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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

0
votes
1answer
46 views

Do the commas in these aid readability? [closed]

If a unit of measurement represents a singular entity, is it permissible to use commas (as exampled in [1] in every pair below) to aid readability? Do you agree that the first example below in each ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

En Dashes & Hyphens in Same Phrase

Without recasting and in lieu of unsightly suspensive hyphenation, could these work? The en dash (which means "to") is used between the figures, and the hyphens are used in the compound modifier. To ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Do you always add an apostrophe when adding an s to a first name? [closed]

There are a few different ways I want to add an 'S' to the end of a first name. Here are a few examples... This is my friend Harrys house. I picked Harrys hat up from the floor. I ...
4
votes
2answers
75 views

“What is the plural form of the grades A-, A+, B+, etc.?”

It may appear pedantic but "all of them received A minuses or As minus grade", does not appear to make sense. If a subset of students received the same grade on their reports, then should the grade ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

The plural form for letter grades [duplicate]

I'm writing a formal legal memo and could not find any explicit form of writing a plural letter grade (as in the example below). Timmy made one C. His other grades were all As and Bs. (A's and B's?)
0
votes
0answers
23 views

What is the proper usage of “however” and where is it placed? [duplicate]

What is the correct usage of however; and however? I sometimes find myself not really checking my email on a daily basis but, I do however; find this to be very helpful to keep up with what's ...
1
vote
2answers
56 views

Is this a parenthetical phrase or an apposition?

Consider the following What are you laughing at, my silly hat? and What are you laughing at? My silly hat? Which of these is correctly punctuated, and if the first example is correct, what ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

President Nixon declared “I am not a crook.” [duplicate]

President Nixon declared, "I am not a crook." President Nixon declared: "I am not a crook." President Nixon declared "I am not a crook." Do you agree that using the comma and the colon ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Quotation marks in dialogue within dialogue over multiple paragraphs [duplicate]

I understand that one omits the closing quotation mark in dialogue until the speaker is finished his turn, so I speak. My question is this: Speaker is talking and during the conversation, begins ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Punctuation within parenthesis [duplicate]

How would I go about putting a period within a parenthesis sentence: (Code is subject to change. Refer to tips below.) Do I put a period after "below" or do I remove it: (Code is subject to change. ...
1
vote
3answers
45 views

What kind of punctuation would I use for this sentence?

The sentence: Rammus has a win rate of nearly 60%; higher than Amumu's. I am not sure if I should put a semi colon, period, or comma in between "60%" and "higher."
2
votes
2answers
57 views

Using colon at end of a list

Although I do not know the name of the rule, I do understand that a colon is typically used to elaborate on a single thought or idea. For example: "I love all types of burritos: Californian, ...
0
votes
4answers
522 views

What are words that are spelt the same but pronounced differently? [duplicate]

Words like "read", "wind", "live" and "lead" are spelt the same, but have different meanings: Lead1 (leed): cause (a person or animal) to go with one by holding them by the hand, a halter, a ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

What are some common punctuation errors? [closed]

I'm looking for some good "violations" to put on the citation I'm designing to go with my punctuation police costume. ...this is "serious" business, so please don't flag this question.
0
votes
0answers
13 views

Single quotation marks: punctuation marks outside or inside? [duplicate]

I use single quotation marks to provide translations of foreign terms and to highlight titles of parts of my dissertation. I'm confused where I should put commas and periods when they appear next to ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

How would I punctuate a run-on sentence like this?

How can I punctuate this sentence to establish clarity without having to sacrifice cohesiveness? In general, there are four distinct castes that one could be born into: Brahmans, the highest ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Books on punctuation [closed]

What are some good books on punctuation? Ideally, such a book should treat punctuation in both American English and British English. I have seen so many different rules in different books that I am ...
1
vote
2answers
82 views

Is there a rule how to punctuate adverbial modifiers of time in their front position?

I have a couple of sentences from a Macmillan coursebook by Malcolm Mann and Steve Taylore-Knowles 2007 going like this: Once a week, Helen watches a film at the cinema. In the evening, ...
0
votes
0answers
9 views

Does this sentence need a comma? [duplicate]

Over the past months, we have seized several opportunities for liaison. Is the comma in this sentence needed and/or correct? Which rule(s) of grammar apply here, and is there a name for this ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Obligatory punctuation for independent clauses as parts of a noun phrase?

Consider the following sentence: I remember the time I pushed John and he fell over. Is that sentence correctly punctuated as written? I ask because it has no commas. As I understand it, the ...
0
votes
4answers
93 views

Order of words and punctuation in a sentence [closed]

I am writing a sentence whose word order and punctuation has put me in a fix. Can I get some opinions on whether the construction is correct, grammatically? Ask him what becomes of the dogs he ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

Confusable plurals with apostrophe s [duplicate]

I have a question related to already shortened words and their plural forms. As I have seen on this site and have found in the dictionary, words like mas and pas are the plural form of the shortened ...
0
votes
2answers
34 views

“Patients' Lifts” and “Consultants' Payments” - are these correct?

I saw some sign boards in a hospital which had the following description: Patients' Lifts Consultants' Payments As far as I know, the above signs should read Patient's Lifts or Patient Lifts and ...
4
votes
2answers
79 views

How do I punctuate a question with a guessed answer in it?

How to punctuate a question directly followed by the asker's guess at the answer? E.g. What's in here? Your books? What's in here, your books? What's in here; your books? Which of ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Ending a quotation in a comma?

Is it correct to have a comma before the closing quotation marks in a case like the following? “The combination of wet weather and time of day make this a dangerous stretch of road. Drivers have ...
2
votes
2answers
95 views

Does the apostrophe in names of diseases drop when the disease name is part of a foundation name?

Many diseases are named after the doctor who identified the diseases and therefore have names like Hodgkin's Disease or Parkinson's Disease. But when a fund or foundation is created to raise money ...
0
votes
0answers
13 views

comma vs semicolon preceding a list [duplicate]

Are lists preceded by a colon, semi-colon or something else? Today, I'm grateful for a few things: family, health, and work. Today, I'm grateful for a few things, specifically; family, ...
4
votes
1answer
173 views

Is a comma the correct punctuation in “Help a thief?”

Recently, one of my friends on Facebook posted this cartoon in which a police officer helps a thief in response to the exclamation "Help a thief!" The contention is that the victim should have used a ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

What's this? What is it? Pronunciation constraints

Can anyone give a cogent, simply described explanation of why the verb BE in: What is it? ... doesn't seem to be able to be contracted with the subject: What's it? * Compare the sentences ...
62
votes
13answers
8k views

Why do sentences that start with “guess” end with a question mark?

To me, sentences that start with "Guess" are in the imperative mood, thus, should end with a period: Guess who's coming to town. Guess what we had for dinner last night. Why do a lot of ...
0
votes
3answers
58 views

Use of the word or in place of commas

In the following sentence, would you say that the word "or" is used the first 2 times instead of using commas? "If a Partner shall retire or die or become permanently disabled or incompetent he shall ...
1
vote
2answers
70 views

How to punctuate spoken dialog with multiple levels of nested clauses?

I'm trying to do an audio transcription (for fun—I'm a complete amateur at this) and struggling with how to punctuate this part. Could anyone please help? We've designed this around the functions of ...
-4
votes
1answer
250 views

Punctuation following “My question is…” [duplicate]

Forgive me if this has been asked before (if it has been, I couldn't find it) What punctuation, if any, should I use after "My question is..."? For example, My question is why is ice so ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Proper usage of a comma?

I am currently proofreading a research paper for my literature class, and I was unsure if this is an acceptable use of a comma: Profound cultural and religious differences caused Smith to conclude ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

Comma or no comma in reaffirmation of answer? “____ it is” or “____, it is”

Would sentence 3 get a comma or not? Carrie: What time do you want to get lunch? Corin: How about noon? Carrie: Noon, it is! OR Noon it is! In case it's not obvious, the intention of sentence 3 ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Question about punctuating the following sentence

Are the commas correct in the following sentence. In the essay A Plague of Tics, the author, David Sedaris, addresses the people who had to put up with his obsessive-compulsive behaviors when he was ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

correct usage of the single quotation mark? [duplicate]

So I was reading a book one day and I saw this. He gave her the 'Shut up look' is that correct? And, if so why? btw it was not in bold in the book.
0
votes
1answer
83 views

Adjacent words with apostrophes to show possession [closed]

Is it correct to end adjacent words in 's to show possession? For example "My neighbour's dog's ball is always in my yard", or should it be "My neighbour dogs ball is always in my yard" or ...
-1
votes
1answer
28 views

How to use “then” as a modifier

Which would you use or expect to see? "Iggy accidently caught me in the eye when he was hugging a then friend, Howard Devoto." "Iggy accidently caught me in the eye when he was hugging a, then, ...
0
votes
2answers
95 views

“…and who knew?” or “…,and, who knew…” or “…, and who knew…”?

Maybe by joining that religion I'd be able to understand myself, and who knew? Maybe I'd find the meaning of life. Maybe by joining that religion I'd be able to understand myself, and, who ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Punctuation question: quotation marks around names in dialog?

If you refer to a name alone and not along with a person in dialog, do you put single quotation marks around it? E.g., "Yeah, I agree with you there. 'Jon' is pretty common, but the same could be ...
0
votes
2answers
133 views

“Scare quotes” and placement of question mark--inside or outside?

Consider the following sentence: Did you know you can donate "stuff"? "Stuff" in this case means "anything besides cash." It's the lead-in to an article informing users on a charity's website ...
0
votes
0answers
53 views

Is the usage of this semicolon correct? Should I replace it with a colon or dash?

I am getting ready to have my first tattoo and, as a fairly strict grammarian, I want to make sure that I get it right. I plan for the tattoo to look like the following, but I'm not totally sure about ...
2
votes
1answer
130 views

Correct Usage of Quotation Marks

I was told the other day that when writing a report, the first occurrence of a word should be in quotes and all further occurrences should not. When I asked whether there was a rule to which words ...
0
votes
2answers
77 views

Punctuating illustrating questions

I am writing an academic report and I am trying to figure out how to punctuate the following: The previous results cannot provide an answer to questions like, what is the probability of X given Y ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

What is the rule for using a period on a game card?

For example: This appears on a card in a game: "Equipment worn by players on one hand to field baseballs." The answer appears immediately below it..."Mitt" Another example: "Black disk made of hard ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

How does punctuation affect this clause in a sentence?

In this sentence: Parents and children, under the age of 18, that live in the same residence When punctuated this way, does the age restriction apply to both parents and children? I mean, ...
0
votes
3answers
234 views

I'm looking for the possessive of 'boss' [duplicate]

What is the possessive of boss; ie, how do you describe the son of the boss?
2
votes
1answer
108 views

How is the spelling of a hyphenated word read?

How is the spelling of a hyphenated word usually read out loud? For example, with "Anglo-Saxon", do we say: "It is spelt as ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

double punctuation marks: one inside parenthesis and one outside

I don't seem to be able to find the answer I'm after so here is my question. Can I make a sentence and at the end of the sentence make a a startling comment in parenthesis ending with an exclamation ...