Thread: Grammar Rules

  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Cleveland, Ohio

    Default Grammar Rules

    For those you that are taking exams in the future ( Ex.CWH) with grammar as one of the testing subjects, below are some grammar rules to help you out.
    Good luck !!!!


    1. Apostrophe (')

    The apostrophe is used:

    1. to indicate possession

    Bob's hat; Burns' poems; Jones's houses

    NOTE: Use apostrophe only (without the s) for certain words that end in s:

    a. When s or z sound comes before the final s:
    Moses' journey
    Cassius' plan
    b. after a plural noun
    girls' shoes
    horses' reins

    Where to place the apostrophe:

    Example: These (ladie's, ladies') blouses are on sale.
    The apostrophe means belonging to everything to the left of the apostrophe.
    ladie's means belonging to ladie (no such word)
    ladies' means belonging to ladies (correct)

    Example: These (childrens', children's) coats are size 8.
    One cannot say belonging to childrens (childrens'); therefore, children's (belonging to children) is correct.

    Also note:
    a. When two or more names comprise one firm, possession is indicated in the last name.
    Lansdale, Jackson and Roosevelt's law firm
    Sacks and Company's sale
    b. In a compound noun, separated by hyphens, the apostrophe belongs in the last syllable - father-in-law's.
    Note that the plurals of compound nouns are formed by adding the s (no apostrophe of course) to the first syllable: I have three brothers-in-law.

    The apostrophe has two other uses besides indicating possession:

    2. for plurals of letters and figures - three d's; five 6's

    3. to show that a letter has been left out - let's (for let us)

    NOTE A: ours, yours, his, hers, its, theirs, and whose - all are possessive but have no apostrophe.
    NOTE B: The apostrophe is omitted occasionally in titles: Teachers College, Actors Equity Association.

    2. Colon (

    The colon is used:

    1. after such expressions as "the following," "as follows," and their equivalents

    The sciences studied in high schools are as follows: biology, chemistry, and physics.

    2. after the salutation in a business letter

    Dear Ms. Jones:

    NOTE: A comma (see below) is used after the salutation in a friendly letter:

    Dear Ted,

    The semicolon is never used in a salutation.

    3. Comma (,)

    In general, the comma is used in writing just as you use a pause in speaking. Here are the specific situations in which commas are used:

    1. direct address

    Mr. Adams, has the report come in yet?

    2. apposition

    Cynthia, our buyer, gave us some good advice.

    3. parenthetical expressions

    We could not, however, get him to agree.

    4. letter

    Truly yours,

    5. dates, addresses

    November 11, 1918
    Cleveland, Ohio

    6. series

    We had soup, salad, ice cream, and milk for lunch.

    NOTE: Comma before the and in a series is not necessary.

    7. phrase of clause at beginning of sentence (if the phrase or clause is long)

    As I left the room to go to school, my mother called me.

    8. separating clauses of long sentence

    We asked for Mr. Smith, but he had already left for home.

    9. clearness

    After planting, the farmer had his supper.

    10. direct quotation

    Mr. Arnold blurted out, "This is a fine mess!"

    11. modifier expressions that do not restrict the meaning of the thought which is modified

    Air travel, which many people are still afraid of, is an essential part of our way of life.

    NOTE: Statistics prove that traveling by plane is safer than traveling by automobile. (no commas)

    4. Dash (--)

    The dash is about twice as long as the hyphen. The dash is used

    1. to break up a thought

    There are five--remember I said five--good reasons to refuse their demands.

    2. instead of parentheses

    A beautiful horse--Black Beauty is its name--is the hero of the book.

    5. Exclamation Mark (!)

    The exclamation mark is used after an expression of strong feeling:

    Ouch! I hurt my thumb.

    6. Hyphen (-)

    The hyphen divides a word:


    NOTE: when written out, numbers from twenty-one through ninety-nine are hyphenated.

    7. Parentheses ( )

    1. Parentheses set off that part of the sentence that is not absolutely necessary to the completeness of the sentence:

    I was about the remark (this may be repetition) that we must arrive there early.

    2. Parentheses are also used to enclose figures, letters, signs and dates in a sentence:

    Shakespeare (1564-1616) was a great dramatist.

    The four forms of discourse are a) narration, b) description, c) exposition, and d) argument.

    8. Period (.)

    The period is used:

    1. after a complete thought unit

    The section manager will return shortly.

    2. after an abbreviation

    Los Angeles, Calif.

    9. Question Mark (?)

    The question mark is used after a request for information:

    When do you leave for lunch?

    10. Quotation Marks (" ")

    Quotation marks are used:

    1. to enclose what a person says directly

    "No one could tell," she said, "that it would occur."
    He exclaimed, "This is the end!"
    "Don't leave yet," the boss told her.

    2. to enclose a title of a short story

    Have you read "The Necklace"?

    11. Semicolon (

    The semicolon is not used much. It is to be avoided where a comma or a period will suffice. Following, however, are the common uses of the semicolon:

    1. to avoid confusion with numbers

    Add the following: $1.25; $7.50; and $12.89

    2. before explanatory words or abbreviations--that is, namely, e.g., etc.

    You should include a lot of fruit in your new diet; e.g., apples, pear, melons and bananas.

    NOTE: The semicolon goes before the expression "e.g." A comma follows the expression.

    3. to separate short statements of contrast

    War is destructive; peace is constructive.

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  2. #2
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    JayDudley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Thumbs up Thanks for the info

    DM...thanks for the info. I would have thanked you on the other site you posted this....but was scared "The Kids" would have policed it.
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
    Background Investigator
    Lifetime Member CSFA
    IAFF Alumni Member

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