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October 27, 2008

This guide provides instruction on the basic rules of using a period, comma, colon, semicolon, question mark and exclamation point. Each type of punctuation is followed by an explanation and example sentences for reference purposes.


Use a period to end a complete sentence. A sentence is a group of words containing a subject and predicate. In British English a period is called a 'full stop'.


He went to Detroit last week.
They are going to visit.


There are a number of different uses for commas in English. Commas are used to:

  • Separate a list of items. This is one of the most common uses of a comma. Notice that a comma is included before the conjunction 'and' which comes before the final element of a list.


    I like reading, listening to music, taking long walks, and visiting with my friends.
    They would like books, magazines, DVDs, video cassettes, and other learning materials for their library.


  • Separate phrases (clauses). This is especially true after a beginning dependent clause or a long prepositional phrase.


In order to qualify for your certificate, you will need to take the TOEFL exam.
Although he wanted to come, he wasn't able to attend the course.


  • Separate two independent clauses that are connected by a conjunction such as 'but'.


    They wanted to purchase a new car, but their financial situation would not allow it.
    I'd really enjoy seeing a film this evening, and I'd like to go out for a drink.


  • Introduce a direct quote (as opposed to indirect speech i.e. He said he wanted to come ...).


    The boy said, "My father is often away during the week on business trips."
    His doctor replied, "If you don't stop smoking, you run the risk of a heart attack."


  • Separate appositives (a noun, or noun phrase) or non-defining relative clauses.


    Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, comes from Seattle.
    My only sister, who is a fantastic tennis player, is in great shape.


  • Question Mark

    The question mark is used at the end of a question.


    Where do you live?
    How long have they been studying?

    Exclamation Point

    The exclamation point is used at the end of a sentence to indicate great surprise. It is also used for emphasis when making a point. Be careful not to use an exclamation point too often.


    That ride was fantastic!
    I can't believe he is going to marry her!


    There are two uses for a semicolon:

    • To separate two independent clauses. One or both of the clauses are short and the ideas expressed are usually very similar.


      He loves studying; He can't get enough of school.
      What an incredible situation; it must make you nervous.


    • To separate groups of words that are themselves separated by commas.


      I took a holiday and played golf, which I love; read a lot, which I needed to do; and slept late, which I hadn't done for quite a while.
      They plan to study German, for their travels; chemistry, for their work; and literature, for their own enjoyment.



    A colon can be used for two purposes:

    • To provide additional details and explanation.


      He had many reasons for joining the club: to get in shape, to make new friends, to lose some weight, and to get out of the house.
      She gave notice for the following reasons: bad pay, horrible hours, poor relations with colleagues, and her boss.


    • To introduce a direct quote (a comma can also be used in this situation).


      He announced to his friends: "I'm getting married!"
      She cried out: "I never want to see you again!"


    October 25, 2008

    Reported speech is used to express what others have said. It is also useful when you are writing a paper at college level. In this case, it involves paraphrasing and summarizing what different authors have said.

    In spoken discourse there are certain rule to follow. First of all, to make sentences in reported speech you need verbs like say or tell.

    On the other hand the tense used to express and idea is also an important factor. Take into consideration the following chart:

    Direct SpeechReported Speech
    • Present Tense
    • Future with "Going to"
    • Present Perfect
    • Sentences with "Can"
    • Future with "Will"asteis
    • Present Progressive
    • Simple Past Tense
    • Past with "Going to"
    • Past Perfect
    • Sentences with "Could"
    • Sentences with "Would"
    • Past Progressive

    Look at the following examples:

    Direct SpeechReported Speech
    •  Julia:"I live in my own apartment".


    • Nick:"I am going to visit my parents next weekend".


    • Tom:"I have studied Italian for a year".


    • Linda and John: "We can't come to the party next week"

    • Terry: "I'll write as soon as I get there". 


    • Andrew:"I'm learning to cook Chinese food".
    • She said that she lived in her own partment


    • He said he was going to visit his parents next weekend.


    • Tom said he had studied Italina for a year.


    • They said they couldn't come to the party next week.


    • She said that she would write as soon as he got there.


    • He said he was learning to cook Chinese food.



    If you put a command into Reported speech there are some steps which are the same like in statements: (changing of the person, backshift of tenses, changing of expressions of time).

    The form is mostly: form of to tell + to + infinitive.

    Affirmative commandsNegative commands
    Father: "Do your homework."Teacher. "Don't talk to your neighbour."
    Father told me to do my homework.The teacher told me not to talk to my neighbour.



    If you put a question into Reported speech there are some steps which are the same like in statements: (changing of the person, backshift of tenses, changing of expressions of time).

    In Reported speech there is no question anymore, the sentence becomes a statement.
    That's why the word order is: subject - verb

    Question without question words (yes/no questions):
    Peter: "Do you play football?" - Peter asked me whether (if) I played football.

    Question with question words:
    Peter: "When do you play football?" - Peter asked me when I played football.

    If the sentence contains an expression of time, you must change it as well.

    Peter: "I worked in the garden yesterday."
    Peter said that he had worked in the garden the day before.


    this (evening)that (evening)
    today/this daythat day
    these (days)those (days)
    (a week) ago(a week) before
    last weekendthe weekend before / the previous weekend
    next (week)the following (week)
    tomorrowthe next/following day


    If we report something which is still true, it is not necessary to change the verb.
    DIRECT SPEECH: "My car is bigger than yours."
    REPORTED SPEECH: He said his car is / was bigger than mine.

    When we are reporting past tenses, and we see the events from the same viewpoint as the original speaker, it is not necessary to change the tense.
    DIRECT SPEECH: "The earthquake happened at half past seven."
    REPORTED SPEECH: The radio said that the earthquake happened at half past seven.

    Modal verbs could, might, would, should, ought, had better usually do not change in reported speech.
    DIRECT SPEECH: "I should go to the dentist."
    REPORTED SPEECH: He said that he should go to the dentist

    11:54 AM Oct 26 2008



    I am happy that my posts seem to be useful for you my friends! Thank you for your help and support!!! )))

    10:22 AM Oct 26 2008



    Wow!!!The lesson is as colorful as RainboW.You are so exuberant girl with in the way of becoming linguist.Best wishes my friend:)

    08:49 AM Oct 26 2008




    08:35 AM Oct 26 2008


    Saudi Arabia

    great job ..keep going Kiss

    07:41 AM Oct 25 2008



    Egnlish is my hobby! LOL ))) Thanks for comment!

    07:27 AM Oct 25 2008



    thank you for this  laconic and easy understandable grammer lesson :)

    you seem to be workaholic Smile 

    and I find your posts very useful,good luck to you  ....


    October 22, 2008

    Please follow the instructions below carefully. Don't look into result until you've finished the game!
    1. Think of a number between 1 and 10.


    2. Multiply the number by 9.


    3. Add the digits of your result.


    4. Subtract 5 from your new number.


    5. Find the letter that corresponds to your number, if 1 = A, 2 = B, 3 = C, etc.


    6. Think of a country that begins with your letter.


    7. Write down the name of that country.


    8. Think of an animal beginning with the second letter of your country.


    9. Think of the colour of that animal.


    10. Write down the animal and its color.


    11. Think of an animal that begins with the last letter of your country.


    12. Think of a fruit that begins with the last letter of this second animal.


    13. Write down the fruit and the animal.


    Sadly, Denmark is an unlikely place to find grey elephants and orange kangaroos! :)))