Helpful Grammar Tips

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in_paradise_with_st_jimmy
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in_paradise_with_st_jimmy
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Mibba Blog
February 28th, 2006 at 09:13pm
Lots of people don't seem to know how to use contractions, apostrophes, punctuation, how to write out dialogue, capitalization, and how to use the "dot-dot-dot" thing (ellipses). I have been seeing these problems a lot lately in the stories. So please, don't be an illiterate fool and watch out for these problems.

Contractions

It's=it is
Its=shows possession

They're=they are
There=indicates a place, i.e. over there
Their=shows possession

Can't=can not

Don't=do not

Doesn't=does not

He's=he is

She's=she is
She's=she has

They've=they have

I've=I have

Who's=who is
Whose=shows possession

Let's=let us

Shouldn't=should not

Wouldn't=would not

Couldn't=could not

You're=you are
Your=shows possession

I'm=I am

Apostrophes

Show possession and form contractions. SHOULD NOT BE USED OTHERWISE. Apostrophes are important, don't abuse or misuse them. They might rally against us and take over the world if pushed too far. Look at Contractions for more on the apostrophe.

How to Write Out Dialogue

"Let's go to the park," said Jane.
"No, let's go to the movies," Bob said.

No spaces in between words and quotation marks, a comma goes at the end of speech, unless "he said, she said" isn't at the end. In that case, whatever fitting punctuation mark is added. Each piece of dialogue gets its own line.

Ellipses/Dot-Dot-Dot

"Dot-dot-dot" shows a pause or a cliff hanger at the end of a paragraph, chapter, etc.

Correct use: Oh yeah...but what if I don't want to?
Incorrect use: Oh yeah... But what if I don't want to?
-No spaces after them. They shouldn't end a sentence unless it's supposed to be a cliff hanger. The next part of the sentence should not begin with a capital letter.
-*edit* While looking over the replies in this thread, ellipses were clarified a little more. And using my own personal reading experience, I'm going to clarify a little more. Ellipses should only be used as a cliffhanger at the end of a paragraph, at the end of a chapter, etc.
-If you want a sort of break in speech, use a hyphen instead. I trust everyone knows what a hyphen is. It's this little line. -


Capitalization

Used to begin a sentence and to show a proper noun. All names and titles should be capitalized. i.e. Jane, Kim, Jerry, America, Italy, Wal-Mart, Hot Topic, Dr., Mr., Mrs.

Punctuation

Periods end sentences or used in titles. i.e. Throw me the ball. Dr. Butler Mr. Smith

Commas show a pause in speech and usually used at the end of a piece of speech in writing. When you are reading out loud, a comma means you take a breath. i.e. He handed in his paper, but I don't have it. "Let's play a game," he said.

Questions marks are used when asking a question.

Exclamation points are used when someone is shouting or exclaiming something. i.e. Get down here!, Can you imagine that? Me, a writer!

Semi-colon

A semi-colon is a punctuation mark, it looks like this: ;.

There are two points you must remember about the semi-colon.

Point 1: A semi-colon separates two groups of words which are closely linked in meaning, e.g.

She threw away his socks; they were full of holes.

The second part of the sentence either tells us more about the first half, or tells us the result or cause of the first half.

In this example the person throwing away the socks is the result of the second half (the second half is the cause).

Point 2: The two groups of words must be able to stand as sentences on their own, if we wanted to we could write.

She threw away his socks. They were full of holes.

This is incorrect usage

She gave him his tea; as soon as he came home.

This is because the words after the semi-colon do not make sense as a sentence so we write

She gave him his tea as soon as he came home.

but

She gave him his tea; he always had it as soon as he came home.

Is correct because both parts of the sentence make sense alone.

So, why use a semi-colon instead of a comma, full-stop (period) or connective, they are still correct.

Because it's more grammatically accurate and makes you look sharper - which is a good thing.

I think I'll do colons whilst I'm at it.

Colon

The colon looks like this : and has a special and definite use.

A colon often means that something is to follow, often a list, however it can also be a dramatic statement.

These examples show correct use of the colon:

He trembled as he looked at what lay on his desk, ready for the exam: a ball-point pen, a pencil, a rubber, a ruler and two blank sheets of paper.

or

These were her last words: "So little done, so much to do."

This is incorrect usage of a colon:

There are two people I will not have in my house your friends,: Eddie and Sam.

You could either:

a) Place the colon after house and leave the comma where it is.

OR

b)Place the comma after house and leave the colon where it is.

a)There are two people I will not have in my house: your friends, Eddie and Sam.

b)There are two people I will not have in my house, your friends: Eddie and Sam.

Either is correct, however punctuation placement can alter the meaning of a sentence so be careful.[/

Story title
Title should be clean, without those special characters (* % # ~). The first letter of the title is ALWAYS capitalized.

Paragraphs
Make paragraphs. Use enter key on your keyboard, don't just write one big paragraph.

Quotation marks
- Use double quotes for speech: "Hi", not 'Hi'. Don't try to make double quotes with single quotes: ''Hi''.

- There's no space after opening quote:

Quote
" Hi, how are you?" - wrong



- Add space after ending quote

Quote
"Hi, how are you?"he said - wrong



Spaces
- Use space after full stops, exclamation points, question marks and commas.

Quote
"Hi,how are you?What's wrong?" - wrong



- Use only ONE space
- Don't use tab key on your keyboard, it doesn't work on the story submission screen.

Indent
- Forget about it. Don't use it and don't try do create it using spaces. Again the tab key doesn't work and using spaces might comfuse people.


AND YES, I AM A HUGE GRAMMAR NAZI. Plus I had a very intense and intelligent English teacher in junior high. She's taught me well. And our English textbook was really hardcore stuff. And yes, I AM a story editor so I'm one of the people who has to see all these things and fix them. And seriously people, if you get confused and you don't want to ask one of the editors about grammar or punctuation or whatever, OPEN A BOOK AND LOOK AT HOW THE WRITING LOOKS. IT WILL HELP YOU...A LOT. This post was put together by Dujo, myself, and all the people who posted in here with some other little tips (like the real word for dot-dot-dot. Cool) And many thanks to Nicky, for the very informative sections on the semi-colon and the colon. Up
*P.S.* I will look through the thread when I get some free time so I can add all the other little tips that I may have missed. Wink
Sylar
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February 28th, 2006 at 09:34pm
I pride myself on my spelling and punctuation ^.^

I hate it when ppl typ lyk dis... It disgusts me...

YOU ILLITERATE FOOLS!
iamkiller
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Mibba
February 28th, 2006 at 09:54pm
Dujo wanted this to be a 'sticky' right? I set it as that.
GreenDay_Fan17
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February 28th, 2006 at 09:56pm
i feel like i'm in english class Laughing
HavingAGreenDay
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Mibba
February 28th, 2006 at 10:05pm
I actually thought a thread like this would be good a long time ago. Up
Baguelle
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February 28th, 2006 at 10:10pm
THANK YOU! I hope this clears a few things up with some people. Even if they don't read the Made Up Stories.
Baguelle
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February 28th, 2006 at 10:11pm
Razorblade Romance:
I pride myself on my spelling and punctuation ^.^

I hate it when ppl typ lyk dis... It disgusts me...

YOU ILLITERATE FOOLS!


I also pride myself on my spelling and punctuation. Only because I've improved so much.
HavingAGreenDay
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Mibba
February 28th, 2006 at 10:11pm
Basket*Case:
THANK YOU! I hope this clears a few things up with some people. Even if they don't read the Made Up Stories.
I greatly wish people will take advice from this thread. It sure will make us editor's jobs a hell of a lot easier.
Baguelle
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February 28th, 2006 at 10:26pm
HavingAGreenDay:
Basket*Case:
THANK YOU! I hope this clears a few things up with some people. Even if they don't read the Made Up Stories.
I greatly wish people will take advice from this thread. It sure will make us editor's jobs a hell of a lot easier.
I bet. I remember looking at one of my old stories thinking: "I can't fucking spell worth shit!"

I was so mad with myself that I ended up banging my head against the desk.
in_paradise_with_st_jimmy
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Mibba Blog
February 28th, 2006 at 10:28pm
Thank you, Moose, for making this Sticky. Hopefully this will help some people.
ThisIsGreenDay
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Mibba
February 28th, 2006 at 11:27pm
in_paradise_with_st_jimmy:
No spaces in between words and quotation marks, a comma goes at the end of speech, unless "he said, she said" isn't at the end. In that case, a period is added. Each piece of dialogue gets its own line.

Dot-Dot-Dot

"Dot-dot-dot" shows a pause or a cliff hanger.

Correct use: Oh yeah...but what if I don't want to?
Incorrect use: Oh yeah... But what if I don't want to?
-No spaces after them. They shouldn't end a sentence unless it's supposed to be a cliff hanger. The next part of the sentence should not begin with a capitol letter.


THANK YOU! Finally, someone else knows this to be the true way, too! Hug
Flaming Phalanges!
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March 1st, 2006 at 04:27am
zomgz dis is lyk sutch a gd idear!
Matt Smith
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Mibba Blog
March 1st, 2006 at 12:27pm
I wish the editors used to edit my story like that. They bunched up the paragraphs and when I put a line for new speech it was ignored and made into one block of text, and added asteriks between paragraphs.

That was months ago, though. Last November. Those editors probably aren't even here anymore.

But the rules are a good idea, even if they are very strict. ^_^
Diskoh
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Mibba
March 1st, 2006 at 01:27pm
I feel like i'm back in primary school xD

Ahaha.. atleast i don't write in my own slang.. i could personally bring down GSB with it.. it's that bad XD

But hey.. it's because i grew up here in Cannock, so i speak like them, but thankgod i do not type like it, i try to refrain from it, it justs makes things more complicated for people to read, and good job teacher Very Happy
Iwannajumpout
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Mibba Blog
March 1st, 2006 at 08:59pm
Here's a thing with the dot dot dot (otherwise known as ellipsis)

"Oh yeah.... But what if I don't want to?" Note that there are four periods in my example. That means an ellipsis at the end of a sentence. In that case, the capital "B" in "but" is permitted.
Baguelle
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March 1st, 2006 at 10:10pm
Iwannajumpout:
Here's a thing with the dot dot dot (otherwise known as ellipsis)

"Oh yeah.... But what if I don't want to?" Note that there are four periods in my example. That means an ellipsis at the end of a sentence. In that case, the capital "B" in "but" is permitted.
I always wondered about that. Thanks! Very Happy
Reality Is Due
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Mibba
March 4th, 2006 at 08:26pm
Thank you for this thread!

Would you like to be my literacy teacher instead?We were practicing proper dialogue this week and it could've taken him two minutes to explain instead of a class period.
in_paradise_with_st_jimmy
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Mibba Blog
March 5th, 2006 at 06:51pm
This is what you learn when given 45 minutes a day with my English teacher, Sister Janice. She's SO good at explaining things like this, it's ridiculous. There's so much more I could say when it comes to english, but I won't because I'd be here forever. But any other questions, you can ask me since, for some reason, I understand even the most advanced english within the end of the class period.
What's in a name?
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Mibba
March 6th, 2006 at 10:48am
Iwannajumpout:
Here's a thing with the dot dot dot (otherwise known as ellipsis)

"Oh yeah.... But what if I don't want to?" Note that there are four periods in my example. That means an ellipsis at the end of a sentence. In that case, the capital "B" in "but" is permitted.


Originally ellipses were used only in quotes to show that part of the quote had been left out. It's not meant to be used as "cliff-hangers" Wink
If you want to make cliff-hangers you're supposed to write: "Oh yeah-"
I'm not an editor so I don't care about the actual use of an ellipsis, but I just figured you wanted to know Retard
*BangBangEline*
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March 6th, 2006 at 02:23pm
hi,,

thank you for your message Very Happy
i understand it know..
i didn't knew that it would be like that..

but thanks anyways..
i will re-write it tomorrow but it's kinda hard because it was a dream.
but if i re-write it again can it then be posted on the site?
or if it is wrong again are you sending to me a message again?
oh, and how do i know if it is going to be on the site?

greetz
eline
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