This printable supports Common Core ELA Standards ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.1.A, ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.2, ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.3

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Opening Lines Grammar (Grades 11-12)

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Opening Lines Grammar

"All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." - Anna Karenina

In the sentence above, how does the author use the semicolon?

"The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there." - The Go-Between

In the sentence above, the colon could be replaced by which punctuation mark without significantly changing the meaning and still maintaining its grammatical correctness?
  1. Exclamation point
  2. Dash
  3. Parentheses
  4. Semicolon
How does changing the infamous line "Call me Ishmael" to "Call me, Ishmael" change its meaning?

"All children, except one, grow up." - Peter Pan

In the sentence above, the commas help achieve what purpose?
  1. Add another item to a list
  2. Provide an exception to a claim
  3. Give the reader additional information
  4. Make the sentence more interesting
"Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta." - Lolita

In the sentence above, how does the author use hyphens?

“The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting." - The Red Badge of Courage

Read the sentence above. Rewrite this iconic opening line as two sentences. How does taking apart the sentences change the meaning?

"Mother died today. Or maybe, yesterday; I can't be sure." - The Stranger

In the sentence above, why is it okay that the author started the second sentence with the conjunction "or"?

"The Miss Lonelyhearts of the New York Post-Dispatch (Are you in trouble?—Do-you-need-advice?—Write-to-Miss-Lonelyhearts-and-she-will-help-you) sat at his desk and stared at a piece of white cardboard." - Miss Lonelyhearts

In the passage above, the parentheses and hyphens are used:
  1. To provide an aside
  2. To enclose numbers or letters
  3. To list items in a series
  4. To include an equation
"It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness." - Paul Clifford

In the sentence above, if the author took out the parentheses, what would change?

"I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man." - Notes from the Underground

In the sentence above, how is the ellipsis used?
  1. To indicate an omission in the sentence
  2. To show the narrator trailing off in thought
  3. To denote information before the sentence
  4. To connect the two ideas

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