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.
When is a semicolon used?
- Use a semicolon only when there is a complete sentence before the semicolon
- and a complete sentence after it.
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."
What is a collective noun?
- A collective noun is a single word that stands for a group of people, like
- "family," "committee," or "jury."
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
- Use a singular verb when the group acts as a unit, as in "Our family is
- named 'Johnson.'"
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.
When are single quote marks used?
Use single quotation marks only when you are quoting within a quotation.
Otherwise, always use double quotation marks.
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."
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
larger than ninety-nine: use numerals
- Do not start a sentence with a
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."