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Spelling and Punctuation

Tips and Self-Assessment Quiz On Spelling and Punctuation

Tips on Spelling & Punctuation

Tips on answering questions in English grammar related to Spelling & Punctuation

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Learning Pundits Content Team

Written on Sep 30, 2017 6:01:41 PM

Grammar Rules and Tips for using Punctuation & Spelling


What is Punctuation?


Punctuation is a set of rules to place certain marks in a sentence to indicate division or pauses in that sentence, particularly in written communication.

Types of Punctuation Marks:

(1)  Comma ,

(2)  Full Stop or Period.

(3)  Semicolon ;

(4)  Colon:

(5)  Question Mark?

(6)  Exclamation Mark!

(7)  Dash and Parentheses (-)

(8)  Hyphen -

(9)  Inverted Commas or Quotation Marks “ ”


Tips on using Punctuation:


Tip 1: Use of Comma

1. To separate words in a list:

He lost lands, money, reputation and friends.

2. To write a Noun or a Phrase in Apposition:

Pandit Nehru, the first prime Minister of India, died in 1964.

3. To separate an Adverb clause when it is followed by a main clause:

When the bus arrives, we will board it.

4. for co-ordinate clauses:

His story was, in several ways, improbable.

Sportsmen, who are generally superstitious, prefer to wear same jersey.

5. To indicate the omission of a word, especially a verb:

Rama received a fountain pen; Hari, a watch.

6. To separate Nominative Absolutes:

The wind being favorable, the squadron sailed.

7. To address people:

How are you, Mohan?

8. To separate initials and titles:

Please call on Mr. Sethi, B.A, LLB.

9. To write dates:

He arrived on July 10, 2008 (but no comma required when we write 10th July 2008).

NO USE of COMMA:

a)    When the reported speech is interrogative

“Are you coming today?” she asked.

b)    When the Adjective clause is restrictive in meaning

This is the house that Jack built.

c)    Before the word preceded by ‘and’

It was a long, dull and wearisome journey.


Tip 2: Full Stop

1. To mark the end of a declarative or an imperative sentence

We are leaving for Delhi Tomorrow.

2. After abbreviation and initials of names

He lives in the U.S.A

Mr. A.K. Sharma is our new English teacher.

3. after fractions, amounts, time and date

He leaves at 8.30 a.m

He was born on 4.09.2013

4. after end of address

10, Karol Bagh, New Delhi.


Tip 3: Semicolon & Colon

Semicolon:

1. To separate the clauses of Compound sentence, when they contain a comma

 He was a brave, large-hearted man; and we all honored him.

2. In place of ‘and’, ‘but’, ‘because’ to mark end of one thought and continuation to another.

Man proposes; God disposes.

Colon:

1. before enumeration, examples, etc; as,

The principal parts of a verb in English are: the present tense, the past tense, and the past participle.

2. before a long list, quotation or speech

Wordsworth wrote: Child is father of man.


Tip 4: Questions & Exclamation Marks

Question Mark

1. after a direct question:

Have you written your exercise?

2. after question tag:

They can do it, can’t they?

NO QUESTION MARK after an indirect question

He asked me whether I had written my essay.

Exclamation Mark

1. After Interjections and after Phrases and Sentences expressing joy, sorrow, pride etc

Alas! -- Oh dear!

What a terrible fire this is!


Tip 5: Hyphen

1. To make a compound adjective qualifying a noun

She is a well-known actor.

2. after prefixes to separate two vowels

Co-ordinate the meeting for me.

3. To write prefixes

He is the ex-principal of the college

4. To make compound numbers between 21 and 99

He is gone for twenty-four days

5. To separate or connect the parts of a compound word

They conducted a door-to-door campaign.


Tip 6: Quotes & Dash

Quotes

1. To enclose the exact words of a speaker, or a quotation

The king said “Free the prisoners”.

2. To enclose names of books, poems, essays etc.

I have bought “The Mahabharata” series.

3. If quotation occurs within a quotation, it is marked by single inverted commas

"You might as well say," added the March Hare, "that 'I like what I get' is the same thing as 'I get what I like’.”

Dash

1. To indicate an abrupt stop or change of thought

They are – I am sure – genuine people.

2. To resume a scattered subject

Friends, companions, relatives - all deserted him.


Tip 7: Apostrophe

1. To show possession (used with s)

Give me Rohan’s bag.

2. After plural nouns of proper Nouns apostrophe is used without ‘s’

She lives in a Girls’ hostel.

3. To show the omission of a letter or letters

I don’t need water.

4. To form the plural of letters and figures.

You must learn the P’s and Q’s of a language

NO APOSTROPHE

1. In case of non-living things

The table’s wood wood of the table is shining

2. With pronouns, only ‘s’ is used.

Our’s Ours is a big house


Tip 8: Capitals

1. To begin a sentence.

We are going to watch a movie tonight.

2. for all nouns and pronouns which indicate the Deity or even man in broader sense

He is the God. We worship Him.

3. To begin all Proper Nouns and Adjectives derived from them

He went to Chennai to learn more about Deccan literature.

4. To write interjections

Oh! We are lost.

5. To write a reported speech

She said, “I am not going.”

6. To write first person of the pronoun

She hates me but I don’t hate her.


Tip 9: Numerals

1. If sentence contains one series of numbers, all numbers should be written in figures

She has bought 4 tables and 2 chairs.

2. If sentence contains two series of numbers, one series should be written in figures and another in words

Five students have secured 90%marks and two have secured 60%

3. When one number follows another immediately, the first one should be written in words and the second in figures

The plumber asked for five 4-feet long pipes

4. When a sentence begins with a number, it should be written in words

Fifty people are missing following landslide in Uttarakhand.

5. Compound numbers between 21 and 99 are written in words

There are fifty-three pages in this book.


Spot the Errors:


Each of the following sentences will contain a/some Punctuation mistake/s. See if you can spot that mistake.


#1:

Maldives is a beautiful country, the beaches are warm sandy and clean. (Incorrect)

Maldives is a beautiful country; the beaches are warm, sandy and clean. (Correct)


#2:

Prof RK Mishra will be meeting the local MLA tomorrow at 10-30 am (Incorrect)

Prof. R.K. Mishra will be meeting the local M.L.A tomorrow at 10.30 a.m. (Correct)


#3:

Its cloudy-it may rain. (Incorrect)

It is/it’s cloudy; it may rain. (Correct)


#4:

Please send us the following food items; Biscuits Cakes Chips, and Wafers (Incorrect)

Please send us the following food items: Biscuits, Cakes, Chips and Wafers. (Correct)


#5:

He will succeed: you never. (Incorrect)

He will succeed; you, never. (Correct)


#6:

“Can you help me”, he asked? (Incorrect)

“Can you help me?” he asked. (Correct)


#7:

This house is her’s and she has chosen the wall’s colours. (Incorrect)

This house is hers and she has chosen the colours of the walls. (Correct)


#8:

"O! God," he screamed, I have left the keys inside the car. (Incorrect)

"O God!," he screamed, “I have left the keys inside the car." (Correct)


#9:

He is going to mumbai for 31 days. (Incorrect)

He is going to Mumbai for thirty-one days. (Correct)


#10:

The shopkeeper asked me whether I needed 3 2-feet long rulers? (Incorrect)

The shopkeeper asked me whether I needed three 2-feet long rulers. (Correct)


Tips on Spelling:


Tips on Spelling-Double Consonant:

1.    When words end with single vowel + single consonant, double the consonant. beg + ed = begged---run + ing = running

2.    When words of two or three syllables end with single vowel + single consonant, double the final consonant if the last syllable is stressed.

begin + ing = beginning -- occur + ed = occurred

3.    Double the consonant, while adding ‘er’ or ‘est’ to make comparatives and superlatives. thin-thinner-thinnest--- fat—fatter—fattest

4.    Double the consonant, when making noun from a verb. cut-cutter--run-runner

5.    Double the consonant, when adding ‘Y’ to make an adjective of a noun.

mud-muddy---fun-funny

6.    Double the consonant when the stress is on the first syllable of words ending with ‘at, el, ip, op, il’. Travel-travelled-travelling---worship-worshipped-worshipping.


NO Double Consonant:

1.    If the second syllable is stressed and not the last syllable. listen-listened-listening---benefit + ed = benefited -- suffer + ing = suffering

2.    When there is a suffix with a consonant. Sinful, Sadness, Childhood


Tips on Spelling-Ending with ‘Y’:

1.    Verbs ending with ‘y’ with a consonant before it, change from ‘y’ to ‘i’ before a suffix (ed, er) except ‘-ing’. marry-married- marrying—try-tried-trying

2.    Words ending with ‘y’ with a vowel before it, do not change. Obey-obeyed-obeying—pray-prayed-praying

Exception-: words like Say, Pay, Lay, etc. change only when ‘id’ ‘ly’ are added. Say-said—lay-laid—day-daily.

3.    Nouns and Adjectives ending with ‘y’ with a consonant before them, change from ‘y’ to ‘i’ before a suffix (est, er, full, ly, ness, etc). sunny-sunnier-sunniest—tidy-tidier-tidiest

4.    On reverse, verbs ending with ‘ie’, change to ‘y’ when suffix ‘ing’ is added. lie-lying—die-dying


Tips on Spelling-Ending with ‘e’:

1.    Words ending in silent ‘e’ drop the ‘e’ before a suffix beginning with a vowel. live + ing = living -- move + ed = moved

2.    Words ending in silent ‘e’ drop the ‘e’ when suffix like ‘ing’, ‘able’, ‘ary’ and ‘ous’ are added. fame + ous = famous, stare + ing = staring

3.    Silent ‘e’ is dropped when ‘y’ is added after a noun. taste-tasty—noise-noisy

4.    Silent ‘e’ after the consonant‘t’ is dropped when the suffix ‘tion’ is added at the end. deplete + tion =depletion—pollute + tion + pollution

5.    Adjectives ending with ‘le’, drop the ‘e’ when added with suffix ‘y’. subtle-subtly—sensible-sensibly

6.    Silent ‘e’ is changed to ‘i’ if the word ends with ‘ce’ and the suffix ‘ous’ is added to it. malice + ous + malicious – space + ous = spacious

7.    Words ending in ‘ce’ and ‘ge’ keep the ‘e’ when adding ‘able’ and ‘ous’. notice + able = noticeable--- courage + ous = courageous

8.    Words ending in ‘ee’ do not drop an ‘e’ before a suffix. see + ing = seeing---agree + ment = agreement


Tips on Spelling-Ending with ‘ll’, ‘n’, ‘c’:

1.    When words ending with ‘ll’ are compounded with suffix ‘full’, the second ‘l’ is dropped both from the word and the suffix . skill + full = skilful -- will + full = wilful

2.    When words ending with ‘ll’ are compounded with ‘un’, ‘dis’, ‘in’ or other words, ‘l’ is dropped . all + together= altogether—un + till= until

3.    Adjectives ending with ‘l’ are written with ‘ll’ when suffix ‘y’ is added at end. final-finally—real-really

4.    In words ending with ‘n’, the ‘n’ is retained when suffix ‘ness’ is added at the end. Keen-keenness, mean-meanness

5.    When ie or ei is pronounced like ‘ee’ in ‘keep', ‘i’ comes before ‘e’. But after the letter ‘c’, we always write ‘ei’. believe – receive—relieve—conceit

6.    Words ending with letter ‘c’ are changed to ‘ck’ when adding ‘ed’, ‘er’, ‘ing’. panic-panicked—picnic-picnicker


Tips on Spelling-Making Plurals:

1.    The Plural of nouns is generally formed by adding -s to the singular. Boy-boys---pen- pens.

2.    Nouns ending in -s, -sh, -ch (soft), -o or -x form the plural by adding -es to the singular. class—classes—box-boxes– buffalo-buffaloes

3.    Few nouns ending in -o merely add –s. dynamo-dynamos—ratio - ratios;

4.    Nouns ending in -y, preceded by a consonant, form their plural by changing -y into –I and adding –es. Baby—babies---lady—ladies.

5.    Words ending in -f or -fe form their plural by changing ‘v’ and adding –es. Thief—thieves—wife—wives.

Exception: cliff--cliffs—handkerchief—handkerchiefs– chief—chiefs

6.    Few nouns form their plural by changing the inside vowel of the singular. man—men---foot—feet

7.    Some nouns form their plural by adding -en to the singular. Ox—oxen—child--children.

8.    Words ending with ‘y’ with a consonant before it, change from ‘y’ to ‘ies’ for plural but retain the ‘y’ if it is preceded by a vowel. country—countries—play—plays


Spot the Errors:


Each of the following sentences will contain a/some Spelling mistake/s. See if you can spot that mistake.



#1:

It was the sadest day of my life when I recieved tragic news. (Incorrect)

It was the saddest day of my life when I received tragic news. (Correct)


#2:

It occured to him last week that he was sufferring from jaundice. (Incorrect)

It occurred to him last week that he was suffering from jaundice. (Correct)


#3:

The elder sister had an arranged marryage and the younger one is marriing by her own choice. (Incorrect)

The elder sister had an arranged marriage and the younger one is marrying by her own choice. (Correct)


#4:

He sayed that they praid every day for his speeddy recovery. (Incorrect)

He said that they prayed every day for his speedy recovery. (Correct)


#5:

They will be tieing the knot in a beautyful destination wedding next month. (Incorrect)

They will be tying the knot in a beautiful destination wedding next month. (Correct)


#6:

Finaly he could fullfill his mother’s wish. (Incorrect)

Finally he could fulfil his mother’s wish. (Correct)


#7:

He has loveing personality with some noteable qualities. (Incorrect)

He has a loving personality with some notable qualities. (Correct)


#8:

Please give me three boxs of handkerchieves. (Incorrect)

Please give me three boxes of handkerchiefs. (Correct)


#9:

Theater groups from various countrys are coming to present their playes in the festival. (Incorrect)

Theater groups from various countries are coming to present their plays in the festival. (Correct)


#10:

She paniced after seing the video of the car accident. (Incorrect)

She panicked after seeing the video of the car accident. (Correct)



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Spelling and Punctuation

Tips and Self-Assessment Quiz On Spelling and Punctuation

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