?
Yes, Doctor, I will.

NOTE: Capitalize a title when directly addressing someone.
Rule 5a
Use a comma to separate the day of the month from the year and after the year.

Example:
Kathleen met her husband on December 5, 2003, in Lethbridge, Alberta.
Rule 5b
If any part of the date is omitted, leave out the comma.

Example:
They met in December 2003 in Lethbridge.
Rule 6
Use a comma to separate the city from the province and after the province in a document. If you use the two-letter capitalized form of a province in a document, you do not need a comma after the province.

NOTE: With addresses on envelopes mailed via the post office, do not use any punctuation.
Rule 7
Use commas to surround degrees or titles used with names. Commas are no longer required around Jr. and Sr.
Commas never set off II, III, and so forth.

Example:
Al Mooney, M.D., knew Sam Sunny Jr. and Charles Starr III.
Rule 8
Use commas to set off expressions that interrupt sentence flow.

Example:
I am, as you have probably noticed, very nervous about this.
Rule 9
When starting a sentence with a weak clause, use a comma after it. Also, do not use a comma when the sentence starts with a strong clause followed by a weak clause.

Examples:
If you are not sure about this, let me know now.
Let me know now if you are not sure about this.
Rule 10
Use a comma after phrases of more than three words that begin a sentence. If the phrase has fewer than three words, the comma is optional.
Rule 11
If something or someone is sufficiently identified, the description following it is considered nonessential and should be surrounded by commas.
Rule 12
Use a comma to separate two strong clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction--and, or, but, for, nor. You can omit the comma if the clauses are both short.

Examples:
I have painted the entire house, but he is still working on sanding the doors. I paint and he writes.
Rule 13
Use the comma to separate two sentences if it will help avoid confusion.

Examples:
I chose the colors red and green, and blue was his first choice.
Rule 14
A comma splice is an error caused by joining two strong clauses with only a comma instead of separating the clauses with a conjunction, a semicolon, or a period. A run-on sentence, which is incorrect, is created by joining two strong clauses without any punctuation.
Rule 15
If the subject does not appear in front of the second verb, do not use a comma.

Example:
He thought quickly but still did not answer correctly.
Rule 16
Use commas to introduce or interrupt direct quotations shorter than three lines.

Examples:
He actually said, "I do not care."
"Why," I asked, "do you always forget to do it?"
Rule 17
Use a comma to separate a statement from a question.

Example:
I can go, can't I?
Rule 18
Use a comma to separate contrasting parts of a sentence.

Example:
That is my money, not yours.
Rule 19
Use a comma when beginning sentences with introductory words such as well, now, or yes.

Examples:
Yes, I do need that report.
Well, I never thought I'd live to see the day…
Rule 20
Use commas surrounding words such as therefore and however when they are used as interrupters.

Examples:
I would, therefore, like a response.
I would be happy, however, to volunteer for the Red Cross.
Rule 21
Use either a comma or a semicolon before introductory words such as namely, that is, i.e., for example, e.g., or for instance when they are followed by a series of items. Use a comma after the introductory word.
Examples:
I lived in Vulcan, Alberta, for 20 years.
I lived in Vulcan, AB for 20 years.
Examples:
To apply for this job, you must have previous experience.
On February 14 many couples give each other candy or flowers.
OR
On February 14, many couples give each other candy or flowers.
Which of these sentences are correct?

1. Time flies when we are having fun, we are always having fun.
2. Time flies when we are having fun, and we are always having fun.
3. Time flies when we are having fun we are always having fun.
4. Time flies when we are having fun; we are always having fun.
5. Time flies when we are having fun. We are always having fun.
Examples:
You may be required to bring many items, e.g., sleeping bags, pans, and warm clothing.
OR
You may be required to bring many items; e.g., sleeping bags, pans, and warm clothing.

NOTE: i.e. means that is; e.g. means for example
Another irritant is "try and" instead of "try to."

For example, one may try to win -- then lose.
But how can one try and win -- and then lose?
Examples:
Freddy, who has a limp, was in an auto accident.
Freddy is named, so the description is not essential.

The boy who has a limp was in an auto accident.
We do not know which boy is being referred to without further description; therefore, no commas are used.
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