6th Grade - Using Colons, Semicolons And Commas

 
     
 
     
 
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6th
Grammar
Using colons, semicolons and commas
Use colons after the salutation in business letters, semicolons to connect independent clauses, and commas when linking two clauses with a conjunction in compound sentences.
Be able to correctly punctuate business letter salutations and compound sentences (with both semicolons and commas/conjunctions.)
 

Sample Problems

(1)

What is the salutation of a letter? (the greeting: “Dear Mr. Brown”)

(2)

What is the difference between how the salutations in friendly letters and business letters are composed? (friendly letters use commas, business letters use colons)


(3)

What is an independent clause? (clause that contains a subject and a verb – can stand alone as a sentence.)

(4)

What is a compound sentence? (contains two independent clauses – two subjects and two verbs)


(5)

What are two ways to join independent clauses? (with a semicolon or with a comma plus a conjunction)


Learning Tips

(1)

The salutation for a friendly letter uses a comma.


Dear Mom,


Camp is great. Please send money.



The salutation for a business letter uses a colon.


Dear Sir or Madam:


Please consider my application for the position of camp counselor.



Write three of each salutation and label the type of letter.


(2)

Independent clauses have a subject and a verb. They can stand alone.

Example:

Jordan was having a great time at camp.

He played baseball every day.

Write three independent clauses that have a similar topic.

(3)

One way to join two independent clauses is with a semicolon. You do not need to use a conjunction (and, but, or, for, etc.) with a semicolon.


Example:


Jordan was having a great time at camp; he played baseball every day.


Choose two of your clauses to join with a semicolon.


(4)

The other way to join independent clauses is with a comma plus a conjunction. You must use both the comma and the conjunction if there are two independent clauses.


One way to remember coordinating conjunction is by the acronym “FANBOYS”:

 

F

A

N

B

O

Y

S

for

and

nor

but

or

yet

so



Jordan was having a great time at camp, for he played baseball every day.


Jordan was having a great time at camp, but he was running out of money.


Now join your clauses with commas and appropriate conjunctions.


(5)

Put it together:

Write a business letter to a potential employer. Use the correct salutation and include at least two compound sentences, one punctuated with a semicolon and one with a comma + coordinating conjunction.

Extra Help Problems

(1)

Below are 12 tips to writing a business letter and a sample. Write at least one business letter, to anyone you choose, for any purpose you choose. For ideas, see #4.

(2)

HOW TO WRITE A BUSINESS LETTER

  1. Use block style - do not indent paragraphs.

  2. Include address of the person you are writing to at the top of the letter, below your company address.

  3. After the address, double space and include date

  4. Double space (or as much as you need to put the body of the letter in the center) and include the salutation. Include Mr. for men or Ms for women, unless the recipient has a title such as Dr.

  5. State a reference reason for your letter (i.e. "With reference to our telephone conversation..."

  6. Give the reason for writing (i.e. "I am writing to you to confirm our order...")

  7. Make any request you may have (i.e. "I would be grateful if you could include a brochure..."

  8. If there is to be further contact, refer to this contact (i.e. "I look forward to meeting you at...")

  9. Close the letter with a thank you (i.e. "Thank you for your prompt help...")

  10. Finish the letter with a salutation (i.e. "Yours sincerely,")

  11. Include 4 spaces and type your full name and title

  12. sign the letter between the salutation and the typed name and title

(3)

Sample business letter


Ken's Cheese House 


34 Chatley Avenue 


Seattle, WA 98765 


kenny@cheese.com



October 23, 2008



Fred Flintstone 


Sales Manager 


Cheese Specialists Inc. 


456 Rubble Road 


Rockville, IL 60610

Dear Mr Flintstone:

With reference to our telephone conversation today, I am writing to confirm your order for: 120 x Cheddar Deluxe Ref. No. 856

The order will be shipped within three days via UPS and should arrive at your store in about 10 days.

Please contact us again if we can help in any way.



Yours sincerely,

Kenneth Beare 


Director of Ken's Cheese House


(4)
  1. Write a business letter to your school principal requesting him or her to form a new club on campus. Pick a club that you would be interested in participating in. Explain why the club would be a good addition to your school’s activities, and why you would be interested in joining such a club.



  1. Write a business letter to the U.S. Postal Service to complain about receiving too much junk mail, and asking what you can do to reduce the amount you receive. Be sure to explain why the mail is currently a problem and why having less mail would be better.



  1. When you buy something, sometimes you don’t get what you expected. The item you purchased might be defective or it might not work the way you assumed it would work. AS a result, you may want to return it or simply express your dissatisfaction with the company that made it. Write a business letter in which you ask to return a defective item. Make sure you use the correct format for a business letter. It’s also important that you clearly state what is wrong with the item you purchased and what you would like the company to do to fix the situation.


(5)

Punctuate the sentences.


I am going home and I intend to stay there.


It rained heavily during the afternoon but we managed to have our picnic anyway.


They couldn't make it to the summit and back before dark so they decided to camp for the night.




(6)

Punctuate the sentences.


I am going home I intend to stay there.


It rained heavily during the afternoon we managed to have our picnic anyway.


They couldn't make it to the summit and back before dark they decided to camp for the night


(7)


Complete the commas/semicolons quiz at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/interact/g_commacompEX1.html (25 exercises)


 

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