Ooooo, and thank you Avra! Yaay, I don't look so silly now...I don't think [img]http://s2.images.proboards.com/huh.gif" alt="???" border="0"/>
I rely on my gramma check to fix my apostrophies, so any help would be great! It sounds like an interesting story too, Buneater!
Well, I'll get onto it soon, in that case, Megana! Grammar check is such a buggy thing. There's no way you can teach a computer program every little finer detail of English grammar. There are far too many exceptions and non-sensical rules.
Trust me, though, apostrophes are easy once you get the hang of them. [img]http://s2.images.proboards.com/smiley.gif" alt=":)" border="0"/>
And anyways, they always pick you up on unusal names you like to use. I hate grammar checkers. They always something out.
Buneater :: None of them actally start with A. My names are things like Enya and Kieana. See? Lots of "a" 's. But now there are names like Rionn and Zehien. WOO hoo. Go me. and I don't have any problem with apostrophes. yay.
Alana of the Dragons
I see what you mean, Fiery Dragon. Although, if anyone asks you again, you could always say the names have lots of As in them because it's traditional, or unique to the area... or something tricksy like that. As long as you're happy with your characters' names and you still feel as though they belong to you, then keep on going. I do like your A-less names - very nice. [img]http://s2.images.proboards.com/smiley.gif" alt=":)" border="0"/>
Wow, thanks all. I like my names too. I have been trying (unsucessfully) to get my friends to read the story, but they won't read it. My best friend says she won't read it until I've finished, and my other best friend says she doesn't have time. She had just told me "Nooooooo" so now I am annoyed with her for ...
a. Not straightening her hair today. She promised.
b. For not ringing me last night. We were going to organise a shopping expedition.
So now, my other best friend is in lots of trouble ....
Alana of the Dragons
I'd forgotten about this thread! Thank-you muchly to Flit for dragging it up. Think of all the unwanted advice I could have been giving you these past months!
To get back into the swing of things, I shall now discuss the much-maligned apostrophe. I love the apostrophe. It's a beautiful piece of punctuation: it can be powerful in the right hands and when it is wisely applied but I'm afraid it's far too easy to abuse the apostrophe without even being aware of it.
Firstly, let's hear what Lynne Truss, the delightfully witty author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves has to say about my beloved apostrophe.
Quote:...[T]he tractable apostrophe has always done its proper jobs in our language with entusiasm and elegance, but it has never been taken seriously enough; its talent for adaptability has been cruelly taken for granted; and now, in an age of supreme graphic frivolity, we pay the price. Too many jobs have been heaped on this tiny mark, and - far from complaining - the apostrophe has seemingly requested "More weight"...1[/quote]
These days, it seems that the apostrophe is either overused or not used at all. Instead of being roped in for possessives and turned away for plurals, things are the other way around. And in those contracted words where an apostrophe is required to mark the place of missing letters, it is found sitting off on the sidelines, ignored and under-utilised.
In order to help rectify this, here is what I hope will be a Handy Guide to Using Apostrophes.
Should I use an apostrophe for plurals?
The short answer is "No, absolutely not!" However, some grammar guides will tell you that it's fine to use them for a plural of initials such as TV or VCR but I'm not a fan of it. The sight of a sign reading "Discount TV's!" still makes me shudder, no matter what some may say.
How do I know if I've accidentally used an apostrophe for a plural?
If you're not sure, a never-fail method for working out if you've used an apostrophe wrongly is to replace the 's with is. Have a look at the following sentence.
Quote:I took the dog's for a walk[/quote]
If you replace the 's with is, you'll find that the sentence reads "I took the dog is for a walk" which makes no sense. Therefore, the apostrophe is not necessary.
Should I use an apostrophe for a possessive?
You most certainly should. If something belongs to somebody, even if it's something abstract such as "bravery" or "inheritance", then an apostrophe is required.
The princess's courage impressed the foolhardy prince.My uncle's inheritance will be frittered away.The sun's rays are rather hot today.And so on.
Are there exceptions to this rule?
But of course! This is the English language we're talking about. There are some possessives that are so sure of themselves that they don't actually need an apostrophe. They are:
How do I know when I should put an apostrophe in "its"?
This is easier than you might think. Simply replace "its" with "it is" and see if it fits in the sentence. "I took the dog for it is walk" doesn't make sense, for instance. Therefore, you should use "its" without an apostrophe. "It is too hot to go for a walk!" does make sense, therefore you would use "it's" with the apostrophe in place.
What about words or names ending in 'S'? Where do I put the apostrophe then?
Alas, there's no clear answer to this one. Everyone has their own rule for this and disapproves of any other. The rule I like to apply is one that a university lecturer taught me a while ago. Essentially, if you have a name such as "Chris" and you want to discuss a bike he or she owns, then utter the phrase under your breath. When you say "Chris's bike", do you pronounce the second 's' or do you leave it silent? If you do pronounce the second 's', then write Chris's. If you don't pronounce the second 's', then write Chris', without putting anything after the apostrophe. It really is a matter of personal taste. Just make sure you put an apostrophe either after the 's' on its own, or after the 's' with another 's' following it.
Help! I have a plural that's also a possessive! Where does the apostrophe go?
Ah yes, always a tricky one to a newcomer to grammar. There are two types of plural that can go in here. The first involves terms such as "children". "Children" is already a plural, indicating more than one child. In this case, anything that belongs to multiple children goes between "children" and "s". Hence: The thieves stole the children's Christmas presents.
Trickier plurals are ones that actually have an "s" on the end already. In this case, apply the rule already mentioned for words ending in "s". Never put the apostrophe between the original word and the "s".
For instance, don't do this:
Quote:The children vandalised the thieve's car.[/quote]
The apostrophe is in completely the wrong place for this. The proper arrangement is shown in the example below.
Quote:The children vandalised the thieves' car.[/quote]
I haven't put an additional "s" on the end, because it would not be pronounced if I were saying it out loud.
Where else are apostrophes used?
They are used in words known as "contractions". These are cases where two words have been smushed together or shortened, such as "you've", "don't", "I'm", the above-mentioned "it's" or the lesser-used "ne'er".
Essentially, an apostrophe either indicates that something belongs to someone (a possessive) or that a letter has been omitted (a contraction).
When first applying these rules, you'll need to think about them but they will soon become second nature.
Now, does anyone else have any writing or grammar questions that they think I can answer?
1. Lynne Truss. Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, Profile Books, London, 2003, pp. 36-37.
*grammar defenders unite*
Most excellent Bunly one, I too bow down at the altar of Lynne Truss.
Fortunately, I have a fair grounding in all things grammatical, it is usually the punctuation that lets me down.
I have a question for you - to do with the art of writing conversation, which I am terrible at, but beside that unfortunate hindrance I usually come a cropper - so to speak - at putting in the correct punctuation.
Of course I know the basics - the punctuation marks go inside the inverted commas, what I have problems with is breaking conversation.
'My what big teeth you have.' Said Goldilocks in a breathy voice. 'My Grandma usually has her falsies in!'
'My what big teeth you have,' said Goldilocks in a breathy voice 'my Grandma usually has her falsies in!'
Note the difference - full stop or comma? This is one I ALWAYS have trouble with.
Yours in confusion (but in full support of grammar awareness)
The comma is correct, Rig. I'm 90% sure of that.
Yay for grammar awareness!!!
Actually that's the first thing I discussed in this thread, good Rigel (although I only know this because I glanced over the thread quickly to make sure I hadn't done apostrophes already [img]http://s2.images.proboards.com/smiley.gif" alt=":)" border="0"/> ).
Yes, the comma (or fullstop) always goes within the inverted commas.
Dec 29, 2005, 5:50pm[/url], Rushton[/url] wrote:'My what big teeth you have.' Said Goldilocks in a breathy voice. 'My Grandma usually has her falsies in!'
'My what big teeth you have,' said Goldilocks in a breathy voice 'my Grandma usually has her falsies in!'[/quote]
The correct punctuation for your example would be:
Quote:"My what big teeth you have," said Goldilocks in a breathy voice. "My Grandma usually has her falsies in!"[/quote]
You could optionally swap the fullstop after "voice" for a comma and a lower-case "m" for "my".
There are cases where a fullstop is called for. Take a look at this example:
Quote:"My what big teeth you have." Goldilocks turned her face away from her wolf's vile breath. "My grandma usually has her falsies in!"[/quote]
Correct punctuation for written conversation is not really taught - it's just assumed that you'll know how to do it from reading books. It took me ages to work it out... and I read a lot of books!
I know I've done punctuation. I can't remember whether I learned it from reading, or my parents telling me or school. However, I skipped a year (year 4 in NSW) in school and never really learned the difference between verbs, adjectives, nouns etc. I had a fair bit of trouble in years 5 and 6 because I couldn't remember which one was which and had to guess in tests. Eventually I learned it but it took me a while.
I have a question Bun... Ive always wondered how to use speech marks properly.
For example would it be "I walked along the road and ate an apple." or 'I walked along the road and ate an apple.' I've never eally known, but I have a suspicion that it has something to do with whether it is in first, second or third person. Just thought I'd ask for some of your wisdom good Bun.
It's really a matter of personal preference, good Schis. I've always used double quotation marks, thusly: "I am using quotation marks!" she cried. I've since learnt that Australian and British publishers tend to use single quotation marks, thusly: 'Oh great, just when I'd got used to doing it the other way,' she muttered. It's really up to you. But as an author once advised, if you need to copy and paste your inverted commas to satisfy a publisher, it's much easier to change doubles to singles, rather than the other way around, simply because we also use single quotation marks as apostrophes.
Thnks for that- and for the record I usually use the double ones as they just seem to work better. I noticed in Harry Potter it was only the singular and thought that I might have been doing it wrong or something.
Due to my wonderful Honours monster, I, too, have enjoyed the puzzlement of singular or double quotation marks. In the end, I opted to use doubles for direct quotes (eg, Allison said, "This school is really big") and then singles for specific words or phrases, sorta instead of using italics (eg, Allison considered the 'school environment' to be copious in size blah blah blah-posh-language-blather).
So Schis, just to warp your mind, I'm personally in favour of a mixture, as long as you're consistent with wotever you use them for.
I always got confused with where to put the full stop. I know it's supposed to go within the quatation marks. But something like this is a little more tricky:
With regards to the school environment, the principal believed that the courtyard was "far too large."
Now, I know that grammar expects it to be inside the marks, and I know that my eye-brain coordination is screaming for it to be so. However, an odd part of my logic tells me that the full stop should go outside the marks, because it's like it's just part of the sentence. I know it's wrong, but I always feel irritated that it's wrong, too...I can't explain it, I think it's just a me thing.
Anyway! My real reason to respond to this thread was to post the following example of quotation marks, which I adore:
Mrs Brown said, "The table has funny legs."
"Mrs Brown," said the table, "has funny legs."
Oh! And the other thing that bothers me sometimes: on Microsoft Word, it always wants to have a comma immediately before 'which'. So can anyone *cough*Bun*cough* clarify if there are times when it's acceptable to use 'which' without the comma? Or does it always have to be 'that' without the comma and 'which' with?
Fred the grammatically-correct Gull o' the Sea [img]http://s2.images.proboards.com/wink.gif" alt=";)" border="0"/>
Technically, a phrase that starts with the word "which" is a phrase that is not vital to the sentence. For instance, I might have been tempted to say "a phrase which is not vital to the sentence" just then, but since the phrase was relevant, I used "that" instead. Usually, you would require a comma before the which.
On Christmas Day, which always falls on the twenty-fifth of December, we will give our friends and family presents.
The sentence would make perfect sense without telling someone that Christmas falls on the twenty-fifth, thus a "which" goes in front of it.
I hope that clears it up for you, good Fred. [img]http://s2.images.proboards.com/smiley.gif" alt=":)" border="0"/>
Jan 12, 2006, 10:16pm[/url], Seagull Fred[/url] wrote: With regards to the school environment, the principal believed that the courtyard was "far too large." [/quote]
This is a case of grammar differing from country to country. In Australia and the UK, the closing quotation marks would come before the full-stop, in the US, it would be printed as you see above.
Jan 15, 2006, 11:28pm[/url], Elspeth[/url] wrote: In Australia and the UK, the closing quotation marks would come before the full-stop, in the US, it would be printed as you see above.[/quote]
Aw, man! Are you serious?? *realises it is the Buneater talking, who is never anything less than deadly serious when it comes to grammar* So I would've been right?! That's kinda funny, actually...why? why?! Why must the ironical Gods of Grammar mock me so??
But thank ewe anyway, esp for the info about 'which'. That makes a lot more snese now.
FtS [img]http://s2.images.proboards.com/smiley.gif" alt=":)" border="0"/>
Oooh! Pick me! I have a question!
When using a list, do you need to punctuate it at the end?
This is the right way
This is the right way.
Neither are the right way!
Well it depends...
Yes you should punctuate, but only if the listed item is a complete sentence.
For this project you will need:
One tape dispenser with purple sparkles, that doubles as a shiny hat.
Forty puffy balls, each a different colour.
40 Puffy Balls.
That should be:
40 Puffy Balls
Thank-you, good Rigel. That's a very good job there. [img]http://s2.images.proboards.com/smiley.gif" alt=":)" border="0"/>
*giggles at the thought of 40 puffy balls*
Sorry, it just sounds ridiculously cute.
Thanks Rigel! It makes sense now!
*throws puffy balls at Buneater*
*watches Pickle defend her mum*
Oh, it's all just too cute [img]http://s2.images.proboards.com/tongue.gif" alt=":P" border="0"/>
So, Bunly One...
To poke the 'Grammar Police' with a big stick...
What do you think of the dubious (in my opinion) practise of starting sentences with such words as 'And', 'But' and 'Because'?
I know this is far back in the topic, but I only really learnt most of the grammar I know from an english teacher I had for writing classes in years 11 and 12. She went over our drafts on a fortnightly basis and actually took the time to correct our grammar for us.
Jan 21, 2006, 3:05pm[/url], Rushton[/url] wrote:So, Bunly One...
To poke the 'Grammar Police' with a big stick...
What do you think of the dubious (in my opinion) practise of starting sentences with such words as 'And', 'But' and 'Because'?[/quote]
I have to admit that I'm often quite guilty of breaking this rule. Yes, it's true, you shouldn't start sentences with conjunctions such as "and" or "but", but I often find that doing so creates a better flow in what I'm writing.
It's like I always say - you can't break the rules until you've learnt them.
On the other hand, I do everything possible to avoid ending sentences with prepositions. I very rarely think I should ever do that. [img]http://s2.images.proboards.com/smiley.gif" alt=":)" border="0"/>