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SAT prep in West Caldwell, NJ

10/23/2015

Know the Rules of Punctuation

Here are some punctuation rules to help improve your composition.

How to Use Apostrophes

Apostrophes have many uses. They show possession, as in "John's car." Do not use apostrophes, however, with personal pronouns: his, hers, ours, etc. Remember that names or things ending in "s" should not add another "s" after the apostrophe. Apostrophes also replace missing letters in contractions, "don't," "can't," or "won't." Do not use apostrophes for plurals- "Apostrophe's are for possession, not plural's." When there are two or more owners of the same object, only place the apostrophe after the second owner: John and Mary's house.

Parentheses & Brackets

Never use parentheses and brackets interchangeably. Parentheses enclose information that clarifies or is an aside. You can use parentheses instead of a comma or semicolon if you deem the information to be less important. "She finally told me (after an hour of deliberation) that my pasta dinner was delicious." If the phrase in parentheses ends the sentence, place the period outside the parentheses. If a comma is necessary, place it after the parentheses as well. Brackets are only for use within quotations. They mark material that the author has added to the quotation, a [sic] when the quotation contains a mistake, or changes to the quotation to keep with proper grammar. " '[T]he better angels of our nature,' is how Lincoln ended his first inaugural address." Because the phrase appeared mid-sentence in Lincoln's original speech, the "the" was not originally capitalized.

Using Semicolons

A semicolon is a period atop a comma for a reason- they are just short of a full stop. Use a semicolon to connect two complete sentences you want to join together. "I ate at the Thai restaurant; the food was delicious." You should also place a semicolon before words such as "however," "therefore," and "for example" when these are followed by complete sentences. "I brought 100 hundred sandwiches; however, they were not enough to feed the class." Semicolons can also replace commas to separate list items or independent clauses when these contain commas. "I went to Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Cleveland, Ohio; and Miami, Florida."

For Tutoring in West Caldwell

At The Tutoring Center in West Caldwell, we offer one-to-one tutoring in writing, reading, math, and more. Visit our webpage to learn more about our academic programs and call 862-210-8600 to get your free diagnostic assessment today.

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