Business Writing

  1. When is a colon used?
    • Use colons when you have finished the sentence and are
    • adding information after the colon that explains a word or idea in the sentence.
    • Do not use a semicolon for a colon.
  2. When is a semicolon used?
    • Use a semicolon only when there is a complete sentence before the semicolon
    • and a complete sentence after it.
  3. What are some capitalizations to avoid?
    • Do not capitalize the names of positions within the company unless they
    • precede the person's name ("President Jacobs")
    • or follow the name in the
    • address or closing of a letter.
    • Do not capitalize words that are not names of one specific thing, as in "Washington" or "2004 Berringer Year-End Report."
  4. What is a collective noun?
    • A collective noun is a single word that stands for a group of people, like
    • "family," "committee," or "jury."
  5. When do you pluralize a verb with a collective noun?
    • Use the plural verb for a collective noun when the members act as individuals, as in "Our family live in different parts of the
    • country."
    • Use a singular verb when the group acts as a unit, as in "Our family is
    • named 'Johnson.'"
  6. When do you use a comma before "and?"
    • Put a comma before "and" when the "and" joins two complete sentences.
    • Do not put a comma if the clause after the "and" has no subject.
  7. When are single quote marks used?
    Use single quotation marks only when you are quoting within a quotation.

    Otherwise, always use double quotation marks.
  8. Its or It's?
    Use apostrophes to show possession.

    • However, do not use an apostrophe with
    • possessive pronouns such as "its" and "his."

    "It's" is a contraction for "it is."
  9. Numbers - cardinal or ordinal?
    one through nine: spell out unless used in calculations, graphs, or explanations containing other numbers that are not spelled out.

    ten through ninety-nine: spell out or use numerals.

    larger than ninety-nine: use numerals

    • Do not start a sentence with a
    • numeral.
  10. When to hyphenate?
    Between two words that combine to modify a third word, unless the first word ends in "ly."

    • If the two words modify the third word, but don't work in combination, and could appear in any order, put a comma between the
    • words, not a hyphen.

    • For example, either a "long, fat end" or a
    • "fat, long end."

    • However, "shrink-wrap method," not "wrap,
    • shrink method."
Card Set
Business Writing
Rules that cover mistakes I commonly make in writing.