for proper names and place names, e.g. Mary, Galway.
for days, months and festivals.
For the titles of plays, books, songs, films and poems, e.g. Black Beauty.
For people’s titles, e.g. Mrs, Dr, Mr.
Full Stops You should use a full stop……….
to end a sentence
to show an abbreviation, e.g. Dr. for doctor, St. for street.
Example: Dr. Dolittle thought that he could talk to animals.
Commas You must use a comma to separate adjectives in lists.
Example: It was a cold, bleak, miserable day.
Note the last adjective does not need a comma.
You must also use a comma to separate nouns in lists.
Example: I enjoy rugby, wrestling, boxing and ballet.
However, the noun before the ‘and’ does not need a comma.
A comma must be used with when, as, if, though, although, unless, after and since to connect sentences.
Example: I woke up. I got dressed.
When I woke up, I got dressed.
You must use commas to separate words in lists. Listing actions (verbs) can make your writing more interesting.
Examples: The kitten hissed, spat, scratched and bit until the dog decided to leave it alone.
Ken peeled, chopped, diced and sliced every vegetable in the kitchen.
Note: the verb before the ‘and’ does not need a comma.
We use commas to separate phrases and groups of words in sentences.
Example: Snow White swept the floor, dusted the carpets, polished the furniture, washed the dishes, did the laundry and decided to go and look for an easier job.
We use commas to set off an introductory phrase in a sentence.
Example: After he won the prize, Gary felt very proud of himself.
Titles and Abbreviations When you abbreviate a word, you shorten it . . . and make it easier to spell!
Mrs. Is the abbreviation of Missus.
Abbreviated words usually start with a capital letter and end with a full stop.
You can shorten a name by using the first letter of that name.
Example: P.Sayers for Pat Sayers
Addresses Addresses are lists of information. Each piece of information goes on a separate line. Each line except the last line, ends with a comma. The last line in an address always ends with a full stop. Look at this address. Notice how it starts with a person’s name, followed by her of house, followed by where the house is . . . . and so on . .
Elanna Dunne, person
‘Villa France’, name of house
16 Ballymore Grove, number of house and estate
Co. Wicklow. County
If an address uses a postcode, this will be on the last line of the address, e.g. Dublin 12.
Paragraphs A paragraph is made up of a number of sentences that deal with the same idea. A paragraph starts on a new line. All paragraphs start a little way in from the margin.
My grandma was old and needed a walking stick to get about. Her face was as wrinkled as a dried plum. Her wispy hair was completely white. She always moved slowly.
Her sister, by contrast, was a youthful 81 year old. Her step was sprightly and her smile wide and frequent.
A paragraph is made up of a few sentences dealing with the same idea. A paragraph starts on a new line. The first word of a paragraph usually starts slightly in from the margin.
Direct Speech “Telltale! Telltale!” chanted Tom at his friend.
“I am not,” retorted Jim crossly.
“Call me that again and I’ll tell on you!”
The words in the bubbles are the actual words that the two boys have said.
When you write speech, put the spoken words on a new line, and place the first inverted commas a little way in from the margin.
Example: The snake curled itself around Charlie’s ankles.
He could feel the hairs on the back of his neck tingling.
“Do something, please,” he whispered desperately.
“Stay cool, Charlie, I’ll think of something, “ replied Jack.
A noun can be the name of a person, a place, a thing, an animal, a period of time or an idea.
Remember, a noun is a label or naming word. Common nouns are the names of people (e.g. teacher, girl, scientist), places (e.g. city, mountain, home), animals (e.g. cat, dog, pig) and things (e.g. table, book)
Examples: The diver jumped off the boat into the sea that morning.
.red – redder – reddest
When comparing some adjectives ending in y, the y must be changed to i.
Lonely – lonelier – loneliest
When we use a metaphor to describe something, we do not use the words as or like.
Example: The lonely mountain hunched its back against the wind and the rain of the storm. ( The mountain is compared to a lonely person turning his or her neck to the storm.)
Overused Words Sometimes we use the same word too often when we are writing a story. It can make our stories very boring to read.
She ran quickly. ( adverb)
To change adjectives ending in y into adverbs, drop the y and replace it with ily.
Example: heavy – heavily
A word that is shortened is called a contraction.
Apostrophes (‘) are used to show that letters have been left out.
Example: She’s the tallest girl in the village.
She is the tallest girl in the village.
You’re, I’l, didn’t, couldn’t, when’s, I’ve, he’s, you’ll, wasn’t, shouldn’t, you’ve, she’s, he’ll, weren’t, wouldn’t, what’s, we’ve, we’re, can’t, you’d, they’re, should’ve, aren’t, we’ll, hadn’t.
When two words are shortened into one, we call it a contraction.
Examples: I have not time./ I haven’t time.
She is here./ She’s here.
An apostrophe (‘) shows where the missing letter should be.
Adjectives and Adverbs
Adjectives and adverbs give more detail to a sentence.
Example: The boy licked the ice cream. ( &adjective)
The young boy licked the raspberry – flavoured ice cream. (& adverb)
The young boy lovingly licked the raspberry- flavoured ice cream.
Homophones Homophones are words that have the same sound but different meanings or spellings.
Example: They’re, their, there
They’re = they are
Their = belongs to them
There = a place; used with ‘there is’, ‘there are’, etc.
Example: They’re all very annoyed that their team was beaten when they played that match over there.
Hole/whole, pain/ pane, board/ bored, soar/ sore, pair/ pear, knows/ nose, through/ threw, to/ two, cellar/ seller.
Remember, words that sound the same but have different meanings or spellings are called homophones. E.g. see/sea, bare/bear
Homophones are words that have the same sound but different meanings or spellings.
Sentence Ending There are three different ways to end a sentence.
with a full stop (.)
with a question mark ( ?)
with an exclamation mark (!)
An exclamation mark ! is used after words like Oh!, Ah!, Hurray!, etc.
It is also used after sentences expressing joy, surprise, wonder, anger, etc. Example: What a great idea!
Spoken words( dialogue) are often an important part of a story. We show spoken words by putting them between quotation marks (“ “).
Example: “ I hope we don’t come across any icebergs,” said the captain of the Titanic.
Remember, you must put spoken words inside quotation marks ( “ “).
“By golly, I just love the taste of bacon,” declared the Big Bad Wolf.
Prepositions Prepositions show the relationship between things or people in a sentence.
Examples: Harry was still in bed.
The mechanic was under the car.
I walked with my friends towards the shops.
Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall.
Common Prepositions At, in, beside, over, under, after, between, up, around, on, off, against, towards, among, near, through, below, from, with, to, out, for, into, behind, above, down, about.
Use between when talking about two things.
Use among when talking about more than two things.
I sat between Tom and Sally.
I shared my sweets among my four friends.
Compound Words When two words are joined to make one word, we call this a compound word.
Example: tooth & ache = toothache
Irregular Verb Verbs are the doing words in a sentence.
They change when they are used in the past tense, the present tense and the future tense.
Example: I was late/ I am late/ I will be late
To find/ found/ find/ will find
Affect and Effect Affect: to change someone’s feelings or to change someone or something in some way.
Example: The sad loss of the ship’s cat affected everybody aboard the ship.
Example: The effect of the rocket fuel on Grandad’s car was amazing.
Sound Effects in Language
Some words read like the sound they represent. The fancy name for this is onomatopoeia.
Example: the three arrows struck the tree just above my head.
Splat, thud, hiss, click, ding, sputter, whing, zip, screech, kaboom, kerchunk, schlopp, fizz, squeak, clang.
Pronouns A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun in a sentence.
Example: When Sean tripped, he hurt himself.
( he and himself are pronouns because they take the place of the pronoun Sean)
List of pronouns – it, I, she, her, myself, itself, ourselves, them, you, we, me, yourself, himself, themselves, he, him, us, they, herself
Checklist for writing a story Did I write neatly?
Did I spell all the words correctly?
Did I write each sentence as a complete thought?
Do I have any long, ‘run on’ sentences?
Did I begin each sentence with a capital letter?
Did I use capital letters properly in other places?
Did I make paragraphs and indent each paragraph?
Did I complete each sentence with the correct punctuation mark ( !.?).
Did I use commas and apostrophes correctly ( “ “) ?
Did I go on to a new line when somebody began to speak in my story?
Did I put the spoken words inside quotation marks?