“5 Ways” Learning Tips

Here’s a continuation of our previous post: 5 Most Important English Grammar Rules. Here are 5 more of the most important grammar rules you should know:

1. When to capitalize

  • Capitalize the first word of a document and the first word after a period:
    “This is the start of a new beginning.”
  • Capitalize proper nouns—and adjectives derived from proper nouns:
    “the Grand Canyon:
    “a Russian song”
    “a Shakespearean sonnet”
  • Capitalize titles unless they are used after a name or instead of a name:
    “The president will address Congress.”
    “Also expected to attend are President Barack Obama and George Bush.”Note that titles are not the same thing as occupations. Do not capitalize occupations:
    “director Steven Spielberg”
    “owner Helen Smith”
    “coach Biff Sykes”
    However, titles replacing someone’s first name are generally capitalized:
    “Here comes Professor Smith.”
  • Capitalize specific geographical regions: “We left Florida and drove north.”

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2. Is it there, their, or they’re?

Their, there, and they’re are all pronounced the same way but they all are used in different contexts.

“Their” is the possessive pronoun, as in “their car is red”.

“There” is used as an adjective,””he is always there for me,” a noun, “get away from there,” and, chiefly, as an adverb, “stop right there“.

“They’re” is a contraction of “they are,” as in “they’re getting married.”

3. Prepositions shouldn’t end a sentence.

This for example is incorrect: “The reason I had to leave the party early was because.” Prepositions leave you wanting more.

4. Learn when to use the contraction “I’m”.

A contraction is an abbreviated version of a word or words. “I’m” is short for “I am”. Even though “I’m” is a contraction, it cannot be used to instead of “I am” every time. “I’m” can’t be used at the end of a sentence. For example:

Correct: “Are you from Canada?”  “Yes, I am.”
Incorrect: “Are you from Canada?”  “Yes, I’m.”

5. There are exceptions to the rules.

The mnemonic “I before E except after C” will help you spell certain words; however, this rule does not apply to some words like ancient, science, or society. Learn the rules of the English language, then learn the exceptions.