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Formal Language


Capital Letters
Capital letters are used at the start of proper nouns. eg. Jane, Hamilton, Grandpa. Capital letters are also used at the start of sentences. eg. The cat jumped over the lazy dog. A capital letter is also used at the start of the first word in speech marks. eg. It is heavy, said Grandma.

Full Stops
A sentence always ends with a full stop. eg. The cat chased the rat. The rat ran as fast as it could. Full stops are also used for some abbreviations. If the first letter and only part of the word is included, a full stop is used to show part of the word is missing. eg. Etcetera - etc. Figure fig. If the first letter and last letter of a word is included in the abbreviation, a full stop is not used. eg. Mister Mr Doctor - Dr

Commas are used in a sentence to give a short pause. e.g. I was going to come earlier, but I had to finish my homework. Commas are also used to separate items in a list. e.g. Julie had a pet dog, a cat, a budgie and a goldfish for pets.

Apostrophes are used to contract a word, (show that something has been left out). e.g. Cant, Ill, hes. Apostrophes are also used to show ownership with nouns. e.g. The mans hat and the ladies lunches. A simple rule for the placing of the apostrophe can be used: When something is owned, place the apostrophe after the last letter of the owner. e.g. The ten athletes feet. (Ask yourself Who owns the feet? the athletes own the feet, so the apostrophe goes after the s). The childrens books. (Ask yourself Who owns the books? the children own the books, so the apostrophe goes after the n).

Direct Speech

Speech marks are put around the words being said. e.g. Hello, said Tom. Each piece of speech needs to start with a capital letter. e.g. Please can you help me, asked Mr Smith. Before we close the speech marks we need to punctuate (.,?!) e.g. Yay! yelled the children. Each new speaker needs to start on a new line. e.g. How old are you? asked John. I am nine, said Jane.

Tense refers to time and tells us when a process or action has happened. There are three tenses: past, present and future. Past tense: it has taken place e.g. My mother liked school. He was helping my mum last weekend. Present tense: it is taking place now e.g. I like school He is helping my mum this weekend Future tense: it will take place some time in the future e.g. My baby sister will like school. He will be helping my mum next weekend.

A noun is a naming word. It tells us the name of a person, place or thing. There are four kinds of nouns:
Common nouns name any ordinary thing that you can see and touch. Proper nouns are the special name of a person, place or thing and always start with a capital letter. Collective nouns name a collection or group of things.

e.g. apple, dog, boy, mountain.

e.g. Christmas, New Zealand, Tom, Hamilton.

Abstract nouns name something which could exist in your mind, although you cannot see or touch it.

e.g. a swarm of bees; a class of students; a litter of puppies. e.g. love, hope, anger, beauty.

A verb is a doing, being or having word. e.g. The cat scratched my hand. My cat was angry. I have a scratch on my hand. Two or three words are sometimes needed to complete the verb. e.g. The house may be sold. Verbs can be in the past, present or future tense. e.g. danced, dancing, to dance.

An adverb is a describing word. It adds meaning to verbs, adjectives and other adverbs. Adverbs tell how, when and where. e.g. I ran quickly. (How) I ran yesterday. (When) I ran there. (Where)

An adjective is a describing word. It describes or adds meaning to a noun or pronoun. e.g. She is pretty. The fifth boy to finish. This is my book.

A simile is a comparison of two unlike things. A simile usually uses the terms "like or "as. e.g. As sly as a fox. As brave as a lion. As busy as a bee. As cool as a cucumber.

A metaphor is a kind of word picture. If you say that something is something else, or speak of it as though it is something else, you are using a metaphor. e.g. He has a heart of stone. She was the apple of her fathers eye.

An antonym is a word opposite in meaning to another. e.g. Happy and sad. Large and small. Rude and polite. Danger and safety.

Synonyms are words which are the same or similar in meaning. e.g. tired and fatigued big and large. small and tiny. chilly and cold. Synonyms can be found in a Thesaurus.

Homonyms are the general name for two sets of words. The first group sound the same but are spelt differently, e.g. fare and fair; air and heir. The second group are spelt the same but sound different and have different meanings. e.g. bow (to bend over) and bow (the front of a boat); row (a noise) and row (to row a boat).