A period (.) ends a sentence. It comes immediately after the last letter of a sentence, and there only needs to be one space between it and the first letter of the next sentence. You’ll also see them used used in abbreviations, such as when
United States is shortened to U
Forming Comparative Adjectives
To make a one-syllable adjective comparative, all you need to do is add
-er to the end of it. So short becomes
shorter, cold becomes colder, and sweet becomes
With two-syllable words, there are a couple of methods you can use. If the adjective ends in
-y, you change the
Y to an I and add -er. So for example, happy becomes
happier, friendly becomes friendlier, and curly becomes
If the two-syllable adjective doesn’t end in -y, just add
more or less before it. This way, perfect becomes more perfect
, and modern becomes less modern. Same with adjectives that have three or more syllables.
becomes more beautiful, and comfortable becomes
These two methods shouldn’t be used together. Saying “Her hair is
more curlier than mine,” isn’t quite right. It’s better to say “Her hair is
curlier than mine.”
Irregular Nouns That End in -Us
Some irregular nouns end in -us, like alumnus and
cactus. To make these words plural, drop the -us and add an
-i. For instance, “Many colleges request donations from
alumni.” There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. For instance, the aforementioned alumni attended different college
campuses, not college campi.
Irregular Nouns That Don’t Change
Not all nouns follow the same rules. Some are exactly the same in their singular and plural forms. The word
sheep, for instance, can mean one woolly animal or many woolly animals. The word
can mean one airplane or many airplanes.
At the same time, some irregular nouns only exist in their plural form. For example, there’s no singular form of
scissors, pants, species, or shorts.
The Exclamation Point
An exclamation point (!) ends a sentence emphatically. It replaces a period to express strong feelings, like
excitement, anger, or surprise. Some sentences that tend to use exclamation points include “Help
!” “Happy birthday!” and “Get out!”
A semicolon (;) separates sentences that are closely related but grammatically independent. For example: “My brother isn’t feeling well
; he’s been sick for a week.” The two independent sentences could be separated by a period. A semicolon also works here since the two sentences are closely related.
You can also use semicolons to separate a list of items that contain commas. For instance: “I’ve been to Paris, France
; London, England; Rome, Italy; and Madrid, Spain.” Imagine how confusing reading that would be if there were commas where the semicolons are.
Irregular Nouns That End in -Y
Some irregular nouns that end in -y are made plural by changing the
y to an i and adding -es. For instance,
baby becomes babies, and lady becomes ladies. But, if it ends in a vowel followed by
y, it’s actually a regular noun. For example, “Santa brings
toys to children by climbing down their
A comma (,) separates a series of independent sentences, nouns, adjectives, verbs, or phrases. That sentence you just read was a good example of commas separating nouns in a series. When a comma connects two independent sentences, you’ll usually see it with a conjunction (like
and, but, or or). For example: “He went to the movies
, and his wife went to the mall.”
A comma can also be used to separate nonessential details in a sentence. For example: “The boy
, who has red hair
, goes to my school.” Who has red hair, is information that doesn’t change the meaning of the sentence if it’s removed. Putting commas around an extra detail like this helps keep it from cluttering the sentence.