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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Punctuation for nested quotes at the end of a sentence

This is something I've gone back and forth on with a couple of writer friends and nobody is ever really sure what the correct punctuation format is, or whether there really is a format that's ...
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44 views

Converting direct speech to indirect speech

Please tell me what will be the indirect-speech form of this sentence: The boys shouted, "Don Bosco Public School well played?" The question mark confuses me. Here is the original question:     ...
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223 views

Em dash and quotes

While I toss up between the em dash and the en dash, I am consistent throughout one document. However, one thing I have noticed when using the em dash is that when I write something like: Firstly, ...
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1answer
31 views

punctuation to indicate non-grammatical pause or omission

Is it inappropriate to use an ellipsis to create a conversational pause in a typed sentence, in a situation where it's not appropriate to use a comma or a dash or anything else? There's no grammatical ...
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44 views

Should one enclose variable names in commata?

In scientific writing, when should one enclose variable names in commas? Take the following example sentences: 1a) "For a set of pixels S, two pixels p and q from S are said to be connected if ...
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2answers
36 views

Punctuation of the Expression “The Works”

I'm feeling really sick today, and I wanted to text my friend to tell him why I won't make it to our meeting. I wanted to say "I'm feeling pretty sick. Fever, headache, cough, the works.", but I've ...
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Hyphenation of words like ‘waterproof’

The Oxford dictionary states that most compound adjectives made from a noun and an adjective should be hyphenated (e.g. ‘accident-prone’, ‘camera-ready’). On the other hand, its entry for the word ‘...
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1answer
55 views

Is it all right to end this sentence with a question mark? [closed]

I am writing a story, and one sentence has been bugging me. What was going on with that, I wondered? It's an interior thought, and so I don't use quotations. If it were dialogue, I would put ...
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147 views

Do I need these commas in the case below?

I'm debating back and forth on some grammar choices because I can't decide for certain whether the second parts of my sentences are independent clauses since their subjects are in the first parts of ...
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1answer
42 views

Should questions phrased as declarations end with a question mark?

Should a question masquerading as a declaration—like, "I wonder if you have any suggestions?"—end with a question mark or a period?
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1answer
32 views

How should I punctuate this sentence?

During the interview, I asked Ms. Smith what geared her towards teaching students with special needs.
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65 views

Is the correct format “Good morning, John” or “Good morning John”? [closed]

Which of these is in the correct format? Good morning, John. Or Good morning John.
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32 views

Correct punctuation to separate the elements of this sentence [closed]

The sentence in question is Returns the value of the function as if it were attached to this attribute ( ) under a fast evaluation ( ) according to the current state. It feels like there should ...
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11 views

Parentheses: period and comma placement [duplicate]

This is a sentence (with parentheses). This is a sentence (with parentheses.) This is a sentence. (with parentheses) Which example is correct? Does this apply to commas as well, or any other ...
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30 views

1-D, 2-D, 3-D: En-Dash , Em-dash, or hyphen

I want to write the word as 1-dimension (1-D), 2-dimension (2-D) Which is the correct punctuation mark?
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4answers
42 views

Semicolon or dash?

Help! I've read everything there is on Google re: semicolon and dash use and, whilst I understand all this, I still struggle deciding when to use a semicolon over a dash to join two independent ...
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3answers
28 views

List within a List

I have a list of categories which are themselves also lists. I wrote the sentence like so: These paradigms are grouped into three categories: wisdom consisting of: right view and right thought; ...
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1answer
48 views

Proper punctuation when using “as is” to make a comparison

I'm wondering what the proper punctuation is when using "as is" to make a comparison. Example: "Venus and Mars are planets, as is Earth when referring to the whole world." I've noticed in this ...
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0answers
47 views

How do I combine two short statements (both two words long) into one so that it is grammatically correct?

For example... 1) "Lift heavy." 2) "Sleep well." I need to make one, four-word statement by combining these two. I would be looking to combine them to produce something like this... "Lift ...
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1answer
78 views

Need a comma before an adverb as last word in sentence?

When an adverb is the last word in a sentence, is it preferable to insert a comma before that word or to leave it as is (with no comma)? For example: How many employees, roughly? or How many ...
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2answers
35 views

Do satirical headlines sometimes use quote marks ironically?

Does the following headline use quote marks correctly? Why is just a single word in quotes? Jaques Derrida 'dies'
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Is there data on the frequency of occurrence of the greengrocer's apostrophe?

I've heard words such as 'ubiquitous' used to describe how prolific the presence of the greengrocer's apostrophe is, but is there any actual data available on how prolific it is in everyday life ( ...
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0answers
37 views

Who is the “owners wife's account”?

Can someone comment on what this is technically saying? ....“send the transfer directly to the owners wife's account.” Is the wife the owner in this sentence or is the owner an owner who ...
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2answers
39 views

Comma before “with”?

I'm watching Batman with Sara. or I'm watching Batman, with Sara. Sara = my friend, not an actress. Which is correct?
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46 views

Is there a name for the technique of changing the meaning of a word using a comma?

A reader inquired about the name of the effect that I used to illustrate the meaning in the sentence below: Doing nothing repetitively is doing nothing, repetitively. Is there a name for the way ...
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1answer
27 views

Parentheses preceding the subject? [closed]

I've been thinking about the following pattern for some time: Linseed oil... soaks into the (visible and microscopic) pores When I was a kid, this wasn't the way I was taught to use parentheses: ...
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0answers
49 views

Need quotation marks here? [duplicate]

I want to write: When God beckons man, he remains insensible and continues to have faith in his reliance upon himself, unwilling to be a burden on God. In this context, the "faith" does not ...
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2answers
67 views

Should I use quotation marks here?

I am writing a review of a French film named Les Choristes. I want to describe the troubled children in the film in this way "Those students are experts at defying teachers, they are the inventors of ...
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1answer
23 views

Hyphens with “vs.” and “versus”… with time frames as well, such as a.m. and p.m

Are hyphens needed on each side of "vs." and "versus" below? And are hyphens required/needed on each side of "to" with the phrasal adjective involving time in the last example? They are phrasal ...
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3answers
59 views

Book Title With Exclamation Mark Followed by a comma

I was wondering if the following sentence is written correct for an essay: From 1607 to 1700, according to Eric Foner in his book Give Me Liberty!, over half a million people migrated to America ...
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50 views

Period after Dear Firstname

I just received an email beginning "Dear Firstname."—should I be interpreting this valediction in any other way than a typo?
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12 views

hyphen used to mean “to” [duplicate]

In nonfiction, can the hyphen be used for dual purposes (i.e., between figures and in compound modifiers) within the same phrase? Unfortunately, I cannot recast these commonly uttered phrases. This ...
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1answer
50 views

Position of question mark after a quotation (that is not itself a question) and a citation [duplicate]

In British English, where should one place the question mark in the following sentence? Was it true that "the food was all gone" (Bloggs, 2013, p. 287) Inside the quotation marks, after them, or ...
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35 views

Square brackets spanning multiple words

I'm familiar with the practice of using square brackets to replace part of a quote, such as altering a pronoun to make it fit in context. I am, however, unclear on the proper use given an altered verb-...
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Is there a common rule for punctuation or is it contextual?

The comma, with words like but or since- is it placed before or after these words? Is there a particular template to follow or is it contextual?
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33 views

What's intended by the semi-colon in this sentence? [duplicate]

Purposely means both "on purpose, by design; intentionally, deliberately". Why use a semi-colon here rather than a comma?
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21 views

Using a slash (/) between multi-word phrases [duplicate]

How would you suggest using a forward slash (/) between multi-word phrases? Should a slash be even used between multi-word phrases? For example - Following are the open/in progress issues. or ...
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2answers
35 views

Is “$50-to-$75-million-a-year business” confusing?

Is "$50-to-$75-million-a-year business" confusing? (No, I cannot recast as much as I'd like to.) Could $50 above be initially construed as fifty dollars? Or is the phrase clear as I have it? I ...
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0answers
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Is it “first-degree-murder charges” or “first-degree murder charges”?

Is it "first-degree-murder charges" or "first-degree murder charges"? Is " first-degree-murder" bundled together to modify "charges"? Or is "first-degree" bundled together to modify "murder charges"...
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What is the name of the glyph that separates sections of a chapter?

What is the mark of punctuation called that sometimes separates sections of a chapter with a glyph placed in the middle between the margins? It's hard to explain, but here's a picture. Does this have ...
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29 views

Do you agree with my interpretation of CMOS 16's section on phrasal adjectives?

Chicago 16 says this: “If more than one phrasal adjective modifies a single noun, hyphenation becomes especially important {nineteenth-century song-and-dance numbers} {state-inspected assisted-living ...
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1answer
243 views

Is “family-owned-and-operated business” punctuated correctly?

Is "family-owned-and-operated business" punctuated correctly? Yes or no? Certainly looks better than: a family-owned- and -operated business And in predicative position, is this okay? "The business ...
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1answer
46 views

How to list a small group of people with short descriptions?

I was wondering how to list a small group of people, giving each of them a short description/introduction in a single sentence? (Or if that's bad practice, in multiple sentences?) Example: The A-...
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0answers
26 views

Should I quote this like a word or a quotation?

When quoting a word, you don't need the extra capitalization or comma that comes with quoting speech. For example, She says "vacation" is a word for going away and never coming back. I need some ...
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2answers
54 views

Which is correct use of comma in this phrase [duplicate]

"I live in Munich", says Carlos or "I live in Munich," says Carlos Which of these 2 punctuations is correct ?
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1answer
35 views

What kind of punctuation should be used here? [duplicate]

What type of punctuation should be used in the sentence "What is Stonehenge you might ask"?
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1answer
31 views

Using comma to delimit the name of a group and its constituents?

You are probably familiar with this comic which illustrates the possible ambiguity caused by leaving out the Oxford comma: However, this strikes me as plain wrong. I thought comma would not be used ...
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2answers
55 views

Rules on hyphenating phrases

I see a ton of questions on hyphenated words, specifically, but nothing on the more general question how/when they're supposed to be used vs omitted. Another great answer gives some general rules on ...
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3answers
143 views

Rule of punctuation when a principal sentence is followed by two or more subordinate sentences

I put below a text I found in a written reply I came across: "...in the Audit Report, it is stated that we did not rebut the Draft Audit Report (DAR). The actual fact is otherwise: we had prepared ...
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Stops or dashes for pauses in dialogue

What is the correct punctuation when one wants to include breaks or pauses in dialogue? Sometimes I use stops. For example, "It is possible...I...could be wrong." I have heard this is wrong ...