SHARON’S BLOG

punctuation Welcome to the second in a series of tutorials on grammar!

This week’s lesson answers such thorny questions as this one: “Mom, does a period go before or after the last quotation mark?”

You can find the first in the series of grammar tutorials here; it’s all about compound sentences, coordinating conjunctions, and commas. And if that doesn’t create some excitement in the classroom, I don’t know what will.

This week’s tutorial includes an infographic to teach the material, a set of sentences your students can correct to reinforce the material, and the answers to the sentences. There are only two rules (can you believe it?), and they are easy (again, is it to be believed?).

This lesson does not cover quotation marks in dialog. Tarzan and I will hit that next week.

As you’ll notice by the infographic, these two rules are for American English conventions. The British English system handles punctuation with end quotation marks differently. Any of your observant readers will notice the difference between the American and the British ways of handling the punctuation and most likely have been confused about this huge and dire issue. But no more. Let’s go! For a PDF of this infographic, click here.

Whether in dialog or in essays and reports, commas, periods, colons, and semicolons follow clear rules used with quotation marks.

Here’s the exercise your students can do after they’ve learned the two punctuation rules.

Directions: Use your new powers of punctuation to correct these sentences. Only one sentence is correct as it stands. Click here to download a printable PDF of this exercise.

1. Roxanne promised, “I’ll go to the party with you”. However, she sent her sister instead.

2. You must admit one thing about deliveries marked “rush order;” they eventually arrive.

3. Someone stole her books, her magazines, and her file labeled “How to do a triple Lutz”.

4. The first story Mark Twain ever wrote, “The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”, was an instant success.

5. I just read Carl Sandburg’s poem “Fog;” I’ve never thought before of fog as a stealthy cat.

6. Uncle Art looked up and snapped, “It’s time you learned to be accurate”; then he went back to checking the columns of figures.

7. I answered, “That’s very good of you”, but I didn’t mean it.

8. I had to look up these words from the poem “The Bells:” tintinnabulation, euphony, and expostulation.

Teachers, here are the answers with the corrected punctuation in red:

1. Roxanne promised, “I’ll go to the party with you.” However, she sent her sister instead.

2. You must admit one thing about deliveries marked “rush order”; they eventually arrive.

3. Someone stole her books, her magazines, and her file labeled “How to do a triple Lutz.

4. The first story Mark Twain ever wrote, “The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” was an instant success.

5. I just read Carl Sandburg’s poem “Fog”; I’ve never thought before of fog as a stealthy cat.

6. Uncle Art looked up and snapped, “It’s time you learned to be accurate”; then he went back to checking the columns of figures. This one is correct as it stands.

7. I answered, “That’s very good of you,” but I didn’t mean it.

8. I had to look up these words from the poem “The Bells”: tintinnabulation, euphony, and expostulation.

 

Yours for a more vibrant writing class,

Sharon Watson   .
Would you like more grammar tutorials? Check these out:

How to use commas in compound sentences with coordinating conjunctions
How to punctuate dialog with Tarzan
How to use quotation marks and punctuation
How to use question marks and exclamation points with quotation marks
How to use gender-neutral writing
“Everyone” is singular
Indefinite pronouns and verbs The link to the tutorial is in the introduction.
Sorting out confusing words like “its” and “it’s”
23 fun grammar lessons in the eBook Let’s Eat Fifi

Copyright © 2014 by Sharon Watson

Infographic copyright © 2014 by Sharon Watson

Original image courtesy of graphic stock

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