AT&D #10. Grammar: Punctuation & Writing Mechanics

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Provide example sentences showing grammar points in action. Which (if any) of the rules did you stumble over?

Reading the lessons and going over some of the quizzes, I have evaluated my performance and here are some of the strengths and weaknesses I took note of:

Major uses of the comma (6/10) – admittedly, I need to brush up on my usage of commas where otherwise I didn’t think I needed it as in the following:

In the old wedding ceremony, brides promised to love, honor, and obey their husbands.

Taking note of the third comma, I didn’t know I had to add one before the and when previously, I used to do just that before I was led to thinking that a conjunction doesn’t need a comma since it should be enough to connect a subject to a predicate or finnish off a sequence of words.

Otherwise, my knowledge of when to use commas is solid given how they need to be used put forth a changing flow in a sentence after establishing the subject as in the following:

While we were eating, a huge delivery truck drove right onto our front lawn.

The apostrophe (10/10) – among my strongest areas, I know the difference between using apostrophes to signify possessives, whether for one person (‘s) or more than one person (s’), like the example:

After a tutoring program was instituted at City College, our chemistry students’ test scores rose dramatically.

Quotation marks (8/10) – except for some minor uses, I’m strong in knowing when to use these punctuation marks, with really my only fault being in when to distinguish in using them versus italics as shown in this example, where the use of quotation marks are needed when referencing the title of a poem:

Andrew Marvell’s most famous poem, “To His Coy Mistress,” is a tightly structured argument.

The hyphen (4/5) – hyphens are easy to me, and are simple as long as one knows their familiarity with how a word is spelt (hyphens almost always count).

Italics (4/5) – knowing the proper usage of these in addressing a work of literature and film, I excel in using italics properly, even for words that have to be stressed that aren’t English words as in the sentence below:

Even though it is almost always hot in Mexico in the summer, you can usually find a cool spot on one of the park benches in the town’s zócalo.

Overall, I would say that I am around proficient in grammar as a whole with some issues with rare/seldom usage of punctuation; with that said, I suggest that reading books and other print sources can enhance the learning of sentence/word grammar structure as it exposes to us how something is written as authors and editors from around the world follow grammatical rules to ensure correctness. For me, I would say, a lot of what I know about where to use quotation marks and apostrophes comes from reading books and familiarizing myself with the structure, and surely anyone reading this can know exactly what I mean.

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