Monday, November 13, 2023

The new updated Sentence Master - English Language Grammar Summary

The new updated Sentence Master - English Language Grammar Summary is available in digital form.

The 149 page English Grammar Summary is designed for beginner, intermediate, advanced and professional English Language students ages 5 to 100.
Picture of Blueprint for English The ORIGINAL Blueprint to English language grammar summary with practice word cards is designed for beginner and intermediate English Language students ages 5 to 100.

Blueprint to English is a 96 page summary of grammar practices, procedures and examples.

The practice word cards will provide you with enough variety to practice forming millions of English sentences. The word cards are an excellent mnemonic memory aid for parts of speech, word functions and vocabulary.

Click on the book cover - Go to Lulu and buy a digital or paper version.

Special Note for ESL English as a Second Language Teachers

Using the practice word cards is an excellent method of focusing the student's attention on the words in use and not be overwhelmed or distracted.

Teachers can teach the functions of the English words by parts of speech.

Teachers can use the Sentence Master practice word cards to teach the 1000 most used core English language words and demonstrate the wide variety of context variations used in written English communication.

Using the practice word cards can help ESL English teachers focus attention and the word cards become memory aids to assist in vocabulary retention.

Using the practice word cards can help ESL English teachers stage the learning step by step, expand vocabulary, teach grammar, context and comprehension and even have some fun.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

English Language Punctuation Part 1


We use an apostrophe [ ' ] to create possessive forms, contractions, and some plurals. Generally, if the noun is singular, the apostrophe goes before the "s". If the noun is plural, the apostrophe goes after the "s". If the word is plural without an "s", the apostrophe comes before the "s". The apostrophe shows where a letter or letters have been left out of a contracted verb.


Use a period [ . ] at the end of a sentence that makes a statement. There is no space between the last letter and the period. Use a period at the end of an indirect question. Use a period with abbreviations. The period comes after the parenthetical citation which comes after the quotation mark".


Use a comma to separate the elements in a series. Use a comma + a little conjunction (and, but, for, nor, yet, or, so) to connect two independent clauses. Use a comma to set off introductory elements. Use a comma to set off parenthetical elements. Use a comma to separate coordinate adjectives. Use a comma to set off quoted elements. Use commas to set off phrases that express contrast. Use a comma or a set of commas to make the year parenthetical when the date of the month is included. Use a comma to separate a city and a state, a name and a title, and to separate long numbers.


Use a semicolon [ ; ] to help sort out a monster list. Use a semicolon to separate closely related independent clauses. Use a semicolon to separate two independent clauses even when those two independent clauses are connected by a coordinating conjunction.


Use a colon [ : ] before a list or an explanation that is preceded by a clause that can stand by itself. You can use a colon to separate an independent clause from a quotation.


Use a question mark [ ? ] at the end of a direct question. When a question constitutes a polite request, it is usually not followed by a question mark. When brief questions are more or less follow-up questions to the main question, each of the little questions can begin with a lowercase letter and end with a question mark.


Use an exclamation point [ ! ] at the end of an emphatic declaration, interjection, or command.


Hyphens are used to create compound words; modifiers before nouns (the well-known actor, my six-year-old daughter, the out-of-date curriculum, writing numbers twenty-one to ninety-nine and fractions, five-eighths, one-fourth), creating compounds; on-the-fly for fly-by-night organizations. Hyphens are used to add some prefixes to words such as when a prefix comes before a capitalized word or the prefix is capitalized, use a hyphen (non-English, A-frame, I-formation). The prefixes self-, all-, and ex- nearly always require a hyphen (ex-husband, all-inclusive, self-control), and when the prefix ends with the same letter that begins the word, you will often use a hyphen (anti-intellectual, de-emphasize).


Use a dash [ — ] as a super-comma or set of super-commas to set off parenthetical elements. The dash is used to show breaks in thought and shifts in tone when writing dialogue. A dash is sometimes used to set off concluding lists and explanations in a more informal and abrupt manner than the colon. Do not use dashes to set apart material when commas would do the work for you.

Links to Sentencemaster grammar lessons, exercises, previous posts and social media in the right side bar.


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Intermediate Phrasal Verbs

A phrasal verb is used to convey a different meaning from the original verb. Different phrasal verbs can have the exact same meaning. Some phrasal verbs have one meaning for objects and a different meaning for people.  Many phrasal verbs will have their meaning depending on the context in which it is being used.


run + into = meet

I ran into my brother at the movies last night. 

run + away = leave home

He ran away when he was 17. 

Some phrasal verbs are intransitive.  An object can not follow an intransitive verb.


show + up = appear

He suddenly showed up. "show up" cannot take an object

Some phrasal verbs are transitive and can be followed by an object.


made + up = fabricate

Fred made up the story. "story" is the object of "make up"

Some transitive phrasal verbs are separable and the object is placed between the verb and the preposition. 


talked + into = convince

Barry talked my mother into letting him borrow the car.

look + up = research or find

She looked the restaurant number up.

Some transitive phrasal verbs are inseparable and the object is placed after the preposition. 


ran + into = meet

I ran into an old girlfriend yesterday.

look + into = research or investigate

He is looking into the problem.

Some transitive phrasal verbs can take an object in both places. 


I looked the number up in the phone book.

I looked up the number in the phone book.

Specific Rule: you must put the object between the verb and the preposition if the object is a pronoun.


I looked it up in the phone book. correct

I looked up it in the phone book. Incorrect

Look for the new SentenceMaster grammar summary