Grammar and AP Style

Gary’s AP Style
I: AP Style, Numeric Rules
II: AP Style, Various Rules
III: Grammar
IV: HUB Style
Unit I: AP Style Numeric Rules
NUMBERS: the basic rules
Spell out one through nine
Numerals for any number larger than 10
Yes, it is the numeral 10, (NOT TEN)!
Commas in numerals such as 5,234
Ex) Grace Calhoun has two sisters.
Grace Calhoun has 1,256 admirers.
NUMBERS: Numeric Words
-Most other forms of numeric words follow
the general rules:
third place, 11th place
fourth grade, 12th grade
They have Comp Lit fifth period.
NUMBERS: Millions and Billions
2 million, 8 trillion
(notice that we use the numerals 2 and 8,
not two and eight)
Ex)47 billion, 11 million, 55 quadrillion, etc…
Note: we do not do this for the thousands!
NUMBERS: Decimals and Fractions
Spell out clean fractions less than 1 WITH HYPHEN
one-half, one-third, two-thirds, one-fourth, three-fourths
- For any fractional numbers greater than 1, use
1.5, 3.75, 15.1
For any non-clean fractions less than 1, use numbers
with a 0 preceding the decimal point:
0.44, 0.791
Numbers: Percent
Always spell out percent, never use % sign.
(This is a text rule— graphics can use the %
sign if needed)
50 percent, 25 percent, 0.10 percent, 255 percent
NUMBERS: Important Exception
A numeral cannot begin a sentence, no
matter how big that numeral is.
Eight hundred protesters froze to death
yesterday night.
Three million people wanted to touch Chloe
Kim’s bronze sequin jacket.
Ages: the basic rule
-Always use NUMERALS for ages:
The boy is 9 years old, the baby is 2 months
The kindergartner, 6, went home early.
This rule applies to ALL ANIMATE OBJECTS.
Dogs, cats, humans, babies all take numerals
Trees, buildings, schools, DO NOT.
Ages: Hyphenation
- Hyphenate ages when used as a
compound adjective or as a noun.
Ex) 18-year-old Kelly Goss
The 18-year-old is editor-in-chief of
The HUB.
- But some forms don’t require the hyphen
Ex) Kelly Goss is 18 years old.
Numeric Exception: Age
-The numeric exception for the beginning of
the sentence APPLIES to ages.
Five years old, the toddler threw up on his
Seventeen-year-old Anders Young is in love
with 17-year-old Charlotte Chen.
Money: the basic rules
Use the $ sign, never spell out ‘dollars’
Ex) $3.23, $6.50
-If it is a clean $ amount, do not put .00
Ex) $5 (NOT $5.00 or five dollars)
If something is in a CENTS amount, use $ sign
and place a 0 before the decimal point.
$0.50, $0.05, $0.75, etc.
Money: Millions and Billions
How do we write $3,200,000?
$3.2 million
How do we write $4,432,234,591?
$4.4 billion (we just approximate to a clean number)
Numeric Exception: Money
-The numeric exception for the beginning of
the sentence DOES NOT APPLY to money.
$5 is required to enter the dance.
$3.2 million dollars will be raised from the
parcel tax.
UNIT II: AP Style, Various Rules
Time and Dates
Speech Tags
List Separation
Classes vs. Subject Areas
Capitalization Rules
Miscellaneous Rules
Use numerals and a.m. or p.m.
4:30 a.m., 6:15 p.m.
IF it is exactly on the hour… NO :00
5 p.m., 7 a.m.
Except: spell out noon and midnight
-Abbreviate: Jan.-Feb. and Aug.-Dec.
-Easy rule: If the month has more than five
letters, abbreviate it
-The date is always just a numeral, never
“the third of March”
Jan. 14, May 17, Dec. 25
Dates: When Months Stand Alone
If there is no specific date, no
Anna Sturla’s birthday is in January.
BUT: Anna Sturla’s birthday is Jan. 21
Capitalization of Expressions of Time
Days of Week: Monday, Saturday
Seasons: summer, spring, winter, autumn
Abbreviate street if in numbered address:
315 W. 14th St.
But if there is no address…
W. 14th Street
ALL Numeric Addresses retain numbers:
1st Street, 2nd Street, 15th Street
Titles: class rank
-senior, junior, sophomore. NO CAPS
Combine titles when more than one senior,
The HUB’s photographers consist of junior
Lani Chang and seniors Peter Lin, Jenny
Davisson and Anders Young.
Capitalization rules for titles
-Capitalize “important” titles when they come
before the name:
Principal Jacquelyn Moore
Vice Principal Tom McHale
School Board President Sheila Allen
No caps for “unimportant” titles no matter where
they are:
head coach Dan Gonzalez, teacher Kelly Wilkerson
Example: Principal Jacquelyn Moore praised her
vice principals and Sheila Allen, the president of
the school board.
Reference Rules
First name and last on first reference, then
last name throughout. Exception: family
Junior Annamarie Pilon, a graphic artist for
The HUB, is rapidly learning AP style. Pilon
believes she can ace the test on Friday.
“No biggie,” Pilon said.
Titles: Other Rules
Never use Mr. or Mrs. when referencing
teachers. It’s just: journalism teacher Kelly
Wilkerson, biology teacher Ann Moriarty
Only use Dr. for medical doctors, not just
Ph.D holders. We DO NOT SAY Dr.
Moore!!! We do NOT say Dr. John Smith,
a professor of chemistry at UC Davis…
Speech Tags
Always use the formula: Person said
Ex) “I love you,” junior Shauna Simon said.
In fact, ALL punctuation goes inside
Try Splitting Quotes!
Instead of: “I like to eat food. I wouldn’t live
without it. I’m a food monster,” junior Lani
Chang said.
Try this:
“I like to eat food,” junior Lani Chang said.
“I wouldn’t live without it. I’m a food
List Separation Rule
No comma before last item of a list
Senior Peter Lin likes to eat hamburgers,
cheeseburgers, turkey burgers, salmon
burgers, steak burgers, McDonald’s
burgers, Burger King burgers and Habit
Burger burgers.
Classes vs. Subject Areas
Only capitalize official course titles, not
subject areas:
European French
He is a professor of
I like to
Biology I
economics assignment
Economics II
Capitalization Rules: Media
CAPITALIZE these items because they are
-Facebook, Wikipedia, Google, Twitter, Tumblr,
Internet, etc…
- email, website
 Apple devices: The i is LOWERCASE, the
next letter is CAPITALIZED:
iPod Touch, iPhone 4S, iPad, iMac, etc…
Capitalization Rules: DHS-related
Always Capitalize:
Student Government
Ex) Members of Student Government are meeting
today at lunch.
Do Not Capitalize:
Ex) Those losers are yearbook staff members.
AP/HUB Style for Sports
JV and varsity
men’s and women’s (no cap)
Do not capitalize names of sports!
And we don’t capitalize the title ‘coach’
It is no. 1, NOT #1. Includes no.2, no.3, etc.
Ex) Junior Glenn Hull plays no. 1 on the men’s
varsity tennis team, according to head coach
Dale Hersch.
Miscellaneous AP
No ‘s’ in toward, backward, forward, etc.
 ADVISER, not advisor
Quotations: when referring to all works of
art, literature, plays, movies, songs, etc.
Ex) “Inception,” “Catcher in the Rye,”
“Don’t Stop Believing”
Unit III: Grammar
Erratic Words
 Ellipses
 Possessives
 Singular vs. Plural
 Hyphens
 Class Periods
 However
Erratic Word Set #1
- ‘Since’ is only an expression of time, as in:
I have not slept since Monday. ‘Since’ cannot be
used to replace ‘because’
INCORRECT: I don’t want to sleep since I’m not
CORRECT: I don’t want to sleep because I’m not
Erratic Word Set#2
- ‘Who’ denotes a person, ‘that’ denotes a thing.
Check all nouns/pronouns that replace people
and make sure they use the ‘who’ form!!
Incorrect: He is the player that scored the most
Correct: He is the player who scored the most
Erratic Word Set#3
Over/more than
‘Over’ is a preposition; use ‘more than’
when talking about numbers.
Incorrect: The team scored over 50 points.
Correct: The team scored more than 50
Erratic Word Set#4
Like/as if, as though
-The word ‘like’ cannot replace ‘as if’ or ‘as though’
Incorrect: He acts like he’ll never run out of money.
Correct: He acts as though he’ll never run out of money.
Incorrect: The principal made an announcement…like it’ll
ever change anything.
Correct: The principal made an announcement…as if it’ll
change anything.
The Commonly Erratic Forms
Be careful of form usage in these words:
-They’re, their, there
-Your, you’re
-its, it’s
-Whenever we use …
There are THREE dots, not four or two.
In a quote, bracketed ellipses […] signify a
jump to another portion of the interview.
Unbracketed ellipses … in quotes signify a
pause in their speech that you want to
reflect in your writing.
Possessive: with s
When a common singular noun ends in s, its
possessive adds an s
Ex) The albatross’s beak
 A plural noun just takes the apostrophe
Ex) The students’ homework
 A proper noun ending in s just takes the
Ex) Kelly Goss’ pen
Careful with possessives!
-The possessive of ‘student’ is commonly
erratic! Check to see if you’re talking
about one student vs. many!!
Ex) At the basketball game, the students’
cheers deafened the crowd.
Ex) One student’s cheer was very loud.
Singular vs. Plural
These words are SINGULAR subjects and
take SINGULAR verbs and pronouns:
- group, team, class, family
Ex) The family owns its own house.
The team played its very best.
BUT: The team members played their
(What about “couple”? Singular or plural…
your choice!)
Hyphens in compound adjectives
We went on a 15-mile hike.
BUT: The hike we went on was 15 miles.
The two-hour talk show
BUT: The talk show was two hours long.
The cinnamon-loving chef
BUT: The chef is cinnamon loving.
More Hyphenated Expressions
That was a one-time exception
17-year-old Kelsey Ewing
The once-beautiful house is now ruined.
The twice-bankrupt man
NOTE: ‘ly’ words that come before a noun don’t
follow this rule because they’re adverbs, not
Ex) The exceptionally fast runner beat his record
Class Periods
Standard numbering rule applies to period:
Ex) It is first period right now. Because it is
Thursday, I’m going to third period next.
CAUTION: Hyphens— sometimes, class periods
take the form of compound adjectives!
Ex) My fifth-period class is AP Chemistry.
Ex) She has Mr. van Muyden as her third-period
chemistry teacher.
I want to see a comma after EVERY use of the word
however when it means ‘yet’ or ‘but’. The word
‘however’ is used this way 90 percent of the time.
Ex) “My mom got me an AP stylebook for Christmas,”
junior Kashmir Kravitz said. “However, I haven’t read
through the whole thing yet.
Ex) I like hot dogs; however, I don’t like hamburgers
Other uses of ‘however’
-When the expression ‘however’ gauges an
amount of something, or a method of doing
something, it does not take a comma
Ex)However tired you are, you must go to school.
Ex)However she wants to do it is up to her
Ex) She can bake however much cake she wants.
Unit IV: HUB Style
 University abbreviations
 Regions in Davis
 HUB Style for Editors
HUB Style: The HUB
This is the proper capitalization:
The HUB (no quotations or italics)
Other HUB-related words…
HUB Style: DHS
It is always DHS on all references…
Never Davis High School, Davis Senior High
School, or DSHS
Side Note: Da Vinci Charter Academy on
first reference, Da Vinci on repeated
HUB Style: GPA
AP Stylebook says: grade-point-average
However, we say: GPA on ALL references.
Ex) His GPA is 4.33
HUB Style: Universities
-First Reference: UC Davis, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara
-Repeated Reference: UCD, Cal, UCSB
-UCLA is always UCLA
-Other UCs are not as common so there is no second
reference abbreviation (UC Merced, UC Santa Cruz)
When we speak of the UC system (not a specific
university), it is “University of California” on first
reference, and UC on repeated references.
Ex) University of California President Mark Yudof said the
UC regents will be meeting to discuss the pepper-spray
HUB Style: Regions in Davis
Capitalize North Davis, South Davis, East
Davis, West Davis, Central Davis
No capitalization:
downtown Davis
HUB Style: For Editors
HUB Staff Writer
or Editor-in-chief
or HUB Correspondent
-Section editors use title in their section only, but there is
no HUB in front of title:
News Editor, Features Editor, In-Depth Editor
-When there is a shared byline with two people of different
titles, the title reverts to: HUB Staff Writers