September Grammar Post

September Grammar Post

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  • Could you explain why the English language needs phrases and clauses?
  • Of course! Phrases add extra description to sentences. Clauses can act as their own sentences,
  • or they can answer the, "who, what, when, where, or why" to a sentence.
  • What about colons and semicolons?
  • Colons connect an independent clause to either another independent clause, or a dependent clause. The second clause adds illustration or explanation to the first clause.
  • If two independent clauses are related, a semicolon is used, rather than starting a whole new sentence
  • Wait, how is a dependent clause "dependent" on an independent clause?
  • Dependent clauses cannot stand on their own as a sentence, because they aren't complete thoughts. They need to be attached to an independent clause to make a complete sentence.
  • What about subordinating conjunctions? When do I use those?
  • Well, Toby, subordinating conjunctions are used to separate a dependent clause after a comma. They always indicate a setting or a cause and effect relationship.
  • Going  back to semicolons and colons, I should use them in place of a period between two related thoughts, right? Would saying, "my sister is a senior in high school; she's going to a college near home", be right?
  • Yes! That is correct for semicolons, but colons are used to connect an independent clause to a clause that describes that independent clause. For example, "we need the following ingredients for the cake: sugar, flour, cocoa, butter, etc."
  • Thank you for helping me, because I was really confused!
  • She wasn't here today, but usually I would.
  • Unless you have a mouth emergency, i'll see you in 6 months! Go out the door, and the lobby is on the left!
  • If you ever need help, ask your teacher.
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