Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mini Grammar Lesson

I must begin with another one of my famous disclaimers. While I am about to share a few quick grammar lessons (a.k.a pet peeves of mine), I do realize that I am not the grammar guru or knower-of-all-that-is-the-English language... just putting that out there.

A semi colon separates two related but independent clauses. This means that the string of words before the semi colon could stand alone as its own sentence; similarly, the words on the other side of the semi colon could also be their own sentence.

I think your blog entry looks fantastic; however, I would be sure to correct the spelling of "narcissism" before publishing.

I think there are many types of delicious chicken wings at Publix; like mardi gras, traditional, spicy garlic and extra hot.

(Key: if the words before or after the semi colon cannot be a complete thought by themselves, then it doesn't make sense to use a semi colon)

When you're describing the people in a photo, and one of those people is you, you should say "and me" instead of "and I." So if you have captions with your myspace, flikr or facebook photos, write accordingly.

Joe Bob Scatwally and me at the state fair. (Or just Joe Bob and me)


Linda Shae Twitty and I at the hotdog eating contest. (Or just Linda Shae and I)

(Key: take away the other person or people and see if the caption still makes sense. For example, "This is a picture of Ben and me" would become "This is a picture of me." Then you know you have it right.)

When you use a prepositional phrase, such as “in the classroom” or “of the choices” you use a verb that goes with the word that the prepositional phrase modifies. This may sound a little tricky, but it’s easily understood with some examples.

The students in the classroom are behaving.

The students in the classroom is behaving.

Take away “in the classroom” and it should be easy to tell which is correct. Use the verb form that goes with “students.”

The students are behaving.


The students is behaving.

And that’s it for today, kids!

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