Here are a few tips that may come in handy.
|Capital Letter Usage|
|Beginning a sentence||‘It is true that a capital letter is used at the start of a sentence.’|
|A ‘proper noun’||Is a specific and unique noun that always starts with a capital letter, such as a person’s name, a place (New York, Paris, London, etc.), the name of a company, organisation or product|
|A religious festival||Halloween, Christmas, Easter, etc.|
|Days of the week||Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.|
|Titles||Mr. Mrs. Ms. Lord, Lady, Sir, Dr. etc.|
|Acronyms||BBC, ITV, RAF, AA, DVD, CD.|
|Commonly Misspelt/Misused Words|
|Lose / Loose||You LOSE at games, because your belt is LOOSE|
|Weird||Weird NOT wierd: No ‘i before e’ here!|
|Necessary||How many Cs and Ss? Remember your shirt: One collar, two sleeves|
|Accommodation||2 Cs and 2 Ms.|
|There/Their/They’re||These 3 homophones (words that sound the same but are spelt differently and mean different things) are often confused.
There – distance or location: the bag is over there.
Their – possessive or belonging to someone: It is their case so they can collect it.
They’re – the shortened or contracted version of they are. They’re having a lot of fun!
|It’s/Its||It’s – contraction of it is
Its – it belongs to someone.
|Whose/Who’s||Whose – shows ownership (whose bag is this? – who owns this bag?).
Who’s – the contracted form of ‘Who is’ (Who’s the best writer in the world?)
|Definitely||There are definitely two ‘i’s in definitely.|
|Affect/Effect||Affect (verb) – something that impacts on you
Effect – (noun) the end result of something (e.g. a special effect)
|Alot||This is not a word! A lot of people make this mistake.|
|Embarrass||Double r and double s.|
|Maintenance||Break it down: ‘main’ ‘ten’ ‘ance’.|
|Occurrence||Double c and double r.|
|Reference / Independent||Often spelled with an a.|
|How To End A Sentence|
|Full Stop (.)||Simply shows that the sentence has ended.|
|Ellipsis (…)||Shows tension or drama (The goblin raised an arm and swung…)|
|Exclamation Mark (!)||Shows impact or excitement (Fantastic!)|
|Question Mark (?)||Shows that a question has been asked (How are you?)|
|Types of Sentences (and Clauses too)|
|Simple||Generally contains a subject (a noun) and a verb and is a complete thought (e.g. it makes sense). It must also start with a capital letter and end with a full stop, ellipsis, etc.|
|An independent or main Clause||Is basically a simple sentence: it must make sense on its own.
‘She walked to the shop.’ is an independent clause.
|A dependent clause||Is a sentence that does not make sense on its own: it needs the independent or main clause to do this:
‘She walked to the shop: her previous purchase was faulty.
|Compound||A compound sentence is a sentence where two main clauses are linked by a connective (punctuation or joining word)|
|Complex||A complex sentence is a sentence with both a main clause and a dependent clause.|
|Paragraphs – Remember TiPToP|
|Ti||A new time (Ti)|
|P||A new person (P)|
|To||A new topic (To)|
|P||A new place (P)|
The apostrophe is a misunderstood item of punctuation – here’s how to use it:
|Contraction (shows that a letter(s) has been removed and two words joined together).||Cannot becomes can’t.
Was not becomes wasn’t.
Have not becomes haven’t.
|Singular Possession (ownership by one person of a thing, idea or feeling).||Jack’s banana – the banana belongs to Jack.
Sarah’s joy – the joy belongs to Sarah.
Stan’s toy – the toy belongs to Stan.
|Plural Possession (ownership by more than one person).||The children’s dog – the dog that belongs to the children.|
|When not to use it:||Any word ending in s – where you think it look’s right but is wrong.|
What is it? What it’s for and when to use it.
|Semi-Colon (;)||The semi-colon is used to link two independent clauses (She always wears black clothes; she likes the Goth look.
The semi-colon also separates multi-word items in a list
|Colon (:)||The colon introduces a list (His games included: cards, Twister, X-Box etc).
The colon also shows cause and effect (She thought she’d try: she may make it, after all).
|Comma (,)||Commas can be used to add emphasis: ‘Sadly, the ice-cream melted.’
Commas also separate single-word items in a list (She took: books, glasses, paper, pens…)
Comma in pairs can be used to add more information: Simon, who wasn’t a very nice man, smiled at her misfortune.
Commas separate adjectives: Jelly is sticky, bright, colourful and tasty.