Literacy paper punctuation



in today's lesson we're going to look at the punctuation section from the Department for Education and Skills literacy paper now in this section we have to make 15 changes to a piece of writing very often it's a letter from a school and that's exactly what it is that we have today we have to make sure that all of the punctuation is correct and there are many missing pieces of punctuation missing punctuation marks so the first one in this extract is is quite easy being honest firstly you can see that this is definitely a question do you have some spare time and we know that because the auxiliary verb do and the subject you are inverted and this is a signal that we are asking a question and so they've got the first one right they've got a question mark right at the end of it now have a look at the next sentence are you willing to give the school a helping hand now again we have the auxiliary verb and the subject they have swapped places it's not you are willing which would just be an ordinary positive sentence it's are you willing so we certainly need a question mark at the end of the sentence but you should be able to see that and you should see that it looks very bare without the question mark and so that's a signal that something is missing and it can't be a full stop because it is a question and we can see that from the start of the sentence so do read each sentence carefully otherwise you could possibly miss that and put a full stop instead now that's cavion on to the main the first paragraph we are looking for volunteers from the community to join us in enhancing the opportunities and experiences of brookdale schools children now there is a mistake in this sentence it's nothing to do with the esses at the end of opportunities and experiences there's no need for any kind of apostrophe here because these are simply plural nouns opportunities experiences and we only use apostrophes to show possession or a mission of a letter in for example don't or haven't you will get an apostrophe where the O has been dropped but there is an apostrophe needed in this sentence and the apostrophe must come right here between the L and the S and the way to understand apostrophes is to think of this this part here book Dow schools children think of it as the children of Brookdale school and that's why the apostrophe must go after the L in Brookdale school not after the S if you put the apostrophe after the S it becomes the children of book Dow schools and we're assuming that there's only one school in fact we don't need to assume we can see that there's only one school because the newsletter belongs to book Dow school and so they've put the apostrophe in the right place up here and we need it again down here to show that the children belong to Brookdale school as well okay let's carry on to the next sentence there are various ways in which you could help as a paired reader okay I've read that a little bit strangely actually because and it's because of the missing punctuation let me read it again there are various ways in which you could help as a paired reader as a sports sports coach I'm going to circle the prepositions here as a paired reader as a sports coach or referee as a chaperone on outings and by sharing a specialist knowledge you have now a circled the prepositions because really these prepositional phrases are telling that you're starting a list you've got the first prepositional phrase in the list the next prepositional phrase and then another one and then another one at the end now because we're starting a list we must have a colon here after help that's what we're missing we're missing a colon there are various ways in which you could help colon as a paired reader is the first item in the list now they're using semicolons to separate the items in the list and that is one of the functions of the semicolon I lit like to think of the semicolon in this function as a super comma it's like a comma but it's used for more complicated lists and usually it's used for lists which have a comma inside them somewhere but this one doesn't and so it's a little bit odd in that sense but that colon definitely needs to be there before the list and then we've got a list of 1 2 3 and then there is a fourth element on the list we've got this by sharing a specialist knowledge you have that's the fourth element on the list and so we definitely need a piece of punctuation here as well we need another semicolon okay because we've got one here we've got one here we need another one here too to make sure that it's clear that by sharing is the next element on the knit list it's not part of the previous element on the list okay let's keep going on to the next paragraph so we've already used a colon we've used a semicolon we've got a question mark there we've also got an apostrophe all of these punctuation marks we go through on our course okay we're gonna go down to the paired reading scheme has been running at Brookdale for two years now this is the word which is a certainly mistake with this word and it's because this word you'll notice that it's always had a capital B before and that's because it's a name we call names proper nouns this book Dale is a proper noun so it needs to be a capital B okay it needs to be the paired running scheme has been running at Brookdale with a capital B for two years comma during which time over 100 children have benefited from the help given to them by volunteers ok that looks ok I can't see any problems there the scheme operates every morning from 9 to 9:30 a.m. helpers elect to come as many mornings that they feel able and full guidance and training are given now I hope you can see here I'm going to use a different color this the scheme operates every morning from 9 to 9:30 a.m. that is an independent clause and this helped us elect to come to as many mornings as they feel able and full guidance and training are given is another independent clause so what that's telling us is that unless there's a mistake and of course there are mistakes we're trying to correct the mistakes we can't have to complete independent clauses just sitting together that would be a run-on sentence if you have that and that is of course a mistake so we need to change this sentence now I mean it's quite easy to miss because they have actually got a full stop here after the a.m. but because of the dot between the a.m. it doesn't look so obvious but it is the end of the first independent clause and so we need to make helpers into a capital letter we need a capital H therefore helpers okay I think the rest of that sentence looks ok so we'll leave the rest of that but the full-stop was already there so that doesn't count as one of the 15 extra punctuation marks that you're putting in but you the capital letter certainly does count ok so let's carry on to the next sentence pupils with sponses have been almost wholly positive now it's hold hold hold our horses there and just look at pupils responses now here we're really talking about the responses of the pupils just like earlier we were talking about the newsletter of Brookdale school and we needed that ' and we talked about the children of Brookdale school and we needed that ' now we're talking about the responses of the pupils and that means we need an apostrophe but the question is of where do we put the apostrophe do we apply the apostrophe before the S in which case it means the response of the pupil or do we put the apostrophe after the S in which case it means the responses of the pupils now of course it is the responses of the pupils and so we must put that apostrophe after the S not before the S this is very similar to the expression well to the the the name parents evening with parents evening we always put the apostrophe after the S and it's because it's the evening of the parents and not the evening of the parent yeah it must be parents evening with the apostrophe right there after the S if you put it before the S then it means the evening of the parent and that's not correct and the same here it's the responses of the pupils not the responses of the pupil and so we put the apostrophe after the S to make that clear okay so the the responses of the pupils have been almost wholly positive one twelve year old recently said however we've then caught I thought I'd never be able to read so that's what the one twelve year old recently said so again we've got two main clauses here this is a main clause pupils have will have been almost wholly positive and this is the second main clause one twelve-year-old recently said I thought I'd never be able to read and the whole rest of the text is what the one 12 year old recently said and so that's telling us that we definitely need a full stop here and if we need a full stop here we need a capital o for one 12 year old so that's another change we needed to change the cap change the small letter into a capital letter we need to add a full stop and also we we need a comma for direct speech we're quoting what the twelve-year-old said and so we do need that comma before the speech that's certainly necessary however I did spot one more mistake here and I think a lot of you out there will have also spotted this mistake even though it's not on the answers for the Department for literacy and skills paper so I think they've missed this one shame on them they should have a hyphen here one twelve-year-old you need a hyphen between year and old and a hyphen between 12 and year because this is a compound noun and these compound nouns when there's no s on the word year they always need hyphens between the 12 the year and the old you need two hyphens there so that's one that the paper missed and that does happen it only shows you that mistakes happen all the time and so that's something else there are really 16 mistakes in this in this piece of text and not just 15 okay so there were a lot of mistakes in that line we had a full stop a capital letter a – and a comma before the part that we're quoting okay let's carry on on to what the twelve-year-old recently said he said I thought I'd never be able to read comma but thanks to mrs. dave davis comma who has been helping me for eight months now that who has this isn't who's in any other sense it's not who is you can't say who is been helping me it must be who has been helping me which means we've emitted a few letters which means we certain need an apostrophe here as well we have to say who's been helping me and we have to add that apostrophe to show that this is who has been helping me for eight months and there's a second point here as well although maybe I'll quickly deal with the other apostrophe through a mission I have just read any missing letters need that apostrophe so there should be an apostrophe between I and the ve to show the omission of the H in the a I've just read but there's one more point on this line and that's we've started a non-defining relative clause something that we study on this court course is defining and non defining relative clauses this is a non-defining relative clause because we're not defining which mrs. Davis it's simply extra information about mrs. Davis which means why we use a comma here but we also need a comma at the end of the non-defining relative clause to show where the main clause starts and the main clause starts here with I have just read The Magician's Nephew and the Silver Chair all on my own so we definitely need that comma in there as well if we look at the last line we've got The Magician's Nephew which all looks good because it's got the inverted commas around the title of the book and we don't need a comma here by the way and it's simply because this sentence reads well without the comma and what I mean is that the object of read is The Magician's Nephew and the Silver Chair and because it runs into the sentence nicely we don't need a comma we can't say that about the previous comma here we can't say one to view or recently said it doesn't finish it doesn't complete the sentence nicely if it's said that very often you drop the comma but we've just said you need that comma in there because it chromatically it doesn't complete the sentence however this one does so there's no comma I've just read The Magician's Nephew a comma and the Silver Chair now look they've missed an inverted comma so we need to put one on this side of the silver chair and also they've only used a little s and this is the name of a book it's a title so we need a capital letter for titles that they are proper nouns and they need capital letters which is why The Magician's Nephew has a capital T a capital M and a capital n so that is the last mistake there we need that capital S but you can see they're testing many different punctuation marks and there is actually a lot of grammar in this small extract that they're testing not just apostrophes but colons semicolons commas dialects bit commas with direct speech sometimes they don't actually have a comma as you can see when we just quote the title because that fits in nicely to the sentence and so it is a difficult paper but as long as you're prepared and you study you revise the usage of all of these punctuation marks you shouldn't actually find it too difficult and anyway please do realize that everybody makes mistakes and so that's why they're missing that – there which definitely has to be there it's there in all of the dictionaries and I think that someone's just made a mistake with this paper anyway thank you for watching I hope you've all enjoyed this short lesson and there will be many more on the literacy literacy paper coming soon

1 thought on “Literacy paper punctuation”

  1. At 15:40,if the titles of the two books weren't a part of a quote, would be correct to use the the quotation marks instead of the inverted quotations?

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