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Lesson 3: Knowing Your Grammar Part 2


  • To review on the different parts of speech accomplished in Lesson 2
  • To know the basic grammar rules on Capitalization
  • To know the basic grammar rules on Punctuation

Lesson Recap:

Having an increased knowledge about the eight parts of speech is important in becoming a better writer. Each part of speech constitutes to good sentence construction as well as polished flow of content.

The different parts of speech in the English grammar are as follows:

  1. Nouns
  2. Verbs
  3. Adjectives
  4. Adverbs
  5. Pronouns
  6. Preposition
  7. Conjunction
  8. Interjection

Quick Navigation through the Lesson 3: Knowing your Grammar Part 2:

Lesson Proper:

Capitalization and punctuation are two fundamental parts of proper English grammar. Capitalization refers to the act of writing the first letter of a word in an upper-case letter while the remaining letters are in lower-case. Rules in correct capitalization vary between time setting and language being used by the person.

Following the correct capitalization rules enables a writer to accomplish a well-written essay. It is also important that a writer know when to highlight a given word through capitalization to be able to bring justice to the content of the essay. The rules of capitalization are based on different formats that will thoroughly introduce in the following items.


• As customary, capitalize each word in the beginning of a sentence typed or written. This rule serves as a breakdown for each sentence in a given paragraph.

Example: The silver plate will be given to Tom as a reward.

Why does the sun set on the East?


• Quotes, even if they are written in between a sentence should be capitalized.

Example: Martin Luther King once said, “I have a dream.”


• Capitalize proper nouns being the kind of nouns that describes a specific person, place or a thing no matter where it is placed in a sentence.

Example: Mark swears by what he saw yesterday at the Department of Economics building.

• For non-English names that have surnames consisting of two parts, do not capitalized as it is more preferred to stick with the original language rule.

Example: Leonardo da Vinci is a great painter.

• Capitalize derivatives of proper nouns whether adjective, adverbs, etc.

Example: The Germans had fought a good fight to retain the Germanic status symbol during the German-Polish war.


• “I” is always capitalized no matter where it is placed in a sentence and how it is used.

Example: I think therefore, I am.


• Capitalize a term when used as a pronoun to indicate family relationship, do capitalize.

Example: Auntie Rosie borrowed my lipstick though it was actually Mom who owns it.

• If it is used as a common noun, do not capitalize Example: My mom owns the lipstick Auntie Rosie borrowed.


• Capitalize proper nouns that are referring to gods and other religious figures.

Example: God is also called by the names Allah and Yahweh.

• If the title is part of the name of the religious figure, capitalize.

Example: Pope John Paul II had been a great pope.


• Capitalize formal titles. Among these formal titles are Mr., Mrs. Jr., Sr., Dr., and Engr.

Example: Dr. Langdon signed my paper yesterday.

He will be receiving the payment together with John Chavit Jr.


• Capitalize all days, months and holidays for they are used as proper nouns.

Example: Her schedule falls between Monday and Friday.

December is a good month to invest.

Today is Thanksgiving in America.

• Capitalize specific periods, historical events as well as wars and eras when used as a proper noun.

Example: The Roman Era marked the rise of a new artistic trend.


• Capitalize nationalities, languages and nationalities when used as a proper noun.

Example: I am half-British and half-American.

Mel has been to Europe and almost all parts of Australia.


• Capitalize all letters of radio and TV stations.

Example: I always follow the programs in CNN.

Punctuation on the other hand refers to symbols that indicate the structure and organization of a sentence and shows the pauses to be noted when reading aloud. Correct grammar in punctuation is important to identify the meaning of sentences.

One of the famous examples of a sentence that can be changed on its meaning through the use of punctuation marks is the example given below: “Woman, without her man, is nothing”– this sentence refers to the strength of a man over a woman. “Woman: without her man, is nothing”– when the coma is changed to a colon the sentence has its new meaning. It now focuses on the woman’s strength over man.

By having enough knowledge on the grammar rule involving punctuation, one will be able to handle any writing task and produce a powerful essay that will clearly communicate with its readers. Just like the rules of capitalization, punctuation grammar rules follows a different guidelines based on the punctuation used in a sentence.


  • A comma is used to integrate a pause or a soft stop in a sentence.
  • A comma is used to combine ideas.
  • A comma is used to separate clauses.

The different comma rules are as follows:

1. Use a comma to separate items in a list and the final two items will then be separated by conjunction “and”.

Example: I love traveling, surfing and blogging.

2. Use a comma to separate two independent clauses in a sentence.

Example: The boy sang very well, but he didn’t make it to the finals.

3. Use a comma when writing introductory elements to a sentence.

Example: Singing almost every day, Joel is surely prepared for the battle.

4. Use a comma when writing parenthetical elements to a sentence.

Example: That wallet, which is the only memory she has of him, was stolen a while ago.

5. Use a comma in separating coordinating adjectives.

Example: He is a secured, fine young man I love.

6. Use a comma to introduce a quoted statement.

Example: Highlighting the flag raising ceremony, the principal says, “Everybody should wear their identification cards”.

“I miss you”, said May, “Though you don’t miss me anymore”.

7. Use a comma to set off contrasting ideas and phrases.

Example: He chose to surrender, though he could have fought until the end.

8. Use a comma to limit confusion in the sentence construction.

Example: Instead of writing “For Brian the love is already gone” write “For Brian, the love is already and gone”.

9. Use a comma between dates, city and state, a title that comes after the name of a person and long numbers.

Example: November 9, 1993 is her birthday.

She lives is Hartford, Connecticut for over two years.

Greg Downey, Professor from the Department of Science, concluded the speech.

There are 525,600 minutes in a year.


  • A period is used in ending a statement.
  • A period is used to introduce a new sentence or a new thought.

The different period rules are as follows:

1. Use a period in ending a command statement.

Example: Deliver the message on or before the sun sets.

2. Use a period for indirect questions.

Example: The instructor keeps on asking as to why Mark is always absent.

3. Use a period to abbreviations.

Example: The only address he remembers is Washington, D.C. She bought the bag at St. Peter’s Square.


  • An apostrophe is used to create possessive forms, contractions and plurals.

The different apostrophe rules are as follows:

1. Use apostrophe to connote possessiveness.

Example: The children’s book got lost after the typhoon hit. I’m just a human being open to commit mistakes. The ladies’ room is crowded.

2. Use apostrophe to form plurals.

Example: She got a lot of A’s in her essay paper.


  • A colon is used before an explanation to a given statement.

1. Use a colon in separating the heading of a title to its sub-heading.

Example: Into the dark: A Movie Review

2. Use a colon between sentences when the first sentence describes the second sentence without a coordinating conjunction. If there are two or more sentences that will follow the first statement, capitalize the first letter of the first word of each following sentences.

Example: I love the reading: novels by Helen Fielding are among my top lists.

Traveling is an important habit everybody should try ones in awhile: It promotes personality. It creates great character.

3. Use a colon to introduce direct quotes.

Example: Jennifer Lewis answered the question with: “I did not do anything wrong”. 

4. Use a colon in addressing to address someone in his or her first name in format business letters.

Example: Dear Ms. Johnson:


  • A quotation mark is used to highlight either a material or a quotation in a sentence.

The different quotation rules are as follows:

1. Use quotation marks with periods and commas inside.

Example: Sophia said, “See you tomorrow.”

2. Use a single quotation mark in giving a quote within quote statements.

Example: Shena reacted, “She said ‘I will leave tomorrow morning.”

3. Use a quotation mark to highlight grammar errors in a given sentence.

Example: She wrote, “I travel so become independent.” Should be “to” rather than “so”.


  • A question mark is used to direct questions.

The different question mark rules are as follows:

1. Use a question mark to direct questions.

Example: “What are you doing?”

2. Use a question mark to turn a statement to a tag question.

Example: I should be drinking coffee, shouldn’t I?

3. Use a quotation mark in rhetorical questions.

Example: What if I tell you, “You better shut up now”?

4. Use a quotation mark in a series of brief questions.

Example: Who else will I blame? the maid? the driver? you?


  • An exclamation point is used to express emotion, give emphatic declaration and for interjections.

The different exclamation rules are as follows:

1. Use exclamation point in close situations that conveys a deep emotion.

Example: Please! Stop it!

2. Use exclamation point in mimetically pronounced words such as animal’s sounds.

Example: The dog’s arff! scared the whole out of me.


  • Brackets are used to include further explanations to a given statement.

The different bracket rules are as follows:

1. Use a bracket to give explanatory notions within a quoted language.

Example: Ms. Jones, the new dean of the college said that the new director, Mr. Freddie [of Department of Science] has been admitted to the hospital.

2. Use a bracket in quoting a sentence where in the pronoun should be replaced.

Example: I believe when shed said “Killing [him] is not her game.”

3. Use bracket for within a parenthetical quotation to include another parenthetical quotation.

Example: He accepted his award at Canne’s Film (the world’s premier film festival [France]) last summer.


  • Parentheses are used to provide material that should be de-emphasized or that are too long to be included in a statement.

The different parentheses rules are as follows:

1. Use parentheses in terms or statements that wouldn’t fit in the flow of the sentence but is still important to include.

Three years after winning the American Idol, Kris Allen (we remember him with his rendition of the song Heartless) is nowhere to be found.


  • A dash is used as a super-comma to separate parenthetical materials.

The different dash rules are as follows:

1. Use a dash to separate in time or date durations.

Examples: They saw each other between 6:00-9:00pm.

Winter falls either November-December.

2. Use a dash to include important message in a sentence highlighted by the first statement.

Example: The suspects- Danny, Gokey and John- refused to take interviews by the media.


  • An ellipsis is used in quoting a material and some words are needed to be omitted. An ellipsis consists of three dots or periods.

The different ellipsis rules are as follows:

1. Use ellipsis to declare a pause in the given statement.

Example: My mom always reminds me to read, read… and read.

2. Use ellipsis to lengthy quotations.

Example: Shiela used to tell me a very beautiful story,

“Once in your life you will find a special someone who will change your life forever. He will put a smile on your face. He will reveal your true beauty. He will regain your strength. And when you finally fell in love with him, he will let you go…”


  • A semi-colon is placed to help a writer imply a balance between the ideas used.

The different semi-colon rules are as follows:

1. Use semi-colon to sort a list of long items.

Example: He went to Paris, France; Tokyo, Jape; Beijing, China and Sydney, Australia.

2. Use semi-colon to separate related independent clauses.

Example: I feel like he likes me; he will always look straight to my eyes.




  • Capitalization refers to the act of writing the first letter of a word in an upper-case letter while the remaining letters are in lower-case.
  • The rules of capitalization are based on different formats as follows:
    • Capitalization at the beginning of a sentence.
    • Capitalization at beginning of a quotation.
    • Capitalization of proper nouns.
    • Capitalization of pronoun “I”.
    • Capitalization of family relationships
    • Capitalization on names of gods and religious figures.
    • Capitalization of titles before and ending of a name.
    • Capitalization on dates and others.
    • Capitalization on countries and specific languages.
    • Capitalization on radio and television stations.
  • Punctuation refers to symbols that indicate the structure and organization of a sentence and shows the pauses to be noted when reading aloud.
  • The different punctuations most commonly used in English grammar are as follows
  • Comma
  • Period
  • Apostrophe
  • Colon
  • Quotation marks
  • Question mark
  • Exclamation point
  • Brackets
  • Parentheses
  • Dash
  • Ellipsis
  • Semi-colon



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