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Chapter 1. Banking on Good Sentence Stru... > Activity A. Language Arts Recall

Activity A. Language Arts Recall

Sentence Structure

To write effective business correspondence, you must express your thoughts clearly and accurately. To accomplish this, you must write each thought in a complete sentence.

Rule 1.1:

A sentence is a complete thought; it consists of a subject and a verb with its modifiers (predicate), and it makes sense grammatically (independent clause).


Example: Banks offer many services to their customers.

A subject is always a noun or pronoun. Nouns are persons, places, things, characteristics, ideas, or activities. Pronouns are substitutes for nouns.

Examples of nouns: employee, money, Chicago, vault, passbook, honesty, saving

Examples of pronouns: he, me, they, you

A verb indicates what the subject does or is, or what is happening to it.

Examples: author writes, employees are motivated, the amendment passed

Rule 1.2:

A group of words may be a sentence fragment if it does not express a complete thought. (Sentence fragments are grammatically incorrect.)

Example: Banks that offer many services. (Does not express a complete thought.)


Rule 1.3:

The first word of a sentence is capitalized.

Example: Our local bank will be closed on Labor Day.

Rule 1.4:

Proper names, days of the week, and months are capitalized.

Example: The Hartsdale Savings Bank will have extended hours beginning Monday, September 1.

Rule 1.5:

Abbreviations of well-known organizations and common business terms are usually capitalized.

Examples: FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation)

ATM (automated teller machine)

IRA (individual retirement account)

Rule 1.6:

Capitalize all major words in the title of complete published works, such as books, periodicals, and newspapers. Do not capitalize articles (the), conjunctions (and), or short prepositions (with) unless they begin the title. Italicize the complete title of a published work.

Examples: Our local newspaper, Daily Review, carries a weekly column on consumer saving.

The American Council for Banking Reform has published a booklet titled The Consumer's Guide to Managing Income.

Rule 1.7:

Capitalize words derived from proper nouns.

Examples:American (derived from “America”) Japanese (derived from “Japan”)

Note: These derivatives are used as adjectives, words that describe a noun.

Example: The Canadian bank will open branches in Eastern Europe.

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