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Literacy at Super Brainy Beans

Punctuation

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3 & 4
  • Year 5 & 6

Year 1

.

 

Full stops

Full stops are used to end a sentence.

I went swimming today.

 

Full stopsFull stops
Read the sentence. Click and drag a snail to where the full stop should be.
A

 

Capital Letters

Sentences always start with a capital letter.

Today is my birthday.

Capital letter also comes at the beginning of a name of a place, person or date.

Dave moved to London City in January

Always use a capital letter when writing I in a sentence.

James always laughs when I pull a silly face.

 

Alien PunctuationAlien Punctuation
Blast the correct punctuation in the right places. Choose Medium.
Capital LettersCapital Letters
Spot where the capital letters should go.

 

?

 

Question mark

Question marks are used at the end of a question.

Did your football match go well today?

!

 

Exclamation mark

Use the exclamation mark to show emphasis or surprise.

Stop! The car is coming.

NOTE: Don't use more than one exclamation mark.

Pengiuns on icePenguins on ice
Select the correct ending to the sentences. Select Which mark?

Year 2

A

 

Capital letters

Remember that sentences always start with a capital letter.

Today was sunny.

 

A person's name (proper noun) always starts with a capital letter even if they are in the middle of a sentence.

Jake went out to play. On the
way to the park he saw Sam.

 

A place (proper noun) also begins with a capital letter.

We went to York in the holidays.

 

Special names (proper nouns) also begin with a capital letters. These are days, Monday, months, April or special dates Christmas and Easter.

Christmas is on Wednesday, 25th December.

Proper nouns can also be names of brands, Ferrari, tiles of books, plays or films, The Twits, or it could be names of paintings or sculptures, Mona Lisa.

I drove my Mercedes to Waterstones to buy a copy of The Railway Children then drove to the theatre in time to see Matilda.

Remember to use a capital letter when you use I.

While I was at the beach I had an ice cream.

Capital LettersCapital Letters
Spot where the capital letters should go.
Going to workPlay your caps right
Can you capitalise on your success?
Blown AwayBlown Away
Can you blow away the out-of-place punctuation?
.

 

Full stops

Remember that sentences always end with a full stop.

Dolly jumped over the fence.

Full stopsFull stops (Advanced)
Read the sentence. Click and drag a snail to where the full stop should be.
!

 

Question mark

Question marks are used at the end of a question.

Did your football match go well today?

!

 

Exclamation mark

Use the exclamation mark to show emphasis or surprise.

Stop! The car is coming.

NOTE: Don't use more than one exclamation mark.

Pin BoredPin Bored
Bored? Then try to pin down the right punctuation using either full stops, exclamation marks or question marks.
?

 

Commas in lists

Commas are used to separate items in a list. Take this shopping list:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Pears
  • Grapes

 

As a sentence it looks like this:

I brought apples, bananas,
pears and grapes at the shop.

Notice there is no comma separating the last two items as you have 'and' instead.

Converting lists to sentences
Try changing these lists into sentences using commas.
" "

 

Speech marks

Use speech marks when someone is talking.

"My cake had pink icing," said Jessica.

Alien PunctuationAlien Punctuation
Blast the correct punctuation in the right places.
?

 

Apostrophes to shorten words (contractions)

You use an apostrophe to show that letters have been missed out of a word. These words are called contractions.

did not = didn't
do not = don't

noteBe careful when you use its and it's. You don't always need an apostrophe. If you are not sure, read the sentence as it is and see if makes sense.

It's raining. = It is raining. tick
The cat licked it's fur. = The cat licked it is fur. cross

The last sentence is incorrect and doesn't make sense, so you do not use an apostrophe.

Apostrophes for contractionsApostrophes for contraction
See how apostrophes are used to join two words together.
Learn the rules
Play the game
?

 

Apostrophes to show belonging (possession)

Use an apostrophe to show that something belongs to someone. The rules below all work when talking about one person.

If the word does not end with s then just add 's.

dog = The dog's ball.

If the word end with s then either add 's or just '.

James = James's coat or James' coat.

If the word ends with ss then just add 's.

princess = The princess's gown.

Apostrophes for possessionApostrophes for possession
See how apostrophes are used to show possession.
Learn the rules
Play the game

Year 3 & 4

Commas in sentences

Commas can be used to break a sentence.

I like playing football in the garden,
but I prefer the park.

CarefulCareful with using commas in the right place, it can really change the meaning of the sentence.

Let's eat, Granny.

Let's eat Granny.

Watch this video from the book Eats, Shoots & Leaves For Children: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference to see more examples on how commas make a difference.

Commas can also be used either side of someone's name when they are being addressed.

Will you, Adam, please put
your pens away for me?

 

Commas are used to separate the day of the month from the year.

I visited my uncle on March 6th, 2012,
in Manchester.

 

Commas have to be used to separate parts of an address.

I lived in Brook, Hampshire, for
10 years before I moved.

?

 

Commas and adverbial phrases

Commas are also used when you have adverbial phrases in a sentence. Let's see what adverbial phrases are.

Write a simple sentence.

I played tennis.

Now add an adverbial phrase to the beginning of the sentence joining it with a comma.

On Saturday, I played tennis.

If you add an adverbial phase to the end of the sentence you do not use a comma.

I played tennis with James and Anna.

 

Punctuation SplatPunctuation Splat
Choose the correct punctuation and splat it into the gaps in the sentence.
?

 

Apostrophes to show belonging (possession)

Use an apostrophe to show that something belongs to someone. The rules below all work when talking about more than one person (plural).

If the plural ends with s then just add '.

girls = The girls' netball team.

If the plural does not end with s then add 's.

children = The children's classroom.

Beat the ClockBeat the Clock
Can you fix the apostrophes in time?
?

 

Speech marks

Also known as inverted commas, there are some rules when using speech marks.

Put speech marks around text when someone is talking. And always use a capital letter at the beginning.

"I'll be back in half an hour," Amy shouted.

Separate the speech from the rest of the sentence with a comma.

"I'm at the shops," said Jill.

You may want to use some other punctuation. This is fine, just put it before the ending speech marks.

"What time is it?" asked Bill

Speech can be broken up by inserting information about who is talking. This is the only time you do not use a capital letter.

"I'll meet you by the gate," said Sarah,
"then we will have our picnic."

 

If you break the speech at the end of a sentence then you should use a comma and a full stop.

"I got a letter from Dad," said Nina.
"He is in France."

Always start a new paragraph when the next person is talking.

"What do you want for lunch?" Mum asked. "There are sausages or fish fingers in the fridge."

"Fish fingers would be good," replied Sam.

NoteSometimes you see single speech marks ' ' or double speech marks " " in books. It is ok to use either. Just choose which one you will use and stick with it through your writing.

Speech Marks
Practice writing with speech marks with this worksheet.

Year 5 & 6

Commas

Reminder:

Commas are used before speech marks to help separate what is spoken from the rest of the sentence.

"Bill was off sick today," said Ben.

Commas are used to separate adjectives.

The tree was big, brown and old.

Check your sentence that you have used the comma in the right place.

Look at that huge hot dog!

Look at that huge, hot dog!

Going to workGoing to work
Can you spot the right place for the commas?
Punctuation TrappedPunctuation Trapped
Choose the correct punctuation and add it into the gaps in the sentence.
,

 

Colon

Use a colon when you are introducing a quote.

Roald Dahl once said:

“Those who don't believe in magic
will never find it.” 

It can also be used before a long descriptive list.

The school council decided: to extend playtime to 30 minutes instead of 15 minutes; for the school to provide a large range fruit every morning; and allow all pupils to have water bottles from home.

Use a colon in a sentence to add a more information about what comes before it.

The garden is long: there are plants, flowers and even a sandpit.

,


Semi-Colon

Semi-colon can be used instead of a full stop.

Chloe brought a new doll; she played with it as soon as she got home.

 

They can be used in long descriptive lists.

At the park there was a duck splashing in the water; boats gliding across the water; and children playing football on the green grass.

,


Dash

A dash can be used to sum up what you want to say.

Spain has lots of sandy beaches, yummy food and warm water - I can't wait to go!

,


Hyphen

Use a hyphen when you can't fit a long word on the line and it continues on to the next.

The party we went to on Saturday was a disa-pointment.

Hyphens are used to connect two words together to make a new word.

kick-off    well-known    ex-footballer   five-year-old

Hyphens can also be use to make the meaning clear in your sentence.

a squirrel eating dragon

Is the above sentence a squirrel eating a dragon? If we put a hyphen in we can see it is now a dragon who eats squirrels

a squirrel-eating dragon

dashBrackets ( ),


Parenthesis

 

Commas, brackets or dashes can be used to separate a word or phrase that as been added to a sentence as extra information.

The word or phase between the commas, brackets or dashes is called Parenthesis.

Read the examples below. If you take out the commas, brackets or dashes the sentence will still make sense.

We went for a walk, even though it was raining, along the river.

I love all fruit (accept apples) and eat some everyday.

I played outside with Kate - my best friend -
until it got dark.

dash


Bullet points

Use bullet points to organise a list.

My birthday list:

  • new bike
  • computer game
  • trainers
  • pencil case.

NOTE: The list has a title with a colon : at the end. There are no capital letters as it is a list not a sentence. A full stop . is only added to the last item on your list.

If your list are sentences, then you do add capital letters and full stops.

 

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