To form plurals:
To form possessive plurals:
Contractions and Pronouns
Pronouns indicating possession DO NOT take apostrophes:
Contractions DO take apostrophes, which indicate a missing letter:
"You Complete Me..."
A complete sentence has:
A sentence fragment lacks one of those components.
Sentence fragments can be used for effect stylistically…but usually just in fiction, & then sparingly.
By no means is this a complete list of easily confused words, but these are very commonly confused:
The Dreaded Comma Splice
How American English Declared Its Independence
Unlike in British English, commas & periods go INSIDE closing quotes:
All other punctuation goes OUTSIDE closing quotes, unless the punctuation is part of what’s being quoted:
Note the usage of both the single and double quotes in the last sentence...the double quotes indicate that this is dialogue. The single quotes around "ice cream" indicate that this is a quote within the dialogue. The question mark refers to the dialogue as a whole, not to the words "ice cream"; this is why the ending single quote doesn't include the question mark, but the ending double quotes do include the question mark.
Fewer v. less: Use “fewer” with discrete quantities; “less” with uncountable quantities.
Capitalization in titles: All important words in a title should be capitalized; this includes forms of “to be,” even though they're "short words."
Spacing between sentences: One space, please!
Before the advent of word processing back in the early 1980s, two spaces between sentences was the accepted norm, because each letter or character used the same amount of space, and two spaces were needed to emphasize the "break" between sentences. Once computerized word processing came in, letters and characters could be moved closer together ("kerned," in typesetters' terminology) if there was a lot of space between them, and two spaces between sentences now looked too big.