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Grammar Rules III

Semicolons, hyphens, and quotation marks galore!

Looking for free grammar resources? Head on over to our Grammar Learning Guides to get the lowdown on all things grammar.

In Grammar Rules I, you stalwart Shmoopers conquered the 7th-grade Common Core Language Standards, getting groovy with parts of speech, clauses, subject-verb agreement, and all that other stuff that makes for great dinner party conversation. In Grammar Rules II, things got more complicated as you met verbals, voice, mood, and other 8th-grade Common Core Language Standards.

In our finale, designed to meet the 9th- through 12th-grade Common Core Language Standards, you'll clinch your mastery of grammar and use it to write some pretty prose.

With Shmoop's lesson plans, readings, and activities, you'll tackle

  • variety in sentence structure.
  • types of phrases (e.g. adjectival, adverbial, participial, absolute).
  • advanced clause writing.
  • descriptive vs. prescriptive ideas about language.
  • conquering common mistakes (e.g. who/whom).
  • advanced punctuating: colons, semicolons, hyphens, quotations, commas.

Course Breakdown

Unit 1. Grammar Rules III

This short course covers advanced grammar concepts so you'll be ready to prose it up with the best of 'em. With lessons on semicolons, hyphens, quotation marks, sentence variety, and more, you'll be the master of all things Grade 9-12 Common Core.

Sample Lesson - Introduction

Lesson 2: A Phrase By Any Other Name

Today, a science lesson: We think chemistry, like grammar, is super fun. Mostly, we love the ways in which two substances with their own unique properties and attitudes can combine to form an entirely new substance that isn't anything like the bits that went into it.

Chocolate is mostly the same stuff that's in pencil lead. Weird, huh?

For example, chlorine is a poisonous gas. In its solid form, we use it to kill germs in swimming pools (because have you seen children in a pool?). That means that it is literally used to keep water incapable of sustaining life, and trust us on this—sustaining life is one of water's favorite hobbies. Sodium, meanwhile, is a substance so crazy dangerous that, if it comes into contact with the air, it catches fire. Hello, lab accident waiting to happen. Chemists actually have to deal with it in special coatings of oil just in order to even study it. Put another way, sodium is pretty nasty stuff.

But—and there's always a but—if you combine the poison gas of chlorine with the flaming metal of sodium, you get something completely different—table salt! Yes, that most delectable of condiments is composed of stuff that you'd have to call poison control about if they were on their lonesomes.

But Shmoop, what does this possibly have to do with grammar? You are wise to ask. You see, we're about to study what happens when we combine single words to make a different thing altogether with its own properties and flashy ways of doing things. Such is the wonder of phrases. You put a verb together with an adjective and suddenly Flash! Bang! you've got a whole new animal. Or substance, if we're keeping our metaphors straight here. But probably without cool chemistry explosions.

  • Course Length: 3 weeks
  • Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12
  • Course Type: Short Course
  • Category:
    • English
    • High School
  • Prerequisites:
    Grammar Rules I
    Grammar Rules II

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