Hello, Designers! I’m here to give you a few grammar tips. Why? A simple grammatical mistake may cost you sales, and I know how hard you’re working during this holiday season to create fun, beautiful designs.
Wait, where are you going?!? Please don’t leave yet! Look, I know a grammar lesson is the best way to clear out a room and lose friends, but we’re going to have some fun with this grammar lesson. “How do you have fun with grammar,” you ask? Easy, we’re going to make it short and simple!
So here are 3 grammar tips to keep in mind as you design!
Grammar Tip #1 – How to pluralize last names
This is one rule I learned while putting this post together, so if you’ve never known it don’t feel bad. Knowing how to pluralize last names is important for Holiday card templates, wall signs, wedding thank you cards, and more. In order to make sure you are pluralizing last names correctly, please follow these simple rules:
- If the last name ends with a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, t, u, v, w, or y, simply add an “s” to the end (Happy Holidays from the Grundys)
- If the last name ends with s, x, z, ch, or sh, add an “es” to the end (Happy Holidays from the Churches)
- Do not add an apostrophe unless you want to make the last name possessive (The Thomases’ home. This connotes that the home belongs to the Thomas family)
When in doubt, add “Family” to the end. (Happy Holidays from the Robert Family)
Grammar Tip # 2 – How to use commas
Throughout high school and college my biggest bully wasn’t another student, it was the dreaded Red Pen my English teachers used to let me know I made a mistake. The mistake I made the most? Incorrect use of the comma.
A sorely misunderstood punctuation mark, the comma can be powerful when used properly. Here are some of the common ways you might want to use a comma in the words within your designs:
- To separate the particulars of a series (I went to the store to get eggs, bacon, bread, and juice). The last comma in that sentence separating “bread” and “juice” is called the Oxford comma, and is optional. I’m a big fan of the Oxford comma, but it’s up to you.
- To separate two independent clauses that are joined by “and,” “but,” “or,” “yet,” “so,” “nor,” or “for” that you do not plan of making two different sentences. (I really love to drink soda, but I know too much is unhealthy).
- To separate an intro phrase or word from the rest of the sentence (Or, we could just head down to the office ourselves). Common intro words can include “although,” “when,” “while,” and “after.”
Grammar Tip #3 – How to use an apostrophe
All of us have committed the error of misusing an apostrophe (see Tip #1). There are many different rules for how to use an apostrophe, but we’ll keep them to a manageable number to help you with the most important use cases:
- If the noun in question is not already pluralized, add an apostrophe then the letter “s”
- The man’s wallet
- My cousin’s wife
- Season’s greetings
- If you have a regular noun (a noun that adds an “s” or “es” to become plural) and want to show plural possession, add an apostrophe after the “s” or “es”
- The hostesses’ aprons
- The flight attendants’ demeanor
- The kids’ jackets
- When you have an irregular noun (child, tooth, knife), the use of an apostrophe may be a bit tricky. These nouns change their spelling when they pluralize, so the use of an apostrophe can change as well
- Three children’s vests (children is the plural, not childrens)
- The knives’ blades (knives is the plural form, not knive)
Are there any grammatical rules that you are confused about? Leave a comment and we’ll create a part two based on your questions!