Here’s how to use a dash in a sentence—and why! Dashes can be one of the most confusing punctuation marks in the English language. Not even the experts agree on how to use them. This, however, is a good thing. It shows how the English language is constantly evolving. And there are some simple ways to use them.
Let’s explore how to use apostrophes in contractions. Apostrophes are different from other kinds of punctuation marks. Unlike periods, commas, or question marks, for instance, an apostrophe becomes part of a word and can change its meaning dramatically.
Something students often find confusing is how to use an ellipsis in a sentence. We may see it employed all around us . . . and yet be uncertain how to use it ourselves. In the Basic Cozy Punctuation Course, Marie explores how to use the ellipsis as one of the four ways a period is used within a sentence.
In the Basic Cozy Punctuation Course, one of the topics both Marie and I explore is how to use a semicolon in a compound sentence. Semicolons have a way of confusing young learners (and not-so-young learners) because their appearance can seem a bit confusing, but there’s a simple way to remember what they do.
One of the most common and confusing issues in English grammar is the difference between lay, lie, and laid. People can usually remember that there IS a difference, but most have trouble remembering what the difference is. Here Thomas shares a way to remember the difference between lay, lie, and laid for good.
When we start learning grammar, certain terms can feel intimidating. What is a principal clause? What is a compound sentence? Ideas like these can be confusing and can make students anxious. Yet knowing grammatical terms like these can help open the doors to excellence in writing and greater appreciation of beauty.
Whether you or your students are in school, homeschooling, unschooling, or just learning on your own, at some point you’re bound to face the question, “What is an essay?” Here’s Marie’s simple definition and a surprising second definition from Thomas. What is an essay? The powerful possibility of calmness.
Even the brightest students of English grammar can become confused about whose or who’s. In fact, a student from Kahului, Maui, recently asked me to clarify the difference in an Ask Cozy Grammar video. After you take a peek, I’ll share three keys I’ve discovered to remembering grammar easily, keys you can easily use with your students.
A topic that can sometimes intimidate students (or their teacher or parents!) is how to use quotation marks in a sentence. Everything seems fine till you need to combine quotation marks with other kinds of punctuation marks, like periods and commas. Does the final period go inside or outside the quotation marks? Here’s our answer.
Marie and I have both long believed that grammar can enhance creativity. We’re therefore particularly delighted to share a poem written by one of Cozy Grammar’s students, Miguel Gonzalez Del Castillo. Miguel wrote the following poem in response to a creative writing assignment in the Basic Cozy Grammar Course.
Do you remember the first time you discovered exclamation marks? How powerful! And how fun! These marks can serve powerfully, especially when used adeptly. But using exclamation marks adeptly can take some practice. That’s why we wanted to share two free excerpts from our Basic Cozy Punctuation Course.
We have a chock-full newsletter for you this month, with an announcement of an early-bird special, an introduction to our free Learning Treasure Trove, a surprising way to win a free lifetime subscription to our Basic Cozy Grammar and Punctuation Combo, and a mini-lesson from me and Marie about hyphens.
In our most recent Ask Cozy Grammar Q & A session, a participant asked, “Why are commas so confusing? There’s so many different rules. How do I begin understanding them?” Here’s an answer from Thomas about getting started with commas as well as a free excerpt from Marie’s lesson on commas from the Basic Cozy Punctuation Course.
Join Marie and Thomas for an exploration of sentences and sense. In an except from Lesson 1 of the Basic Cozy Punctuation Course, Marie shows us how to use periods at the ends of sentences. Then, in a supplementary video from the Basic Cozy Punctuation Course, Thomas shows the importance of periods in seeing the sense of our sentences.
Did you know there are four basic kinds of sentences? Watch a free excerpt from Lesson 1 of the Basic Cozy Grammar Course where Marie uses clear and concrete examples from life in her cozy beach cottage to illustrate the four kinds of sentences: assertive, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory.
Sometimes knowing a little history can go a long way in helping us understand a subject. Exploring the story of where punctuation comes from is not only interesting but can also help us learn to use the dots, lines, and squiggles of punctuation easily, freely, and joyfully.