Character Development

This is originally posted to Suite101 University which has been closed and is due to be demolished soon. I wanted to keep the content I’d like to read again myself.
Character Development

By Linda Orlando
IntroductionWhen I was writing my first book, I went searching for tips and techniques from more experienced writers. I wanted my book to be the best it could be. I even joined a writer’s book club and read as many books about writing as I could. I found books on plot, dialogue, even how to write a novel in thirty days. But I found little information available in the many, many writing books on point-of-view or character development. Point-of-view was covered in several books but only in a very superficial manner, just a basic definition of point-of-view and a hard-and-fast rule on which was best. Most of the books I found about character development were generally written from the perspective of character traits or personality. I even found a book that was set up like a thesaurus. It included descriptive terms for physical features, clothing and accessories.

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Inspirational Writing

Originally part of the Suite101 University ecourses offered for free. This content is being removed by Suite101 and I wanted to preserve some of it so others could take the course and for myself to remember the information.

Inspirational Writing

By Sara Quest

Introduction

 

Inspirational publications like “Chicken Soup for the Soul” reveal today’s demand for writers of everyday miracles. Yes, people like you who want to tug hearts are in demand! The original Chicken Soup book expanded to become a series of approximately sixty titles, including ones like “Chicken Soup for the Writers Soul” and “Chicken Soup for the Unsinkable Soul.” All titles combined sold over 75 million copies.

What you are not aware of is, the Chicken authors were once writers with unfathomable dreams. They wanted to share the numerous stories of everyday people like you who inspired them during their motivational speaking careers. And like you, they knew struggle: not one publisher of the one hundred twenty three they approached wanted that original “Chicken Soup” book! But their stories found the way to the right publisher.

The inspirational market is NOW awaiting YOUR contribution!

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Dating for Joy

Each year there is a Valentine’s Day boost for online dating. Then it slacks off awhile. People might have met someone, then been disappointed and take a break from the dating thing until the official end of Winter hibernation. Or, they met someone and it actually worked out. Most likely, in my experience, they met men who were married, or too young and then they lost interest in the male species for awhile. That’s where I am with the dating phenomena.

People tend to have all kind of rules for who they will date. Most of  the rules seem a bit too tightly wound. Like only dating someone who dresses the “right ” way. I’d be happy with a guy who can dress himself (grooming and clothes that don’t fall off/ reveal his boxer shorts) and not be a Momma’s boy. Just Single Parents, just people who want kids, just gay, just straight, just local (dating singles in London, Toronto, Singapore, where ever you are), just dog lovers, these kind of things are important and make a difference to the chances of success right from the start.

It would be fun to create a character who would not work out at all as a date for yourself. Someone no decent dating agency would suggest to you. Not someone too opposite but someone you know would not work out.

Deadward Buffledon

Single Father of 8 teenagers. Deadward likes to unwind with a good book and a lot of country music. He works a farm and keeps a dog kennel on the side. Deadward would love to find a woman to tame his pack of dogs and teenagers so he could travel more.

Bradley Krackford

Looking for a woman he can take home to Mother. Bradley spends more of his time running errands for his Mother. But he does have a part time job working in a video store. Bradley is an old fashioned romantic who reads and writes poetry. He loves to hug and cuddle.

Derk Mackoy

World traveler with a career that keeps him on the go all year round. Would like to find a travel buddy. Derk has a love for the exotic, high fashion and weird science. His future plans include getting two extra arms either biological arms or mechanical, attached to his body.

Blackie Blackthorn

A reformed ladies man, looking to be a one woman type of guy. Owns a successful business, likes fine dining and spending weekends with someone special. Hobbies include adding to his full body tattoo and finding new body parts to pierce.

Professional Writing

This was one of the ecourses offered at Suite101 University. The site is taking down this section, sometime soon. I wanted to keep the content available. It’s well worth keeping.

Professional Writing

By Sara Quest

Introduction

Do you long to call yourself a professional? By taking this two-week course, you will be. This course will provide you with enough resources and contacts to keep your career as a professional writer going long after you’ve stopped reading.

The rewarding career is about to begin: you will be creating your own free websites, which will be nothing short of an online party for professional minded writers. The site will reveal the services you aim to offer future clients. This is an efficient and necessary avenue for displaying and updating services, and for allowing potential clients to view them.

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E-Publishing

This was originally part of the Suite101 University ecourses. They are all being taken down from the site, sometime soon. I have preserved some because they are worth keeping. It seems a shame to lose something which has value and had so much effort put into it’s creation.

E-Publishing

By Dawn Whitmire

Introduction

“Catch the Wave — Become an E- Publisher”

Anyone with a computer will tell you e-commerce and e-publishing are definite waves of the future. More and more e-publishers are popping up over the Internet and it’s not surprising others want a piece of this pie. If you’ve thought about becoming an e-publisher, this course is for you. However, let’s be frank. This is not an easy job where you’ll make quick money overnight. E-publishing takes investment of your time and knowledge. You have to be willing to learn that which you do not know and to find someone who can teach you. If you’re reviewing this course introduction, the thought has crossed your mind or maybe you know someone who is interested in venturing into the wide world of e-publishing. Can we show you how? Absolutely. Can we make you a success? Absolutely … not. That will be up to you. Your success will depend upon your devotion to your task and your drive to succeed. We can give you the steps to take; we cannot infuse you with determination.

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eBooks Have No Feelings

It’s a shame they don’t still make books with hard covers, embossed titles, tissue thin pages between full colour illustrations, fore-edge painting. Those books had texture, they were touchable. New books don’t have that quality and ebooks have none at all.

It seems we always lose something sensual in a real, physical way when we move ahead with new technology. Will everything eventually be hands-off, untouchable in the future? The less people touch things the more it becomes something unusual, scary, even taboo eventually. Think not? What about all those people who won’t wash their hands any more because they’re afraid of germs? They don’t want to touch the taps, the soap, the towel to dry your hands…

I’m just waiting to see someone wearing latex gloves to the bookstore.

Enjoy Dating When you Don’t Have To

There are a lot of dating sites around now. Most of them seem to be spin offs from a few major chains. If you scroll down to the end you can see which one it really is versus the niche domain it’s trying to cover. Large Friends, Christian Friends, Furry Friends, they all end up being part of the same main network. It’s disappointing because they all have the same kind of scam going. They say they are free. Free to join. Free to post your profile. But, they stop being free at the crucial moment. If you use their free search and find someone you want to contact… you’re off the free zone.

I’d really like to find a Dating Agency that worked for me. There are some which are still completely free. You can find them just by searching for that sentence. I’ve written about them before myself.

Today I’m thinking about the fun of reading dating sites, when you know you aren’t really looking for anyone. The best way to do this is to pick a location far from your own. Read about dating in Alaska, dating in Hong Kong, dating in Birmingham, or some place you actually would like to travel to. You might pick up some interesting local culture. Maybe find great places to get a coffee or eat out.

When you’re feeling a bit down about dating in general, that is a great time to read dating sites too. It costs nothing to pick on someone’s profile when you’re not sending them a note or caring about meeting any of them. Find the worst one, the one full of the most nonsense and just be glad that’s not someone you’re ever likely to end up on a blind date with!

Take that dating profile and write a future for him or her. Write as if they do meet someone and things work out for awhile…. and then… Give them a scenario. A love story gone wrong.

  • Man found in Tibet with amnesia, wearing only longjohns and a gap-tooth grin.
  • Dating couple ignite long time family feud due to stubbed toe.
  • Soap actress puts love on hold after birthing triplets with her faithless online lover.
  • Newlyweds split due to irreconcilable differences after alien abduction.
  • Dating lawyers end up duelling in Chinese food restaurant.

You’re the Star of your Documentary

I read a post about documenting life through the photographs we take. I got thinking about how small things that happen can mean a lot and shouldn’t be too easily overlooked. The place you go for coffee, the spot you always like to sit and the same coffee mug they serve you with. Right now it’s common place, every day. In a few years when your life has changed and you live in a different place or whatever else may have happened to you in between… it would be nice to come across a photo of yourself in your coffee place and remember when that moment was nothing special, just every day ordinary.

Think about the things you do which aren’t special. Document them. Write about the event, the situation, all the details – think of it as leaving your future self a note. Then take a photograph too. Or, get someone to photograph you so you can be in your own documentary.

Basic Grammar Skills

This is a free ecourse which was part of Suite101 University. This part of their site is being removed soon. I wanted to keep the ecourses available. There is a lot of information in the courses. It is a shame to lose a great resource.

Basic Grammar Skills

By Janet Blaylock

Introduction

This course is a basic grammar course that will help anyone who is interested in improving their punctuation, capitalization, and sentence structure. The exercises and tests will help increase your skills in these areas and help you to discover your weak areas as well as your strong areas. As a result of increasing your basic grammar skills, you will write more effectively. The list of reference books are for your information. They are not required for the course. I have found them valuable in understanding grammar. These books will also help you to learn how to write term papers and other papers that you are required to write if you attend a college to receive a degree in a specific field.

 

Lesson 1: Parts Of Speech

The parts of speech elements can be quite confusing at times. There are nine parts of speech that we will be discussing. There are also subdivisions that you will learn. For example: Nouns is the first category. There are proper and common nouns.

Introduction

Are you ready to start improving your basic grammar skills? This course is a beginning course to help you get started in improving your grammar skills.

In Lesson One, we will discuss the parts of speech. There are nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections.

 

Lesson 1: Parts Of Speech

Nouns and Pronouns

In this section we will discuss nouns and pronouns since they go together. There are proper, common, concrete, abstract, collective nouns, and compound nouns. We will first talk about proper nouns. Proper NounsProper Nouns name a specific person, place, or thing. For example: John, Carol, Kansas, California, Canada, etc. These are all proper nouns because they name a specific person or place. Let’s look at these examples: 1. Bob 2. Fourth of July 3. Friday 4. Mount Everest 5. Black Beauty Proper nouns are always capitalized. Now let’s look at common nouns. Common Nouns Common Nouns name a general person, place or thing. Here are some examples of common nouns. 1. toy 2. bus 3. car 4. baseball 5. basketball All of these names are not capitalized because they are not specific names of something. Now, let’s look at concrete nouns. Concrete Nouns Marvin Terban states in his book, “Scholastic Guide Checking Your Grammar, that “A concrete noun names a person, animal, place, or thing that you can actually see, touch, taste, hear, or smell.” (32) Here are some examples of concrete nouns. 1. radio 2. spaghetti 3. fire 4. muffins 5. cloud There are also abstract nouns. Abstract Nouns Terban states that “An abstract noun names an idea, feeling, emotion, or quality.” (32) Here are some examples of abstract nouns. 1. beauty 2. anger 3. nature 4. love 5. ability Collective NounsNouns can also be collective. That means that a noun would name a group of people, animals, or things. Let’s look at these examples. 1. crowd 2. audience 3. group 4. family 5. staff The last group of nouns is called Compound Nouns. Compound Nouns A compound noun is made up of two or three words that are used together. Let’s look at these examples. 1. shoelace 2. flashlight 3. high school 4. baby-sitter 5. word processorHow To Identify Nouns Nouns are easy to identify because of the words that precede them. Words such as: a, an, or the always precede a noun. You usually use the word “a” before a noun that begins with a consonant. For example, a ball, a hat, etc. You usually use the word “an” before a noun that begins with a vowel. For example, an apple, an egg, etc. However, this is not always the case. The decision regarding which article to use has to do with how the noun is pronounced. If the first sound of the noun is that of a vowel, “an” is used. If the noun is pronounced with a consonant sound, then “a” is used. For example you’d say “an honour,” but “a unicorn.”

Exercise See if you can identify the nouns in the following sentences: 1. The boy threw the ball, and it went into the street. 2. Tom and Mary decided to go to the store to buy a few groceries. 3. Sadey likes to play with the plastic ball I gave her. 4. The computer didn’t work the other day. When I took it in, I found out the hard drive wasn’t any good. 5. The store clerk sold me a used computer which works better than the computer I had. Part Two – Pronouns Pronouns refer to a specific person, place or thing. There are first person, second person, and third person pronouns. These pronouns can either be singular or plural Personal Pronouns – Singular First personal pronouns are I, me, my, and mine. Second personal pronouns are you, your, and yours. Third personal pronouns are he, she, him, her, his, hers, her, it, and its. Exercises See if you can find the pronouns in the following sentences: 1. Tom went to the ballgame after he finished supper. 2. Mary, Carol, and I went shopping last weekend. 3. Sara went to the store after she got off work. 4. Christy likes to solve cases as well as read books. She also write in her journal before she goes to bed. 5. Can I go to the toy store today, Mom?Personal Pronouns – Plural First personal pronouns are we, us, our, and ours. Second personal pronouns are you, your, and yours. Third personal pronouns are they, them, their, and theirs. Exercises See if you can find the personal pronouns that are plural in the following sentences: 1. We are going shopping this weekend. 2. Today you are going to clean up your room after you eat. 3. They will be going to a movie tonight. 4. Christy and Megan like to read their mystery books before they go to bed. 5. The substitute teacher suggested they have an extra recess since they were good that day. All of the exercises above are for your own use.

Lesson 1: Parts Of Speech

Singular and Plural Nouns

In this section, you will the difference between singular nouns and plural nouns. In the lesson on spelling, you will learn about the different rules and exceptions on making nouns plural.

Nouns can either be singular or plural. We will first look at singular nouns.

Singular Nouns

A singular noun names one specific person, place, or thing. Here are some singular nouns: ball, bat, glove, hat, car, or top.

Exercises See if you can locate the singular nouns in the following sentences.

1. The ball went over the fence, and the boys ran to get it.

2. The dogs chased the cat up the tree.

3. The boy caught three fish yesterday when he went fishing.

4. The puppy likes to run around the yard.

5. The rainbow looked beautiful after the hard rain we had.

6. The catcher caught a fly ball in his glove.

7. The deer ran quickly into the woods.

8. The fox hid among the bushes in the forest.

9. The baby cried because she was hungry.

10. The preschooler spun the top.

Were you able to spot the singular nouns? Lets find out.

Here are the answers:

1. ball and fence

2. cat and tree

3. boy and fish

4. puppy and yard

5. rainbow and rain

6. catcher, ball, and glove

7. deer and woods

8. fox, bushes, forest

9. baby

10. preschooler and top

Plural Nouns

Plural nouns name more than one noun. For example: balls, cats, dogs, toys, hats, cars, clothes, or computers. These nouns are plural nouns because of the added s or es to the end of the singular noun.

Exercises See if you can locate the plural nouns in these sentences.

1. The dogs chased the cat over the fence.

2. The computer printers didn’t work. One was out of ink, and the other one stalled.

3. Sadey likes to play with her toys. She has a plastic ball, shoe, and bone.

4. Their mother entered the room and said, “Girls, it’s time for you to go to bed.

5. The neighbor’s dogs barked all night long and kept us awake.

6. The children didn’t pick up their toys before supper.

7. The women gathered together for a bridal shower.

8. The buses were late this morning.

9. The men gathered together for bowling.

10. The fish swam all around the pond.

Were you able to locate the answers to these five sentences?

Lets find out.

1. dogs

2. printers

3. toys

4. girls

5. dogs

6. children and toys

7. women

8. buses

9. men

10. fish

Lesson 1: Parts Of Speech

Verbs, Adjectives, and Adverbs

In this lesson, we will discuss verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.

Verbs

Once you have located the subject, the verbs are easy to find. A verb can be active or passive. If the subject is doing the action, the verb is active. If the subject is receiving the action, then the verb is passive. Let’s look at some examples.

Active Verbs

1. The cat chased the ball in the living room.

Cat is the subject. Chased is the verb. It shows what the cat is doing.

2. Tom and Mary read their science fiction books every night.

Tom and Mary are the subjects. Read is the verb.

Passive Verbs

A passive verb is identified by a helping verb. It doesn’t show action. The subject is receiving the action.

For example in the following sentence, the subject isn’t doing any action: Tom was given an award for completing his course with honors.

Tom is the subject. Was given is the verb. It shows that Tom was receiving an award.

For further information on active and passive voice, the book “Essentials of English Grammar” by L. Sue Baugh is an excellent resource book. It covers every aspect of basic grammar.

Now, let’s look at some exercises.

Exercises

See if you can identify the verbs in the following sentences and tell whether they are active or passive.

1. The mailman was here yesterday but not today.

2. We watched a great mystery on television last night.

3. Sadey played with Penny in the morning.

4. Penny’s door was slightly ajar when she returned home.

5. The mailman delivered our mail.

These exercises are for your own benefit. I will devote a section to exercises that you will submit to me by e-mail.

Adjectives

An adjective describes a noun.

For example: The red ball went into the yard. Red is the adjective. It describes the noun, ball.

Exercises See if you can find the adjectives in the following sentences.

(1) The squirrels come on our screen porch and take peanuts out of the green bowl and drink water from the red bowl.

(2) Sadey likes to play with her black and white squeaky ball.

(3) Abby likes to run out of the bedroom and lick out Penny and Tippy’s blue bowls.

(4) There were red and white flowers in the flower bed.

(5) When Tippy was a puppy, he liked to crawl under the coffee table and hide.

Adverbs

Ad adverb describes a verb. For example. The cat ran quickly up the tree. Quickly is the adverb. It describes how the cat ran up the tree.

Exercises See if you can locate the adverbs in these sentences.

(1) The squirrels quickly dashed up the tree.

(2) I finally got some printer paper for my printer.

(3) The carpet was laid evenly over the floor.

(4) The Rottweilers bark ferociously at anyone they see.

(5) Tippy came inside immediately when I shouted the word bread.

Lesson 1: Parts Of Speech

Prepositions

In this section you will learn about prepositions.

Marvin Terban in his book “Scholastic Guides Checking Your Grammar” says “A preposition is a word that shows the relationship of one word in a sentence to another word.

The four things that prepositions tell are 1) where something is (location); 2) where something is going (direction); 3) when something happens (time); 4) the relationship between a noun or a pronoun and another word in a sentence.” (74)

The following list of prepositions was taken from the book, “The Rules of the Game An Introductory English Grammar” by Howard Faulkner. I highly recommend this book.

 

This is a partial list of prepositions: at, by, for, from, in, of, on, to, with, about, after, against, before, between.

Look at these exercises and see if you can locate the preposition.

Exercises

(1) Megan sat by the phone waiting for her boyfriend to call.

(2) Tina, who was six, sat eagerly on the piano bench waiting for her first piano lesson.

(3) Sadey and Abby dashed upon the bed to lie down.

(4) I am hoping Christy can go to the store with me after work.

(5) We like to read our favorite mystery books.

Prepositional Phrases

A preposition is also the first word of a prepositional phrase. Prepositional phrases can be made up of two or more words. Also, each prepositional phrase has an object.

Let’s look at the following exercises and see if you can find the prepositional phrases.

Exercises

1. It’s time to go to the store.

2. I enjoy going to the theater and watching mysteries.

3. One of my favorite mystery writers is Catherine Coulter.

4. When it rained, my car had water on the inside of it.

5. The basketball players played as well as they could.

According to Howard Faulkner in his book, objects of prepositional phrases can be nouns, pronouns, gerunds, and noun clauses. For more information, review page 155 of the book mentioned above.

The following examples can be found in the book by Howard Faulkner on page 155.

“Noun: In biology, we dissected a frog.

Pronoun: Just between you and me, it was not pleasant.

Gerund: By examining the insides, I learned a great deal.

Noun clause: I am proud of what I learned.”

In the first sentence, biology is the object of the prepositional phrase.

In the second sentence, the phrase you and me is the object.

In the third sentence, the phrase examining the insides is the object.

In the last sentence, what I learned is the object.

Lesson 1: Parts Of Speech

Conjunctions and Interjections

In this section, you will learn about conjunctions and interjections

Conjunctions

There are two kinds of conjunctions: coordinate and subordinate.

Coordinate Conjunctions

Coordinate Conjunctions joins word, phrases, or independent clauses.

Here is a list of coordinating conjunctions: and, nor, but, for, yet, so, and or.

There is more information on conjunctions on pages 78 to 80 in “Scholastic Guides Checking Your Grammar” by Marvin. I recommend this book because it is easy to read and understand.

Let’s look at some sentences that have coordinating conjunctions.

Exercises

1. You can go to the movie this weekend, but you have to finish your homework first.

2. We cleaned up our rooms so we could go to the park.

3. Tom and Mary liked to go swimming, and they like to eat out.

4. It’s been raining hard everyday, so I hope it quits soon.

5. We can rent a video, or we can go to the movies.

These exercises are for your benefit. You will be submitting exercises at the end of this lesson.

Subordinate Conjunctions

Subordinate Conjunctions: These conjunctions join a dependent clause and an independent clause. Dependent clauses cannot stand alone like the independent clauses. As a result, the dependent clause needs a subordinate conjunction to join the independent clause.

Here are some examples of subordinate conjunctions: after, although, before, so, unless, whether, wherever, since, once, etc.

Let’s look at some exercises and see if you can find the subordinating conjunctions.

Exercises

1. While you stay home, I’ll go to the store.

2. We can go shopping unless you need to do something else.

3. It’s time to go to school if you are ready to go.

4. Before we go to the movies, we can get something to eat.

5. I’m eager to see this video after we get our homework done.

Interjections

Interjections express strong emotions. They can be used alone or as a part of the sentence. For example: Oh! That was great.

Sometimes you might just say the word “Oh!”

The most common interjections are “Well, “Oh, or Ouch.”

Here is an example of an Interjection: “Oh no! Why did that happen?”

This example shows a strong emotion. The speaker seems upset about something that happened.

Lesson 1: Parts Of Speech

Review of Parts of Speech – Exercises

The following exercises cover the first lesson titled “Parts of Speech.”

Part One – Nouns and Pronouns

Directions: Identify the nouns and pronouns in the following sentences.

1. Jenny liked her new classes in college.

2. Tim was happy about being accepted as a contributing editor.

3. Jim plays on his skateboard every day after school.

4. I like to write in my journal every day before I go to bed.

5. Christy and Megan read in their favorite mystery books.

6. Penny came home and saw her apartment door slightly ajar. She wondered who had been in her apartment and why.

7. Christy enjoys working on her new computer. She likes to check her e-mail throughout the day.

8. Megan likes to check out the writer’s wanted ads on the internet.

9. Penny is an amateur detective and stores her personal information in her computer. She has a password so that nobody can retrieve her information.

10. Penny was frightened about someone breaking into her apartment, so she escaped to a deserted island.

Part Two – Verbs, Adverbs, and Adjectives

Directions: The following sentences have some errors. See if you can locate all of the errors. 1. Tom likes to play the guitar, but he don’t knew how to play bar chords.

2. Tom and Mary like going for walks, but they like watching movies funny better.

3. He doesn’t enjoy coloring with markers, but he do like colored pencils.

4. The football game isn’t going the way the coach wanted it to go.

5. The graduating class goes to the party after they graduated that night. They stayed up most of the night.

6. Abby and Sadey plays after supper until they went to bed.

7. The dark clouds form above and it started to thunder.

8. After the rain, Megan sees a rainbow in the clouds.

9. Abby brings in coffee for them and set it on the table.

10. The thunder was so loud that it feels like a sonic bomb.

Lesson 1: Parts Of Speech

Bibliography

Faulkner, Howard The Rules of the Game An Introductory English Grammar. Xlibris Corp. December, 2000.

Terban, Marvin Scholastic Guides Checking Your Grammar. Scholastic, Inc. New York. August, 1994.

Lesson 2: Spelling

Do you have trouble with spelling? This lesson will help you understand about prefixes, suffixes, how to form plurals of nouns, the i and e spelling rule, word division, and contractions. By learning these rules, you will improve your spelling.

Introduction

In this lesson, you will learn about prefixes, suffixes, how to form plurals of nouns, the i and e spelling rule, word division, and contractions. By improving your spelling, you will develop better writing skills.

Lesson 2: Spelling

Adding Prefixes

In this section, you will learn about the spelling rules using prefixes.

Spelling is sometimes difficult for people because there are so many rules to follow.

A prefix is a letter or a group of letters that are added at the beginning of a word to make a new word with a new meaning. Now lets look at some words using prefixes.

Words using prefixes

1. remove

2. impossible

3. misused

4. decode

5. disbelief

Adding Prefixes

The root word remains the same even though you are adding a prefix. The following lists are examples of different prefixes and words such as: de, dis, re, etc.

de – Adding this prefix means a reversal or removal.

The word defrost means to remove the frost.

Exercise

Directions: Write out the following words.

1. de + frost =

2. de + cline =

3. de + part =

4. de + duct =

5. de + lay =

dis – Adding this prefix means the opposite.

The word disagree means to not agree.

Exercise

Directions: Write out the following words.

1. dis + agree =

2. dis + approve =

3. dis + connected =

4. dis + appointed =

5. dis + cover =

inter – Adding this prefix means among or between.

For example: inter + cept = intercept. A football player intercepted the toss.

Exercise

Directions: Write out the following words.

1. inter + cede =

2. inter + state =

3. inter + lude =

4. inter + cept =

5. inter + nal =

intra or intro – Adding this prefix means inward or within.

For example: intro + duce = introduce. Introduce means to bring to acquaintance with another person.

Exercises

Directions: Write out the following words.

1. intro + duction =

2. intro + vert =

3. intra + state =

4. intro + duce =

5. intro + ductory =

mis – Adding this prefix means bad, poorly, or not.

For example: mis + take = mistake. You have made a mistake in your work. In other words, your answer is not right.

Exercise

Directions: Write out the following words.

1. mis + trust =

2. mis + understand =

3. mis + inform =

4. mis + fortune =

5. mis + guide =

non – Adding this prefix means not.

For example: non + chalant = nonchalant. Nonchalant means without concern.

Exercises

Directions: Write out the following words.

1. non + chalant =

2. non + sense =

3. non + committal =

4. non + conformist =

5. non + descript =

re – Adding this prefix means to remove or do it again.

Exercises

Directions: Write out the following words.

1. re + move =

2. re + do =

3. re + new =

4. re + solve =

5. re + duce =

pre – Adding this prefix means before.

For example prehistoric.

1. pre + ceding =

2. pre + vent =

3. pre + scription =

4. pre + lude =

5. pre + sent =

post = Adding this prefix means after.

For example: postoperative

Directions: Write out the following words.

1. post + script =

2. post + mark =

3. post + paid =

4. post + pone =

5. post + graduate =

pro – Adding this prefix means forward, in place of, favoring.

For example: pro + ceed = proceed. It means to move forward.

Exercise

Write out the following words

1. pro + noun =

2. pro + ceed =

3. pro + claim =

4. pro + duction =

5. pro + fess =

Other prefixes and their meanings are found in the book, “Essentials of English Grammar” by L. Sue Baugh on pages 84 to 86.

Lesson 2: Spelling

Adding Suffixes

In this section you will learn about adding suffixes to words.

A suffix is two or more letters that are added to the end of a word. A suffix changes the meaning if the word. Here are a few examples:

-er added to a word makes the word mean “one who” as in

teach + er = teacher – one who teaches
write + er = writer – one who writes

-ness added to a word makes the mord mean “the state, quality, or condition of being” as in

good + ness= goodness – the state of being good
quiet + ness = quietness – the quality of being quiet

-ly added to a word makes the word mean “in a way that is” as in

gradual + ly = gradually – in a gradual way
reluctant + ly = reluctantly – in a way that is reluctant

In most cases the spelling of the word doesn’t change, but in many cases it does.

Here are some examples where the spelling of the word doesn’t change. sly + ly = slyly

awkward + ness = awkwardness

work + able = workable

Sometimes the spelling of words does change. The following ways to add suffixes are examples that show how the spelling of words change when a suffix is added.

Adding full to the end of a word.

When you had the word full to the end of a word, you must drop the second l. For example: awe full – awful Here, you also drop the e in awe.

Exercises

How would you write these words? Think about these words and how you would write them. You will be given exercises later on to submit for grading.

1. Beauty full =

2. Cheer full =

3. Faith full =

4. Play full =

5. harm full =

Adding y or a suffix that begins with a vowel to words ending in a silent e.

You are to drop the e and add the suffix. Look at these words and think about how you would write them.

1. abuse ive =

2. love able =

3. divide ing =

4. tame est =

5. nature al =

Adding suffixes to words that end in ge or ce

When you have words that end in ge or ce, you do not drop the final e.

For example: change able = changeable or knowledge + able = knowledgeable

Exercises

1. change + able =

2. notice + able =

3. manage + able =

4. knowledge + able =

5. service + able =

Adding ing to words

The ending -ing is a verb ending. When you add ing to words that end in ie, you drop the e and change the y to i. Then you add the ing. For example: die ing = dying.

Look at these words and think about how you would write them.

1. die ing =

2. lie ing =

3. tie ing =

4. hoe ing =

5. canoe ing =

Adding suffixes that do not end in vowels or y, you do not drop the final e.

For example: arrange ment = arrangement.

Look at this exercises and see how you would write these words.

1. arrange ment =

2. care less =

3. safe ly =

4. sincere ly =

5. forgive ness =

Adding suffixes that begin with a consonant

You keep the final e if the suffix begins with a consonant. Here are some examples:

care + less = careless

forgive + ness = forgiveness

safe + ty = safety

There are some exceptions to this rule.

Exceptions

Here is a list of words that are exceptions to dropping the e when a suffix begins with a consonant:

awe + full = awful

incredible + ly = incredibly

twelve + th = twelfth

whole + ly = wholly

Exercises

Look at these exercises and see how you would write these words.

1. possible ly =

2. wide th =

3. wise dom =

4. true ly =

5. judge ment =

The final e when you add the suffix ment

The final e is dropped when you add the suffix ment to a word. Two examples are judge + ment = judgment and acknowledge + ment = acknowledgment.

However, there are some exceptions. For example: encourage + ment = encouragement, achieve + ment = achievement, and enhance + ment = enhancement.

Exercises

1. judge + ment =

2. achieve + ment =

3. acknowledge + ment =

4. enchance + ment =

5. emcourage + ment =

 

For more information on suffixes, check out pages 102-106 in “Scholastic Guides Checking Your Grammar” by Marvin Terban.

Also, L. Sue Baugh has an excellent section on suffixes in her book, “Essentials of English Grammar.” The pages are 86-92.

These two books are for your own reference if you would like to purchase them. They are not required for the course.

Lesson 2: Spelling

How to Form Plural Nouns?

In this section you will be learning how to make nouns plural.

Adding s

For the most part, when you make a noun plural, you just need to add an s to a singular noun.

Let’s look at these examples:

1. dog + s = dogs

2. cat + s = cats

3. toy + s = toys

4. bird + s = toys

5. girl + s = girls

All of these words are singular nouns. To make them plural you just need to add an s.

Adding es to singular nouns.

When a singular noun ends in s, ch, sh, x, or z, then you add es to the ending.

Let’s look at these examples:

dress + es = dresses

church + es = churches

brush + es = brushes

fox + es = foxes

buzz + es = buzzes

These words all need to have an es added to the singular noun.

Nouns ending in f.

If you have a singular noun that ends in f or fe, then you need to change the f to a v and add es.

Here are some examples:

1. knife = knives

2. half = halves

3. leaf = leaves

4. wife = wives

However, here are a couple of exceptions to this rule. For example, bluff = bluffs and waif = waifs.

Adding s to a word ending in y with a vowel before it.

When you add s to a word that ends in a y, and the letter before it is a vowel, you just add the s.

Lets look at these examples:

1. toy = toys

2. boy = boys

3. key = keys

4. turkey = turkeys

Making a word plural that ends in y with a consonant before it.

When you have a word that ends in y and there is a consonant before it, then you drop the y and add ies.

Lets look at these examples:

1. puppy = puppies

2. dictionary = dictionaries

3. penny = pennies

4. try = tries

5. cry = cries

6. fly = flies

7. twenty = twenties

8. forty = forties

9. spy = spies

10. army = armies

Irregular Plural Nouns

There are several irregular plural nouns. That means that these words are either singular or plural words such as sheep, or the plural form is changed such as foot to feet. Here are a few more of the irregular plural nouns.

1. foot = feet

2. alga = algae

3. woman = women

4. die = dice

5. child = children

6. alumna = alumnae

7. man = men

8. ox = oxen

9. deer = deer

10. buffalo = buffalos, buffaloes, or buffalo

Exercises

Just for practice, how would you change these words into plurals?

1. dog =

2. animal =

3. toy =

4. book =

5. puppy =

6. potato =

7. tomato =

8. cookie =

9. baby =

10. child =

11. woman =

12. horse =

13. man =

14. girl =

15. mouse =

16. tooth =

17. scarf =

18. sheep =

19. goose =

20. foot =

21. nose =

22. shoe =

23. deer =

24. alga =

25. dwarf =

26. swine =

27. crisis =

28. cactus =

29. fish =

30. moose =

For more information on how to form plurals of nouns, check out pages 28-31 in the book “Scholastic Guides Checking Your Grammar” by Marvin Terban. This book is not required for the course.

Lesson 2: Spelling

Spelling Rules and Word Division

In this section, you will learn about spelling rules and word division.

Part One – Spelling Rules

I and E Rules

The basic spelling rule about i and e is the following: i before e except after c or as sounding as a in neighbor and weigh.

This is a real easy rule to follow. If you think about this rule when you are writing words that use i and e, then you shouldn’t have any trouble spelling those words.

Here is a list of words for you to think about.

1. weigh

2. neighbor

3. chief

4. thief

5. brief

Think about the above list. Do these words follow the rules above?

The answer is no. Not all of the words listed above follow the i and e rule.

Here is a list of words that you need to be aware of:

1. weird

2. being

3. heir

4. neither

5. protein

Exercises

Look at the following words and see which ones are spelled correctly.

1. concieve –

2. recieve –

3. wieght –

4. reindeer –

5. tie –

6. retreive –

7. vien –

8. cheif –

9. conceit –

10. frieght –

11. believe –

12. pie –

13. unweildy –

14. reciept –

15. cieling –

This exercise is for your own use.

The material for this section came from the book, “Scholastic Guides Checking Your Grammar” by Marvin Terban.

I highly recommend this book for a reference book. It is easy to read and understand. Even though it is geared to children, adults who have been struggling with grammar, will find this a valuable resource. It is not required for the course.

Part Two – Word Division

Word division is an important aspect to learn. So many people aren’t sure when to divide words. Here are a few rules for you to remember.

One Syllable Words

The important point to remember about one syllable words is to not divide these words. Here are some examples of one syllable words.

1. brush

2. mashed

3. point

4. cough

5. vibes

Words Beginning With Single Letters

When you have words that begin with single letters, you never divide the word before or after the single letter such as in anemia = a-nemia or anemi-a

Here are some examples of words that have single letters.

1. able

2. utopia

3. icy

4. above

5. unit

Words With Internal Single Vowels

Words that have internal single vowels should never be divided after the vowel. Here are some examples of words with internal vowels.

1. visitation

2. oxygen

3. maximum

Suffixes ending in able or ible

Words with these endings are divided before the vowel and not after it. For example: accountable = account-able Here are some other words.

1. answerable

2. probable

3. collapsible

4. divisible

All of these words can be divided before the ending. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule.

For example: charitable = char-i-ta-ble, capable = ca-pa-ble

These words don’t have the single letter standing alone and need to be divided after the vowel.

For other information about word division, you can look in just about any grammar book. The one I used for this information is “The Vest-Pocket Writer’s Guide.” It’s an excellent little guide book on different aspects of grammar and writing. It is not required for the course.

Lesson 2: Spelling

Contractions

Contractions can be tricky. An apostrophe is used in place of a letter or letters. The following examples will help you understand more about contractions.

Contractions

An apostrophe is used in contractions. For example: it’s stands for it is. The apostrophe is replacing one or more letters.

1. Can’t – cannot

2. Isn’t – is not

3. Won’t – will not

4. I’ll – I will

5 we’ve – we have

There are different ways that contractions are formed. They can be formed by using a pronoun and a verb, a verb plus not, there plus a verb, and words plus is and has.

Let’s first examine pronouns plus a verb.

Contractions Using Pronouns and a Verb

Here are some examples of pronouns and a verb.

1. I will = I’ll

2. I am = I’m

3. they have = they’ve

4. we have = we’ve

5. they will = they’ll

Exercise

Directions: Change the following words to contractions.

1. I am =

2. I would or I had =

3. I will =

4. I have =

5. we have =

6. they will =

7. who is or who has =

8. that will =

9. let us =

10. it is or it has =

Now, let’s look at contractions made from a verb plus not.

Contractions Using A Verb Plus Not

Here are some examples:

1. will not = won’t

2. is not = isn’t

3. were not = weren’t

4. would not = wouldn’t

5. should not = shouldn’t

Exercise

Directions: Change the following words into contractions.

1. is not =

2. will not =

3. are not =

4. have not =

5. would not =

6. were not =

7. should not =

8. must not =

9. has not =

10. had not =

Contractions Using There Plus a Verb

Here are some examples of contractions using there plus a verb.

1. there is or there has = there’s

2. there would, there had = there’d

3. there will = there’ll

4. there have = there’ve

Exercises

Directions: Change the following contractions into the words.

1. there’d =

2. there’s =

3. there’ve =

4. there ‘ll =

Now, let’s look at the contractions that are formed from words and is and has.

Contractions Using Words and is and has

Here are some examples of contractions using words and is and has.

1. that is or that has = that’s

2. what is or what has = what’s

3. who is or who has = who’s

4. here is or here has = here’s

Exercises

Directions: Write the words that stand for the following contractions.

1. what’s =

2. here’s =

3. that’s =

4. who’s =

This information was found in the book “Scholastic Guides Checking Your Grammar” by Marvin Terban on pages 126-128.

Lesson 2: Spelling

Spelling Review – Exercises

These exercises cover the material presented in the lesson. Read the directions for each section carefully.

Prefixes

Directions: Choose the correct letter or letters for the following prefixes. There could be more than one correct answer.

1. inter

a. move b. cover c. operative d. state

2. pre

a. move b. cover c. vent d. part 3. dis

a. wake b. move c. cover d. vent

4. re

a. move b. part c. see d. warn

5. non

a. move b. party c. essential d. clude

6. mis

a. take b. move c. cover d. party

7. pro

a. noun b. move c. lead d. cover

8. de

a. stroy b. move c. toy d. cline

9. post

a. after b. script c. over d. turn

10. semi

a. circle b. move c. back d. square

Suffixes

Directions: Look at the following words and change the words that are not correct.

1. aufull

2. carefull

3. abuseive

4. scarey

5. gracefull

6. noticeable

7. acreage

8. mileage

9. tamest

10. natureal

11. dieing

12. hoeing

13. careless

14. wideth

15. terribly

How To Make Nouns Plural

Directions: Look at the following and see if the words are spelled correctly. All of these words should be in the plural form.

1. dresess

2. exites

3. familys

4. clothes

5. toyes

6. illnesses

7. women

8. man

9. sheep

10. oxes

Contractions

Directions: Insert the apostrophes in the correct spot. Then, write the two words that the contraction stand for.

1. Its

2. Cant

3. Wont

4. Ill

5. Well

6. Isnt

7. Havent

8. Theyve

9. were

10. thats

Lesson 2: Spelling

Bibliography

Baugh, L. Sue. Essentials of English Grammar. 2nd edition. Passport Books.

Terban, Marvin. Scholastic Guides Checking Your Grammar.

The Vest-Pocket Writer’s GUide. Houghton Mifflin Publishers. Aug., 1987.

Lesson 3: Punctuation and Capitalization

In this section, you will learn about punctuation marks and when to capitalize words.

Introduction

Punctuation can be really tricky at times. In this lesson, we will be studying the different punctuation marks: commas, semi-colons, periods, question marks, exclamation points, colons, dashes, quotation marks, and apostrophes. You will also be studying capitalization.

When you finished this lesson, you should have a better understanding of how to punctuate correctly.

Lesson 3: Punctuation and Capitalization

Commas and Semi-colons

In this section you will learn how to use commas and semi-colons.

Commas

Commas are placed in sentences where there are two independent clauses joined by a co-ordinating conjunction such as and, or, but, for, or, nor. Let’s look at the following sentences.

1. Would you like to go to the movie first or would you like to eat?

2. We can go to the union to sit and relax but we need to clean up the house first.

3. Megan and Christy like to be sneaky and to write in their journals.

4. Penny and Sadey like to play with each other and they like to have their own separate times.

5. I enjoy reading and writing mystery stories.

Which sentences need commas? Be careful. Some of the sentences don’t require commas.

If you said that Numbers 1, 2, and 4 require commas, you are right. In sentence number 3 and 5, there are not two complete sentences. Therefore, a comma is not required.

Semi-colons

Semi-colons are used in between two independent clauses when there is not a co-ordinating conjunction.

Example: Penny was frightened; she entered her apartment.

They are also used in between two independent clauses with a subordinate conjunction. One rule to remember is to never use a comma before the word because in a sentence.

Let’s look at these examples.

1. We can go to the mall; however, the dishes need to be done.

2. Will you come with me to the hospital because I’m not feeling very good?

They are also used in a series if there are other internal punctuation marks such as commas.

Let’s look at this example.

We order printer paper; two packages of good, quality paper, and two packages of cheaper paper; and pens; two packages of blue pens, two packages of red pens, and two packages of black pens.

Because there are commas separating the items purchased, then, the semi-colons are placed within the sentence to separate the two purchases.

The following two books are excellent resource books, but they are not required for the course.

The book, “Essentials of English Grammar” by L. Sue Baugh has a good section on punctuation. The pages are 34-49.

Also, “Scholastic Guides Checking Your Grammar” by Marvin Terban is another excellent reference on punctuation. The pages are 84-97.

Lesson 3: Punctuation and Capitalization

Periods, Question Marks, and Exclamation Points

This section will go over the sentences and what kind of punctuation mark you use.

Periods

Periods are used in the following ways: at the end of a declarative sentence, at the end of an imperative sentence, in initials, after abbreviations. Let’s look at each one of these.

Declarative Sentences

A declarative sentence is a telling statement such as: We are going to the store.

Let’s look at some examples.

1. I enjoy watching mysteries.

2. I like reading suspense books.

3. Tom and Cindy went to the movies Saturday night.

4. Sadey enjoys her pet taxi.

5. Tippy likes being outside when it’s cool.

These are all telling readers about something. Now, let’s look at imperative sentences.

Imperative Sentences

An imperative sentence makes a request, gives an instruction, or states a mild order. Let’s look at some examples.

1. Always shut off the computer before you go to bed.

2. Never cross the street without looking both ways.

3. Let’s look at some examples of pronouns.

4. Please come here so we can see what’s wrong.

5. Please raise your hand before you speak in class.

Now let’s look at the other ways you can use periods.

Initials and Abbreviations

Periods are used after most initials. For example: J. P. Smith. Here are some other examples.

1. Mary K. Thompson

2. Robert J. Keen

3. R. J. Lincoln

4. Linda J. Morgan

5. S. L. Jenkins

Periods are also used after most abbreviations. Here are some examples

1. P.O. Box 4113

2. 115 Lincoln Ave.

3. 1823 W. 20th Terr.

4. Mt. Everest

5. St. Louis

Periods are not used after state abbreviations such as: MA, NY, FL, KS, MO

Question Marks

Question marks are used at the end of a question. For example, if the sentence is asking something, then you use a question mark.

Example: “Megan, can you come here?” Christy asked.

Christy is asking Megan a question. Questions need a response.

Exclamation Points

Exclamation Points are used in excitement For example, you would use an exclamation point in the following sentence.

Wow! That is super!

You are stressing the excitement.

Exercise

Directions: Place the correct punctuation in the following sentences. There will be some punctuation marks in the sentences as well as at the end.

1. Wow I found what I was looking for today

2. Can you believe that I finished my project today

3. Where were you going with that suitcase

4. Tom and Mary went to the movies and then came home

5. The children were frightened where it started to thunder

6. Oh no It happened again What am I going to do now

7. How can that be done that way

8. Why did you do that

9. I enjoy watching NBA basketball games

10. Do you know when we are going to have our test James asked his teacher

11. Please give me the paper so I can review it

12. If you give me the exam, I’ll be able to finish it soon

13. Always turn off the computer before you leave the house

14. My name is J P Johnson

15. My address is P O Box 1132 I live in Kansas City MO near the main street

Lesson 3: Punctuation and Capitalization

Colons, Dashes, and Hyphens

Using colons can sometimes be tricky. Let’s look at the following to see how colons are used.

Colons Are Used In A Series

You use a colon just before you write a series of words. However, colons are not used after verbs or prepositions.

Let’s look at these examples:

1. The children liked the following animals: dogs, cats, hamsters, gerbils, and birds.

2. The children’s favorite colors are blue, red, and green.

Other Common Uses For Colons

You use a colon in time: 2:00, 4:30, etc.

You also use a colon in referring to passages in the Bible such as Proverbs 2:15.

Also, if you are writing a business letter, you would use a colon after the salutation. For example: Dear Sir:

Hyphens

There are several ways that hyphens can be used. They can be used to divide words at the end of a sentence, double consonants, in numbers, in fractions, and in compound nouns and adjectives.

Division of Words and Double Consonants

Hyphens are used when you need to divide words at the end of a syllable to go to the next line. For example you would divide camera like cam- era

Another example would be when there are double consonants like commander. You would divide it like this: com- mander.

Numbers and Fractions

Hyphens are also used in numbers that are written out in words like sixty-seven, thirty-one, twenty-five, or forty-five.

They are also used in fractions that are spelled out such as: one-half, three-fourths, or five-sevenths.

Compound Nouns and Adjectives

Hyphens are also used in some compound nouns and adjectives such as well-known, know-it-all, and drive-in.

Exercises

Directions: How would you divide these words. These words are fractions, numbers, and words that need to be divided if you didn’t have room at the end of a sentence.

1. twentythree

2. sixtyfour

3. commander

4. recommend

5. sixsevenths

6. wellknown

7. onefourth

8. become

9. architect

10. knowitall

Dashes

When you are writing a paragraph, and you need to make a break in what you are saying, you would use a dash.

For example: I invited Christy-she just moved into town-to the movies.

You are providing some information about Christy. This information needs to be separated by dashes.

Exercise

Directions: Insert the dashes in the following sentences.

1. Two rooms the living room and the family room still needed to be painted.

2. The principal he’s my mother’s friend came to our house today.

3. The school where I go was hit by the tornado last night.

4. There are four important steps in getting ready for a garage sale setting up tables, gathering up the items, marking the items, and putting them out where people can see.

Dashes can also be used in sentences where there is an interruption. Let’s look at this example.

I knew it couldn’t be done, but –

The important point to remember in punctuation is to not overuse certain marks. It’s better if you use a variety of marks.

Marvin Terban in his book “Scholastic Guides Checking Your Grammar” has an excellent section on hyphens and dashes. The section is on pages 88-90. This is not a required book.

Lesson 3: Punctuation and Capitalization

Quotation Marks and Apostrophes

Quotation marks can be tricky because of the other punctuation marks used at the end of sentences. For example, periods and commas are always placed inside the end quotation marks. Question marks and exclamation points are placed inside the end quotation marks if the quotation is a question or exclamation. If the whole sentence is a question, then the question mark is placed outside the end quotation marks. That’s the same for exclamation points.

Quotation Marks

When someone is speaking directly to you, you use quotation marks. Let’s look at the following examples. Watch where the end quotes are placed in the following sentences.

1. “Look at the new babies. Aren’t they cute?”

2. “Let’s go outside and play,” Megan said. “Then we can come back inside and write in our journals.”

3. “Megan, let’s go outside,” Christy said.

4. Did you say, “Let’s start the meeting now”?

5. Megan asked, “Can we follow Dad again?”

What did you notice about the quotation marks in the sentences?

1. The last part is a question, so the question mark is placed inside the quotation marks.

2. Periods are always placed inside the quotation marks.

3. When using quotation marks, a comma is always placed inside the end quotes.

4. The whole sentence is a question, so the question mark is placed outside of the quotation marks

5. In this sentence, the question mark is placed inside the end quotes because the whole sentence is not a question.

Apostrophes – Singular Nouns

Apostrophes are also used to show possession. When you have a singular noun such as boy, then you would add an apostrophe and an s to make boy’s.

Here are some examples.

1. Megan’s journal.

2. The nurse’s uniform.

3. The boy’s motorcycle.

4. Sadey’s toy.

5. Tippy’s rawhide chew.

These words all show possession and in the singular form.

Apostrophes – Plural Nouns

Apostrophes also show possession in the plural form. If the noun is in the plural form, and ends with an s, like in boys, you just add the apostrophe at the end to show possession:

There were two boys.(plural)
The two boys’ uniforms were dirty. (plural possessive}

If the plural is formed by a change is spelling, such as children, then in order to show possession, you would add ‘s and it would be spelled children’s. An example would be:

The children’s coats were hanging on the racks.

First, you have to look at the word and see if it is in the singular form or in the plural form. If it is plural and ends with s, just add the apostrophe. Or, like in the example above, children is the plural form. Therefore you add an apostrophe and an s to make children’s.

Let’s look at these examples.

1. The night shift nurses’ uniforms were cleaned and pressed.

2. The secretaries’ all kept their desk organized.

3. The women’s book club met every Saturday morning.

4. The children’s favorite game is Hide and Seek.

5. The Smiths’ new house was larger than their other one.

Lesson 3: Punctuation and Capitalization

Capitalization

In this section, you will learn about the rules of capitalization.

To begin your study of capitalization, you must remember the first rule. You capitalize the first letter of each sentence no mater where it is.

Here’s an example: Christy said, “Will you go to the movies with me?”

Will is also capitalized because it is the first word of the sentence in the dialogue.

Now, let’s look at the rules for Proper and Common Nouns.

Proper Nouns

Proper nouns are nouns that name a specific person, place, or thing. These nouns are always capitalized. For example, names of people, cities, towns, states, buildings, etc.

Washington, California, Mrs. Smith, Topeka, The Empire State Building. All of these name a specific person or place.

Common Nouns

Common nouns are nouns that do not name a specific person, place or thing. They are nouns like basketball, football, girl, boy, dog, cat, etc.

Exercises

Go through these words and capitalize the words that need to be. Keep this exercise for your reference.

1. dog

2. president bush

3. english

4. cat

5. tom smith

6. spanish

7. new york

8. mt everest

9. computer

10. freelance writer Now, let’s look at the other words that require capital letters: organizations, schools, businesses, titles, nationalities, and races.

Organizations

Names of organizations are always capitalized.

For example, The Elks Club, National Honor Society, Who’s Who, etc.

Schools

Names of schools such as: The University of Kansas, Kansas State University, Washburn University, etc. are always capitalized.

Business

Names of businesses are always capitalized.

State Farm Insurance, Ford Motor Company, etc.

Nationalities

Spanish, Chinese, Indian,

Religious Names, Denominations, and Movements

Christianity, Mormonism, Methodism, etc.

For more information on capitalization check out the book “Essentials of English Grammar” by L. Sue Baugh. Pages 57-63.

Lesson 3: Punctuation and Capitalization

Punctuation and Capitalization Review – Exercises

Part One – Commas and Semi-colons

Directions: For these sentences, you need to insert the commas and semi-colons in the correct places. Some of them may be correct. If that’s the case, write the word correct beside the number.

1. If you would like to go to the store with me please give me a call.

2. I enjoy going shopping eating out watching television and writing.

3. While I watch television I like to chat on the computer.

4. Penny Tippy Sadey and Abby like to chew on their rawhide chews.

5. After we go to the mall would you like to get something to eat?

6. We can go to the grocery store and then we can eat out.

7. It’s time for everyone to put their books in their desks and go outside for recess.

8. Christy and Megan like to play outside but they also like to stay inside and write in their journals.

9. Writing mystery stories is my favorite thing to do. However I enjoy reading them as well.

10. Suddenly he came across a child dashing across the street.

Part Two – Periods, Question Marks, Exclamation Points, and Quotation Marks

Directions: The punctuation marks are missing. Look at the following sentences and insert the correct marks.

11. We can go to the store however we should eat first

12. Wow Did you see that

13. Megan, would you like to order some pizza Christy asked

14. Summer is my favorite season because we can go hiking biking camping and swimming

15. Can we go shopping after work Shelly asked

16. Tom, did you see that

17. Can you come here

18. Jim asked Tom, are you ready to leave for school

19. Megan Come here right now

20. I am hoping to get something published someday

Part Three – Apostrophes That Show Possession

Directions: The following sentences are missing apostrophes. These words show possession. Be careful where you put the apostrophes. The words are in singular and plural form.

1. The outside of Sandys journal has blue and yellow flowers.

2. Christys dog likes to play.

3. This is the nurses uniform.

4. After Sadeys bath she likes to shake her body all over before dashing out of the room.

5. The Smiths house is always well organized.

6. The secretarys desk is always organized.

7. The nurses uniforms were cleaned and pressed so they could look nice.

8. The teachers desk looked like she was kept really busy.

9. The childrens favorite game was The Quiet Game.

10. Christys computer locked on her again.

Part Four – Capitalization

Directions: Capitalize the following words where it’s necessary.

1. dog

2. candy

3. english

4. spanish

5. cat

6. mr. jones

7. kansas city

8. mt rushmore

9. toy

10. mrs. smith

Lesson 3: Punctuation and Capitalization

Bibliography

Baugh, L. Sue. Essentials of English Grammar. 2nd edition. Passport Books.

Terban, Marvin Scholastic Guides Checking Your Grammar. Scholastic, Inc. New York. August, 1994.

Lesson 4: Sentence Structure

In this lesson you will learn how to structure sentences so your writing skills will improve.

Introduction

In this lesson you learn about subjects and verbs, verb tenses, subject and verb agreements, direct objects, and indirect objects.

Lesson 4: Sentence Structure

Subjects and Predicates

In this lesson, we will discuss subjects and predicates. A sentence is made up of a subject and a predicate.

Subjects

A subject is a noun or pronoun that is doing the action in a sentence. The subject can be either simple, complete, or compound.

Simple Subjects

A simple subject is the main noun. It identifies who or what in the sentence and what the subject is doing.

Let’s look at this example.

The tall girl with long wavy brown hair stood on the porch steps.

The simple subject is girl.

Exercises

Look at the following sentences and see if you can locate the simple subject.

1. The dog chased the squirrel.

2. Sadey barked at the people walking in the street.

3. The basketball player tossed the ball in the basket with three seconds left.

4. The dark clouds formed above.

5. The deer dashed into the woods.

Now, let’s look at the complete subjects.

Complete Subjects

The complete subject is the main noun plus everything else that goes with the subject.

For example: The girl with the long brown wavy hair jogged down the street.

The complete subject is: Girl with the long brown wavy hair.

Exercises

See if you can locate the complete subjects in each sentence.

1. The slender looking girl with short hair and glasses was the life of the party.

2. The tall basketball player with the bandage around the right knee tossed the ball into the basket with three seconds left.

3. The yard with the chain linked fence around it needed to be mowed soon because it was getting too tall.

Predicates

Once you have located the subject, the predicates are easy to find. A predicate shows action. The subject is the one who is doing the action.

There are different kinds of predicates just like there were for subjects.

Simple Predicate

The simple predicate, which can be from one to four words long, is the verb in the complete predicate.

Here are some examples:

1. The squirrel ran across the yard and over the fence.

2. The girl jogged for one mile to the park and one mile back home.

The Complete Predicate

The complete predicate is easy to locate once you know what the complete subject is. It’s everything in the sentence that the complete subject isn’t.

Here’s an example: The girl with the short brown hair came to my house.

Came to my house is the complete predicate.

Exercises

Look at the following sentences and pick out the complete predicate.

1. The girl ran around the yard.

2. The basketball player scored thirty points in the game.

3. The television show was really scary for the children.

4. He decided to come to my party.

5. Tom and Mary went to the movies.

Compound Predicate

The compound predicate is two or more verbs joined by a conjunction such as and, or, or but.

Here is an example.

The goat ran around the yard and broke through the gate.

Exercises

1. The woman ran out of the house and ran away.

2. Sadey sat on the sofa and then started barking at the people outside.

3. The blue bird flew on the fence and then flew away.

4. The suspect dashed down the street and then hid in an abandoned building.

5. The police turned on their lights and chased the speeding car.

These exercises are for your own benefit.

Lesson 4: Sentence Structure

Verb Tenses

In this section you will learn about verbs and the tenses: present, past, future, present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect.

Present Tense

A verb that is in the present tense form means the action is taking place at that moment.

Here’s an example of present tense: The basketball player fouls out.

The action is taking place at that time.

Here are more examples:

When I tell a joke, you laugh.

Mary reads a book.

Past Tense

A verb that is in the past tense form means that the action took place in the past.

Let’s look at this sentence: Sara rode her horse. Rode is in the past. The action had already taken place.

Here are a few others:

The cats slept all day.

He missed the exit.

Future Tense

Future tense is used to express something that will happen in the future.

Here is an example of future tense: I will live there.

Here are a few others:

Bob will carry the groceries.

I shall cook dinner for you tonight.

Present Perfect Tense

“The present perfect tense is used to express an action or to help make a statement about something occurring at an indefinite time in the past or something that has occurred in the past and continues into the present.” (16)

Here’s an example of present perfect tense: I have lived in my house for a long time.

The verb, have lived, shows that the subject is in the present, but is talking about something that occurred in the past and continues to happen.

Past Perfect Tense

“The past perfect tense is used to express an action or to help make a statement about something completed in the past before some other past action or event.” (16)

Here’s an example of past perfect tense: After I had lived here for six months, the owners raised my rent.

This statement shows something that happened in the past and was completed in the past.

Future Perfect Tense “The future perfect tense is used to express an action or to help make a statement about something that will be completed in the future before some other future action or event,” (16)

Here’s an example of future perfect tense: By this May, we will have lived here for forty years.

This statement illustrates something that will happen and be completed in the future.

This information is found in the book “Essentials of English Grammar” by L. Sue Baugh. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is wanting to have a book for a reference. It is not required for this course.

Lesson 4: Sentence Structure

Subject and Verb Agreements

When you are writing a sentence, you need to make sure you use a singular subject with a singular verb and a plural subject with a plural verb.

Let’s look at the following examples of singular subjects and verbs.

Singular Subjects and Verbs

1. Megan went to get her journal out of her secret hiding place.

2. The rainbow was colorful.

3. Jenny’s favorite hobby is writing.

4. I enjoy reading different kinds of literature.

5. Christy enjoys writing in her journal.

Plural Subjects and Verbs

When you have a plural noun, then you need a plural verb

1. Tom and Jim like to go to basketball games more than football.

2. Nancy and Penny enjoy staying at home and watching videos.

3. The children were glad that school was over for summer vacation.

4. The shoes were too tight.

5. Timmy and Susie broke their toys within two days.

Subject and Verb Agreements

When you have a sentence, your subject and verb both need to agree.

Let’s look at the following sentence:

1. They were going to go shopping. (correct)
2. They is going to go shopping. (incorrect)

In the first sentence, the subject is plural and the verb is plural.

In the second sentence, the subject is plural and the verb is singular. That’s why the second sentence is incorrect.

Let’s look at the following exercises and see if you can choose the correct verb.

Exercises

1. They (was, were) not sure of the class assignment.

2. He (was, were) not wanting to go shopping with his mother.

3. I (am, are) excited about my new teacher.

4. We (have, has) been looking forward to the weekend so we can go to the movies.

5. She (is, are) taking online courses.

6. Tom and Mary (is, are) going to be married.

7. Sadey (likes, like) to play with her squeaky ball.

8. Christy (enjoys, enjoy) reading mysteries.

9. Megan (wants, want) to read suspense books by various authors.

10. The squirrel (plays, play) on the squirrel-go-round everyday.

11. The computer (work, works) great since Mary had it fixed.

12. I (wants, want) to read different kinds of literature.

13. The basketball player (score, scores) several points each game.

14. We (needs, need) you to practice your lines for the play every day.

15. We (like, likes) to look at the new cars in the car lot.

16. She (jog, jogs) everyday after work.

17. You (cans, can) go with me to the movies this weekend, can’t you?

18. Mary’s children (enjoys, enjoy) playing the piano.

19. The baby (walk, walks) now.

20. Penny (was excited, were excited) about getting new clothes for school.

Lesson 4: Sentence Structure

Direct Objects

Howard Faulkner states in his book “Rules of the Game An Introductory English Grammar” that “A direct object is a noun or other nominal following a transitive active verb and answering the question whom or what:

Who ate the last piece of cake?
I ate it.
He wiped the crumbs from his beard and threw the napkin away.
‘I like your chocolate cake,’ he told her.
‘Thanks,’ she said. ” (101)

Here are the direct objects in the above sentences:

1. piece – The question is “Who ate what? Piece.”
2. it – The question is “I ate what? It.”
3. crumbs – The question is “He wiped what? Crumbs.”
4. cake – The question is “He liked what? “Cake.”
5. Thanks – The question is “She said what? Thanks.”

All of these direct objects answer the questions whom or what.

For further information about Direct Objects, you can look on Pages 101-102 of Howard Faulkner’s book, “The Rules of the Game An Introductory English Grammar.” This book is not required for the course.

Direct Objects are also explained in “Scholastic Guides Checking Your Grammar” by Marvin Terban on page 37.

He says “The direct object is the person, animal, place, thing, or idea that receives the action of the verb.” (37)

For example: “Carlos locked the coach in the gym.” (37)

Coach is the direct object of this sentence. Coach is the one who is receiving the action.

Exercises

Directions: Underline the direct object of each sentence.

1. I brought the book to my aunt.

2. Tom bought Mary an engagement ring.

3. Cindy gave her resignation to her boss.

4. The children visited the zoo today.

5. My aunt gives me gifts every year.

Exercises

Directions: Write five sentences that contain direct objects and underline the direct object.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Lesson 4: Sentence Structure

Indirect Objects

In the last section, you learned about direct objects. Now, you will learn about indirect objects.

Indirect Objects

Howard Faulkner states in his book “Rules of the Game An Introductory English Grammar” that “If a verb has two objects, the first, the indirect object, may indicate the recipient of the action, the second, the direct object, what was affected:

1. He gave me two dollars.
2. She brought her father the book.
3. He asked her a question.
4. I told the jury the truth.

In the first sentence, the word me is the indirect object. The direct object is two dollars.

In the second sentence, father is the indirect object. The direct object is book.

In the third sentence, her is the indirect object. Question is the direct object.

In the fourth sentence, jury is the indirect object. Truth is the direct object.

Indirect Objects are also stated in the book Scholastic Guides Checking Your Grammar by Marvin Terban on page 37-38.

He states that “The indirect object receives the action of the verb-indirectly. Should I send David some extra money?”

David is the indirect object. He is receiving the money.

Exercises

Directions: Underline the indirect object in each sentence.

1. My aunt likes to give me candy for my Christmas and Birthday.

2. I bought a book for my aunt on her birthday.

3. My church provided a Thanksgiving dinner for us one year.

4. Christy gave Megan her favorite mystery book.

5. Tim’s mother bought him a new basketball for his birthday.

Exercises

Directions: Write five sentences that have an indirect and direct object. Mark I.O above the indirect object

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Lesson 4: Sentence Structure

Sentence Structure Review – Exercises

The following exercises are for Lesson Four. Please read the instructions carefully. Part One – Subjects and Verbs

Directions: Write the subject and the verb in each of the following sentences.

1. They were so happy after they were finally married.

2. Megan quietly sobbed as she watched her sister get married.

3. Sadey, my chihuahua, played with her squeaky toy before bedtime.

4. As I went outside one spring morning, I could smell the fresh flowers blooming.

5. I have always wanted to write novels.

6. They watched the basketball tournament every year.

7. After breakfast, Megan started working on her computer.

8. The basketball game didn’t go the way they wanted it to.

9. Abby, my terrier mix, likes to chew on ice cubes everyday.

10. Tippy likes to chew on rawhide chews.

Part Two – Verb Tenses

Write the past tense for the following words.

1. come –

2. stop –

3. choose –

4. burst –

5. blow –

6. steal –

7. strike –

8. lie –

9. leave –

10. lay –

Part Three – Subject and Verb Agreements

Write five sentences using singular subject and singular verbs.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Part Four – Subject and Verb Agreements

Write five sentences using plural subjects and plural verbs.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Part Five – Direct Objects

Write five prepositional phrases. Underline the direct object of each phrase.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Part Six – Indirect Objects

Write five sentences that contain indirect objects. Underline the indirect object in each sentence.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Lesson 4: Sentence Structure

Bibliography

Faulkner, Howard The Rules of the Game An Introductory English Grammar. Xlibris Corp. Dec. 2000.

Terban, Marvin Scholastic Guides Checking Your Grammar. Scholastic, Inc. New York. August, 1994.

 

 

Horror Literature

SuiteU is closing and will disappear soon. There is a lot of great content there. People who wrote the courses put a lot into them. It’s a shame for them to just disappear. Here is the free ecourse for Horror Literature. I’d like to write horror but so far it all starts out all wrong for me. I need a new way to write it.

Horror Literature
By Catherine Bitzer

Introduction

Welcome to the lair of horror literature! Dark minds over centuries have scared the wits out of their readers by harping on our most subconscious of fears. Below is a description of what you might expect to find in the course.

Read more