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Chapter 26. Grammar 101 > Punctuation Errors - Pg. 298

Grammar 101 298 In all but one type of writing, you should always create complete sentences. Complete sentences not only express your ideas clearly but also fulfill your reader's expectations. The exception is dia- logue: There, fragments are acceptable because they express the way people really speak. Frag- ments can also be used in resumés, personal letters, and dialogue. Fragments have a place in some social notes, advertising, speeches, and strong persuasive pieces, too. It's knowing how to use fragments for emphasis that matters. Now, let's look at the problems with items 1 and 2. 1. Any sentence fragments, if you want to be clearly understood. Error: Incomplete sentence. Correction: You should not write any sentence fragments if you want to be clearly understood. Remember that a word group must have both a subject and a verb to be considered a sen- tence. In this example, both the subject-- you --and the verb-- write --were missing. Avoid run-on sentences, they are hard to understand. Error: Run-on sentence. Correction: Avoid run-on sentences; they are hard to understand. Or: Avoid run-on sentences because they are hard to understand. A run-on sentence occurs when two complete sentences ("independent clauses") are incor- rectly joined. Two complete sentences can only be joined with a coordinating conjunction or semicolon--a comma doesn't cut the mustard. Review Chapter 6 for a complete discussion of sentences. 2. Punctuation Errors As you'll learn in Chapter 28, "Mark Me: Punc-tuation," punctuation is a crucial aspect of all good writing because it helps determine meaning. Those itty-bity marks provide important visual clues to readers, showing where sentences begin and end, telling readers where to pause, and so on. The following sentences contain errors in punctuation. Write Angles Remember that a command is often missing the subject. This is okay because the subject is un-derstood. For example: [You] Buckle your seatbelt. Or: [You] Extinguish all cigarettes. 3. Save the apostrophe for its' proper use and omit it where its not needed. Error: Apostrophe error. Correction: Save the apostrophe for its proper use and omit it where it's not needed. The apostrophe (') is used three ways: · To show possession (ownership) · To show plural forms · To show contractions (where a letter or number has been omitted) The following chart shows how it's, its, and its' are used: