English Grammar Capital Letters



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English Grammar


Capital Letters
You must always use a capital letter ……


  • at the start of a sentence

  • when using ‘I’, meaning ‘myself’.

  • 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

Bray, town

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.

Example:


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.

Direct speech

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.


Direct Speech
When you write down the actual words that are said by people, you must put the words inside inverted commas ( “………”).

Example: “Amy has new shoes,” said Lucy.

Note that an ordinary comma is also used after the last word that is spoken.
When a question is being asked, you place the question mark inside the inverted commas. This replaces the ordinary comma.

Example: “Were you born in a barn?” asked Mum crossly.



Apostrophes
We put ‘s at the end of a noun when it owns something.

Examples: the girl’s hands = the hands belonging to the girl.

The cat’ tail = the tail belonging to the cat.

Apostrophes

Remember: ‘s shows that a noun owns something, e.g. Ciara’s pencil.

Remember: Ordinary plurals do not use an apostrophe with the s.

Example: With their eyes shut tight, the boys dived off the cliff’s edge into the sea below.


When plurals ending in s own something, put an apostrophe after the s.

Example: The two stags’ antlers locked in combat.

If a noun owns something else in a sentence, you give that noun an apostrophe and an s (‘s).

Example: The cat’s tail is very long. The word cat gets ‘s because the cat owns the tail.

It is a short way of saying the tail of the cat is very long.

Warning! Watch out for its and it’s.

It’s = it is

Its = belongs to it (this is one word that does not use an apostrophe)
If a plural noun ends in s, we place the apostrophe after the s.

Example: the boys’ coats = the coats of the boys


If a plural noun does not end in s, we put the apostrophe before the s.

Example: the men’s coats = the coats of the men.



Prefixes

A prefix goes in front of a word to make a new word.

Prefixes ( such as un -, anti -, dis -, etc. ) often change the meaning of a word to its opposite.

Examples: able- unable, obey – disobey, freeze – antifreeze.


Nouns

Nouns are names

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.

Diver, sea, boat and morning are common nouns.


Nouns are names. There are thousands of them!

Common nouns are the names of persons, places, animals and things.

Examples: man, town, tiger, bag.

Proper nouns are particular names of persons, places, days, months, feasts, titles, etc.

Examples: Anne, Monday, Easter, Carlow.

Proper nouns always start with a capital letter.




Suffixes
You can make a new word by adding a suffix to the end of the original word.

Examples: care + less = careless

King + dom = kingdom
Pronouns

A word that takes the place of a noun is called a pronoun.

Example: Anne likes to eat icecream.

She likes to eat it.

She replaces Anne while it replaces ice cream.


Similes
Comparisons that use the words like or as are called similes ( simil – ays)

Similes help us to explain or describe things more clearly.

Examples: He ran as fast as a speeding bullet.

She looked like a million dollars.

We often use the words as or like when we are describing something. Phrases that compare things and use the words as or like are called similes.
Adjectives

Adjectives tell us something about nouns (e.g. people, places, things).

They make language more interesting.

Example: The cat sat on the mat.

The sleek, graceful cat sat on the beautiful, blue mat.
The ordinary adjective is called the positive form, e.g. big.

The comparative form is when we compare two objects, e.g. bigger.

The superlative form is when we compare more than two objects, e.g. biggest.
An adjective tell us more about a noun. Adjectives can make a sentence more interesting.

Example: I see a chair. (chair = noun)

I see a comfortable chair. (comfortable = adjective)

Remember, we use adjectives to describe nouns.

Example: The green, white and orange flag fluttered in the light breeze.
Sometimes nouns can be used as adjectives to describe another noun.

Example: We went to the football stadium. Normally football is a noun, but in this sentence it is describing the stadium.


Adjectives do not always appear beside the noun.

Example: The girl’s handwriting was appalling.

It is another way of saying the girl had appalling handwriting
Some adjectives compare two or more things.

Example:

My feet are small. - positive

Aine’s feet are smaller. - comparative

Roger’s feet are the smallest in the class. – superlative

The positive from of the adjective is used to describe one object.

The comparative form of the adjective is used to compare two objects.

The superlative form of the adjective is used to compare three or more objects.

Young – younger- youngest

When comparing some adjectives, the final consonant must be doubled

.red – redder – reddest
When comparing some adjectives ending in y, the y must be changed to i.

Lonely – lonelier – loneliest


Metaphor

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.

Example:

Good – beautiful, wonderful, fabulous, fantastic, delicious, reliable, powerful, brilliant, thorough, great, marvellous, lovely.

Bad – tragic, terrible, horrible, miserable, serious, ridiculous, catastrophic, awful, disastrous, revolting, painful, nasty, dangerous, stupid.


Verbs
A verb is a word that describes action.

Every sentence needs at least one action word in order to make sense.

Examples: Mahatma Gandhi was an extremely wise man.

Brazil is the largest country in South America.

Alfie swerved, skidded and smashed the new car into the telegraph pole.
A verb is the doing, or action, word of a sentence.

Examples: Emma wrote a letter. Jeff has a new pen.

Anne thinks that she is great. Marie scored a goal.

Note: Words such as is, are, has and said are all verbs even though they do not seem to be ‘doing’ much.

Sometimes a verb will use more than one word to get its meaning across.

Examples:

I will have to go to school next week.

Mary told us what has happened.

Jeff might be late today.

Ali should have been here by now.


Punctuation
Remember


  • A sentence always ends with a full stop or question mark.

  • Actual words spoken must be written inside quotation marks.

  • A comma is used after the last word that is spoken.


Adverbs
Adverbs tell us more about actions ( verbs).

Example: The referee spoke crossly to the player.


Adverbs can be made from adjectives by adding – ly

Example: It was a rough game.

The team played roughly in the game.

Rough = adjective

Roughly = adverb
Adverbs describe verbs (action words).

You can make an adverb by adding ly to the end of an adjective ( describes nouns).


Example: quick – quickly

She is a quick runner. (adjective)

She ran quickly. ( adverb)
To change adjectives ending in y into adverbs, drop the y and replace it with ily.

Example: heavy – heavily


Contractions


  • 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
Remember:

Homophones are words that have the same sound but different meanings or spellings.

Examples: She is not right!

Tie that knot tightly.

Mussels/muscles, story/storey, haul/hall, reign/rain/ rein, sow/sew, dew/due.

Remember, homophones sound the same but have different meanings or spellings.

Example: The two dogs were too tired to even bark.


Overused Words
Said- added, replied, denounced, shouted, remarked, stated, pronounced, yelled, observed, wondered, expressed, announced, declared, uttered, cried, agreed, mentioned, responded, whispered, answered, commented.

Spelling Rules
Rule 1:

If a word ends in a single vowel and a single consonant ( e.g. big, rub), double the final consonant when adding an ending to it.

Example: big = bigger, rub = rubbing
Rule 2:

If a word ends in a consonant & y (e.g. try, fly), change the ‘y’ to ‘I’ for all endings ( except ing)

Example: fly = flies ( flying)

Rule 3:

When a word begins with ‘all’, only one ‘L’ is used.

Example: always, although

Rule 4:

When words end with ‘full’, only use one ‘L’.

Example: useful, helpful.
Spelling Rules 2

Most plurals are formed quite simply by adding a s ( dog/dogs).

However, some plurals are more difficult.
Rule1:

Words that end in a consonant & y – drop the y and add ies.

Example: baby/babies.
Rule 2:

Most words that end in ch, sh, or x – add es.

Example: church/churches
Rule 3:

Most words that end in z, s or o


Spelling Rules
Doubling a letter:

If a word ends with a single vowel followed by a single consonant, you will need to double that last consonant when you add endings such as ed, er, ing, y, le and est.


Look at these examples:

Pat – patted, wet – wetter, hop – hopping, run – running, big – biggest, rub – rubble




Synonyms
A word that means the same, or almost the same, as another word is called a synonym.

Example: terrible – dreadful

Big-large

Right-correct

Intelligent – clever

Evident-apparent

Minute-tiny

Helpless-powerless

Habitat-home
Synonyms are words that have the same (or almost the same) meaning.

Examples: strike/hit, shut/close, select/choose, amusing/droll, huge/massive, collect/gather, middle/centre, extrovert/outgoing, undisciplined/unruly, eat/dine, crash/collide, impolite/rude, compassionate/humane, glory/prestige, costly/expensive, dreary/ gloomy, anger/rage, cut/dissect, price/ cost, feast/ banquet, pointless/ futile.

Antonyms

A word that means the opposite, or almost the opposite, is called an antonym.

Example: dark- bright

Cowardice – courage

Weakness – strength


Tenses

Verbs tell us what is happening in a sentence. The tense of a verb tells us when it happens, whether it be in the past, the present or the future.

Examples:

She saw horses = past tense

She sees horses = present tense

She will see horses = future tense


Alphabetical Order
We use alphabetical order to help us to organise and find words in dictionaries and names in telephone books.
Conjunctions
Conjunctions link words together in sentences.

Example: I like sausages and chips.

Conjunctions are also used to join two shorter sentences together.

Example: I got up. I got dressed quickly.

I got up and got dressed quickly.
Some more conjunctions – until, unless, but, because, as, if, or, so, while, after, before, although, since, when, that
Silent Letters

Doubt, wrinkle, knock, soften, whistle, folk, reign, hour, gnaw, lamb, calm, knee, wrong, gnat, hymn, half, thumb, crumb, limb, climb, autumn, honour, calf, knob, honest, castle, knot, walk, wren, could, listen, knit, write, wrist, apostle


Sentence Ending
There are three different ways to end a sentence.

  1. with a full stop (.)

  2. with a question mark ( ?)

  3. 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!


Quotation Marks

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 ( “ “).

Example:

“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.

Examples:

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.


Effect: a result of an action

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?




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