Super Grammar: 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

Super Teachers!

Unbelievable! The heroes and villains of Super Grammar have been brought to life! 
On October 28, (just before Halloween) this picture was posted onto our Super Grammar facebook page.  When we first saw it, we were knocked out.  “These are Super Grammar characters,” we thought, “and these costumes are amazing!”  But how did this happen?  Where did these heroes come from?  Our curiosity was too great, and we knew that we had no choice; we had to learn the truth.  So, using the awesome (and nearly unlimited) power of our hypertext transfer protocol device, we made contact with these mysterious beings, and then we asked them to tell us—their origins story.

We soon learned that this photo was sent to us by a courageous group of 3rd grade teachers from King-Chavez Arts and Athletics Academies in San Diego, and they told us that they made these super costumes for their school’s fall carnival.  But why did they do it?  Well, here’s what they said:
"This year we started using Super Grammar as part of our lessons. As we introduce our weekly grammar standard, we accompany it with a Super Grammar hero or villain. Our kids have been so into it and are always begging for more, so we thought they would LOVE it if their very own teachers turned into super heroes for a day... and oh boy! We all had a blast!"
And so, these valiant teachers dressed up as: The Subject (Ms Lima), The Predicate (Ms. Hernandez), The Noun (Mrs. Woodhead), and The Fragment (Mr. Hobson).   We couldn’t help but notice what a great job they did on their costumes, too.  We were really impressed with the level of detail and craftsmanship that they had put into each character.  It’s obvious that they had fun making the costumes, but wait; their fun was just getting started.  As part of their super powered mission, they came up with a way to share the fun of their super identities with their students!  Here’s how they did it: 
"During the day of the carnival, we each printed out mini cards with our character on them. We challenged our kids to collect all of the cards by the end of the day to earn a prize. As they came up to each of us we asked them to: tell us who we were, what our super hero's power was or to give an example (of a noun, subject, predicate, fragment). We were amazed at how many prizes we had to give away. Now our only problem is: how on Earth will we be able to top this next year!?"
Truly, only the mightiest of teachers could have pulled off such a bold and daring feat of super powered creativity.  Ms. Lima, Ms. Hernandez, Mrs. Woodhead, and Mr. Hobson; you’re super awesome, and Super Grammar salutes you.  Well done, heroes.  Well done!

As a small “Thank you,” for doing proper justice to the Super Grammar characters, we’ve sent each of you a Super Grammar Bookmark and a set of promo cards.  We hope you enjoy them, and thank you again for making this year's Halloween so special for us!

The Super Grammar Team

P.S.  If—You—have a Super Grammar story that you’d like to share, please email us (here) or post it onto our facebook page.  We’d love to hear about it! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Adjective

The Adjective is a hero with an incredible eye for detail, and as a member of The Amazing Eight (A.K.A. parts of speech), this hero puts his keen powers of observation to work for the good of all our sentences.
The Adjective is a modifier, and with the help of his super handy modifying tool, he delivers a fist full of descriptive power to nouns.  The details supplied by The Adjective serve our sentences by adding richness and interest to the people, places, and objects within them.  For instance, “the hero” can become “the fearless hero,” and “the villain” can become “the twisted villain.”  Also, adjectives can be very useful additions to our sentences because they add clarity and understanding by answering the questions: which one, how many, and what kind?

So, the next time you want to add some distinct and dynamic description to your sentences, remember our detail oriented hero—The Adjective. 

The Adjective has the ability to modify nouns in a sentence with the addition of descriptive detail.  By modifying these words with description, he helps answer these questions: which one, how many, and what kind?

The slimy thief got away.

slimy: adjective answering the question which one?

Three heroes are on patrol.

Three: adjective answering the question how many?

Circuit Breaker is a powerful villain.

powerful: adjective answering the question what kind?

The Adjective has The Power of Phrasing.  Sometimes an adjective needs to be more than a single word to properly do its job.  This is when The Adjective uses The Power of Phrasing.  This power allows the adjective to stretch out into being several words that act as a single unit within a sentence.  This group of words is called: a phrase.


The man with the enormous brain is controlling us.

with the enormous brain: adjective phrase answering the question which one?

His more than two arms gave him the advantage.

more than two: adjective phrase answering the question how many?

He is a hero of tremendous virtue.

of tremendous virtue: adjective phrase answering the question what kind?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Completion Team

There are only two members that belong to The Completion Team (A.K.A. parts of a sentence), and they are The Subject and The Predicate
With only two members, The Complete Sentence Super-Team is the smallest of all the super-teams, but just because they don’t have as many team members as the other bigger groups, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have a big and important part to play in keeping your sentences strong and correct.  In fact, these two wholesome heroes may very well have one of the most important grammar jobs of all: making complete sentences.

Now, citizen, you might be wondering, “Why are complete sentences so important?”

Well, think about it this way: If you were a super crime-fighter, would you go into battle with only half of your body armor?

No, you wouldn’t—because you’d get clobbered if you did that!
Well, it’s the exact same thing with sentences: They need both sides of their armor, the Subject and the Predicate, in order to be complete. And if sentences don’t have their complete armor, they’ll get completely clobbered by the grammar mistakes. But once a sentence is fully complete, that sentence is ready to test its super protective armor against any grammar mistake that dares to attack it, because a complete sentence is a strong sentence.

So, citizen, it's time for you to join forces with the Completion Team and learn all about their superpowers. And after that, your super protective sentence armor will be complete!

The Subject and The Predicate are members of the Completion Team (A.K.A. parts of a sentence), and they have the power to form strong and complete sentences.

  • The Subject: the someone or something the sentence is about.
  • The Predicate: tells (verbalizes) something about the subject.
The hero rescued the crowd.

Is this a complete sentence?  Let's check.
First, find the subject (ask: who or what is the sentence about?).


Next, find the predicate (ask: what is the sentence telling about the subject?).

Now, put the subject and the predicate together, and ...
                 The Subject                                  The Predicate

Yes, this is a complete sentence.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Super Grammar's Public Debut

Super Grammar has just wrapped its first year at the San Diego Comic-Con! 
Here’s a shot (above) of our display.  It featured our double-sided bookmarks and five different promo cards.  We made these bookmarks and promo cards as give-away items to help spread the word about Super Grammar.
Here’s a picture (above) of the full table display at the Comic-Con booth.  Super Grammar proudly shared table space with Rhode Montijo’s other children's books: The Halloween Kid, Cloud Boy, Skeletown, and T-t-tartamudo

Now, you might be thinking that our Super Grammar display looks a little small, but this small display represents a very big step for us.  You see, this is the first time that we’ve ever presented Super Grammar outside of this blog, so that makes this event—our official public debut!  And, we’re happy to report that our debut went over pretty well. 

The bookmarks, especially, were a big hit!  We printed a thousand of them, and they were all gone by mid Saturday.  If we had any idea that we were going to run out, we would have printed more; but honestly, it was a surprise to us that so many people were interested in having one.  Bookmarks—who knew?

Our promo cards did pretty well, too.  On that front, it was our supervillain card featuring The Fragment that was the highest in demand, but that’s only when someone was interested in taking a single card.  For the most part, I was noticing that people were grabbing one of each so that they had the whole set. 
Here’s a shot (above) of convention goers checking out the goods.

All in all, it was a super fun time, and it felt really great to finally have Super Grammar out in the light of day.  Getting to watch the reactions of people who were seeing Super Grammar for the first time was also a big treat for us.  We’d here things like, “Super Grammar, Yeah!” and, I remember one guy saying, “I love superheroes, and I love grammar, so this is perfect.”  Getting the chance to meet and talk with all these fun people (many of them in costume) was absolutely the best part.  In fact, getting to physically talk to people about Super Grammar has made all of the hard work that we’ve been putting into creating it feel hugely satisfying.  It’s a great feeling to have, so we’d like to pass along our gratitude to all of you who stopped by and shared your excitement and support for Super Grammar with us.  Thank you!

Before we wrap up this post, we’ve got one more picture for you. 
Here are the creators of Super Grammar in their mild mannered disguises: Rhode Montijo (left) and Tony Preciado (right).

Thanks for all the fun, Comic-Con.  And, to all of you who have just found out about Super Grammar, be it by Comic-Con or not, welcome.  We’ve got more Super Grammar heroes and villains on the way!

The Super Grammar Team

p.s. We’d like to give super special thanks to our talented friend who is Rhode’s Booth partner, Jamie Baker, for all of his support through Comic-Con. 
Thanks, Jamie!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Sentence Ending Team

One of the specialized jobs entrusted to the punctuation team, The Super Symbols, is telling the reader when a sentence has ended.  There are three Super Symbols Team members that have this power, and they are: The Period, The Question Mark, and The Exclamation Point.
These three sentence terminators all possess the power to signal the end of a sentence, but keep in mind that they are not simply here to end sentences—they’re also here to make a point!  Each of these super symbols is empowered with the ability to influence the character, voice, and mood of a sentence.  Are you calm, confused, angry, or determined?  Whichever it may be, the sentence ending team is ready to help you communicate it loud and clear. 

So, never forget to end your sentences with proper punctuation, and always remember that The Sentence Ending team is on your side—to the bitter end.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Super Grammar Promo Cards

The San Diego Comic-Con is happening this week (July 21st-24th), and even though we already have our Super Grammar bookmarks to give out, we just couldn’t help ourselves, so we made these promo cards, too!

Super Grammar will be at BOOTH 1329.

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Noun Team

-->Nouns are a proud and devoted part of the elite group of power enhanced words known as The Amazing Eight (A.K.A. parts of speech), but even with enhanced powers, being a noun is a big job.  That’s why the Noun Team has two dedicated members ready to meet the task.
These amazing parts of speech are a very flexible pair of shape-shifters, and they can change their forms to be any number of persons, places, or things within a sentence.  Yes, that’s right; I said any person, place, or thing!  Anyone, anywhere, or anything that you want to write about in a sentence is possible because, no matter what it is, there is always a Noun Team hero ready to get the job done.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Super Grammar Goes To Comic-Con

Holy interjections!  Super Grammar is going to the San Diego Comic-Con this year!

That’s right—our favorite children’s books author/illustrator and co-creator of Super Grammar, Rhode Montijo, will be adding Super Grammar to his annual line-up of featured children’s books, comics, and artwork at this years Comic-Con, July 21–24. 

Currently, our Super Grammar book is still in production, so we won’t have actual copies of our book available this year, but we will be putting out the good word about our super powered version of grammar as well as promoting our website.

To help us with our promotion, we’ll be giving away these super powerful bookmarks.  They have the awesome power to help you remember which page you’re on in a book you’re reading—ANY book.  Plus, they have the added power of helping you remember where to find our website.  Behold their glory!

One side of the bookmark will feature the heroes.
And the flip side will feature the villains.
If you’re going to Comic-Con this year, please stop in on us and pick up a bookmark.  We’d love to meet you!  

We’ll be posting our convention hall location as soon as we have the info. 

Thanks for visiting, and we’ll see you there!

The Super Grammar Team

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Quotation Marks

The Quotation Marks are members of the Super Symbols (A.K.A. punctuation), and as the guardians of direct quotes, our heroes are sworn to protect and preserve the accuracy, correctness, and integrity of any text that is in their care.

Quotation marks are punctuation symbols that signal the beginning and ending of a direct quote.  Direct quotes repeat what someone else has written or said.  Here’s an example: The evil villain said, “I will annihilate you.”  The start quotation mark (“) signals the beginning of the quote, and the end quotation mark (”) signals the ending of the quote.  And, after seeing the quotation marks, we all know, word for word, exactly what the evil villain said: I will annihilate you.

Now keep in mind, good citizen, that when you quote someone, you’re responsible for repeating exactly what that person actually wrote or said—honest and true—and word for word.  This is a high standard to live up to, but being honest, truthful, and correct is always something worth fighting for.  And in the end, your sentences, and your readers, will thank you for it.

Of course, all this talk of truth isn’t to say that The Quotation Marks don’t have a sense of humor, far from it.  You see, these two characters have a second power that lets them add some pretty witty (and sometimes biting) remarks into our sentences.  It’s called The Power of Ironic Quotes, and this power allows The Quotation Marks to ironically twist the meaning of a word (or words) into the opposite of what they truly mean.  Ironic quotation marks are most often used when kidding, joking, or poking fun at something.

Here’s an example: Of course I’ll “surrender” my weapon.  At first glance, it looks like this villain is willing to give up his weapon, but not so fast!  The word—“surrender”—has ironic quotation marks around it, and these quotation marks are meant to imply that the villain is using this word ironically (he really means the opposite: he will not surrender his weapon).  The Power of Ironic Quotes is a sneaky power, but when it’s used correctly, it can really add some “serious” fun into your sentences.

And now, good citizen, you know both sides of our two heroes, The Quotation Marks.  They’re honorable, faithful, and true to their word, except when they’re senses of humor get the better of them.  Though, truth be told, even when they’re being ironic, these two heroes are still being true to themselves, and true to their form—and you can quote me on that.

  • The Power of Direct Quotes
  • The Power of Ironic Quotes

    This power allows The Quotation Marks to repeat (quote) what someone else has written or said, word for word.  

    Captain Cliché said, “You’ll never get away with this."

    quotation marks: signaling a direct quote

    “Block the exits,” the chief commanded, “and surround the building.” 

    quotation marks: signaling a direct quote 

    “Prepare for battle!” she exclaimed. 

    quotation marks: signaling a direct quote 

    This power allows The Quotation Marks to ironically twist words into the opposite of what they truly mean. 

    This criminal “genius” forgot about the alarm. 

    ironic quotes: meaning that this criminal is no genius.

    I think I’ll “borrow” this diamond. 

    ironic quotes: meaning that he’s not really borrowing. 

    Your “foolproof” plan has failed again. 

    ironic quotes: meaning that the plan was not foolproof.

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    The Parentheses

    Just between us, The Parentheses are the very best at sneaking secret messages into your sentences (pretty cool, right?). 
    These super stealthy punctuation symbols, The Parentheses, have the power to sneak secret messages into your unsuspecting sentences.  Their shadowy operations might make them appear to be rule-breakers, but in actuality, their extra level of concealed communication (when used correctly) only adds to the overall effectiveness of our sentences.  

    Here’s how they work: the first parenthesis shields the front end of the secret message, and the second parenthesis closes off the back end.  Together, they create a covert barrier (like a cloaking device) that, both, hides the secret message away from the rest of the sentence and simultaneously keeps it visible to the reader (that’s you).  This way, the secret message never interferes with the structure of the sentence, but it still allows the reader to receive the hidden communication.  

    This ability to infiltrate sentences with their parenthetical notes makes The Parentheses a strong and strategic addition to the Super Symbols Super-Team.  With their punctuation powers, we can add secret messages of various sizes (including: single words, phrases, or even entire sentences), and we can add them to various places within our sentences, too (such as: the beginning, middle, or end)

    Just make sure to keep this one thing in mind. The Parentheses are a team, so always keep them paired together.  If you don’t—you’ll totally blow their cover. (And that would really suck.)

    The Parentheses have the power to sneak secret messages into your sentences. 

    • add clarification
    • add useful information
    • add commentary



    He’s robbed every bank in the country (US).

    Parenthetical note: adding clarification

    I have traveled one lightyear (about 6 trillion miles) to be here.

    Parenthetical note: adding useful information


    That missile must be stopped (no matter the cost).

    Parenthetical note: adding commentary


    You’re an evil tyrant! (And you smell bad, too.)

    Parenthetical note: adding commentary (sometimes very personal)

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    The Dash

    Usually, punctuation symbols are not meant to be overly flashy characters, but in the case of this eye-catching heroine—The Dash—flashy is good.
    The Dash is more than just glitz and sparkle, though.  She plays a very pivotal and functional role in your sentences by standing in for her Super Symbols punctuation teammates: The Comma, The semicolon, The Colon, and The Parentheses.  The Dash only stands in for them whenever a sentence calls for the extra emphasis that only she can deliver.  

    Technically, a dash, whenever used to emphasize a part of a sentence, is called an em dash because her symbol (—) is the length of a capital letter M (em).  This long length gives her symbol the super striking character it needs to set off a segment of a sentence with style—and power! 

    So, the next time one of your sentences needs to be empowered with some extra flair—remember The Dash.

    The Dash has the power to take the place of (more subtle) punctuation symbols, like: commas, semi-colons, colons, and parentheses.  She does this whenever a sentence calls for extra emphasis.  

    • In place of commas
    • In place of semicolons
    • In place of colons
    • In place of parentheses



    Surrender your weapons—now!

    The em dash: in place of a comma


    His weakness—fire—is my strength.

    The em dash: in place of commas


    I will strike—you will fall.

    The em dash: in place of semicolons


    I only want what’s mine—money, power, and obedience.

    The em dash: in place of colons


    The aliens—no big surprise—had the technological advantage.

    The em dash: in place of parentheses

    Although the Dash is a very appealing punctuation mark, she should be used sparingly so that she doesn’t become weak.  The more you use The Dash in a consecutive series of sentences, the weaker and less effective she becomes.

    It can be very tempting to always use an em dash in your sentences, but remember, it’s the better part of valor if you don’t. 

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    The Hyphen

    (Here’s another one of our latest character designs.  We had a lot of fun with this character, especially with his hair design.  We wound up using a lot more hair gel than we thought we’d need, but in the end, it was well worth it.)

    * * *

    All words have the power to communicate their own specific meaning, but very often, when you need to communicate a larger, more complex meaning—one word alone just won’t cut it.  That’s when you need the power of The Hyphen on your side.   

    --> -->This punctuation superhero has the power to join two or more words together into a single, one-of-a-kind, supercharged word.  Thanks to The Hyphen, we can use extraordinary words and expressions like sub-zero, outer-space, and cloak-and-dagger in our sentences.  And although joining words together is by far his most impressive power, The Hyphen is also capable of showing the connection between the two parts of the same word which have been separated by a line break in a sentence.

    The Hyphen has the power to join two or more words together, creating a new word or expression with a powerful, combined meaning.  The Hyphen can also show a connection between the two parts of a word which have been separated at a line break.

    • Two or more words that form a new word or expression
    • Adding prefixes
    • Compound numbers
    • Spelled-out fractions
    • To show a connection between the two parts of a word at a line break   


    Her powers are mind-numbing!

    mind-numbing: two or more words that form a new word

    We’ll have to fight them back-to-back.

    back-to-back: two or more words that form a new expression


    My anti-gravity boots are working just fine.

    anti-gravity: adding prefixes


    I’ve broken out of prison twenty-six times. 

    twenty-six: compound numbers

    My body is three-quarters robotic.

    three-quarters: spelling-out fractions


    If we don’t shut down the power to the experi-
    mental reactor, we will all be annihilated.

    experi-mental: to show a connection at a line break

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    The Apostrophe

    -->The Apostrophe is a Super Symbols Team member who is really packed with power.  In fact, this hero has three awesome powers all rolled up into his one very amazing punctuation mark.
    As you can imagine, keeping track of three powers is a lot of hard work, but don’t worry.  Our hero, The Apostrophe, is super tough and super organized, too.  

    Since the placement of an apostrophe can change the very meaning of a word, The Apostrophe uses a specific set of rules that he diligently follows down to the letter.  These rules assist him in making sure that he’s using each of his three different powers effectively and correctly.  Learn these rules; commit them to heart; and you too can possess the apostrophe’s amazing punctuation power—times three!

    The Apostrophe’s three powers are: The Power of Contraction, The Power of Omission, and The Power of Possession.  This powerhouse of punctuation uses his first two powers to help keep our sentences streamlined and efficient, and his third power helps to keep us informed about ownership. 

    • The Power of Contraction
    • The Power of Omission
    • The Power of Possession

    The Apostrophe has The Power of Contraction.  He uses this power to contract (squeeze together) two separate words into one single, shorter, efficient word. 

    Words like: I’m  (I am), you’re  (you are), they’d (they would), we’ll  (we will), and don’t  (do not) are all contractions.  The apostrophe symbol shows that the word is a contraction, and it also stays to represent the letters that are no longer visible. 



    Where's my grappling hook?

    contraction: Where’s = Where is

    He's levitating the building.

    contraction: He's = He is


    You shouldn’t touch plutonium.

    contraction: shouldn’t = should not

    The Apostrophe has The Power of Omission.  He uses this power to omit (remove or leave out) part of a word to help make it shorter and quicker to say. 

    The Apostrophe’s Power of Omission is very similar to his Power of Contraction, except that instead of affecting two words by squeezing them together; he’s only affecting a single word by removing a part of it to make it shorter.  The apostrophe symbol shows that part of the word has been omitted, and it also stays to represent the letters that are no longer visible. 

    Keep in mind, however, that The Apostrophe’s power of Omission is considered a very casual form of writing (slang), and it should be avoided in formal writing.



    I’m goin’ after him!

    omission: goin’ = going

    That ‘gator is gigantic.

    omission: ‘gators = alligators


    Prepare for a world o’ hurt!

    contraction: o’ = of

    The Apostrophe has The Power of Possession.  He uses this power to allow single nouns and plural nouns to show possession (ownership).  

    This is an important and useful power because it allows us to show and talk about the relationships between ourselves and other people (I'm Frog-man's sidekick.), as well as the things that belong to each of us (Kitty-Kat's claws are deadly.).  

    • Possession for Single Nouns
    • Possession for Plural Nouns

    To show that a single noun is in the possessive form, add an‘s.  (Like this: Hero’s)



    The creature’s breathe is horrible.

    The rocket’s thrusters are jammed.


    Turtle-man’s shell is bullet proof.

    For single nouns that already end in s (do the same thing), add ‘s.


    The Mantis’s fighting style is tough to beat.

    The Boss’s plans always work.


    The Killer Cactus’s needles are deadly.

    A lot of plural nouns are already going to end with the letter s (because it’s the letter s that is making them plural in the first place,) so for these words, add the apostrophe after the letter s.  (Like this: Heroes)



    His fists’ knuckles are like iron.

    The thieves’ loot was left behind.


    The scientists’ creation was out of control.

    For plural nouns that do not end in s, add ‘s.


    He is the people’s hero.

    The fungi’s spores are toxic.


    The children’s gratitude was his reward.