Celebrate National Punctuation Day and Write it Right

Connie McKinneyStarred Page By Connie McKinney, 25th Sep 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Languages

It's National Punctuation Day today. Or is it: its National Punctuation Day today? Read on to find out which version is correct and learn some basic grammar and usage rules.

How to Use It's Or Its

Even the best writer can stumble when it comes to punctuation, grammar and usage. Native English speakers as well as non-natives can get confused as to what word or punctuation mark should be used. Maybe you should write: there daughter is sick. Or maybe you should write: their daughter is sick? Or is it: they're daughter is sick?
Today is National Punctuation Day. So let's look at some common mistakes people make and learn how to avoid them.
Go back and read the previous sentence. Notice the apostrophe in let's. One mistake many people make is not understanding when and how to use an apostrophe or what it stands for. Here is the secret: an apostrophe stands for a missing letter. In this case, it's the letter U for let us.
The apostrophe confuses a lot of people when it comes to the word its. Or is it it's? The easy way to tell which word to use is to substitute the words: it is and see if it makes sense.
Go back to my page summary. Substitute the words: it is. Does it make sense to say: it is National Punctuation Day today? In this case, yes it does. It's National Punctuation Day today.
You would use the word its to indicate possession. For example, the dog wags its tail. The tail belongs to the dog. You wouldn't say the dog wags it is tail.
Here are some more grammar hints explained in a humorous way:

How to Use They're, Their or There

These three words confuse a lot of people.
Once again, notice the apostrophe in they're. It stands for: they are. If it makes sense to say they are, then you use they're.
They're tired today. You can also say: they are tired today.
Use their to indicate possession - something that belongs to somebody. Their dog
is a poodle. This means that the dog belongs to somebody. You wouldn't say: they are dog is a poodle.
Use there to indicate a direction or a location. There goes the neighborhood. You wouldn't say: they are goes the neighborhood. Nor does the neighborhood belong to somebody.

How to Use To, Too or Two

Last week I posted a picture of my husband and myself on Facebook. Here's what one of my friends wrote: "You too are a cute couple."
Was he right? Let's find out.
The word two is a number. Use two if you are referring to more than one but less than three people or objects. So my friend should have written:You two are a cute couple.
Too has two meanings. Sorry if that's confusing. The first means a lot. Ex: I ate too much.
The second meaning is also. He too ate too much. If you can substitute the word also, then use too.
The word to also has two meanings. Use to when you need a preposition - moving someone or something from one place to another. Ex. He went to the store.
To can also be used as an infinitive - to start a verb. Ex. She wants to write for Wikinut.

How to Learn More About Grammar and Punctuation

You don't even have to leave the Wikinut to learn more about grammar, punctuation, usage and spelling. My friend and fellow Wikinut writer, Phyl Campbell, is writing a whole series of articles on this subject. Check this one out
Another good online source is Grammar Girl.
Here is an article about National Punctuation Day which contains some good tips:
Two good books to read include "Eats shoots & Leaves" by Lynne Truss and "The Elements of Style" by Strunk and White. Grammar Girl has also published a whole series of books. All the books are sold on Amazon.com and at book stores.
I hope that you, too, have learned a lot from this article. Or do I mean you two?


The video came from You Tube.
I took the pictures myself.
This article used some information from Grammar Girl


Grammar, Grammar Correct, Grammar English, Grammar Rules, Grammar Tips, Punctuation, Punctuation Rules

Meet the author

author avatar Connie McKinney
I enjoy exercising, pets, and volunteering as well as writing about these topics and others.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
25th Sep 2013 (#)

Excellent! Speaking as a wikinut moderator I would like this article to be required reading for every wikinut author. Great star page Connie.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
25th Sep 2013 (#)

Thank you, Steve, for the star and the kind words. Much appreciated.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
25th Sep 2013 (#)

Hahaha! Whenever I come across a grammarian like myself, I always say, "there, they're, their." Great job!

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
26th Sep 2013 (#)

Good Evening, Connie. Thank you so much for this article. I have made my fair share of grammatical errors, however, we do not have to rely on what we learned in school. www.paperrater.com does a great job of checking and it is free, or it's free, whichever you like.....:) ~Marilyn

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author avatar Connie McKinney
26th Sep 2013 (#)

Thanks, Phyl. Here's to grammarians everywhere!

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
26th Sep 2013 (#)

I love the English language Connie . I help some foreigners learn it when I can , and they are happy to put the punctuation marks in the right places. It's a pleasure to teach them .
Well deserved star my friend .
Bless you
Stella ><

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author avatar Connie McKinney
26th Sep 2013 (#)

Thanks, Stella. I think it's wonderful that you teach people English. I'm sure you do a great job. Keep up the great teaching and writing, Stella.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
27th Sep 2013 (#)

inteesting and informative...thank you...

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author avatar Connie McKinney
27th Sep 2013 (#)

Thanks, Carolina.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
30th Sep 2013 (#)

thanks Connie!:0)

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
1st Oct 2013 (#)

Thanks Connie for your piece that hits the spot!

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author avatar Connie McKinney
1st Oct 2013 (#)

Thanks, Fern. Hope it's helpful.

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