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					              Grammatical Sentences Workshop

Riddle Me This: What is the most commonly used punctuation mark or symbol in the
                English language?

          Grammar cops are everywhere policing the many grammatical errors we often
make in our everyday communications. The McDonald‟s sign below was posted at
<>. Can you figure out the four
punctuation errors?

                  1.   ______________________________
                  2.   ______________________________
                  3.   ______________________________
                  4.   ______________________________
                                             A REVIEW

       The grammar school definition of a sentence is a group of words that contains a subject
       and a verb, and expresses a complete thought.

       I. A sentence has two basic parts:

           SUBJECT          person, place, thing, or idea that is being talked about in a sentence

           PREDICATE        action or descriptive part of the sentence that gives life to the subject

i.e. The tantalizing odor of simmering fish head soup / alerts hungry campers for several miles around.

       II. A sentence has four forms:

           SIMPLE           sentence that expresses only one thought

               i.e. Jack went up the hill again.
               i.e. Jack and Jill are main characters in a WB television program.

            COMPOUND sentence composed of two or more related sentences that uses
                     punctuation to divide the separate thoughts being expressed

               i.e. Writing research papers can be a tedious process; the research phase is often an
               endless loop.

           COMPLEX          sentence containing an independent sentence and a fragmented
                            sentence that complements it

               i.e. When you begin a sentence with an adverb clause like this one, it is imperative
               to place a comma between the dependent clause and the main sentence.

               * the underlined part of the sentence is a fragment „cause it don‟t make no sense
               by itself

           COMPOUND/COMPLEX               sentence composed of two independent sentences and
                                          one fragmented sentence separated by punctuation

               i.e. If you are going to earn a passing grade in English 1200, you must adhere to the
               rules of grammar; it’s the only way to improve your writing skills.

               * the underlined part is a fragment
                                                   Lesson I

   Punctuation is the use of standard marks and signs in writing in order to clarify meaning.
   Commas are punctuation devices that help communicate meaning by marking the natural
   pauses in speech. These are some ways in which commas are used:

          To separate words, phrases, or clauses in a list or series

                  i.e. Trudy, Doug, Pookie, Chris, and Susie left with their bags, ball caps,
                       baseballs, books, and bouquets.

          To set apart nouns of direct address and interjections

                  i.e. Lisa, give me a piece of your Quarter Pounder, please.

          To mark off introductory elements such as participial phrases, long
          prepositional phrases, and adverb clauses

                  i.e. Mired deep in poo, he found himself wishing he’d brought his shovel.
                  i.e. In the middle of the nineteenth century, commas were only used as Christmas
                  i.e. After you boil the unseasoned opossum, marinating it for three hours in
                       country style gravy is a must.

          To divide a compound sentence connected by a coordinator—and, but, or,
          nor, for, so, yet

                  i.e. Babies are not very intelligent, yet they have a way of practicing total control
                       over the helpless adult.

          To highlight a non-essential phrase and phrases in apposition—an appositive
          renames or clarifies a preceding noun

                  i.e. Franklin Roosevelt, one of the most significant political figures in American
                       history, single-handedly drafted most of the controversial social programs of

          To separate a quotation from its source—he said or she said

                  i.e. “I don’t think not turning in my assignment will affect my grade,” mused the
                  i.e. In The Critical Theory of Forming Ideas About Things, Dr. Enigma writes,
                       “When thinking about any topic, you must think implicitly about how you are
                       thinking about the topic.”

          To separate everyday material

                  i.e. Numbers, Dates, Addresses, Openings and closings of letters, etc.
                                              Lesson II

   A semicolon acts like a weak period and primarily joins independent ideas in appropriate
   cases. Semicolons take over where commas fall short. Semicolons create an extended
   pause that clearly alerts readers they are at the end of an idea. There are three main
   instances of semicolon use:

          To join a compound sentence where no coordinator is present

                 i.e. The problem with public education is its openness to the community; any
                      average Joe can get an education

          To work with conjunctive adverbs in combining independent clauses

                 i.e. It’s hard to realize the value of what you’ve got until you ain’t got it no
                      more; therefore, you should treasure the thing while you have it.

                     *notice that a comma is used after the adverb

          To act as a super-comma in separating items in a series that contains

                 i.e. His extensive travels took him to the plains of Conrad, Montana; to the
                      snow-capped mountain resorts of Telluride, Colorado; and to the dry dessert
                      sands of El Paso, Texas.
                       COMMON PUNCTUATION ERRORS

         RUN-ONS       use of a coordinator but no comma between sentences

         FRAGMENTS           incomplete expression lacking a subject or verb

         COMMA SPLICES            use of a comma between two sentences with no

         FUSED SENTENCE             two sentences joined with no punctuation

        Run-ons are easily corrected by adding a comma before the coordinator or
by simply dropping the coordinator and adding a semicolon or a period

      NOT      The true sense of cohesion in Hemingway’s piece is inevitably lost yet the
               overall contribution is evident and readily identifiable.

      BUT      …lost, yet…                    OR      …lost; the…

Fragments are avoided and corrected by ensuring that every sentence of your paper
has a distinct purpose and expresses an independent idea

      NOT      Proponents of the equation for determining the Gross National Product.
               (What about those “proponents”.)

      BUT      Proponents of the equation for determining the GNP argue its diversity and
               socioeconomic inclusiveness.

Comma Splices need only a coordinator or the comma replaced by a semicolon

      NOT      Exploring my chosen career field has truly enlightened me, the broad array of
               opportunities within the field have only served to peak my interests.

      BUT      …me, and…                      OR      …me; the…

         Fused Sentences require punctuation to alert the reader that one thought
has ended and another has begun

      NOT      He fell asleep at the wheel he crashed into the bridge.

      BUT      …wheel; he…                    OR      …wheel, and he…
    A. IDENTIFY. Identify each of the following sentence forms as S simple, CP
    compound, CX complex, or CPCX compound-complex:

    _____1. “The direction of American culture demands healthcare reform, and senators
            and representatives are forced to address those demands” (Pilfer 74).

    _____2. Research Topics in Education is an immediate area of interest for me.

    _____3. When a student faces a drastic change in environment like going off to college,
            the experience can often be traumatic and life altering.

    _____4. If you are going to maximize your potential as physician, understanding and
            accepting our cultural dynamics is imperative; your clients will be real people
            from a very real America.

    B. IDENTIFY. Identify each common punctuation or grammar problem as X fragment,
    R run-on, FS fused sentence, or S comma splice.

    _____5. Upon completing the second phase of a web page design.

    _____6. Poe‟s dark but unbridled wit is unsurpassed in his Cask of Amontillado burying
            alive a drunkard disguised as a court jester is a hilarious turn of events.

    _____7. Dr. Angela Pearce‟s assertion of the harmless nature of human genome testing
            is preposterous, moral ambiguities seep through every pore of the subject.

    _____8. The use of proper source information serves to substantiate all claims made in a
            research paper yet the writer must ensure that quotes are not overused or
            presented in stark contrast to the paper‟s style.

    C. COMMA USAGE. Determine whether or not the following sentences are correctly
    punctuated. Place an x for incorrect usage and a  for correct usage.

    _____9.    “The grossest tragedy of his literature is that it has to end”, quoted the
               Douglass enthusiast.

    _____10. Rogers, a professor of modern poetry, loves old Motown lyrics.

    _____11. The critics rarely commend her work and site it for its lack of depth.

    _____12. Our sales have increased by twenty percent, our inventory has been reduced
             by thirty percent.

    _____13. Last fall, I took my first English class, an amazing experience. It is a semester
             I will never forget.

    _____14. The art collector acquired two, tall, ancient Greek, statues of Hermes.
    D. SEMICOLON USAGE. Determine whether or not the following sentences are
    correctly punctuated. Place an x for incorrect usage and a  for correct usage.

    _____15. The AFC Corporation is an excellent company in which to invest; its
             investments have risen sharply and steadily over each of the last ten years.

    _____16. Of all of the fringe benefits the job offers, he seems to enjoy the three week
             paid vacation to Port au Prince, Bahamas; the advantageous, career-advancing
             management training program; and the four-day work week.

    _____17. It seemed to be snowing sideways, however; we decided to continue driving.

    _____18. Our newspaper subscription just expired, much to my disgust, Jenny forgot to
             mail the payment to the publisher.

    _____19. Indeed, she has always been the inquiring type; even though I‟m sure she
             means no harm.

    _____20. “Choosing a suitable major doesn‟t seem to be a problem; most students are
             successful at choosing a major three or four times before they graduate,” said
             the dean.

    D. MISCELLANEOUS. Identify the sentence‟s punctuation problem(s) and suggest a
    workable solution(s) to the problem.

    * “We are eternally grateful to our alumni organization, it works extremely hard”,
    announced the chancellor who seemed to develop a lump in his throat; a rare

    Problem(s) ____________________________________________________________

    Solution(s) ____________________________________________________________


    ** In his article Bosier suggests that the inherent weaknesses in the NASDAQ arise as a
    result of the ever-changing advancements in the field of technology and keeping up with
    those advancements will determine the eventual life of the index. (65).

    Problem(s) _____________________________________________________________

    Solution(s) _____________________________________________________________