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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23
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4answers
2k views

Should “ya” have an apostrophe? “Doin”? Etc

"How ya doin?" v. "How ya' doin'?" and so on. There's... a debate.
0
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2answers
60 views

Does a comma go there?

I'm having a hard time figuring out whether or not to use a comma in the type of situation shown in the examples below: Jane was concerned that running by herself she might get mugged. Jane ...
0
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0answers
19 views

Is this sentence punctuated correctly? (Comma and semicolon) [duplicate]

"Eventually John noticed that it was midnight; we said Happy New Year, then went back to work." I know the semicolon could also be a period. But is the comma necessary?
1
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1answer
46 views

A character to indicate a sharp intake of breath

Is there a character in any established alphabet (I couldn't find anything in the IPA) to denote a sharp intake of breath, as if by surprise? I want to include it in a character's name. Initially I ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

List with a complex item only at the end: semicolons or commas?

So, semicolons should be used to separate items in complex lists. But what if only one item contains a comma and that item is placed at the end of the list? For example: The body incorporated ...
0
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0answers
6 views

Using punctuation in quotations in the middle of sentences? [duplicate]

When a question mark appears in a quote, and the quote is at the end of a sentence, the question mark should be inside the quote marks. You ask, "How is this an 'opportunity' for me Jasper?" But ...
1
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1answer
44 views

Is this comma correctly used? [closed]

I love to dance and sing, to laugh and play. Is this punctuated correctly? They are dependent clauses and all...
4
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1answer
70 views

Comma after nonrestrictive adverbial (dependent) clause at the end of the sentence

I am confused whether comma is required after adverbial (dependent) clauses at the end of the sentence (and the difference, if any, between restrictive and non-restrictive adverbial clauses). The ...
1
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0answers
25 views

Using em-dash instead of parentheses and commas [duplicate]

Let's say I have the following sentence: "I didn't like the cake (the cookies were better), but I absolutely hated the egg rolls." Would it be grammatically correct (and colloquially okay, to someone ...
2
votes
0answers
52 views

Standardisation of usage of “…” (ellipsis) [closed]

Normally, ellipsis uses three consecutive dots with no space between the dots and the preceding word. But, at places, I find the ellipsis used in various manners: "He is fond of..." (Three ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Interchangeability of “--” (dash) and “:” (colon)

Let me cite two examples, one using "--" (dash) and the other using ":" (colon): John has three sisters -- Sita, Mita and Rita. John has three sisters: Sita, Mita and Rita. Grammatically, ...
1
vote
1answer
214 views

Are two question marks correct in a sentence? [duplicate]

Is it technically correct to use two question marks in the sentence below, i.e. one for the quoted question and the other for the overall question? Did she say, "Where's the coffee?"?
0
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1answer
37 views

Is the semicolon used properly? [closed]

Is this the correct way to use a semicolon? I sent my samples to UC Berkley; I was not given the opportunity to actually collect data.
0
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1answer
68 views

Capitalizing Work Titles — Beyond General Rules

The rule I'm getting is: Capitalize if it comes before the name: Janitor Richard McGill was a fastidious man. Director Campbell slept in the office as McGill the janitor proofread his annual ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Comma or No Comma? Workplace and Title [closed]

Anthony Martin, assistant accountant, PwC, and associate editor, Washington Post. The commas above look a little too much. Are they technically all correct? Which would you recommend removed? I ...
-1
votes
1answer
50 views

Comma usage; introductory clauses [closed]

In order to, successfully fulfil the aim of the Partial Dispute Act, Section 1019bb DCPR stipulates that there is no direct remedy against a decision in subproceedings. Should the comma after In ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

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 ...
-1
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2answers
68 views

What does words in [ ] says? [duplicate]

for example "Everybody [is] joking about him" what does [is] stands for ?
4
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2answers
101 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 ‒ ...
1
vote
2answers
54 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."
3
votes
2answers
117 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 circumstance:...
0
votes
0answers
22 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. ...
8
votes
2answers
116 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
54 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 "...
0
votes
1answer
34 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
104 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 ...
0
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0answers
66 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 ...
0
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0answers
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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
49 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
42 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?
0
votes
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
307 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
votes
1answer
36 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
37 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
94 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
52 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
107 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
votes
1answer
43 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: ninth-to-twelfth-...
1
vote
2answers
94 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 not break any punctuation rules. The boss said that the hyphens are required because the names ...
4
votes
2answers
246 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 ...
0
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2answers
58 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
640 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
71 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
149 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
159 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
votes
2answers
71 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
40 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
97 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
4
votes
2answers
256 views

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 ...
14
votes
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 device?...