Introduction To Grammar Conventions In The English Language

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Introduction to Grammar Conventions

Conventions can be defined as a series of generally accepted standards for written English. We use these specific conventions so that our writing is more readable and so that our readers can easily discern what we are trying to say. There are four main categories that a convention may fall under: sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. In this chapter you will find information regarding these four conventions, along with additional information about writing style and tone, as well as some helpful explanations regarding homonyms and other confusing words that exist in the English language.

Phrases and Clauses

Phrases and clauses are both used as basic building block components
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All clauses contain a subject, a predicate, and a verb. The difference between these three components will be distinguished in the examples below. In order to be able to identify clauses, you should also know that there are four main types of clauses: independent, dependent, relative, and noun.

Independent clauses

An independent clause is a sentence that can stand on its own and that forms a complete thought. Every independent clause will follow the same pattern of SUBJECT + PREDICATE/VERB = COMPLETE SENTENCE. The sentence “Productive students receive good grades” is an example of an independent clause. Students = subject; receive good grades = predicate; receive = verb. Another example is “The cat jumped.” Cat = subject; jumped = predicate; jumped = verb. Although the second example is less complex than the first, they are both complete sentences as they both contain a subject, a verb, and a predicate.

Dependent
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You should always capitalize the first letter of a sentence and the pronoun ‘I’. “The first time I flew on a plane was to go to California.” You should also always capitalize proper nouns, such as the names of specific people, places, and organizations. For example, in this sentence: “Jane is from Germany”, both Jane and Germany need to be capitalized. You should also always capitalize the days of the week, the names of the months, and specific holidays. You should not capitalize the names of the seasons though, when used generally. For example: “Christmas is in the winter; this year the holiday falls on the last Saturday of December.” Lastly, you should always capitalize the names of family relationships (when they are used as proper names.) For example, in the sentence “I love my Aunt Jane,” ‘Aunt Jane’ must be capitalized, along with ‘I’, which also happens to be the first letter in the

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