Grammatical Conventions for Grade 11

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Grammatical Conventions for Grade 11
Conventions from 9th grade list: sentence fragments, run-on sentences, misspelled words, periods, and
capitalization.
Conventions from 10th grade list: comma use, subject-verb agreement, quotation marks, italics, apostrophes.
1. Pronoun/Antecedent Agreement
A pronoun must agree with its antecedent in three ways:
Person refers to the quality of being.
Incorrect:
Correct:
If a person wants to succeed in corporate life, you have to know the rules of the game.
If a person wants to succeed in corporate life, he or she has to know the rules of the game.
Number is the quality that distinguishes between singular (one entity) and plural (numerous
entities).
Incorrect:
Correct:
If anybody wants to succeed in corporate life, they have to know the rules of the game.
If people want to succeed in corporate life, they have to know the rules of the game.
Correct:
If anybody wants to succeed in corporate life, he or she has to know the rules of the game .
Gender is the quality that distinguishes the entities as masculine or feminine.
Incorrect:
Correct:
Correct:
If a person wants to succeed in corporate life, he has to know the rules of the game.
If a person wants to succeed in corporate life, he or she has to know the rules of the game.
If people want to succeed in corporate life, they have to know the rules of the game.
2. Pronoun Case and Use
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3. Semicolon
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In compound structures, where there are two pronouns or a noun and a pronoun, drop the other noun for a
moment. Then you can see which case you want.
NOT: Bob and me travel a good deal.
(Would you say, "me travel"?)
NOT: He gave the flowers to Jane and I.
(Would you say, "he gave the flowers to I"?)
NOT: Us men like the coach.
(Would you say, "us like the coach"?)
In comparisons. Comparisons usually follow than or as:
He is taller than I (am tall).
This helps you as much as (it helps) me.
She is as noisy as I (am).
Comparisons are really shorthand sentences which usually omit words, such as those in the parentheses in
the sentences above. If you complete the comparison in your head, you can choose the correct case for the
pronoun.
NOT: He is taller than me.
(Would you say, "than me am tall"?)
In formal and semiformal writing:
Use the subjective form after a form of the verb to be.
FORMAL: It is I.
INFORMAL: It is me.
Use whom in the objective case.
FORMAL: To whom am I talking?
INFORMAL: Who am I talking to?
Use a semicolon between independent clauses in a sentence if they are not joined by and,
but, or, nor, for, yet.
Use a semicolon between independent clauses joined by such words as for example, for
instance, that is, besides, accordingly, moreover, nevertheless, furthermore, otherwise,
therefore, however, consequently, instead, hence. (In other words, between independent
clauses joined by transitional words that are not conjunctions.)
Use a semicolon to separate the independent clauses of a compound sentence if either of the
independent clauses contains potentially confusing commas.
Use semicolons instead of commas to separate a list of items which themselves contain
commas.
4. Colons
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Use a colon before a list of items, especially after expressions like as follows or the following. A colon says
"note what follows." A colon suggests equality.
Use a colon before a statement that expands or clarifies a preceding statement.
Use a colon in conventional situations. between hours and minutes in time after the salutation of a
business letter
5. Active and Passive Voice
In active voice, the subject performs the action expressed by the verb:
Example: The student wrote a song.
In passive voice, the subject receives the action expressed by the verb:
Example: A song was written by the student.
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