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

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

Reading the grammar lessons and having quizzed myself, 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 as I may use one too many:

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 as I was led into thinking that a conjunction (“and”) doesn’t really need a comma since that should be more than enough to connect a subject to a predicate or even finish 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 (or pauses) 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 instances, I’m strong in knowing when to use these punctuation marks, with my only major fault being in when to distinguish using them versus italics as shown in this example below 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 for me and are simple as long as one knows their familiarity with how a word is spelt (hyphens almost always count in spelling).

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 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’m proficient in grammar as a whole with some issues in certain rare usages of punctuation. With that said, I suggest that reading books and other print sources can enhance the learning of sentence and its word-grammar structure as they expose to us how something is properly written considering that authors and editors from around the world follow grammatical rules before publishing a work.

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