Basic Writing Skills


Basic Writing Skills (Review 1)


  1. Put a period at the end of a sentence. (You can also use a question mark or an exclamation point).
Mistake Correct

I went to the store

I went to the store.


  1. Put a space after a period or comma (not before).
Mistake Correct

I like running .I like tennis .

I like running. I like tennis.

I like cake ,and I like pizza.

I like cake, and I like pizza.


  1. After a question, use a question mark.
Mistake Correct

What is your name.

What is your name?

Why are you late.

Why are you late?


  1. Capitalize the first word of a sentence.
Mistake Correct

you'd be surprised at how many students make this mistake.

You'd be surprised at how many students make this mistake.


  1. Capitalize proper nouns. (Proper nouns are the specific names of people, places, or things).
Mistake Correct

I went to france last year.

I went to France last year.

I go to presidio middle school.

I go to Presidio Middle School.

My best friend is brenda.

My best friend is Brenda.


  1. Use a capital "I" when referring to yourself.
Mistake Correct

Last week i felt sick.

Last week I felt sick.


  1. Use an appostrophe to form a possessive. (Possessives are words which indicate ownership.)
Mistake Correct

I went to my friends house.

I went to my friend's house.

I found Marys hat.

I found Mary's hat.


  1. Use an apostrophe when forming a contraction.
Two Words Contraction

I am


I will / you will

I'll / you'll

he is / she is / it is

he's / she's / it's

do not / does not

don't /doesn't



will not


could not / would not

couldn't / wouldn't

you are


they are



  1. Pay attention to these commonly misused words.
Word Meaning Correct Usage


belongs to "it"

The dog chased its tail.


it is

It's hot outside.


in the direction of

I went to school.


too much; also

  • I ate too much cake.
  • I want to go too.



I ate two hotdogs.


belongs to you

I love your shoes!


you are

You're my best friend.


  • at that place
  • something exists at some place
  • I found it there.
  • There is a ghost in the attic.


  • belongs to them
  • his or her
  • Their dog is friendly.
  • The murderer left their fingerprints at the scene of the crime.


they are

They're coming for Christmas.


indicates direction

The train went through the tunnel.


past tense of the verb "to throw"

I threw the ball to Jerry.


after that

I did my homework, and then I went to bed.


used to make comparisons

It's hotter than hell.


a form of the verb "to be" that's used with "you".

You are beautiful.


belongs to us

This is our house.


to receive something; to stop fighting something

I accepted the job.


make an exception

Everyone is smart except him.


at this place

Let's camp here.



Did you hear that?

a lot

many, much

I ate a lot of candy.


to hand out; assign

The teacher allotted two pencils to each student.


to influence; to impact

The hurricane will probably affect the whole town.


the result or impact

The coach's attidue had an effect on the whole team.

me / myself / I

Use I at the beginning of a sentence.

Use me at the end of a sentence.

Use myself at the end of a sentence that starts with I.

  • I am taking the bus.
  • The librarian helped me.
  • I hate myself.


  1. "Should of" is never correct. Use "should have" instead.

should of

should have / should've

  • I should have tried again.
  • I should've tried again.

could of

could have / could've

  • That could have been the last time.
  • That could've been the last time.

would of

would have / would've

  • I wish I would have known.
  • I wish I would've known.

shouldn't of

shouldn't have

  • You really shouldn't have done that.

couldn't of

couldn't have

  • The weather couldn't have been nicer.

wouldn't of

wouldn't have

  • I wouldn't have called if I'd known you were sleeping.


  1. Spell out numbers that are less than 10.
Mistake Correct

I have 2 sisters.

I have two sisters.

My family has 3 dogs.

My family has three dogs.


  1. Put a period or a semi-colon between your clauses. (Note: If you use a semi-colon, then don't capitalize the first word of the second clause—unless, of course, it's a proper name).
Mistake Correct

We went to Hawaii the hotel was nice.

  • We went to Hawaii. The hotel was nice.
  • We went to Hawaii; the hotel was nice.