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In this grammar section we’re talking about how to use punctuation in your child’s writing.
So let’s start by looking at all the different types of punctuation that you’re going to be using in
your writing we’re starting off with a period.
This here is a period we use a period at the end of informative sentences in the paragraphs.
So whenever you’re ending your sentence you use a period.
Next we have exclamation marks.
Now notice that we do not use exclamation marks in academic writing.
This means that you should not be using any exclamation marks in the writing task one or the writing
Next we have commas.
Generally speaking we use the commas whenever we hear a brief audible pause.
So whenever you hear this brief audible pause in a sentence we use a comma.
Next we have apostrophes apostrophes are used to show possession.
For example you could say France’s population.
OK whose population are we talking about.
We’re talking about France’s population.
So we use the apostrophe up here.
Or you could say Germany’s cars whose cars Germany’s cars.
So again we use an apostrophe here.
Now keep in mind that you should not be using apostrophes to show contraction in your writing.
So contractions are words like isn’t doesn’t.
So instead of writing isn’t.
You should write is not.
Instead of writing doesn’t you should write does not Next we have capitalization.
Basically we capitalize all the words that come at the start of the sentence.
And we also capitalize all proper nouns so words like names of a country of a person and so on.
Lastly we have semicolons we use semicolons to join two independent clauses together and we do this
if the two independent clauses are very closely related in ideas OK only if they’re related and we don’t
want to start another sentence then we can connect the two independent clauses by just using a semicolon.
Now I want to spend more time talking about commas since you’re going to be using a lot of them.
Now there are many different rules to using commas.
However for your child’s essays these four rules are the most relevant.
So let’s talk about these four most important rules when it comes to using commas.
The first rule is that whenever the dependent clause comes before the independent clause we have to
use a comma at the end of the dependent clause.
We’ve already talked about this before but just to remind you let’s take a look at an example so here’s
our complex sentence the sentences even though junk food is unhealthy.
Many people consume it due to cheaper costs so I want you to note that here we have the dependent clause
even though junk food is unhealthy.
That’s our dependent clause.
And here is our independent clause so whenever the dependent clause comes before the independent clause
we use a comma at the end of the dependent clause.
Now let’s look at the next rule we use a comma before any coordinating conjunction that links to independent
We’ve talked about this as well.
But let’s look at an example computers doubled in sales from 2003 to 2004 but the price had dropped
So in this case we have two independent clauses.
Here is our first independent clause and here’s our second independent clause.
And here we have a coordinating conjunction that is linking these two independent clauses together so
whenever we have a coordinating conjunction that links to independent clauses we use a comma before
the coordinating conjunction.
Next we have rule number three we use commas to separate the items in a list so here we have an example
of a list.
People can improve their mood with a healthy diet exercise and a healthy social life.
So here we have our commerce before exercise and before and so whenever you have a list.
Use the commerce to separate the different items in the list.
I want you to note that this comma here which comes before the and is optional.
So if you want you can use it.
If you don’t want to then you don’t have to here’s our last rule.
Whenever you have an introductory cohesive device we use a comma after it.
Here we have a few different introductory cohesive devices.
So if you’re starting a new sentence you may start the sentence with a word finally or alternatively.
Or for example as a result and so on.
So whenever you use such introductory cohesive devices you have to use a comma after them.
I want you to note that there are certain introductory cohesive devices with which we do not use a comma
such as it is clear or this is due to remember the easiest way for you to find out if whether or not
you should use a comma is to listen for a brief audible pause if you hear a brief audible pause then
you should use a comma if you don’t hear a brief audible pause then you shouldn’t so I hope that’s clear.
Now let’s talk about apostrophes now apostrophes are commonly used for two purposes.
Firstly they’re used to show contraction of words for example words like isn’t and doesn’t.
We already discussed this.
So we can use apostrophes to show contraction of words when we put two words together and shorten them
so is not becomes isn’t does not becomes doesn’t we also use apostrophes to show possession.
Now I’ve already discussed that in your academic writing.
You should only be using apostrophes to show possession.
You should not use them to show contraction.
Now let’s take a look at how to use a partial phrase correctly so the first way that we use the apostrophe
is when we have a singular noun.
So in this case we add an apostrophe plus we add an s to it.
So let’s look at an example of this our nation’s population is rapidly increasing so notice that nation
is a singular noun and we want to show possession whose population are we talking about.
We’re talking about the nation’s population.
So to show the possession by a singular noun we have to use an apostrophe.
So here’s an apostrophe and we have to add an s to the word.
So here’s the s that we’ve added.
Here’s our next rule.
If you have any singular nouns or plural nouns that end in the letter S then we only use the apostrophe.
So let’s look at an example of that here’s our sentence ensuring job satisfaction of the employees is
the boss’s responsibility I want you to note that this is a singular noun and we want to show possession
by a singular noun.
However this singular noun ends in the letter S.
And when we have a singular noun that ends in the letter as we only use the apostrophe we do not add
the s to it.
So here as you can see we only have the apostrophe.
Let’s see another example the education of children is their teachers responsibility.
In this case we have a plural noun.
Teachers and we want to show the possession by this plural noun.
So what do we do.
We have a word that is ending in the letter S.
So again similar to our previous example when we have a word that is ending in the letter S we only
use the apostrophe so here as you’ll see in both of these cases we only use the apostrophe next.
If you have irregular plural nouns then you use the apostrophe plus the letter S.
Here’s an example of that children’s views are usually shaped by their parents.
I want you to note that children is an irregular noun and it’s an irregular plural now so we say one
child and two children notice that we don’t say to children’s we don’t add an s when we’re talking about
the plural of child because the plural of child is children so if you want to show possession by this
plural noun then you have to add an apostrophe plus the letter s so we say children’s views are usually
shaped by their parents.
Note that we don’t say children’s and then add the apostrophe that’s wrong.
Now let’s look at our final rule.
We do not use the apostrophe for plural rising a regular noun.
So what do I mean by this let’s look at an example here.
There are numerous traditions in the world so here we have an incorrect sentence.
There are numerous traditions in the world.
Notice that the word traditions is plural but to show a plural noun we do not add an apostrophe in the
We only add the apostrophe when we want to show possession.
In this case we’re not showing any possession.
So this apostrophe here is incorrect and we have to remove this apostrophe to correct this sentence
Let’s talk about capitalization.
Here are the rules for it.
Firstly you should capitalize the first letter of the first word in a sentence e is the first letter
of the first word.
So it has to be capitalized.
Next you have to capitalize proper nouns proper nouns include names and places.
So here’s an example.
Research conducted by Harvard University in Massachusetts shows that so in this case here are the proper
Harvard University is a proper noun and Massachusetts is a proper noun.
So notice that since Harvard University is the name of a university we have to capitalize the H and
the U and since Massachusetts is the name of a place we have to capitalize the M here’s the next rule.
Whenever you have months or days of the week you have to treat them as proper nouns and you have to
capitalize them so months like January and February have to be capitalized.
Also days of the week such as Sunday Monday Tuesday they have to be capitalized.
However when you’re talking about seasons such as summer winter fall autumn these seasons are not proper
nouns and they should not be capitalized.
So here’s our example.
After a sharp growth in March the profit from banana sales plummeted in December but recovered by the
following summer so in this example March is a proper noun because it’s the name for month.
December is a proper noun because it’s also the name of a month and summer is not a proper noun.
Since this is a season here is our last rule names of school subjects such as math algebra geology and
psychology are not capitalized.
However the only exception to this rule is if you’re talking about school subjects that include languages.
So if you have a subject such as French or English then they have to be capitalized.
So here’s our example.
My favorite subjects in high school were Spanish and psychology.
I want you to note that the S in Spanish is capitalized because this is a name of a language but psychology
is not capitalized.
Now I want to show you some infographics and give you some more example sentences to better describe
how to use capitalization.
So here we have our first example in this case.
We have a line graph and here’s our example sentence.
The graph projects that patrol and oil will continue to rise in demand.
Now I want you to notice something in this graph.
Note that all of the labels in this graph are capitalized.
OK so patrolling oil coal natural gas.
All the labels are capitalized.
However when you’re writing about them in your essay you should not capitalize them unless they are
In this case we don’t have any proper nouns.
Therefore you should not capitalize them in your writing so when you write a sentence like this.
Notice that the P in patrol is not capitalized the O in oil is also not capitalized because these are
not proper nouns.
So keep in mind that when you see a graph the words here may be capitalized but that does not mean that
you should capitalize them when you’re writing your essay only capitalized the words that are proper
Let’s look at another example in this graph we have data from two different countries from Yemen and
Notice that in this graph every letter in the word Yemen is capitalized and every letter in the word
Italy is capitalized.
Now this does not mean that when you’re writing your essay you have to capitalize the words exactly
as is shown in the info graphic remember you should only capitalize the proper nouns.
In this case in our sentence we have capitalized the Y in Yemen and the IE in Italy because these are
proper nouns these are names of countries.
Here’s our final example.
Notice in this bar graph we also have some labels and in these labels some words are capitalized and
others are not.
Again you should not be capitalizing words in your essay just because they are capitalized in the graph
or the chart.
OK you should only capitalize proper nouns so in this case when we’re talking about local fixed line
calls we’re not capitalizing anything even though we have the word local capitalized here.
The reason that we don’t capitalize it in our writing is because this is not a proper noun.
OK so here’s our sentence.
It is evident that local fixed line calls were the most prominent choice whereas mobiles were the least
Notice here as well with the word mobiles the M is not capitalized but hear the word M is capitalized.
So keep in mind that you should not capitalize something in your writing just because it’s capitalized
in the info graphic.
Now let’s talk about semicolons.
Basically semicolons are used to indicate an audible pause that is longer than a comma but shorter than
Now take note that you will probably not need to use the semicolon in your essay.
However I just want to mention the main rules just in case you do end up using them.
So here’s the first rule we use the semicolon to link two independent clauses together that are closely
related in ideas.
For example you can say some people write on computers.
Others prefer to write by hand.
OK so here we have two independent clauses and these clauses are closely related in ideas because both
of them are talking about how people prefer to write.
Some prefer to write on computers.
Others like to write by hand.
So we can connect these two independent clauses by using a semicolon next avoid a semicolon when a dependent
clause comes before an independent clause.
So in this case we have the example although they tried they failed.
Notice that this use of the semicolon is wrong in order to correct this sentence.
We have to say although they tried comma they failed here’s our next rule.
We use a semicolon before words like namely.
However therefore that is for example for instance et cetera and we use the semicolon before these words
when these words introduce a complete sentence.
So let’s look at an example of that.
Science is one of the most significant subjects.
However the arts are just as important.
So notice here we have our independent clause then we have a semicolon before the word however and we
use a semicolon before the word.
However because this word is introducing a complete sentence the R’s are just as important.
Notice that when we use a semicolon before a word like however or therefore or for example we also have
to use a comma here.
Here is our last rule.
We do not capitalize any ordinary words after a semicolon.
So keep in mind semicolon is not a period.
OK so we capitalized words when we’re starting a new sentence but with semicolon we do not capitalized
ordinary words because a semicolon is still part of the same sentence.
So here we have our example.
You are over there.
Notice that we’ve capitalized the Y in the U after the semicolon here.
This is wrong.
We can only capitalize proper nouns not ordinary words so to correct this sentence we have to say I
am here semicolon you are over there the Y in the you should not be capitalized.
All right so that’s pretty much it for all the different punctuation rules.
Now what I want to do is I want to test your knowledge of the punctuation rules that you’ve learned
So I want you to now pass this video and read this paragraph below.
In this paragraph there are 12 punctuation errors and after you’ve passed the video I want you to read
this paragraph and find all these twelve punctuation errors so go ahead.
You can post the video now OK.
I hope you’ve had a chance to look over this paragraph and find the 12 punctuation errors.
I’m now going to give you the answer.
Here we have the 12 different punctuation errors.
Did you get them all.
Let’s see what the correct version of this paragraph looks like.
This here is the correct version of this paragraph.
Again I want you to pause this video and make sure that you got all of the 12 punctuation errors correct
so that’s all for this video.
I’ll see you in the next grammar section which is also our last grammar section in which we’re going
to talk about how to write about numbers in your writing task one essay.
So I’ll see you there.
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