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Astinus
July 27th, 2007, 12:17 AM
Hey there, boys and girls. This is your old pal, Hanako Tabris. And I'm here to teach you some of the rules for grammar.

A few notes before we begin:

First, I'm an American, which means that I learned American grammar. I know that other countries do things differently. I've been trying to learn the other ways of doing grammar. Just let me know if I either get something wrong, or have forgotten something.

Two, I'm not covering everything in this topic. Unless there is some desperate need for me to, I'm leaving out things like the subjunctive mood out of this. This is only going to cover what is basic grammar know-how.

Three, I'm always up for editing this. Let me know if there's something you want me to cover. Let me know if there's something you know that I don't. Let me know if there is something that needs more clarification. (I'll admit now, I'm not a good teacher.) I'm reachable by all means of communication: PM, email, or even MSN. (Just remember that I don't spend all my time on the computer.)

A special note of thanks goes to Steven (Careful With That Axe, Pichu) for giving me the permission to do this. An extra-special note of thanks goes to my friend, DP479, for giving me the idea to do this.

-

Table of Contents:
Why is grammar important?
Dialogue
Homophones: Your/You're; They're/There/Their; Its/It's (http://www.pkmncommunity.com/showpost.php?p=2984240&postcount=7)
Formatting and You (http://www.pkmncommunity.com/showpost.php?p=3024322&postcount=9)

Let's begin with the question "Why is grammar so important?" I'm sure many of you have wondered why reviewers, like me, jump down your throat and yell about good grammar in your stories. Well, there are a few simple reasons, actually.

People seem to take you more seriously if your story is readable. Yes, your story might be understandable if you have something close to what you want to say. But really, no one wants to decipher what it is that you're trying to say.

It's not that hard to learn grammar. If you learn it and then practice it, then it'll just become second-nature to you. And if you have some sort of learning disability, then there are people out there willing to help you with grammar. They're called beta-readers. Just ask them politely to help you out by checking over your story and helping you with mistakes. The simple rules of grammar are not that hard to learn.

Just as a note, depending on how much free time I have, I could beta-read for some people. Just PM me for details. And don't be insulted if I turn you down. I'm a busy person.

-

Okay, now that that's all out of the way, let's get down to business. I'll start off with dialogue, because that seems to give the most people the most trouble.

Just as a little moment of advice: When a new person speaks, you start a new paragraph. So if person 1 says something, and person 2 wants to respond, person 2 gets his dialogue in a whole new paragraph. To make a new paragraph on the forums, hit the Enter button twice. Forums can't handle the typical indention that writing programs can. So to make a new paragraph, the Enter button just gets hit twice.

-

*All quotes following are from my own fanfiction. You may not borrow my original characters. Zo My Gods! Hypocrisy! ;o;*

Let's begin by taking an example of dialogue without any punctuation aside from quotation marks.

“I don’t snore” he said, sitting up in his chair.
Now, there are two ways to put in punctuation: the right way, and the wrong way.

“I don’t snore.” he said, sitting up in his chair.

“I don’t snore.” He said, sitting up in his chair.
See, the speaker tag and the quote need to go hand-in-hand. "He said" is a sentence fragment, or a sentence that really doesn't make a lot of sense. The correct way to do this is to replace the full stop with a comma, making this all one sentence. You're modifying the dialogue by saying how it was said.

"I don't snore," he said, sitting up in his chair.
And that's the way it's done.

But what about question marks and exclamation points? It's the same thing.

“Takeru, how’s life going for you?” he asked.

"Go, Ken-chan!" he cheered.

So what happens when we don't have a speaker tag? Well, then the comma before the closing quotation marks becomes a full stop, and the sentence after is a new sentence.

“I’ve been thinking a lot, since I kicked you out.” She pulled away to look into his eyes.

So now that we have that down. Let's move on to the next subject. When one has a sentence before the dialogue, the punctuation depends on that sentence.

If it's a dialogue tag:
He whispered, “You came to find me?”

And if it's not:
He turned to face her. “Shinrai?”

If the dialogue is in the middle of the paragraph, where it is surrounded by two sentences, you follow the same rules when necessary.

Hikari giggled at her partner. “A cat that cooks.” She looked at Shinrai. “It’s a good thing that we caught up with you. It’s getting late, and I didn’t feel like walking anymore.”

“Hi Takeru,” Iori said without lifting his head. “And how are you?”

And that's the basics for American grammar involving dialogue. Keep practicing! And keep writing!

-

For now, this is just going to be for dialogue. When I get the chance to, I'll add more on in new posts, and link to them under the table of contents so that they are easy to find.

diamondpearl876
July 27th, 2007, 05:27 AM
This should be stickied. ^^ Good job!

Careful With That Axe, Pichu!
July 27th, 2007, 05:51 PM
This was to be stickied before it was posted.

Thanks, Hanako!

stickied

Scytheteen
August 27th, 2007, 04:34 PM
i don't know if were supposed to reply to this but its really helpful to me

Gummy
August 28th, 2007, 04:32 PM
Why didn't I check this out earlier? So, This is what you meant by me having to work on my dialogue structure XD.

Tangerine Fox
August 28th, 2007, 05:10 PM
I love you! You make my editor-self fall out of my chair and shout for joy. You made a bunch of really good points and presented it very well. Brava!

Since you seem to like words, have you ever read "Right, Wrong, & Risky," or at least heard of it? It's a wonderful book, so if you haven't read it already, I'd suggest you pick up sometime. It's more on the proper use of words than anything else, but it's still a really fun read.

Astinus
October 15th, 2007, 08:14 PM
Well, now that PC is back up and running, I can finally post the next section!

But first...

scythemaster: Yeah, you can respond here. It makes me feel appreciated as a teacher (of sorts) to hear that this information helps someone.

Glajummy: Now you get it. XD

Tangerine Fox: Thank you! And no, I've never heard of Right, Wrong, and Risky. Another book to add to my list of "things to read". :<

I know it's been a month since I posted the dialog help, but I've been busy. And, sad to admit, unwilling to actually sit with a grammar book and type up the next post. But school is starting for me, so perhaps that'll fix my mood.

I'll edit this post with whatever I type up next if no one posts after me.

Ah, and Steve... Sorry? D:

-

This post has been floating in my mind for a while. It was a choice between writing a post explaining the differences of homophones or the stylistic and formatting of a fanfic on the Internet. I went with homophones because I just read two fanfics that mixed words.

Anyone get what I'm trying to say here? Good. Explain it to me.

-

Homophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings. There are many examples of homophones found in the English language. I, however, am only going to cover the common ones. These are the ones that if you mess up on them while writing school papers or job interviews, you could be living on the streets.

Your missing an "are"

"Your" is the possessive form of the second-person pronoun "you". It is used when you wish to show that the person in question owns something: "your computer", "your school", "your failed attempts at grammar".

Elm smiled, remaining calm. "William, your traveling partner is here."

"You’re" is a contraction of the two words "you" and "are". It is used in combination with nouns, verbs, and phrases to show a condition of the person in question: "You’re a writer", "you’re writing", "you’re on thin ice".

"You’re coming with me, riding my Dragonite."

There’s an easy way to remember the difference between "your" and "you’re" while writing. (They sound exactly the same while speaking, so no one cares.) Just read the sentence in question with "you are" when you reach the homophone. If "you are" doesn’t make any sense, then you need the possessive.

Their messing up they’re "there"

"Their" is the possessive form for third-person plural pronoun "they". It is used when you wish to show that the group of people in question own something: "their cars", "their monkeys", "their land".

"If FINALE gets him under their control, they could take over the world much faster than they are now."

"They’re" is a contraction of the two words "they" and "are". It is used in combination with nouns, verbs, and phrases to show a condition of the people in question: "they’re going somewhere", "they’re human".

"They’re going to kill you for bein’ so dumb."

Its a lack of an apostrophe

"Its" is the possessive form of the third-person pronoun "it". I know that it seems rather odd to make a possessive form of a word without adding an apostrophe -s. But it is done that way. Why? You’ll see.

It pointed its sharp beak at Uisce.

"It’s" is the contraction of "it is". You know what it’s used in conjunction with.

It’s trying to kill her.

I’m done now with homophones. These are the three main ones that get misused in writing. Just remember that not only does correct grammar help your fanfiction, it also helps you in your professional life!

Gummy
October 16th, 2007, 02:00 PM
*wipes forehead* Well, at least I don't have many mistakes in that field (although a lot of authors do). So what do you plan to write on next? The fact that alot isn't a word? Or when to use a period, comma, or semi-colon? (I need help with this one XD)

Keep up the good work!

Astinus
October 27th, 2007, 08:01 PM
(Small note: I had a lot of fun writing this post.)

Whee. Time for a pop quiz, readers! Don't give me those groans! It's an easy quiz!

Which one of these sentences can you read on all the skins of the forum without your eyeballs wanting to run in fright?

a.) Can you read this one?

b.) How about this one?

c.) Or maybe this one?

If your answer is either a or b, get out of my classroom, now. :< Just get. You make me cry. It's not nice to make Hanako cry.

If your answer is c, you get a cookie. And I hope you didn't cheat and glance at another's paper. That would be wrong, and your cookie will turn into a yucca. (Look it up. It exists. =.=)

See, the point I'm getting at, children, is that you shouldn't play with the fonts of the forum when posting your fanfiction.

*hand raises in back* But we have the option to post in different colors!

That's for normal posts. See, with fanfiction, you want to reach the widest audience possible. And to reach this wide audience, you don't want to make future readers shift through all the skins of the forum to find the exact one that will make your story readable. If you make your readers work to read your story, then they won't be happy. And unhappy readers are readers that don't review.

So if you want reviews, don't play with fonts. Just post in the default one. Sure, it looks boring, but hey hey! Everyone can read it without their eyeballs spontaneously bursting into flames! And they might review!

And just as a small afterthought about reviews before the bell rings: We have guests that come onto these forums and want to read a few fanfics. Their views count towards total views on your thread. So if you have a lot of views, but no reviews, it could just be guests.

Or really lazy reviewers. :3

Now get on out into the sunshine and write those fics, while I think up the next lesson!

Scytheteen
November 9th, 2007, 01:56 PM
(Small note: I had a lot of fun writing this post.)

Whee. Time for a pop quiz, readers! Don't give me those groans! It's an easy quiz!

Which one of these sentences can you read on all the skins of the forum without your eyeballs wanting to run in fright?

a.) Can you read this one?

b.) How about this one?

c.) Or maybe this one?

If your answer is either a or b, get out of my classroom, now. :< Just get. You make me cry. It's not nice to make Hanako cry.

If your answer is c, you get a cookie. And I hope you didn't cheat and glance at another's paper. That would be wrong, and your cookie will turn into a yucca. (Look it up. It exists. =.=)

See, the point I'm getting at, children, is that you shouldn't play with the fonts of the forum when posting your fanfiction.

*hand raises in back* But we have the option to post in different colors!

That's for normal posts. See, with fanfiction, you want to reach the widest audience possible. And to reach this wide audience, you don't want to make future readers shift through all the skins of the forum to find the exact one that will make your story readable. If you make your readers work to read your story, then they won't be happy. And unhappy readers are readers that don't review.

So if you want reviews, don't play with fonts. Just post in the default one. Sure, it looks boring, but hey hey! Everyone can read it without their eyeballs spontaneously bursting into flames! And they might review!

And just as a small afterthought about reviews before the bell rings: We have guests that come onto these forums and want to read a few fanfics. Their views count towards total views on your thread. So if you have a lot of views, but no reviews, it could just be guests.

Or really lazy reviewers. :3

Now get on out into the sunshine and write those fics, while I think up the next lesson!

Oh man, I picked letter A...

Good job Hanako! Very helpful

- Sigma -
November 17th, 2007, 01:54 PM
This is an amazing tutorial for first-time fan fic authors. I hope all writers read this, because this will give you a lot of good grammar tips. No one wants a horrible grammar/spelling mistake, right?

Scytheteen
November 24th, 2007, 03:10 PM
Awesome work Hanako, maybe your next lesson could be on commas and apostrophes? Those are my weakest...

Gummy
November 24th, 2007, 03:54 PM
Awesome work Hanako, maybe your next lesson could be on commas and apostrophes? Those are my weakest...

I second that, with the addition of semi-colons.

Dogar The Brave
November 24th, 2007, 04:03 PM
And where to put hyphons...

Astinus
November 24th, 2007, 08:22 PM
Thanks, Scythe-kun! I had already covered its/it's and there/they're/their in my other serious post, but I had no idea about the last one. o.O

Okay, okay! I'll write one about commas, apostrophes, and semi-colons! I've been thinking about the semi-colon one for a while, but I guess I could do one for the other two as well.

If I feel like it. :>

JX Valentine
November 24th, 2007, 08:51 PM
If I may butt in about the use of the comma after the abbreviations i.e. and e.g., that actually depends on the style you're using. Some styles use commas (because they stand for a phrases that would typically use commas), and some don't (because putting a comma after a period would be redundant).

For this reason, I have yet to read a comma usage guide that actually includes i.e. or e.g. (including the ones out of the textbooks I had in high school), although I've seen written work that follows the former style by inserting commas after the second period and have just assumed that either could be correct. *shrug*

Scytheteen
November 25th, 2007, 08:26 AM
Hmm...I don't know. My W/E teacher was the one who taught me that. I guess that's just my style of writing.

Alter Ego
November 25th, 2007, 09:42 AM
i.e. = id est

e.g. = exempli gratia

I just think that giving the actual words those letters are derived from would be appropriate, though of course you don't have to if that seems unnecessarily complicated.

You've also got some typos there, Scythe-kun (like 'right' instead of 'write'), given that this is a grammar thread you might want to clear those up. ;3

Other than that, nice work. Seeing my favorite sticky in this section grow is always nice too. ^^ Cookies for all. =O

And I must say, something on commas would be very much appreciated, (The little buggers always confuse me >.<) so...umm, here's hoping that you'll feel like it? xD

JX Valentine
November 25th, 2007, 09:57 AM
Hmm...I don't know. My W/E teacher was the one who taught me that. I guess that's just my style of writing.

Exactly. XD Even teachers tend to differ when it comes to whether or not you should use a comma. Most of the English teachers I've ever had (including my creative writing teacher and my English professors) have said not to use a comma or never bothered to correct me when I wrote the abbreviations without commas. Occasionally, I'll find a professor that uses that style, but other than that... *shrug*

Astinus
November 25th, 2007, 12:16 PM
Grammar and spelling pretty much are the same thing. It's those crazy homophones again.

And I've never been taught the i.e. or the e.g. usage in all fifteen years of my school career. So I can't really help out in determining what's more used, because I don't know a thing.

Alter Ego, mine better be an almond cookie. >0

Dogar The Brave
November 25th, 2007, 12:29 PM
I didn't see a correction here for the misuse of advice and advise, so I decided to do it myself.

To make things clearer for those who don't understand, 'advice' is people give advice to other people.

E.g.

The advice Joe had given Darren really helped.

Now, I have seen a lot of this:

The advise Joe had given Darren really helped.

Come on, which looks better? If you picked the last one, this article you're reading is really going to help you in life.

Ok, what about this?

I was going to advise him not to steal the cookies, but I didn't.

Or,

I was going to advice him not to steal the cookies, but I didn't.

Which one looks right? The first one, it's more or less whatever sounds proper really.

So, advice is when someone has given it to them, and is normally the one used most often, whilest advise is normally a person speaking directly to another.

"I would advise you to do your homework when you get it," Mark's teacher told him.

"The advice she gave you, Mark, was pretty good advice."

Really, it isn't that hard.

PM me if I missed anything.

Psy_MoonShadow
November 25th, 2007, 03:03 PM
Er...no. Remember [S-HIGHLIGHT]you're is just a shorter way to right you are.[/S-HIGHLIGHT] Remember to defrag you are machine on a regular basis makes no sense!
You're wrong. "You're" is just a shorter way to write "you are." D:

Honest mistake, no worries. Though maybe you should have a "lesson" on that right/write/rite?


Also, I highly reccomend something on to/too/two. ^.~

~Psychic

Psy_MoonShadow
November 25th, 2007, 04:24 PM
Spelling mistake on my part - my apologies. You're supposed to look at the word in bold. XP

Also, while I see the to/too/two mistake being made quite often, would have/could have/should have isn't something I'd think needs to be discussed really, but meh, your call. :P

~Psychic

Sike_Saner
November 25th, 2007, 04:31 PM
Also, while I see the to/too/two mistake being made quite often, would have/could have/should have isn't something I'd think needs to be discussed really, but meh, your call. :P

Something that perhaps should be discussed regarding "would have/could have/should have" is the mistake folks sometimes make of writing them as "would of/could of/should of". I've seen that one fairly often.

Gummy
November 25th, 2007, 04:43 PM
Something that perhaps should be discussed regarding "would have/could have/should have" is the mistake folks sometimes make of writing them as "would of/could of/should of". I've seen that one fairly often.

While you're at it, might as well include when to use would/could/should. I'd like to see the person that can accomplish all of this.

Astinus
November 25th, 2007, 07:34 PM
Or I could close this thread and make it so that only I can post in it. Cut the spammy messages, you two. This is your last warning, since you both should know better. I wanted this thread to remain open so people could ask questions in it, not fight over who gets to do what posts. And yes, keep it up and I will do that.

And yes, I could also suggest that you proof-read your advice posts before posting them. Grammar advice posts should not be containing any spelling mistakes. It is nice that you want to help, but this is not a matter of "Do as I say, not as I do." If you're giving out grammar advice and yet have spelling mistakes, then no one should bother listening to you, to be harshly honest.

txteclipse
November 25th, 2007, 07:41 PM
By "get it while it's easy," do you mean reviews, H-T?

You kinda just stopped reading my fic...do you like it still? Did I kill it for you somewhere? You're probably busy, but I'm just letting you know that it's still there.

Careful With That Axe, Pichu!
November 25th, 2007, 07:43 PM
By "get it while it's easy," do you mean reviews, H-T?

You kinda just stopped reading my fic...do you like it still? Did I kill it for you somewhere? You're probably busy, but I'm just letting you know that it's still there.

And that's completely offtopic. Treat these issues through PM or you'll get a warning.

txteclipse
November 25th, 2007, 07:51 PM
Oh crap, sorry. I thought this was the writer's lounge -_-'

I guess I should pay more attention.

Astinus
November 26th, 2007, 12:44 PM
Watch yourself, txteclipse. Even that last message was offtopic.

After careful thinking and discussion with my best buddy (in the world), I'm closing this topic to prevent further spam. Any questions or any topic that anyone wishes to add should be sent to me via PM.

Sorry y'all, but I have a plan for this topic. And I'm just closing it to protect my brain child.