Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

EES Writing



Sentence Recognition


In order for something you write to be a sentence, it must meet certain
standards. A sentence has 4 basic requirements.

BRAINSTORM: As a class and on the board, list the 4 components
that make up a sentence.

Write the definition below.

A sentence must have




Now write 3 examples of complete sentences.




                   EES Writing Course   Page 1   Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Every sentence must begin with a _________________________________

And every sentence must end with a punctuation mark. There are only three
ways to end a complete sentence.

The 3 ways to end a sentence are:



These 3 ways of punctuating the end of a sentence are used for the 4 main
sentence types.

BRAINSTORM: As a class and on the board, what are the 4 types of

Now list the 4 sentence types below:




                  EES Writing Course   Page 2   Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Write 1 example of each of the 4 types of sentences:




EXERCISE: Read the following phrases. Write S on the line if it is a
sentence and punctuate the sentence correctly. If it is not a sentence, write
F for fragment.

1._____ When the hunting season begins
2._____ Last summer I visited my grandmother in New Jersey
3._____ From the very beginning of the life-saving lessons
4._____ One of the little girls from the neighborhood
5._____ I love you mother said little Mike
6._____ At the very last moment
7._____ Speak distinctly
8._____ The giant cottonwood in our backyard
9._____ Bess please bring me my notebook
10._____ Daniel Boone was born in Pennsylvania
11._____ The basket of fruit on the table
12._____ That mistake was costly
13._____ Listen to me
14._____ Please help me
15._____ Please answer the telephone Julia
16._____ On the way to school this morning
17._____ After the dance was over
18._____ Ran all the way to the corner
19._____ We are planning to make a new budget
20._____ What is it that you are asking me to do

                  EES Writing Course   Page 3   Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Read each of the following sentences. Place the correct end mark at the end
of each sentence. Then on the line next to the sentence, write whether it is a
statement, question, command, or exclamation.

1. This is the Rainbow Coffee Shop _______________

2. Would you like to see a menu            _______________

3. Get me a glass of water                 _______________

4. The food here is supposed to be awful              _______________

5. Do you smell smoke coming from the kitchen                     ______________

6. This place is on fire      ____________________

GROUP EXERCISE: At your seat, write a variety of sentence types.
Be prepared to share 1 of your sentences at the board. That sentence will
be evaluated for capitalization, punctuation, and complete thought.


Additional practice:

                   EES Writing Course   Page 4   Edited by Peter Shaw 2006


Decide which end mark, if any, is needed for each sentence.

   1. Sign this list if you would like to attend the conference

   a) .     b) ?             c) !           d) None

   2. The speed limit on this road is thirty miles per hour

   a) .     b) ?             c) !           d) None

   3. The umpire shouted, “You’re out ”

   a) .     b) ?             c) !           d) None

   4. Have you ever served on a jury before

   a) .     b) ?             c) !           d) None

   5. Wait for me!

   a) .     b) ?             c) !           d) None

                   EES Writing Course   Page 5   Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Read each pair of sentences and choose the one with the correct end

6. You can arrange to have your checks deposited automatically.
   You can arrange to have your checks deposited automatically!

7. I can’t believe what I’m hearing?
   I can’t believe what I’m hearing!

8. Be home by midnight?
   Be home by midnight.

9. I locked my keys in the car!
   I locked my keys in the car.

10. Remember to renew your license.
   Remember to renew your license?

               EES Writing Course   Page 6   Edited by Peter Shaw 2006




Only certain words need to be capitalized. You use capital letters on a daily
basis and normally follow certain rules when capitalizing words.

BRAINSTORM: As a class and on the board, list the various places
in which you use capital letters every day.

Write some of these places you must use a capital letter below:








                   EES Writing Course   Page 7   Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Most of the words that you will capitalize are nouns. What is a noun?

A noun is:





Nouns that are capitalized are called Proper Nouns. These are nouns that
are considered special. They bring clear pictures to our minds when we hear
them. For example: Ford, Elizabeth Taylor, Las Vegas, Empire State
Building, Department of Motor Vehicles

Nouns that are not capitalized are called Common Nouns. These nouns
make people think of a variety of things. For example: car, actress, city,
building, office

Look at the list of nouns below. Identify whether the noun is Proper or

1. college ______________                   2. Michigan ______________

3. West Point ____________                  4. Sandra ______________

5. month ______________                     6. Atlantic _______________

7. boy ________________                     8. Rocky Mountains _________

9. movie _______________                    10. country __________________

                   EES Writing Course   Page 8   Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

For each of the nouns you identified above, identify its opposite; if it was proper, list
a common noun for it; if it was common, then list a proper noun for it.

1._______________________________             2._______________________________

3._______________________________             4._______________________________

5._______________________________             6._______________________________

7._______________________________             8._______________________________

9._______________________________             10.______________________________

A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. For example, I can say:
John went to the market. Or I can say: He went to the market. The
pronoun he takes the place of the noun John.

BRAINSTORM: As a class, what are some other pronouns that you
frequently use?


When using a pronoun to take the place of a noun, it is important to
remember that the pronoun should agree with the noun in number and

For example: Mary works hard. She always finishes her assignments.
NOT Mary works hard. She always finishes their assignments.

                     EES Writing Course   Page 9   Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

In each of the following sentences, find and correct the pronoun problems:

   1. Modern eye doctors sometimes treat his patients with a laser.

   2. The single beam can punch a hole in metal. They can drill hundreds
      of holes in the head of a pin.

   3. I work with laser surgery on a regular basis. You frequently use new

   4. Laser beams read signals on compact discs. Store clerks also use it to
      scan package bar codes.

   5. Doctors might use a laser instead of a scalpel to treat her patients.

   The following Pronouns are called indefinite pronouns because they are
   not specific.

   Singular indefinite pronouns: anyone, everyone, everybody, somebody,
   nobody, no one, each either, neither

   Plural indefinite pronouns: any, some, most, more, all

                  EES Writing Course   Page 10 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

  In each of the following sentences, underline the indefinite pronoun and
  choose a pronoun to complete the sentence.

  he       his              she                her            their       they

  1. Neither of the girls brought __________ mitt to softball practice.

  2. All of the guest thanked ____________ hostess for the delicious meal.

  3. Most of the students have studied harder than ___________ needed

  4. Each of the female candidates hopes that ___________ will be the
     first woman president.

  5. Nobody in the boys’ P.E. class would admit that ___________had put
     the frogs in the girls’ lockers.

GROUP EXERCISE: At your seats, write a variety of nouns, both
common and proper. Be prepared to share them and convert them to
proper and improper forms. Next you will replace each with an
appropriate pronoun.


Additional practice:

                 EES Writing Course   Page 11 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006


Choose the sentence that is written correctly and shows the correct

     a) AmeriCorps is another great volunteer opportunity.

     b) More than 50,000 americans serve through AmeriCorps every year.

     c) For example, an AmeriCorps group in ardmore, Oklahoma set up a
        Tutoring service.

     d) This special program, called Summer of service, helps young children
        get ready for School.

        a) Our School is going to help clean up White river.

        b) The river passes through the Eastern part of the City.

        c) We will meet on Saturday morning and get our assignments.

        d) I understand that mayor Abramson is organizing the Project.

                   EES Writing Course   Page 12 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

      a) AmeriCorps volunteers in maine help Migrant workers.

      b) They teach the workers to use Pesticides in the fields.

      c) The groups in your State probably sponsor other activities.

      d) AmeriCorps programs across the United States help people meet
         their needs

Choose the names that are written correctly:

4.                                                             5.
ford motor company                                             Dr. Fred Barnes

Ford Motor company                                             Dr. Fred barnes

Ford Motor Company                                             dr. Fred Barnes

6.                                                             7.
National Park service                                          los angeles, california

National Park Service                                          Los angeles, California

national park service                                          Los Angeles, California

                  EES Writing Course   Page 13 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Choose the correct pronoun for each sentence:

   8. Calvin sent (we, us) a secret message.

   9. Give (yourselves, yourselfs) a pat on the back.

   10.The prizes were (theirs, their’s).

   11.Darkness frightens (I, me).

   12. (He, himself) was the fastest swimmer.

   13. Do (you, yourself) know the way to the auditorium?

   14. Michael painted the kitchen (hisself, himself).

   15.There is a telephone call for (her, she).

                  EES Writing Course   Page 14 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006


Run-ons and Comma Splices


When we connect 2 sentences and do not show where one sentence ends and
the next sentence begins, we have what is called a run-on sentence.

For example: It rained all day Saturday we cancelled the picnic.

It would be better to write: It rained all day Saturday. We cancelled the

When we attempt to connect 2 sentences using only a comma in-between
them, we have what is called a comma splice.

For example: She called the insurance company, there was no response.

It would be better to write: She called the insurance company. There was
no response.

EXERCISE: Correct the following run-ons and comma splices:

      1. Jane called me to go to the park with her I dropped everything and
         went along.

                  EES Writing Course   Page 15 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

      2. This is not the dress that I ordered, it is not even the correct

      3. Take this parcel to the post office for me it has to go out this

      4. Is this the best that you can do it is definitely not enough.

      5. When you are finished with the assignment, I would like to read
         your paper I can show you if you have any corrections.


Rewrite the following paragraph by separating each run-on sentence or
comma splice:

      One morning we found a baby bird it had been knocked from its nest
by high winds its mother was nowhere to be seen. It was too young to fly,
we took it inside to care for it. We were excited about taking care of the bird
we didn’t know what to do about feeding it.







                  EES Writing Course   Page 16 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

There are various ways to connect 2 sentences without having to use end
punctuation marks. It is possible to connect 2 sentences with a coordinating
conjunction such as and & but. It is also possible to connect 2 sentences
using subordinating conjunctions such as because, since, & where.

EXERCISE: Rewrite the following sentences correcting the run-ons and
comma splices:
Try to connect these sentences in other ways if you want.

   1. In 1860, the Pony Express started in St. Joseph, Missouri the route
      began where the railroads ended.



   2. People in the West wanted faster mail service, the mail took six weeks
      by boat.



                 EES Writing Course   Page 17 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

3. Mail sent by stagecoach took about 21 days the Pony express
   averaged ten days.



4. The Pony Express used a relay system riders and horses were
   switched at 157 places along the way to Sacramento, California.



5. Teenagers weighed less than adults, most of the riders were teenagers
   the horses could run faster carrying them.



Additional Practice:
TABE FUNDAMENTALS PRACTICE: pp. 34-35 Adding Modifiers to
Combine Sentences

              EES Writing Course   Page 18 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006


Try to find the simplest way to correct the following sentences. You may be
able to combine them in a completely new way.

   1. The student council held a meeting a meeting is held every month.



   2. Those who run for office must give speeches, the speeches should be



   3. The council decides on many activities every activity is voted on.



   4. The annual school picnic is sponsored by the council the picnic is in



                 EES Writing Course   Page 19 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

5. There is one council member from each class the president is elected
   by the council.

              EES Writing Course   Page 20 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006


Sentence Combining – Compounds


So far, we have seen how complete sentences are formed and how it is
necessary to avoid running 2 sentences together without the correct
punctuation. We have also seen that sometimes sentences can be combined
by eliminating unnecessary words.

Consider the following sentences:

Arturo often works late on Friday.
I often work late on Friday.

Since both sentences say the same thing, we can combine the subjects and

Arturo and I often work late on Friday.

This is called a compound subject.

                 EES Writing Course   Page 21 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Consider these sentences:

Sandy found her friend near the exit.
Sandy greeted her friend near the exit.

Since both sentences contain similar thoughts, we can combine the verbs and

Sandy found and greeted her friend near the ext.

This is called a compound verb.

For each of the following sentences, write whether the sentence has a
Compound Subject (CS) or a Compound Verb (CV).

   1. _____ Detroit and Chicago are two cities visited by the group.
   2. _____ Swimming, jogging, and hiking were our favorite sports.
   3. _____ My Aunt Mabel buys and sells real estate.
   4. _____ Buffalo and deer once roamed the plains.
   5. _____ The shingles were picked up and delivered today.
   6. _____ Mr. Sanders designs and makes odd pieces of furniture.
   7. _____ The leader of the group grumbled and scolded.
   8. _____ Redbud and dogwood trees bloom in the spring.
   9. _____The doctor asked him to get a blood test.
   10._____ The supervisor completed her work for the week.

                 EES Writing Course   Page 22 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Another way to combine sentences is to use an adjective from one
sentence and incorporate it into another sentence.

For example: Jason worked at the office. The office was busy.

It would be easier to say: Jason worked at the busy office.

Find ways to combine these sentences using the adjectives:

   1. Jeremy wrote a paper for school.
      The paper was complex.


   2. Mr. Fredericks bought a new Ford Mustang.
      The Mustang was bright red.


   3. Sally’s wedding dress was off-white and lacy.
      Sally bought her wedding dress at a New York shop.


                  EES Writing Course   Page 23 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Now combine these sentences in any way you choose:

   4. David went to the Kentucky State Fair in August.
      Marian went to the Kentucky State Fair in August.


   5. The author was at the bookstore.
      The author autographed copies of his new book.


Now write some simple sentences of your own on the topics
that are provided for you.

The weather



College life



The president of the U.S.



                 EES Writing Course   Page 24 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006







Your best friend



Your favorite movie



                   EES Writing Course   Page 25 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006


Now either at the board or with a partner, find a way to combine your
sentences with another of your classmate’s sentences. You can write your
combinations on the lines below.














                 EES Writing Course   Page 26 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Sentences can also be combined using connecting words. There are 7 of
these connecting words: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so

It is easy to remember these words using the acronym FANBOYS; each
letter of this word stands for one of the connecting words. These words are
considered FANBOYS only when they connect 2 complete sentences.

When ever you connect 2 sentences using FANBOYS, you must use a
comma first, and there must be 2 complete sentences on either side of the
FANBOYS connector.

FANBOYS serve a specific purpose.
For = because
And = adding more information
Nor = not considered a possibility out of 2 choices
But = shows something that is contrary
Or = considered a possibility out of 2 choices
Yet = but
So = as a result

For example:

It rained all day Saturday. We cancelled the picnic.
It rained all day Saturday, so we cancelled the picnic.

                  EES Writing Course   Page 27 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Many people enjoy the races for entertainment. Others prefer the movies.
Many people enjoy the races, but others prefer the movies for


Use FANBOYS to connect the following sentences:

   1. The engine of my car needs repair __________ the transmission is
      broken too.

   2. It would have cost a lot to have the car repaired ________I am
      thinking of buying another one.

   3. I would like to buy a new car ________ they are too expensive.

   4. Call the used car dealer _________ find out the price range for a good
      used car.

   5. Gonzales tries to be on time for work _______ he is always late.

   6. He rarely goes to bed on time __________ he has trouble getting up in
      the morning.

   7. Every evening he sets his alarm clock __________ he also reminds
      his sister to awaken him.

   8. Every morning he sleeps through the alarm ___________ he ignores
      his sister’s calls.

   9. She yells, “Wake up, sleepy head ________ you’ll be late for work!”

   10.He puts the pillow over his head _______ he goes back to sleep.

   Additional Practice:

                 EES Writing Course   Page 28 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006


  Combine the sentences in various ways. Many ways are correct, but
  consider what might be the simplest or most interesting form.

  1. Lightning is part of a thunderstorm. Thunder is part of a


  2. Larry studied the names of the states. Larry wrote down the names of
     the states.


  3. Mary Alice shopped at the supermarket. The supermarket was at the


                EES Writing Course   Page 29 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

  4. It rained all day Saturday. We had to cancel our trip to the park.


  5. Elizabeth Taylor won the award for best actress. She had been
     nominated for the third consecutive year.



                 EES Writing Course   Page 30 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Sentence Combining – FANBOYS and Semicolons

WARM-UP EXERCISE: Daily Oral Language

We have already studied several ways we can use to combine 2 sentences.
We can combine subjects and verbs. We can combine sentences using
adjectives. We can combine sentences using FANBOYS.

There is yet another way to combine 2 sentences. We can combine 2
sentences using a semicolon. A semicolon simply allows us a new way to
show that 2 thoughts are related without always using the same old tired
method of combining with FANBOYS.

For example: Jack failed the final examination. There would not be
another chance for him to pass the course.

We can show that these 2 sentences are related by using a semicolon:

Jack failed the final examination; there would not be another chance for
him to pass the course.

                 EES Writing Course   Page 31 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

The semicolon ends the first sentence but shows that there may be more
information that is important to know. We can use the semicolon as long as
there are 2 complete sentences on either side of it.

Practice combining the following sentences using only a semicolon:

   1. Phillip bought a package of nails. Within an hour he had used all of


   2. He saw the doctor today. She marveled at his robust health.


   3. The cookies taste extremely sweet. I much prefer chocolate cake.

                 EES Writing Course   Page 32 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

It is also possible to connect 2 sentences with a semicolon and with a
connecting word. The connecting words we use with semicolons are called
conjunctive adverbs. They include words like: however, moreover,
therefore, consequently, furthermore, in addition.

Notice that most of these connectors are much longer than the FANBOYS.
FANBOYS are never more than 3 letters. These connectors also correspond

and means the same as furthermore, moreover, in addition
but means the same as however
so means the same as consequently, therefore

When we use these connectors with semicolons, we have to punctuate them
with a semicolon first, then the connector, then a comma:
        ;therefore,               ;consequently,

For example:

      It rained all day Saturday; consequently, we had to cancel the

      He owned a vacation home in Malibu; in addition, his family owned
      a cottage in the Poconos.

                 EES Writing Course   Page 33 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Practice using semicolons and conjunctive adverbs in the following

   1. John wanted to complete the work. He tried harder.


   2. The rain came unexpectedly. The townspeople were unprepared.


   3. The dogs were quite frightened of the thunderstorm. They were
      relieved when it passed.


   4. I was ready to stop practicing grammar. My teacher insisted that I


On your own, combine 2 sets of sentences using FANBOYS.
Next combine 2 sets of sentences using just semicolons.
Then combine 2 sets of sentences using semicolons and conjunctive adverbs.




                 EES Writing Course   Page 34 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006




1. __________________________________________________________


2. ___________________________________________________________


Semicolons with Conjunctive adverbs:

1. ___________________________________________________________





Look back at the sentences you wrote for Lesson 4 on topics such as

Combine those sentences now using semicolons.


                 EES Writing Course   Page 35 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006









Additional Practice:

              EES Writing Course   Page 36 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006



Warm-Up Activity

For each of the following phrases, identify whether it is a complete sentence
of a fragment. Write F for fragment and S for complete sentence.

   1. _____All the way to the market.
   2. _____Standing in the alley behind the department store.
   3. _____The vase of flowers was sitting on the dining room table.
   4. _____After all the commotion in the parking lot.
   5. _____No one understood the directions to the quiz.
   6. _____Once, while lounging on the patio beside the clubhouse
      swimming pool.
   7. _____Franklin Roosevelt served four consecutive terms as president.
   8. _____This is the worst meal I have ever eaten.
   9. _____Mother, preparing the last of the summer squash.
   10._____At the end of the evening, it rained something fierce.

Complete each of the following fragments so that it is a complete sentence:

   1. All of the pretty girls

   2. ____________________________left me standing at the bus stop.

   3. ______________ and ______________ took their sweet time
      completing the assignment.

                  EES Writing Course   Page 37 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

   4. Now that the party was

   5. Even if I never get to go to Niagara Falls on

   6. ___________________________________were traveling to
      California for a summer visit.

   7. The little red

   8. If you will explain how to complete

   9. _________________________knew the answer.

   10._________________________pardoned the man on death row.

Read the following sentences. Capitalize the words that need to begin with
capital letters, and cross out the words that should not be capitalized:

   1. Mr. and mrs. Sawyer took a Vacation to the Bahamas for Christmas

   2. The Doctor ordered x-rays and blood tests for his Patient, a resident of
      the Local Nursing Home.

   3. During the Summer, we will be going to Cumberland falls state park
      for a camping trip with the boy scouts.

   4. President Clinton lived in the white house for a period of eight years
      while he was serving the Country as president.

                  EES Writing Course   Page 38 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

   5. Santa claus is a fictional character based on the real-life person of st.

   6. Every day at Noon, he stops to recite the Pledge of allegiance.

   7. She works for the department of motor vehicles.

   8. My best friend is a Lawyer for the City of Louisville.

   9. He mailed the letter to Sarah Jane Kaufman, who lives in Santa fe,
      New Mexico.

   10.The local University serves the population of Louisville, new Albany,
      and many surrounding Counties.

Correct the following run-ons and comma splices:

   1. It rained all day Saturday we cancelled the family reunion.



   2. This is a terrific party, do you know everyone here?



   3. The Indians fought bravely on the plains there lands were taken from
      them by the European settlers.



                  EES Writing Course   Page 39 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

   4. Every child in the first grade enjoyed the play the fourth graders
      thought it was too childish.



   5. There were many possible answers to the question, the best answer
      was the last one.



Combine the following sentences:

   1. It was a beautiful summer day.
      The weather was warm.
      The weather was windy.



   2. She worked hard in the office all day Saturday.
      The office was crowded and busy.



                  EES Writing Course   Page 40 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

  3. There were particles in the air outside my window.
     The particles were dirty and tiny.



  4. Joseph is the best worker in the whole plant.
     Joseph is the most industrious worker.



  5. Pull on the tick until it lets go of your skin.
     Pull slowly.



Combine the following sentences using FANBOYS.

  1. I will call you sometime in the morning. Then you will know what
     time to be ready.


                 EES Writing Course   Page 41 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

  2. He wanted to go along with us. Mother said he had to stay home and
     do chores.



  3. She had not studied hard enough for the test. She failed miserably.


  4. I would have prepared the dinner. I didn’t know how many people
     were coming.



  5. It was the best birthday party I ever had! I planned to have another
     just like it next year.



  Combine the following sentences using semicolons and one of the
  following connectors: however, furthermore, consequently, nevertheless,

  1. The Da Vinci Code is a fun and exciting book. I would recommend it
     to my friends.



                EES Writing Course   Page 42 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

  2. I would love to go to the party. I have other plans for that evening.



  3. She finished all her housework. She also completed most of the
     garden chores.



  4. It was a very difficult assignment. I found it to be extremely exciting
     and informative.



  5. This explanation should serve you well. You may need further



                 EES Writing Course   Page 43 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Lesson 7
Complex Sentences

WARM-UP EXERCISE: Daily Oral Language

A group of words that makes up a sentence may be referred to as a clause.
Sometimes a clause may be preceded by a word called a subordinating

Subordinating conjunctions include words like after, when, if, although,
while, where, because.

When a subordinating conjunction is placed at the beginning of a
sentence, the sentence will no longer make sense all by itself. It requires
a complete sentence to finish the thought.

For example: The dance was over.

If we add a subordinating conjunction, the sentence might read:

      After the dance was over.

                 EES Writing Course   Page 44 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

This thought is incomplete. This is now a dependent clause which needs
more information to complete it.

      After the dance was over, we went out for hamburgers.

The dependent clause is punctuated with a comma. Then the independent
clause follows.
If the independent clause comes first, we do not need to add a comma.

We went out for hamburgers after the dance was over.

This type of sentence is called a complex sentence. The dependent clause
has a subject and a verb, but it is not a complete thought.

Practice combining the following sentences using subordinating

   1. George was here. He was charmed by the beauty of the hills.

   2. The sun set. We built a campfire.

   3. Edison invented the talking machine. He was only thirty years old.

   4. He was late for class. Jack missed the instructor’s lecture on

                 EES Writing Course   Page 45 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

   5. I expect to be promoted. I must work extra hard to earn it.

Now rewrite each of the sentences you wrote above, placing the dependent
clause at the end of the sentence. Remember, do not use a comma when the
dependent clause comes last.






For each of the following sentences, select the connecting word that best
completes the sentence and place a comma in the correct spot.

   1. (Before/Like) the huge storm of 1978 my grandparents had never
      been evacuated from their home.

   2. (Although/In order that) storms had hit their area before my
      grandparents had never felt like they were in danger.

   3. (Because/After) it was far from shore the house had always been
      protected from bad weather.

   4. (Since/ Despite the fact that) the storm had caused great damage
      many people seemed in high spirits afterwards.

   5. (Because/When) my grandparents returned a week later everything in
      the house had water damage.

   6. (As soon as/Even though) sea water entered the cellar it destroyed
      everything from tools to frozen food.

                  EES Writing Course   Page 46 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

   7. (Although/Since) my grandmother tried not to cry tears rolled down
      her face.

   8. (Wherever/whenever) people went they saw abandoned automobiles
      in water up to the door handles.

   9. (Because/After) they had insurance they were able to rebuild.

   10. (If/Since) their personal belongings were lost there were memories
      they could not recoup.

Introductory Commas

Now that you have learned how to punctuate a complex sentence, let’s look
at the introductory comma. The introductory comma follows the same
rule as the dependent clause. Any phrase that precedes a complete sentence
is offset by a comma. Essentially, this is what the complex sentence does.

For example:
      Since it was raining, we were unable to have the party outdoors.

Since it was raining is not a complete thought and must be offset by a
comma. The sentence does not begin until the main thought: We were
unable to have the party outdoors.

The introductory phrase is treated the same way:

      After the party, we all went out to eat.

After the party is not a dependent clause because it does not have a subject
and a verb, but it does precede the main thought: We all went out to eat. So
we set it off with a comma.

                 EES Writing Course   Page 47 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006


In 2001, I had a new roof put on the house.
Yesterday, the teacher administered the exam.
For many people, the price of gas is a problem.
Frankly, I don’t believe a word of it.

Notice that the introductory phrases may consist of only 1 or 2 words.

Practice placing introductory commas in the following sentences:

   1. Once upon a time there lived a beautiful princess.

   2. On May 17, 1981 Taylor Johnson was born.

   3. In the back of the theatre the lonely man waited.

   4. Before long we decided that it was time to leave.

   5. Incidentally what do you think of this answer?

   6. Nevertheless I promise I will do the best that I can.

   7. Now that it’s over I can see what should have been done.

   8. If I ever see her I will have to tell her what I really believe.

   9. Gregory what is it you wanted to say?

   10. Mr. Parker let me tell you what happened yesterday.

                  EES Writing Course   Page 48 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006


NOW WRITE 10 sentences of your own using the introductory phrase and













                EES Writing Course   Page 49 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006









              EES Writing Course   Page 50 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006


WARM-UP EXERCISE: Daily Oral Language

You use commas every day. Whenever you use them, you usually follow
certain rules even though you may not be aware that you are doing so.

BRAINSTORM: Where do you commonly use commas?

Now list these rules for commas:

1 ___________________________________________________

2. __________________________________________________

3. __________________________________________________

4. __________________________________________________

5. __________________________________________________

6. __________________________________________________

7. __________________________________________________

8. __________________________________________________

9. __________________________________________________

10. _________________________________________________

                 EES Writing Course   Page 51 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

You are probably already familiar with a number of these rules. Let’s strike
those from the list. Cross out dates, city and state, numbers, FANBOYS,
letter greetings and closings, and introductory phrases. We will continue to
practice these rules, but let’s concentrate on the 4 rules we now have left.

Always use a comma when you are making a list of 3 or more items.

For example: I bought pens, pencils, and paper.

Notice that the comma is placed after each item all the way up to the word
It only matters that there are at least 3 items. There certainly could be many

For example: I bought pens, pencils, paper, markers, erasers, clipboards,
and computer ink.

Once again the items have commas all the up to the word and.

This series of 3 or more items may contain phrases:

I cleaned my room, vacuumed the carpet, and polished the furniture.

Even though there are more words, this is still only a list of three actions.

In a series, things may also be grouped.

For breakfast you can have bacon and eggs, toast or biscuits, and
pancakes with syrup.

Because these items are often grouped, they are given commas to show how
they are grouped.

                  EES Writing Course   Page 52 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006


Place commas in the following sentences.

   1. Be sure all the dishes glasses and pans are clean.

   2. Thomas is a bright cheery fun-loving person.

   3. Frank Mary and Patricia are planning a surprise party for their parents.

   4. Jonathan studied hard slept soundly and awoke refreshed.

   5. Can you get me some coffee with cream toast with jelly and sausage

Another rule for the comma is similar to the introductory phrase. It is called
direct address. When we are addressing someone by name, we separate
their name from the sentence with a comma.

For example: Sarah, can you see me after lunch?

Notice that we are talking to Sarah and not about Sarah.

Even if the name comes at the end of the sentence, we still separate it with a

See me after lunch please, Sarah.

If we call out the person’s name in the middle of a sentence, then we
separate it from the sentence with commas on both sides.

I have asked you several times, Sarah, to see me after lunch

                  EES Writing Course   Page 53 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Once again notice that in each example, we are not talking about Sarah;
ware talking to Sarah.


Place commas in the following sentences:

   1. Sally can you go with us to the party?

   2. Do you know anyone in the company Larry?

   3. Ladies and gentlemen may I introduce the next amazing act?

Now write 3 sentences of your own in which you use direct address.




Another rule for commas concerns quotations. Whenever we repeat the
exact words that a person has said, we use quotation marks to show that it is
their words and not ours.

For example: Joe said, “I am so hungry.”

When the person’s exact words are a simple statement of fact, we separate
the phrase that tells us who spoke from the quote itself.

“Mother always works so hard,” responded Jane.

                  EES Writing Course   Page 54 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Frank said, “I can’t remember what I am supposed to do.”

Even if it is a question or an exclamation and we identify who spoke before
we repeat their words, we use a comma.

Joseph asked, “Can I go too?”

Mary exclaimed, “You won’t believe it!”

If we identify who spoke after the question or exclamation there is no

“Can I go too?” asked Joe.

But statements always get commas in quotations.


Place commas in the following quotations.

   1. “Please don’t tell me what to do” said Marge.

   2. Allsion asked “Is the correct way to do the assignment?”

   3. Freddy said “I don’t think I will ever figure this out.”

NOW WRITE 3 sentences of your own using quotations and commas.




Additional Practice
TABE FUNDAMENTALS: pp. 63-64, 67-69

                  EES Writing Course   Page 55 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006


Place commas where they are needed in the following sentences:

   1. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the party.

   2. The teacher gave us examples of Arctic wildlife rainforest plants and
      ocean creatures.

   3. Give this to your supervisor for me Lara.

   4. “I don’t understand the question” said Damian.

   5. He ran the last of the race and his family met him at the finish.

   6. She was born on July 4 1973 in Sarasota Florida.

   7. Edward I need some help with this project.

   8. Dear Madam

                  I am writing to you concerning the purchase installation
            and completion of the work we scheduled. None of the workers
            have shown up on time and the work is incomplete. Please call
            me regarding this problem.

                                                             Joseph Taylor

                  EES Writing Course   Page 56 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

9. After the completion of the project he immediately began work on the
   next one.

10. Jason asked “Can I help when I am finished with my studies?”

              EES Writing Course   Page 57 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006


COMMAS – Non-essential information and Practice

WARM-UP EXERCISE: Daily Oral Language

BRAINSTORM: Let’s review the basic comma rules. Write them on the
lines below.


A few things to remember:
1. Never use a comma unless you know the rule for using it.
2. Don’t assume that because a sentence is long, it must have a

               EES Writing Course   Page 58 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

3. When in doubt, leave it out!

One of the most difficult rules for commas is the Non-essential information
comma or the interrupter comma.

The non-essential information comma provides us with information that may
be interesting but that is unnecessary to understanding the sentence as a

For example: The manager of the store, a friend of mine, is a great guy.

The information a friend of mine is unnecessary. The sentence says: The
manger of the store is a great guy.

I interrupted the sentence to give you some extra information.
Notice that the non-essential information repeats the subject of the sentence.
The manager of the store and a friend of mine are the same person.

Underline the non-essential information in the following sentences:

   1.   Ms. Weber the boss is a real tyrant.
   2.   Louise who lives down the hall just painted her apartment.
   3.   My brother Jonathan works for Coca Cola.
   4.   My neighbor who is also my best friend is an architect.
   5.   Our oldest male relative who will be ninety in April lives in Canada.

For each of the following subjects, write an extra piece of information:

   1. My mother______________________________________________

   2. The principal of the school__________________________________

   3. The newsman_____________________________________________

                   EES Writing Course   Page 59 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

   4. The editor of the paper______________________________________

   5. My cousin Ernie___________________________________________

For each of these sentences, place commas where they are needed:

   1. Susan who is studying to become a doctor will help us with the

   2. Alan the butcher had to wait on fifteen customers.

   3. Anthony a grocery store owner was planning for a busy day.

   4. He was planning a special dinner for Sara his wife.

   5. We will of course be finished by this afternoon.

   6. I’ve want to say incidentally that I like your shirt.

   7. My friend the dentist won an award this past year.

   8. One of my group members Mr. Loster is a Democrat.

   9. This is I am sure you know an interesting movie.

   10.My professor Mr. Thompson is a brilliant author.

PRACTICE: At your seat, write 5 simple sentences about the following
subjects. DO NOT add any extra or unnecessary information about the

   1. The president of the United States


   2. A neighbor


                   EES Writing Course   Page 60 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

   3. A brother or close relative


   4. a famous actor


   5. A favorite pet


NEXT: Write 1 of your sentences on the board. Have a fellow classmate
expand the sentence, adding extra information about the subject and setting
it off with commas.

Now, place commas in the following sentences. You may be following any
1 of the comma rules that you have studied thus far.

   1. Our youngest relative who plays the guitar lives in Minnesota.

   2. Diane would you open the store for me this morning?

   3. “Allison called me at 9 o’clock this morning ” said Joseph.

   4. I am planning to mend the fence mow the yard and weed the garden
      this Saturday.

   5. August 23 1904

   6. Adam an architect complained about his busy day.

   7. By the way have I told you about the upcoming event?

   8. After the last class of the day he went to the library to study.

   9. Take this to the principal for me Marion.

   10. I will unfortunately be out of town on that date.

                  EES Writing Course   Page 61 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

REMINDER ABOUT COMMAS: Don’t get “comma happy.”
Just because a sentence is long, it may not need a comma. If you know the
rule for placing a comma in a sentence, then do it. If not, leave it alone.

Try to place commas in the following sentence.

Once upon a time there lived a fairy princess who was the most beautiful girl
in the kingdom although she was unaware of her own beauty since there
were no mirrors in the castle a large formidable palace on the peak of Mt.

HOMEWORK: Write a sentence of your own that demonstrates each of
the following comma rules.

   1. Commas in a series:


   2. Introductory comma:


   3. Non-essential information:


                 EES Writing Course   Page 62 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

  4. Direct address:


  5. Comma in a quote:


  6. Comma with a FANBOYS connector:


                EES Writing Course   Page 63 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006



WARM-UP EXERCISE: Correct Sentence Choices

So far, we have studied how to recognize, write, and punctuate sentences.
We have studied a variety of sentences and how to connect them. We have
also touched briefly on the idea of subjects and verbs. Now we will look
more at subjects and verbs: how to recognize them; how to use tense
correctly; and how to make subjects and verbs agree in number.

BRAINSTORM: What is a subject?

Write the definition of a subject on the lines below:




BRAINSTORM: What is a verb?

Write the definition of a verb below:




                  EES Writing Course   Page 64 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

No sentence is complete if it does not have both a subject and a verb.

Look at the phrases below. Decide which could be used as a subject and
which could be used as a verb. Write subject or verb on the line.

   1. __________The early settlers
   2. __________built a doghouse
   3. __________sold his house
   4. __________The umpire for the game
   5. __________spaded the garden
   6. __________The heavy waves
   7. __________Eloise and her sister
   8. __________discovered America
   9. __________fed the chickens
   10.__________went with Albert to see the show

There are several types of verbs. There are verbs that show action. There
are linking verbs that connect words in a sentence or show the condition of
a subject. There are helping verbs that add to the meaning of the central

For example:
action verbs – ran, discussed, completed, exclaimed, began
linking verbs – is, are, was, were, am
helping verbs – have, has, had, could, should, would

In each of the following sentences, underline the verb. Be prepared to tell
what type of verb it is.

   1.   The mountains are to the west of us.
   2.   Our neighbors returned from a trip.
   3.   The new car has sat in the driveway for three days.
   4.   The rain scattered the crowd.

                   EES Writing Course   Page 65 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

   5. The superintendent was a good friend of mine.
   6. He should have been in the meeting.
   7. She is the most beautiful model on the runway.
   8. The children are very polite.
   9. The fight lasted only a few minutes.
   10.A silence fell upon the audience.

For each of the following phrases, write either a verb to complete the subject
or a subject to complete the verb.

   1. All of the students________________________________________.

   2. ________________________________________came to our school.

   3. _______________________________________met us at the airport.

   4. Our new station wagon____________________________________.

   5. Today’s paper___________________________________________.

   6. _____________________________________traveled day and night.

For each of the next sentences, draw a line between the subject and the verb.
For example: The crowd / applauded the performance at the opera.

     1. The boat crashed into the dock.

     2. Carlos caught his cold while fishing.

     3. The heavy bus was stuck in the mud.

     4. The rivers of Pennsylvania are very picturesque.

     5. One of the musicians played an exquisite piece.

     6. I have been reading an interesting story.

     7. The senator from Massachusetts is the main speaker.

                  EES Writing Course   Page 66 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

     8. The tallest mountain in the world is Mt. Everest.

     9. He lives near the new shopping center.

     10. That section of the state has many pine forests.

Now let’s identify the simple subjects and the simple verbs in each of the
above sentences.


   A major function of verbs is to show time. Verbs allow us to talk
   about events that occurred in the past, are happening in the present, or
   may happen in the future. Without verbs we could not discuss events
   that relate to time.

   For example:

   Present                   Past                      Future
   talk                      talked                    will talk
   laughs                    laughed                   will laugh
   is                        was                       will be

   Regular verbs, such as talk, add ed to place them in the past.
   Irregular verbs, such as is, change spelling to place them in the past.
   Most all verbs add will to the present tense to place them in the future.

                  EES Writing Course   Page 67 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

For each of the following verbs, write the correct tenses in the columns

play, exercise, teach, buy, make, add, decide, am, have, could, draw

Present                              Past                   ______Future

PRACTICE: Write 10 verbs of your own in any tense you choose.



At the board, we will categorize your verbs and change the tenses

For each of the following sentences, identify the tense of the verb.

1.   My aunt lives on Third Avenue.__________
2.   Admiral Byrd went to the Antarctic several times.__________
3.   Armando is the first person in the line.___________
4.   Jason will be going to the fair next week.__________

               EES Writing Course   Page 68 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

   5. Every question was answered honestly.__________
   6. The Masons will move to Denver next summer.__________
   7. That painting is not very attractive.__________
   8. He had been to the Bahamas in 1998.__________
   9. Mother prepares the dinner every evening.__________
   10. It seems to be warmer in here than usual.___________

Additional Practice:


Using the given verbs, write the following paragraph in past tense.

       The Parker family (travel) to Mexico in June of last year. Never
before had they (see) such an unusual vacation spot, for they (visit) the
ancient Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza. The pyramids there (is) extraordinary
in size and (mark) with many symbols of the Mayan culture. The Parkers
(read) a great deal before the visit, but nothing could have (prepare)
them for the experience of seeing the ruins in person. They now have many
beautiful mementos as they (photograph) the ruins with their digital
cameras. Afterwards they (teach) small groups of interested travelers
about their trip.

                  EES Writing Course   Page 69 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Subject/Verb Agreement

Warm-Up Exercise: Sentence Choices

So far we have seen that verbs can show action, link words and concepts,
and help other verbs to be more specific. In particular, verbs use tense
which allows us to talk about past, present, and future occurrences.

Verbs also have another major function; verbs indicate number. This means
that the verb shows whether we are talking about one subject or more than
one subject. In other words, like nouns, verbs can be singular or plural.

This function of verbs is most often a concern for us when we are talking
about the present tense. To understand this better, let’s look at the way we
show agreement between subjects and verbs.

SINGULAR SUBJECTS                               PLURAL SUBJECTS

I                                               We
You                                             You
He, she, it                                     They

                  EES Writing Course   Page 70 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

There is no subject that we can talk about in a sentence that cannot be
replaced with one of the above pronouns. If I am talking about myself, I can
always replace my name with the subject I. If I am talking about myself
and someone else, I can always replace our names with the subject we.

You is a subject if I am talking to one person – You are in my way.
You is also a subject if I am talking about more than one – Thank you all
for coming today.

When I am talking about 1 man, 1 woman, or 1 thing, I can always replace
the subject with the pronouns he, she, or it. When I am talking about
several men, women, or things, I can always replace the subject with the
word they.

For example:

John is a friend of mine.                              He is a friend of mine.
Joe and I are going to the game.                       We are going to the game.
Sally and Beth go to the same school .                  They go to the same school.
Multiplication is difficult.                           It is difficult
These facts are complicated.                           They are complicated.

When we show agreement between a subject and a verb, we can use this
chart of pronouns to break down the verb.

For example:

SINGULAR Subjects                                     PLURAL Subjects
I           talk                                 We talk
You         talk                                 You talk
He, she, it talks                                They talk

I           run                                  We run
You         run                                  You run
He, she, it runs                                 They run

                   EES Writing Course   Page 71 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Notice that the only time the verb changes in agreement is when the subject
is he, she, or it. Then we add an S to the verb.

I           present                                    We present
You         present                                    You present
He, she, it presents                                   They present

Some verbs, such as the be verb, change spelling, but the only subject that
gets an S on the verb is when the subject is he, she, or it.

I           am                                  We are
You         are                                 You are
He, she, it is                                  They are

In this case, notice also that the verb that agrees with you is always a plural,
even when you only means 1 person.

                  EES Writing Course   Page 72 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Let’s practice breaking down some verbs. Take the following verbs and
show their agreements in the chart.
Begin, teach, do, go, is, plan, have, charge, meet


He, she, it

PLURAL Subjects


Now let’s practice choosing verbs that agree with their subjects:

   1. Many trees (shade, shades) the park.
   2. Those pencils (need, needs) sharpening.
   3. The last of the lunches (are, is) on the table.
   4. They (like, likes) science fiction stories.
   5. She (drink, drinks) eight glasses of water a day.
   6. Your shoes (have, has) gotten full of mud.
   7. None of the employees (buy, buys) gifts for the boss’s birthday.
   8. The chairs (were, was) arranged in rows.
   9. Rice (are, is) served in Vietnamese restaurants.
   10.The sheep (are, is) in the pasture.

                  EES Writing Course   Page 73 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

   11.You (have, has) real musical talent.
   12. The earth (revolve, revolves) around the sun.
   13. We ( was, were) late for the movie.
   14. I (take, takes) the train to work.
   15. Drunk drivers (have, has) caused thousands of accidents.
   16. One of the girls (make, makes) paper dolls.
   17. Some of the class ( is, are) excellent spellers.
   18. Somebody (greet, greets) you at Walmart’s entrance.
   19.You (is, are) our last hope.
   20. Everyone (tell, tells) their own version of the story.

Now write five sentences, using any subject you choose. Write your
sentences in the present tense and make sure the subject and verbs agree in






Choose one of your sentences to share with the class. Identify whether your
subject is singular or plural If your subject is singular, change it to plural
and show the new verb agreement. If it is plural, change it to singular and
show the new verb agreement.

Additional Practice:

                  EES Writing Course   Page 74 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006


Choose the correct Linking Verbs to show agreement:

   1. Tracy (is, are) a clown.
   2. One of the boys (is, are) a problem student.
   3. (Was, were) you ever at the show?
   4. Many of the children ( was, were) honor students.
   5. That (was, were) a lucky day for all the players.
   6. The discovery of ice skating ( was, were) an accident.
   7. (Isn’t, aren’t) there a skating rink in every northern town.
   8. All of her brothers (remember, remembers) the incident.
   9. None of the players (recall, recalls) what happened.
   10. The deer (is, are) standing in the middle of the road.

                  EES Writing Course   Page 75 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006



Warm-Up Activity

Combine the following sentences into complex sentences by using
subordinating conjunctions, such as if, after, before, when, while, because,

   1. The last of the children came down the stairwell. The evacuation of
      the building was complete.



   2. We were going to be finished with the project by noon. There would
      be plenty of time to begin the final preparations.



                  EES Writing Course   Page 76 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

  3. The storm arrived. We had prepared to take shelter in the basement.



  4. You don’t think that you will be able to attend the meeting. Call me
     before eight o’clock in the morning.



  5. I would love for mother to see the work that I have done. She has
     been talking about it all winter.



  6. I was preparing for the arrival of the guests. The phone rang at least
     twenty times.



                 EES Writing Course   Page 77 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

   7. The telegram came early the next morning. Everyone was at first very



   8. You explained the problem so well. I was able to figure out the rest of
      it on my own.



   9. The baby was born on July the Fourth. Every year we have a dual
      celebration on that day.



   10.It rains. It pours.


Place commas in the following sentences:

   11.Jane will you help me with this project?

   12.I finished the work cleaned up the work site and went to bed.

   13.He worked harder than ever before but he still could not complete the
      work on time.

                  EES Writing Course   Page 78 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

   14.Al the owner of the filling station bought the business in July of last

   15.Mary Sue was born on February 28 2004.

   16.Incidentally I found the best fabric at the cloth shop on Market St.

   17.No matter how hard he tried he could not learn the multiplication

   18.Without a doubt you are one of the smartest people that I know.

   19.Take this to the office for me Marie.

   20.In the beginning of the movie the villain makes a surprise appearance.

Identify which of the following may be used as a subject (S) and which may
be used as a verb (V):

   21._____Walking to the supermarket in the morning.
   22._____Wrestling with his playmates after school.
   23._____The manager of the department store.
   24._____Is one of the most beautiful things I own.
   25._____Some of the teachers in the English department.
   26._____All of the girls playing on the basketball team.
   27._____Seemed like the right answer at the time.
   28._____Took all his tests with seriousness.
   29._____Margaret and Martha, friends of the deceased.
   30. _____Fly.

For each of the phrases above that you identified as a subject or verb,
complete them as sentences on the lines below:




                  EES Writing Course   Page 79 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006








Choose the correct verb form for each of the following:

31. He (has been       have been ) playing in the major leagues.

32. Many of the girls (know knows) the lyrics by heart.

33. They (went     gone) to the theatre this evening.

34. The last of the children in line (care cares) that he cannot be first.

35. Next week she ( have gone                will be going) to the Kentucky state fair.

36. Last summer they (has flown                flew) to the beaches in Florida.

37. By next year the family ( will have traveled                had been traveling) all
over the country.

38. Each of the puppies (respond responds) to its name when called.

39. I ( am    is) a member of your community club.

40. Too many people (say says) that it is too difficult for me.

                   EES Writing Course   Page 80 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Show the correct tenses of each of the following verbs:

                    PAST               PRESENT                FUTURE

   41. go______________________________________________

   42. believe__________________________________________

   43. teach____________________________________________

   44. plan_____________________________________________

   45. do______________________________________________

   46. be______________________________________________

   47. think_____________________________________________

   48. make_____________________________________________

   49. accept____________________________________________

   50. have_____________________________________________

Write 1 sentence of your own to demonstrate the following comma rules:

Comma in direct address


Comma is a series



                 EES Writing Course   Page 81 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Introductory comma



Extra information



Comma with FANBOYS



                    EES Writing Course   Page 82 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006


WARM-UP EXERCISE: Sentence Choices

A possessive noun is a noun that shows ownership or claim to something.
Use of the apostrophe and the letter S allows us to show ownership using
fewer words than we might normally need.

For example: the house that belongs to my aunt                    becomes
my aunt’s house

When a noun is singular, add an apostrophe and an S to the noun to show
ownership. Do not add the ‘S to make a noun mean more than one. This is
a common mistake. A noun that shows ownership is always followed by
the thing that is owned.

                 EES Writing Course   Page 83 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

For example: my cousin’s dog                          my friend’s books
            my brother’s bicycle                      the cook’s apron
             Jerry’s car                              the officer’s response
             The thief’s location                     the girl’s hopes

Even when a singular noun ends in S, add ‘S to it to show ownership.

For example: Mr. Jones’s car                          the boss’s birthday

Rewrite each of the following sentences to show ownership.

  1. The band of my sister is very popular.


  2. The colors of the uniform are very beautiful.


   3. The cheering of the crowd was very loud.

   4. Fred depends on the help of his children.


   5. The teeth of the squirrel were sharp.


                 EES Writing Course   Page 84 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

In most cases you will add ‘S to a noun to show possession. When a noun
is plural and does not end in S, you will continue to add ‘S to the word to
show ownership.

For example: The children’s toys                the men’s club
            The sheep’s wool                    the congressmen’s votes

The only exception to this rule is when the noun
that shows ownership forms its plural by adding s
to the singular form.
For example: boy becomes boys                   lady becomes ladies

To show ownership in nouns that are plural and already end in S, all you do
is add the apostrophe after the S.

For example: the boys’ bikes                    the ladies’ hats

                  EES Writing Course   Page 85 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Practice writing the possessive from of each of the following phrases:

   1. the dresses of the girls ____________________________________

   2. the diapers of the babies___________________________________

   3. the promises of the politicians______________________________

   4. the children of the parents__________________________________

   5. the sounds of the instruments_______________________________


Complete each sentence with the possessive form of the word in

   1. (company) The _______________picnic will be held next Saturday.

   2. (women) The _______________organization planned the meeting.

   3. (Kurt) ______________brother made the candy for the party.

   4. (teachers) Her _________________names are Ms. Gomez and Mr.

   5. (children) The ________________parade is held every spring.

   6. (country) We display our ___________________ flag on holidays.

   7. (class) It is this ________________time to take the test.

   8. (deer) They saw a ________________ tracks in the snow.

   9. (neighbors) Our ____________________ yards have just been

   10.(horse) The _______________ mane is black.

                  EES Writing Course   Page 86 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

GROUP EXERCISE: The teacher will allow each of you to draw a
slip of paper that contains 2 nouns. On the board, write the 2 nouns
demonstrating ownership between the 2. NEXT: If the noun that shows
possession is singular, write it as a plural possessive form. If it is already a
plural, write it as a singular possessive form.

The apostrophe and S are used to show ownership. But we also commonly
use the apostrophe when we want to write a contraction. A contraction is
simply the combining of 2 words into 1.

For example: do not = don’t      is not = isn’t
            Could not = couldn’t will not = won’t

When the apostrophe is added to a word like it, the word becomes it’s and
simply means it   is.


Decide which form of the word it should be used in the sentences below:

   1. (its, it’s)__________ raining outside.

   2. The dog has (its, it’s) _______ bone.

   3. (it’s, its) __________almost time to go home.

                   EES Writing Course   Page 87 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

  4. If (its, it’s)________ up to me, I say we should.

  5. Give the baby (its, it’s) ________ rattler.

Additional Practice:

                 EES Writing Course   Page 88 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Comparatives & Superlatives

WARM-UP Exercise

In the English language, it is useful to be able to compare the things that we
talk or write about. It is possible to do this through the use of adjectives and

Comparative adjectives allow us to make comparisons between 2 things.

For example: Sally is older than Beth.

In order to make this comparison between 2 people, we add the letters er to
the adjective tall. A good rule of thumb is that when we compare 2 things,
we add 2 letters to the adjective.

For example: The Providian building is shorter than the Empire State
           Frank is smarter than Fred.

                  EES Writing Course   Page 89 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

For most adjectives that are small words (usually no more than 2 syllables),
we add er to the word to compare 2 things. If the adjective is longer, we add
the word more instead of the letters er.

For example: Elizabeth is more beautiful than Norma.

If you are uncertain about the number of syllables in a word and whether to
make choice between er or more, another good rule of thumb is to listen to
the word when you add er; if it sounds awkward, it probably is, and you
should use the comparative word more.

For example: That circus is fantasticer than the previous one. This sounds
more awkward than: That circus is more fantastic than the previous one.

PRACTICE: Make the comparative form of each of the following

large _______________________________________
simple ______________________________________
marvelous ___________________________________

                 EES Writing Course   Page 90 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Use each of these comparative adjectives in a sentence:











When making comparison, it is also possible to compare more than 2 things
using adjectives. When we use an adjective to compare more than 2 things,
we call it a superlative adjective. In order to use a superlative adjective, we
add est to the adjective.

For example: Of all three girls, Sally is the tallest.
             John is the smartest boy in the class.

                  EES Writing Course   Page 91 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

A good rule of thumb when using the superlative adjective is to remember
that when you are comparing 3 or more things, you add 3 letters to the

As in the case of the comparative adjective, when the adjective is small
(usually not more than 2 syllables), we add the letters est, but when when
the adjective is longer than 2 syllables, we add the word most.

For example: She is the most wonderful speller in the school.
             He is the most accomplished skier in the Olympics.

Again, if you can not decide whether to use est or most, if the word sounds
awkward when you add est, then it probably should be most.

PRACTICE: Make the superlative form of each of the following
sentences and use each in a sentence:

silent ____________________________________





                  EES Writing Course   Page 92 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Remember: er and more when you are comparing 2 things
       est and most when you are comparing 3 or
       more things

PRACTICE: Decide whether to use the comparative or superlative from
of the adjective in each of the following sentences:

  1. (blue) Kayla’s eyes are ___________ than her brothers.
  2. (short) Cornell is the____________ player on the basketball team.
  3. (fast) Mrs. Wolf worked the _____________ of all the hospital
  4. (rusty) The right side of your car looks ___________ than the left.
  5. (powerful) Personal computers are ________________ than they were
  6. (hairy) Mr. Reed’s dog is ___________ than Mr. Stevens’s.
  7. (desirable) Blueberry muffins are ______________________than
     pancakes for breakfast.
  8. (cheap) Is this battery _______________ than the last one I
  9. (good) Waffles are good, but bagels are _______________.
  10. (bad) This is the ___________ meal I have ever eaten.

                EES Writing Course   Page 93 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

It is also possible to use an adverb when making a comparison. Adverbs
usually describe a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.

For example: That is a very pretty sweater.
             He spoke clearly.
             She ran less quickly than her partner.

When you want to show that something is “not so much” as another, you
can use the adverb less.

For example: This book is less interesting than I thought it would be.

PRACTICE: For each of the following sentences, use the correct form of
the adverb to complete the sentence.

   1. (quick) Decide ___________ on the right course of action.
   2. (soft) Heather speaks so ___________ it is difficult to hear her.
   3. (effective) Marcus repaired my car more ___________________ than
      the other mechanic.
   4. (enthusiastic) The crowd cheered _____________________ when the
      home team won.
   5. (unexpected) He ______________ went fishing.

Additional Practice:

                  EES Writing Course   Page 94 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Make the comparative and superlative forms of the adjectives and adverbs.
Use your comparison in a sentence:

                   COMPARATIVE                                SUPERLATIVE

   1.   fast ________________________                        ___________________
   2.   recent _____________________                         ___________________
   3.   skillful _____________________                       ___________________
   4.   good _______________________                         ___________________
   5.   gentle ______________________                        ___________________
   6.   careful ______________________                       ___________________







                 EES Writing Course   Page 95 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

PARAGRAPHS Topic Sentences and Supporting Details

WARM-UP Exercise: Sentence Choices

When several sentences have something in common, they may be grouped
together into a paragraph. These sentences work together to support a single
idea, called the Main Idea. Within the paragraph, there must be 1 single
sentence that states that main idea. That sentence is called the Topic
Sentence. The topic sentence contains information that is developed by
every other sentence in the paragraph.

Read the following paragraphs and find that single sentence that states
the main idea.

      Gloria really knows how to travel light. For a three-week vacation,
she packs only a few tops, two pairs of pants, and a skirt. Each of the tops
can be worn with any of the bottoms. If she goes out to fancy restaurant, she

                  EES Writing Course   Page 96 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

simply adds jewelry to dress her outfit up. She is the envy of all her friends
who do not know how to pack.

       The Spamarama is an occasion for many unusual contests. One
contest allows participants to show off their athletic abilities by throwing a
hunk of Spam as far as they can. Another contest challenges contestants to
eat the most spam. Perhaps the most exciting contest is the Pork Pull where
contestants compete in a tug-of-war, trying to pull their opponents into a
pool of Spam jelly.


Read each paragraph below. Choose a topic sentence for the

   1. ____________________ She plans to turn her dining room into a
      nursery and make a dining room area in her kitchen. She wants to
      paint a mural on one of the nursery walls. She also intends to put a
      soft carpet on the floor and make curtains for the windows. If she has
      time, she wants to rearrange and paint her own bedroom.

   a)   Nina’s apartment building is in need of renovation.
   b)   Nina plans to redecorate before her baby is born.
   c)   Nina’s apartment has many rooms that need work.
   d)   Nina is an excellent painter and craftsman.

   2. __________________________You are not allowed to pick up the
      common pile of cards until you have a certain number of points in
      your hand. Jokers and twos are wild. Red threes must be set to the
      side. Your canasta, a set of seven cards of the same face value, can be
      either “dirty” or “clean.” If you don’t remember all the rules, you
      could score negative points.

   a)   Canasta is more difficult than other card games.
   b)   Canasta rules must follow a certain order.
   c)   Canasta is a difficult game because there are so many rules.
   d)   Canasta uses unusual terms to describe its plays.

                   EES Writing Course   Page 97 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

   3. ______________________ He is going to sleep late and wake up
      without an alarm clock. He’s not going to pick up the newspaper but
      will read his book while he has coffee. He will meet his friends next
      and play soccer in the park. Then he’ll have a nice dinner and catch a

   a)   Francis prefers to play sports than to study his lessons.
   b)   Francis cannot function well unless he has planned his day.
   c)   Francis’s day must be carefully planned.
   d)   Francis is planning a very relaxing schedule for this Saturday.

PRACTICE: Write a topic sentence for each of the following paragraphs.

_____________________You should wear eye protection to prevent a sliver
of wood from flying into your eye. Safety goggles or a clear plastic face
shield will work as protection. You should also wear a dust mask to avoid
inhaling too much sawdust. Always be aware of where your hands are in
relation to the moving blade. When using a table saw or a band saw, use a
pushstick to guide the wood, rather than letting your hands get too close to
the blade.

       The reservoir was running low. The streets all looked dry and dusty,
and the grass in the park was withered. Residents were no longer allowed to
water their lawns. People were stocking their kitchens with gallons of
bottled water. The mayor asked that people do whatever they could to
conserve water._________________________________________________


                   EES Writing Course   Page 98 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Notice that in the last paragraph, the topic sentence was placed at the end.
Although a topic sentence is usually found at the beginning of the paragraph,
the topic sentence may be placed anywhere within the paragraph.


Supporting details may include facts and figures, reasons, or sensory details.
Facts and figures are statements that can be proven or disproven to support a
main idea. Reasons may include the author’s personal opinions used to
support the main idea. Sensory details provide specific descriptions to help
create a clear picture of a place or event.

Read each of the following TOPIC SENTENCES. Then choose the answer
that best develops the topic.

         1. My friend Richard is truly a jack-of-all-trades.

   a) His father was a policeman, as was his grandfather. Police work runs
      in his family.
   b) When I met him, he was working in a bank and crafting silver jewelry
      in his spare time. Now he’s working as a locksmith and helping with
      his wife’s catering business.
   c) I don’t know what careeer to choose for myself. I seem to have a little
      skill in many areas. My sister Ruth is the same way.
   d) Richard got married when he was just eighteen years old. All of his
      friends tried to talk him out of it, saying that he was too young.

                  EES Writing Course   Page 99 Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

        2. Many grand schemes have been suggested to solve the pollution
           crisis in Mexico City.

  a) It is impossible to get a tally of the exact population of Mexico City.
     The population is estimated at 20-25 million people.
  b) Pollution is a problem that affects all of us. The quality of our lives,
     and of our children’s lives, depends on how we handle the issue of
  c) One plan involved using fleets of helicopters to sweep the smog away.
     Another suggestion involved exploding a hole in the ring of
  d) Mexico City is the capital of Mexico. Many Mexicans refer to the
     city as the Distrito Federal (Federal District) or D.F. for short.

Additional Practice:

                EES Writing Course   Page 100   Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

PARAGRAPHS: Sequence and Relative Material

WARM-UP Exercise: Sentence Choices

Some paragraphs attempt to describe events in the order in which they
happened. This is called sequence. Can you think of any activities where
the order or sequence of events must be known or followed?




Read the following paragraph and underline the key words that demonstrate
that a sequence is being followed.

       If you get a splinter in your finger, try to remove it as soon as
possible. Before you begin your mini-surgery, sterilize a pair of tweezers by
wiping the ends with rubbing alcohol. Then wash your hands with soap and
water, giving special attention to the area around the splinter. Next, grab the
splinter with the ends of the sterile tweezers, and pull it out in the same
direction as it went in. Gently squeeze the area where the splinter was, in
order to encourage slight bleeding which releases any leftover particles of
the splinter. Finally, wash the area again and cover it with a bandage.

Some of the words that you underlined include:_______________________


                 EES Writing Course   Page 101   Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

These words signal that something must be performed in a specific

Can you think of other words that might indicate a special order that should
be followed?

PRACTICE: Read the topic sentence below and the four sentences that
are listed after it. Fill in the blank spaces with the letters of the correct
sentences to create a paragraph with a sequence that makes sense.


       The midday meal was always an orderly affair at my grandmother’s
house in Venezuela. Initially,_______. Next, _______. Then, _______.
Last, _______.

     a) my aunts would clear away the soup bowls and bring out the meat and
        rice, which we would devour in silence.

     b) we would finish up with small dishes of ice cream or sugared fruit.

     c) We would all take our places, and my grandmother would say grace.

     d) We would eat our soup, which was usually vegetable-based and
        always delicious.

                  EES Writing Course   Page 102   Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Read the following topic sentence and the four sentences below it. Number
the steps or events from 1 to 4 in order:

      After the flight crew had gotten everybody settled, we began our

_____ When our turn came, the engines powered up, and we began to speed
down the runway.

_____ The wheels lifted, and the plane rose up into the air.

_____ We backed slowly and smoothly away from the passenger loading

_____ The plane taxied around and took its place behind the other airplanes
waiting to take off.

One sentence is missing from the following paragraph. Choose the sentence
that logically completes the sequence:

        Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart skyrocketed to classical music fame at a
     very young age. In fact, at the age of five, he was already playing the
     violin quite well and composing small musical works. When he was six
     years old, he was asked to perform for the Empress of Austria. ________.
     By the time Mozart was fifteen years old, his place in music history had
     been secured.

A         By the age of ten, Mozart was an accomplished composer.
B         The Empress had ruled for many years.
C         Mozart seldom played with children his own age.
D         Even today, Mozart’s compositions are played all over the world.

                    EES Writing Course   Page 103   Edited by Peter Shaw 2006


Many times when we are writing a paragraph, there is so much information
that we wish we share that we include unnecessary sentences that do not
support the topic sentence. These sentences only make our writing weaker.
We will try to identify sentences that can be eliminated from a paragraph
because they do not help to develop the topic sentence.

Read the following paragraph. Then answer the questions that follow.

       Each of the three early car engines had advantages and disadvantages.
The cars whose engines ran on electric batteries were clean, quiet, and easy
to start, but slow. Cars that ran on steam engines were clean and fast, but
their range was limited to about 150 miles. Trains also used steam engines.
Cars equipped with gasoline engines were fast and easy to start, and their
range was unlimited, but they broke down regularly and were dirty.

   1. What is the main idea of the paragraph?


   2. What is a supporting idea that tells more about the main idea?


   3. Which sentence does not tell more about the main idea?


                EES Writing Course   Page 104   Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

PRACTICE: Read each paragraph. Then choose the sentence that does
not belong.

  1.      1. Music has the ability to affect our emotions. 2. Psychologists
          tell us that fast, high-pitched music creates a happy, energetic
          feeling in most people. 3. Conversely, music that is slow and low-
          pitched makes us feel sad. 4. The most popular music that our
          local radio stations play is called “easy listening.”

  a)   sentence 1
  b)   sentence 2
  c)   sentence 3
  d)   sentence 4

  2.      1. One of the privileges of holding a top government office is the
          opportunity to live in a mansion at voter expense. 2. The U.S.
          president lives in the magnificent White House in Washington,
          D.C. 3. The city of Washington was designed by architect Pierre
          L’Enfant to accommodate our government offices. 4. Since the
          1970’s, a fine Victorian home in Washington has been the
          residence of the U.S. vice president.

  a)   sentence 1
  b)   sentence 2
  c)   sentence 3
  d)   sentence 4

Additional Practice:
TABE FUNDAMENTALS: pp. 49-50, 53-55

                    EES Writing Course   Page 105   Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

HOMEWORK:              Write a paragraph of at least 10
sentences on any topic you choose. Be sure that you have a
good topic sentence, and supporting details. Be sure that all
your information pertains to the topic.

…..and be sure to follow all the grammar rules that you have
been studying.

              EES Writing Course   Page 106   Edited by Peter Shaw 2006


  TABE Practice
  TABE Fundamentals pp. 76-80 part 1
     Practice and Review


  TABE Practice
  TABE Fundamentals pp. 81-86 part 2
     Practice and Review

  TABE Strategies and Review

        EES Writing Course   Page 107   Edited by Peter Shaw 2006


Results and Referrals

Essay Writing – Exploring Subject

        EES Writing Course   Page 108   Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

Essay writing and the MLA Format

Essay writing, editing, and completion

Final Class – Sharing and Celebration!

        EES Writing Course   Page 109   Edited by Peter Shaw 2006

To top