Colons are used to add additional information to an already complete sentence. They cannot be used to conjoin two sentences as if a comma. They are most commonly (almost always) used to add a list to clarify or expand on information on the other sentence.

Eg: There are three things I don’t like about school (complete sentence) : Homework, Schoolwork, any other work.

Whenever in doubt about colon usage swap out the colon with a namely. Colons are something to be used sparingly to clarify a specific part in a list format. So they can be boring in writing piece.

Eg: There are three things I don’t like about school, namely Homework, Schoolwork, and any other work.

You might also use a colon in the salutation of a letter. Instead of using a comma at the end of it you can use a colon

Dear Mrs Bevear:

You don’t need to capitalise the first letter after a colon unless it would usually need to be capitalised


Tenses table

Simple, Compound and Complex Sentences.

Simple sentence: A subject and a predicate in a sentence. Eg. The teacher stared.

Compound sentence: Two simple sentences connected by a conjunction (Fanboys: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so). Eg. He didn’t like to play outside, so he stayed inside all day.

Complex sentences: Is an independent or main clause with an additional dependent clause to add information to the sentence. Eg. Frustrated and tired, Joe continued his workout.

ways to make a complex sentence:

  • start with two adjectives
  • start with a ly word
  • start with an ing word
  • end with an ing word
  • sandwich technique
  • prepositional phrase
  • start/end with a conjunction
  • simile



Punctuating Dialogue

Dialogue is used in stories to show what certain characters say at certain times. This post will show you how to, and how not to punctuate your dialogue.

When and what to use:

  1. Quotation marks: When punctuating dialogue you must put quotation marks around all of the text that a character is speaking. For example “I like to eat food,” said Joe.
  2. Punctuation: Keep the punctuation inside the quotation marks. When you have an exclamation mark or a question mark you have to keep it inside not outside the quotation marks. A correct sentence would be “I like to eat food,” said Joe. Not “I like to eat food”, said Joe.
  3. Quotation marks: Uninterrupted speech only needs quotation marks at the beginning and the end. You never need them in between. An incorrect example would be “I like you a lot.” “But that was really mean.”
  4. Paragraphs: Always start a new paragraph when a new character speaks. A good example could be this:

“I like to eat food,” said Joe.

“I also like to eat food,” replied Jill.


Commas are a punctuation mark that we use almost daily in every single one of our stories and sentences. But commas are misused a lot and we still don’t realize it, but there is something we can do. I have made a little list about how to, and not to use commas.

You can do!

  1. Combine two independent clauses with a conjunction and a comma.
  2. When adding detail to an independent clause (My dog, Morton, is lazy. OR: my dog is lazy)
  3. When addressing somebody in particular (Lets eat, grandma)
  4. When making a list
  5. When you have more than one adjective modifying a noun (The witty, amazing Thomas)
  6. After an introductory phase or clause

When not to do!

  1. When combining two independent clauses without a conjunction (Splice)
  2. After the conjunction
  3. When separating a dependent and independent clauses with a conjunction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *