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PUNCTUATION [made easy] COLON : Functions as an introduction directly introduces just about anything: a word, a phrase, a sentence, a quotation, or a list. Ask reader to stop and pay attention! Do not use a colon after a verb in a sentence For example: The Jacobsen lawn mower beats its competitors especially in the key area of reliability. - sounds good The Jacobsen lawn mower beats its competitors especially in one key area: reliability. - more EMPHASIS If you are unsure how to use it substitute it with the word namely. The Jacobsen lawn mower beats its competitors especially in one key area [namely] reliability. * This does not work all the time, but it is a reliable indicator if you need a colon SEMICOLON ; Used as a connector between 2 COMPLETE sentences – Sentences must be close in content or ideas – The second sentence comments on the first – for example: • Jim is a good typist; he makes few mistakes. • The AFC Corporation is an excellent company to invest in; its investments have risen sharply and steadily over each of the last ten years. Exceptions… If the second sentence uses a conjunction (and, or, but, etc) you do not need a semicolon a sentence may begin with words like however, therefore, and nevertheless. If your second sentence begins with one of these words, and if it is indeed a full sentence, you still must use a semicolon to connect the two. – For example:Ms. Sanchez is a successful real estate salesperson; however, she was unable to sell her own house. Supercomma It organizes and separates all the sentences commas! Normally used when you are listing several items For example: – (unclear) Suncom Corporation has subsidiaries in four cities: New York, New York, Wilmington, Ohio, Houston, Texas, and San Francisco, California. – (clear) Suncom Corporation has subsidiaries in four cities: New York, New York; Wilmington, Ohio; Houston, Texas; and San Francisco, California COMMA , tells the reader to pause, BUT you do not need a comma every TIME you pause. 4 GENERAL ways to use a comma 1. Between items in a series Mr. Sanchez used the money that he won from the sweepstakes to buy a house, a car, and a small yacht. We will purchase the stock if the price is lowered to $30 per share, if we are allowed to buy a block of over 10,000 shares, and if we receive a guarantee that no new shares will be created in the next fiscal year. In a list it is now an option to put a comma before a conjunction. For example: – You can buy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in Los Angeles. – You can buy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in Los Angeles. 2. To attach words to the front or back of your sentence This is when you add word/ words to the core sentence. This is done to help your readers to clearly understand your message Certainly, Joan is a successful salesperson. Although she flunked chemistry and barely passed math, Joan is a good student. In order to help save the company from bankruptcy, we sold shares in the company at discount prices. Joan is a good student, although she flunked chemistry and barely passed math. 3. Interrupters Two commas can be used to set off additional information that appears within the sentence but is separate from the primary subject and verb of the sentence. In other words, you should be able to take out the section framed by commas and still have a complete and clear sentence. For example: Bob Mills, a sophomore from Raleigh, was the only North Carolina native at the Japanese food festival in Cary. Aaron thought he could see the future, not the past, in the wrinkles on his skin. My chemistry book, which weighs about 100 pounds, has some really great examples. 4. FANBOY FANBOYS is a handy mnemonic device for remembering the coordinating conjunctions: For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So. These words function as connectors. They can connect words, phrases, and clauses. For example: Words: I am almost dressed and ready. Phrases: My socks are in the living room or under my bed. Clauses: They smell really bad, so they will be easy to find. You should always have a comma before FANBOYS that join two independent clauses (two subjects and two verbs that make up two complete thoughts). Look carefully at the next two sentences to see two independent clauses separated by comma + FANBOYS. QuickTime™ an d a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are need ed to see this picture. FANBOY fakers However, therefore, moreover, and other words like them are not FANBOYS (they are called conjunctive adverbs). They go between two complete thoughts, just like FANBOYS, but they take different punctuation. GOOD: Basketball is my favorite sport. However, table tennis is where I excel. ALSO GOOD: Basketball is my favorite sport; however, table tennis is where I excel. BAD: Basketball is my favorite sport, however table tennis is where I excel. ALSO BAD: Basketball is my favorite sport, however, table tennis is where I excel. Be careful about the comma splice! an error caused by joining two strong clauses with only a comma instead of separating the clauses with a conjunction, a semicolon, or a period. A run-on sentence, which is incorrect, is created by joining two strong clauses without any punctuation. EXAMPLE: Incorrect: Time flies when we are having fun, we are always having fun. Correct: Time flies when we are having fun; we are always having fun. OR Time flies when we are having fun, and we are always having fun. (Comma is optional because both strong clauses are short.) ORTime flies when we are having fun. We are always having fun. PRACTICE Write wrong if the punctuation used is wrong and correct if the punctuation used is correct. 1. The fastest runners were: Fred, Barry, and Jeff 2. The following children should stay after class: Jenny, Ginny, and Jamie. 3. It was more circus than farm: the cows were red and blue; the chickens sang show tunes; the donkey danced. 4. No, it's not too red. 5. She was tired not lazy.
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