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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What to do about multiple sentences following a colon?

For example: It happened only a handful of times in my lifetime: once when I went to the store. It just had to be done. There was no choice. Another when heading to the beach in 2013... Should I ...
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978 views

What punctuation should follow after a list introduced by a colon?

The whole department: John, Jeff, Jean, and the accountant [?] were thrown into jail.
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8k views

Do you have to capitalize a question that is after a comma?

Do you have to capitalize a question that is after a comma? Example: I'm not hungry, why do I have to eat? EDIT The sentence are formed by dependent clauses with the next structure: ...
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367 views

Comma or semicolon when omitting a conjunction

Perhaps someone could clarify the accepted punctuation for a sentence where a conjunction has been omitted. I'm quite clear about when a coordinating conjunction has been omitted but not as clear for ...
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4answers
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Comma or full stop after ''come on''?

I’ve always wondered whether you should put a full stop or a comma after come on. Come on, it’s just over there! Come on. It’s just over there! Which one is right?
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2k views

Why ; is called semicolon and what is its history? [closed]

Semi- is a Latin prefix meaning "half" and colon is another punctuation. Should I therefore say that semicolon is a halved colon?
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530 views

Comma usage around the word 'still.'

When I read the following sentence out loud to myself, it seems to me that there should be a brief pause before and after the word 'still,' based on how it is being used in the sentence. However, I am ...
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3answers
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Comma usage near title in quotes

I can't seem to find any answer in my high school grammar textbook regarding the use of commas after titles that appear in quotes. Is this question addressed by American style guides? I recently ...
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2answers
456 views

Exclamation point inside a sentence

While reading the free Kindle edition of She by H. Rider Haggard (originally published in 1887), I noticed sentences like this one: But now, to my intense horror, I knew that I could never put ...
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1answer
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Caveats of punctuation of nested quotes

I've found "How to punctuate a quote within a quote?" where the correct punctuation for the given example of nested quotes was: “He leaned close to me, and said in a gravely and drunken voice, ‘It’...
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1answer
412 views

Is a period needed in a mid-sentence parenthetical quotation?

In this sentence ... Correct wool velour carpeting is used ("It didn't hold up as well as Porsche would've liked," says Jim, "and they discontinued it after a while") and the restored mahogany ...
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Would you use a period after text: Thank you for helping to build the new building

My boss told me that I shouldn't have a period after the text: Thank you for helping to build the new building. She said that it is not a complete sentence.
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2answers
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How would we punctuate a sentence which ends in an abbreviation and exclamation mark or question mark? [duplicate]

I was wondering what to do if I have abbreviation at the end of a sentence which ends in a question mark. What is Google inc.? What is Google inc. What is Google inc?
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“for which” usage

I am writing comments to my algorithm and I used this sentence to describe one variable. But I am not entirely sure if it makes sense and if I used commas right. id of node, for which, program is ...
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754 views

Possessive of Quoted Song Title in Quotes

Without recasting the following sentence, is the possessive of the quoted song title correctly punctuated as exampled? I am aware that it can be reworded to avoid the problem, but I wanted to know ...
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1answer
3k views

Date/Time Format in Report [duplicate]

On Thursday, 23 June 2004 at 3:15 pm, Mike Lollis resigned. In British style, 1) Do I need to insert a comma after '2004'? 2) Can I leave 'pm' as is without the full stops in this abbreviation? 3) Do ...
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'Letters as letters', 'words as words'

Aside from italics, is it okay (especially in British English) to denote the plurals of 'letters as letters', 'numbers and numbers' and 'words as words' as I've done below? Also, I'm aware of doing it ...
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512 views

Semicolons after ages

Would a comma or semicolon correctly follow the word "Florida" below? I used the comma for the last city-state entry. Is this correct? Mike Jones, 45, of Lincoln, Nebraska; Sandra Stevens, 42, of ...
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'[sic]' to indicate punctuation errors

Can [sic] be used to highlight a punctuational error? In the sentence below, the bracketed sic would obviously denote that the punctuation preceding it was an error — that is, a semicolon ...
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3answers
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Bracketed Capital Letter [duplicate]

What does the bracketed capital letter indicate in the revised version below? Is it essential, per the rules of proper punctuation, to do so? Are the ellipsis points (i.e., the spacing of the dots) ...
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Parenthesis and quotations having punctuation before AND after them [closed]

I'll have to come up with some examples to show you my question: I know if a sentence is inside either, the punctuation is inside (I also know I use a lot of comma splices. I think of the way the ...
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1answer
164 views

What is a “big-ender pair”?

In the sci.math newsgroup ca. 23 Mar 2013, in thread Subject: Re: math formulae?, I saw the following: > >"Is the tournment liken to a bridge tournment? The problem is vague. > > ...
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3answers
606 views

Is a comma appended to an ellipsis in the middle of a quotation?

Digging through every ELU question I can find on the matter, I still can’t locate a specific answer to this question of punctuation. Which of these is correct? “Maybe...” I said, injecting an ...
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1answer
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What is the proper way to ask two questions in one sentence?

Every now and again I find myself writing a sentence like this: INPUT in LPINPUT is some data structure I can identify — what does LP mean, array? I don't know what to call this type of ...
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2answers
23k views

Should there be a comma after “Thank you”?

Should there be a comma anywhere in the following sentence? Thank you Annie for making us proud.
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589 views

What is meant by this use of quotation marks?

I was reading an article Meet the Artist Who Blows Things Up for a Living in 4th paragraph the author says When I visit Cai (as everyone calls him, pronouncing it “Tsai”) in his spare East ...
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772 views

What's the name of a large curly brace?

I'm looking for a particular element for a project and I'm not sure what to google. What's the name of that large brace that is used to group items together? A crude Paint rendition:
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3answers
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Should I use a full stop at the end of text in a table?

The table has a mix of fragments and full sentences. I'm concerned that if I have full stops after the sentences and none after the fragments it will look inconsistent to the reader.
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Should I use commas or semi-colons in this multi-item list within a sentence?

In the following sentence, I am listing multiple areas of study. Should they be separated by commas or semi-colons? "In my exposure to this field so far, I have come to appreciate just how multi-...
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3answers
116k views

Comma before “including”?

Does this sentence require a comma before including? He has written on a range of moral issues including poverty, globalization, and euthanasia.
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1answer
201 views

How should one punctuate the phrase “simply to understand devote yourself”?

I found an acronym for the word STUDY online. However, the punctuation looks amiss. It reads Simply — to understand, devote yourself! But I think the dash makes no sense here. Am I right? ...
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1answer
443 views

“And those who were seen dancing, were thought to be crazy, by those who could not hear the music.” Are these commas required?

Just spotted this as an answer in Quora: And those who were seen dancing, were thought to be crazy, by those who could not hear the music. At first look, I thought the comma between dancing and ...
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1answer
177 views

In text Citation [duplicate]

If your quote is at the end of a sentence and is the end of its own sentence as well does the period go inside the parentheses or outside of it? Also what would you do with the in text citation (page ...
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How to use commas around the word “both”?

In the following sentence, how should I place commas around the word "both"? Should there be a comma before AND a comma after "both", or ONLY after it? Should there be commas at all? This includes ...
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punctuation of “damned if you do and damned if you don't” [duplicate]

Personally, I think quotes are best, but lately, I'm hearing that quotes are incorrect and dashes should be used between the words. What say you? damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don't or ...
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1answer
587 views

Serial commas in quotations

If the publication you are proofing for uses the serial comma, and an essay you're proofing includes a quotation from a biography that does not use a serial comma, is it permissible to silently add ...
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256 views

Comma in “Is milk without coffee, considered latte?”

Is the presence of the comma in, "Is milk without coffee, considered latte?", acceptable usage?
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1answer
169 views

Proper punctuation? [duplicate]

1) What looks better to you ? 2) What looks better to you? Many years ago, I found myself adding a space before exclamation points and question marks. I don't, however, put a space before a period. ...
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1answer
171 views

Comma Delimitation

I just started reading Terence Tao's second edition analysis textbook, and I came across the following sentence. 1.2 Why do analysis? It is a fair question to ask, "why bother?", when it comes to ...
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2answers
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When to choose em dash over parenthesis for parenthetical phrases?

According to Wikipedia: The em dash, m dash, m-rule, or "mutton" (—) often demarcates a break of thought or some similar interpolation stronger than the interpolation demarcated by parentheses ...
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1answer
531 views

Double parentheses ((. . .))

I wonder why the author used two parentheses in the sentence below: While touring the Center for Agrobiotechnology at Monterrey Tech, its director, Guy Cardineau, a scientist from Arizona, ...
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1answer
199 views

Larry and the fanboys

In the Penguin guide to punctuation Larry Trasks claims that a joining comma must be followed by and, or, but, yet or while. However, I was under the impression that a joining comma should be ...
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2answers
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Comma or semicolon?

Which of the following is correct? This not only produces higher success rates, it increases our energy and morale instead of depleting them. This not only produces higher success rates; it ...
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1answer
470 views

What is the best way in which to understand bracketed text?

Though a native English-speaker, I've always had trouble understanding bracketed text. It's fairly clear that parenthesis indicate "optional" text, as in below: The (unusually quick) man stormed ...
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4answers
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Using an ellipsis to show omission, when we skip complete sentences. 3 or 4 dots? [duplicate]

Imagine I want to quote this text (the parts in bold): If there were such a thing, I think I'd be a champion. You know, baking under dangerous conditions, high-speed frosting... all hypothetical ...
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Use of a semicolon before and comma after “however”

Several years ago, a previous boss told me to use a semicolon and comma with the word "however". I've always questioned this and would like to know if the following random sentences are using the ...
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1answer
13k views

Where do I put a comma when I have quotes around a short story, and the sentence structure needs a comma? [duplicate]

Where do I put a comma when I have quotes around a short story, and the sentence structure needs a comma? I know that, generally, commas go inside of quotes, but what if the quotes are marking a short ...
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1answer
230 views

Should a chapter title be punctuated with quotes in text?

If one is typing the name of the chapter inside a story, do they put quotes around it? If not, how is one indicated?
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Software to change American punctuation to British [migrated]

My apologies if this is off topic. American and British writing have different punctuation styles. Is there any software that can change American style punctuation to British? I am referring to ...
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1answer
218 views

Punctuation for lists

I have a sentence like this: As you can see, there are two projects "project1" and "project2", where the latter uses the global wrapper functions defined in "project1" project. My question is ...