Punctuation is the term used for the marks, such as the period/full stop, comma, dash, and parentheses, used to separate structural units, and perform other roles that clarify the meaning.

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Are the periods correctly inserted in these midsentence quotations? [duplicate]

Is it okay to include a period inside the quote marks in these midsentence insertions? Are all sentences below punctuated correctly in this regard — yes or no? Or are these examples of very faulty ...
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2answers
59 views

What does words in [ ] says? [duplicate]

for example "Everybody [is] joking about him" what does [is] stands for ?
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2answers
82 views

Why are there multiple kinds of dashes in the English language?

At our writing disposal are a preponderance of short straight lines: Hyphen - En dash – Em dash — minus sign − Horizontal bar ― Figure dash ‒ ...
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2answers
37 views

Punctuation with the word “also” [closed]

When using the word "also" in a sentence, what punctuation is needed? Example: "Changing to diet sodas and other low calorie drink choices also have students thinking twice about beverage choices."
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2answers
90 views

When is it correct to use a semicolon before a list or quotation (if at all)?

Although I don't do it myself, I've noticed many people use a semicolon to introduce a quotation, for instance: John said of the event; "it's great to see everyone..." And the other ...
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0answers
17 views

Italicizing multiword phrasal adjectives

Can we italicize (instead of hyphenate) long phrasal adjectives as shown below? Instead of: She’s a live-and-let-live kind of girl. This as an alternative? She’s a live and let live kind of girl. ...
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2answers
83 views

How should a question which quotes a question be punctuated?

Suppose there is a sentence in question form, like the one appearing below: Where do you belong to? Now, if a speaker refers to that question, he will frame another sentence and will place the ...
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2answers
50 views

non-administrator-level-user privileges or non-administrator level-user privileges? [duplicate]

Please consider the two examples below. Which, technically, without rephrasing, is the correct choice? non-administrator-level-user privileges [Here the four-word compound adjective modifies ...
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1answer
21 views

Are hyphens absolutely necessary in these dollar amounts and ranges?

Are hyphens absolutely necessary in these dollar amounts and ranges? Do you feel as though they are clear enough and readable without hyphens. I cannot locate an answer in The AP Stylebook or The ...
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1answer
35 views

Comma after “said”? The sign said “Keep off the grass”

The sign said "Keep off the grass". Questions (1) Comma after "said"? The sign obviously didn't speak, so omit comma? (2) There was no terminal punctuation (full stop) after "grass", so full stop ...
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0answers
65 views

Obscure sentence

I'd like to know if the following sentence is grammatically correct: Deep perineal pouch is related above to perineal membrane. I'd like to know what is the correct meaning the sentence implies ...
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16 views

Method for determining hyphen application after to-be verbs? [duplicate]

"Ill at ease" is listed unhyphenated, as an adjective, in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. Here are the examples listed in predicate position: Their stares made us (feel) ill at ease.  He ...
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1answer
48 views

Using ' – ' in a sentence? [closed]

Please suggest some alternatives as well. Is this use of '–' OK? "In 2006, when I was fourteen – early technological period for us – I got to see how a computer looked like, till that moment I had ...
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2answers
39 views

Where would the commas go in “I am too tired to think clearly”? [closed]

I don't know where the commas would go in: I am too tired to think clearly. I think it should be: I am, too, tired to think clearly. Am I correct?
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0answers
15 views

Should there be a comma? [duplicate]

A friend of mine often starts her email message to me with 'Hello dear...' where she never puts a comma between the words. My intuition says there should definitely be one. Or are both variants ...
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1answer
61 views

Should “on point” and “spot on” be hyphenated in predicative position?

Should "on point" and "spot on" be hyphenated in predicative position? I think the hyphen, in these cases, makes it clearer for the reader; do you agree with the hyphens in the four examples below? ...
3
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1answer
33 views

Does “assistant store manager trainee position” need hyphens?

Is the following sentence clear enough without hyphens? He applied for the assistant store manager trainee position. Or should it be: He applied for the assistant-store-manager-trainee ...
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1answer
29 views

Are the commas inserted correctly in these two sentences?

√ When Martha screamed "Fire!", her neighbor called 911. {Should there be a comma after "screamed"? Is the comma placed correctly after "Fire!"?} √ When Jake asked "Where's the bathroom?", Sheila ...
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1answer
43 views

Sentence Analysis

There are two sentences: Pizza, chocolate, and ice cream are my favorite foods. Pizza, chocolate, and ice cream - these are my favorite foods. Explanation is that a dash can be used to set off ...
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1answer
39 views

When is a comma appropriate before when?

I have always refrained from using a comma before "when" but I heard that it is appropriate in certain circumstances. I can't picture a scenario where a comma is necessary before "when" to clarify the ...
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3answers
73 views

Which is correct – “whoever” or “whomever” in this example? [duplicate]

I say that "whoever" is the correct grammatical choice in the following sentence: Give the raise to the hardest-working employee, whoever/whomever that may be. I say "whoever" is correct. The ...
3
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1answer
39 views

Is there a difference in meaning between “ninth-to-twelfth-floor lights” and “ninth- to twelfth-floor lights”?

I'm told that both forms below are punctuated correctly with the hyphens. But both phrases have distinctly different meanings. I do not understand the difference. Full hyphenation: ...
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1answer
54 views

Can the period be dropped in “vs” when used as part of a compound modifier?

I'm editing a passage. I'm not bound by a style guide. I think that I could omit the period after "vs" and safely not break any punctuation rules. The boss said that the hyphens are required because ...
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2answers
98 views

Comma before “with,” “who,” “having” for non-compound sentences

I've noticed my résumé and cover letter have multiple sentences like the ones (slightly edited) below: I offer excellent computer skills, with a typing speed of 80–120 WPM. I recently met ...
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2answers
46 views

Using a comma before a quotation [duplicate]

I wrote the following sentence and was criticized for using a comma before the quotation marks. Steve states: The topic for discussion will be Friedrich Nietzsche's controversial philosophical ...
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1answer
126 views

Conflicting Advice: “Not Only,” “But Also” Constructions — Comma, No Comma, Parallel Structure?

I've searched for the answer on this site and other websites, and found conflicting advice and sample sentences that look wrong to me. I'm posting this question hoping for clarification. My ...
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1answer
39 views

use of ellipses at the end of a paragraph

When a quote ends a paragraph, essentially trailing off, one (generally) uses three ellipses points such as the following: "I'm not going to humor that suggestion! There is no way ..." Even if the ...
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1answer
103 views

In old books, why is the first letter of the word after the exclamation mark not capitalised?

I was reading Frankenstein and I've noticed that the word after the exclamation mark usually isn't capitalised (unless it's a noun). Some of the quotes I've found: Alas! who is safe, if she be ...
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1answer
150 views

Problem with comma usage [closed]

Are the uses of commas correct? Or should I use semicolon instead. I don't think this sentence is grammatically correct, esp. the part in bold. The term Holon is the combination of Greek word ...
2
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2answers
62 views

Using question mark in a question

I reproduce below a question: "Which of the following is correct: 1. If you so desire, you may download the content. 2. You may download the content, if you so desire." The question should take ...
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0answers
27 views

Punctuation for sentence ending in quotation marks and a Question mark that is part of a title [duplicate]

What is the correct punctuation for a sentence which has quotations with a question mark as part of the title and the title is the end of the sentence? Dr. Spencer Johnson discussed the principle ...
0
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1answer
42 views

Toll Free or Toll-Free on business cards and letterheads [closed]

Which is correct for business card and letterhead: Toll Free: (800) 000-0000 Toll-Free: (800) 000-000 Toll free: (800) 000-0000 Toll-free: (800) 000-0000
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2answers
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Use of full stop after closing inverted comma, when the sentence enclosed with inverted commas has a full stop at the end

Suppose I am writing a sentence. The sentence has a sentence in inverted commas. After the closing inverted comma appears, the main sentence also ends. As the main sentence ends, there will a full ...
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4answers
1k views

Is it ever correct to omit periods at the ends of paragraphs?

I encountered this claim from a user on cooking who seems to consistently remove periods at the ends of paragraphs: Never use them. They have no place on electronic media, they are a legacy ...
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2answers
25 views

Can or have a comma before it if it starts a dependent clause?

For example, "All I had to do was step out of my comfort zone, or in this case, be pushed out of it." OR "All I had to do was step out of my comfort zone or in this case, be pushed out of it." I ...
4
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2answers
57 views

Use of colon or other options?

A student had this sentence in her paper, and I think it is wrong: Breakfast or sleep: that is the question. I think this would be correct: Breakfast or sleep? That is the question. Are ...
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23 views

Should there be a comma before if in this sentence: is if a restrictive element?

"Smallpox may be transmitted by the air in enclosed settings such as buildings, buses, and trains if it carries the virus."
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3answers
54 views

Is a comma needed after following in this sentence?

"Smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980 following a global immunization campaign."
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1answer
23 views

“Both win in this case, the students […] and science…” is the sentence incorrect?

I am unsure regarding this usage of 'both'. A friend of mine told me it is not correct. Both win in this case, the students who learned a new technique and science with more replications. Could ...
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1answer
40 views

introducing, picking up, or influencing the lifespan of [,] discourse referents (last comma necessary?)

Is this comma (last one of the phrase in the bold) mistakenly left in? I don't think it is needed there because the last element of the parallel structure is 'influencing the lifespan of discourse ...
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4answers
2k views

Why is “forward slash” not spelled “forwardslash”?

The phrase "forward slash" contains a space, while its equivalent "backslash" does not. This seems inconsistent; should "forwardslash" not be a valid word? From Wikipedia I discovered that slash, ...
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1answer
45 views

Punctuation for delineating two adjectives

Given the following: A “one true arbiter of goodness and badness” would conveniently render the subjective objective instantly. Should "subjective" and "objective" be delineated by any ...
2
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3answers
56 views

Is it improper to use a colon and then another colon in the same sentence?

Can you use more than one colon in a row? Examples: He follows one moral maxim: the Golden Rule: treat others as one would like others to treat oneself. Jane lives in an one-story house: a ...
0
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1answer
101 views

Should a comma be used after although?

When is a comma after although correct and when it is incorrect? Which of these two sentences is correct? "This could work as a great topic for a book, although I could also use it as a topic for a ...
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0answers
43 views

What does it mean when someone uses two periods? [duplicate]

In past communications with non-native English speakers, I occasionally see the use of two periods. Some examples: Ok.. let's meet soon. Sounds good.. Thursday Meeting.. This seems to ...
0
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1answer
27 views

Same speaker, multiple paragraphs, interrupted by narration

I know that if Alice talks for more than one paragraph, I should only close the quotation marks at the end of the last paragraph. "Blah blah blah. "Blah blah." I also know that if there's ...
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2answers
38 views

Should I place a comma here—and if so, why?

In the following sentence, should I include a comma after "acquiring"—and if so, why? German residents who agree to declare that they possess, or have begun the process of acquiring**,** ...
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2answers
39 views

How do you punctuate items in a series after a colon when the items are independent clauses?

A sometimes online sparring partner of mine recently wrote: Men (as opposed to women) have had a purpose that should serve us well should this new transhuman world ever actually materialize: We ...
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1answer
92 views

Two grammatically correct, similar sentences with different meanings?

I have been given a brain teaser that asks to choose the properly formatted version of the following sentence: The road runs beside the red houses and the green house and town houses are nearby. ...
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44 views

How should one punctuate a bulleted list in the middle of a sentence, not at the end?

There have been many posts about the proper way to punctuate bulleted lists, but I have not found any that specifically deal with how to punctuate such lists when they appear within a sentence instead ...