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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Comma needed after “hour” in a 2-hour 15-minute traffic delay [duplicate]

Do you feel these are correct with the hyphens and absence of commas? a 2-hour 15-minute traffic delay (Instead of: a 2-hour, 15-minute traffic delay) a 7-pound 11-ounce newborn (Instead of: a ...
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2answers
110 views

Comma required to avoid syntactical (but not semantic) ambiguity?

Consider this sentence: You may worry about the Fed raising interest rates, or a market meltdown, but these risks should not change your investment plans. Could the comma before "or" be omitted? ...
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1answer
48 views

Can I omit the hyphens in “% a year”?

In the following, can I omit the hyphens in "%-a-year" and "million a year"? I cannot recast. This is nonfiction. Joe said, "Mike received a 10% a year increase." Gary said, "The figures reflected a ...
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126 views

How would I punctuate the phrase “making that which needs to be better better”? Is this phrase grammatically correct?

How would I punctuate the phrase "making that which needs to be better better"? I'm guessing that the phrase is grammatically correct, and that the punctuation is as follows, along with an example ...
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2answers
598 views

“Happy Birthday sir!” or “Happy Birthday, sir!”?

Which one is grammatically correct? Happy Birthday sir! Happy Birthday, sir! And where should I put "sir" in this sentence? Congratulations for completing another trip around the sun! Also ...
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2answers
143 views

I am not sure whether to put a comma after “so”, which is at the beginning of a sentence

Some people say since "so" is a transitional word, it should have a comma after it like all the transitional words have. And some say if "so" is there for logical continuity, then no comma should be ...
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2answers
407 views

Is this comma use unnecessary or wrong?

I'm an active user of another Stack Exchange site and regularly visit the close vote queue. When a particular filter has been cleared I see the following text: There are no items for you to ...
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3answers
174 views

Punctuation using e.g. (or i.e.) and lists of examples

Example: "...folders you want to export e.g., Inbox, Sent, etc. and choose..." I'm wondering if the above sentence fragment is appropriately punctuated. I've recently started using e.g. and am myself ...
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2answers
245 views

punctuation after beginning sentence with “In summary”, “Summing up” or “Last but not least”

I am often wondering if there is a comma needed after starting a sentence with in summary, summing up or last but not least. Here are two examples: Summing up, both children returned home safe. ...
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2answers
163 views

How do I mention a video game in a formal piece of writing?

What is the proper convention for mentioning the title of a video game in a formal research paper? Would I place the title in quotations, like the name of a short story ("Myst"), underline it, like ...
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53 views

Where I should put a comma in this sentence? [closed]

where I should put a comma in this sentence? Thank you for inspiring us to be a better servant of God.
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97 views

punctuation if dash introduces question-sentences

He worried--why X; what will happen if Y? It seems that this construction expresses the idea best, but it creates a few punctuation questions. Should the first semicolon be question-mark? Is there ...
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1answer
267 views

Question within a sentence [closed]

I know what I'm trying to get at with this sentence, but the punctuation feels a little off to me somehow. Is it correct? Or can it be improved? I was a little skeptical at first - what could be ...
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1answer
56 views

Comma between attribute tuples [closed]

Consider the following sample sentence: Peter is pretty tolerant and mostly good-humoured, free-spirited and good to talk to. I want to say that Peter has all four attributes ("tolerant", ...
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4answers
53 views

Can “… and have been …” be replaced by “…, having been …”?

"I'm an enthusiastic learner and have been partaking in various scientific events." If I'd like to replace the "and" with a comma, is the following new sentence consider correct? "I'm an ...
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2answers
306 views

“built-in to the library”: hyphen or no hyphen

http://web.mit.edu/galib/www/FeatureList.html says, "You can use the types built-in to the library (bit-string, array, list, tree) or derive a chromosome based on your own objects." I've sometimes ...
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3answers
65 views

how should several “and”s without any punctuation be understood?

How should this long sentence with multiple "and"s Property taxes and other local taxes and state taxation and spending may not be ... . be understood? Notice, there is no punctuation near the ...
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2answers
1k views

How to pluralize a last name like Thomas [duplicate]

If I am addressing a card to multiple family members with the last name Thomas, is the correct spelling Thomas's or Thomas'?
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1answer
75 views

How would I punctuate/capitalize quotes without speaker tags? [closed]

If I have a sentence like this: Statements such as "It's not a problem," or "It's no big deal" are unrealistic. How exactly should I punctuate it? Would I capitalize the I in "it's"? Does the ...
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4answers
665 views

What is the origin of the phrase “bullet points”?

In particular, was the expression coined by a single individual or is it attributed to a document? The only thing I've been able to find was a non-cited reference to its origins in the 19th century ...
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1answer
52 views

What’s the correction punctuation in “dwelled on why that happened; would it happen again?”

The title is a variation of the following example. Should there be a question-mark before semicolon? the part after semicolon is also part of the dwelling. should the punctuation be different? He ...
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2answers
88 views

Comma usage: City and State / Full Date [duplicate]

Can we eliminate the comma after "2014" and "Indiana" below? The year and state are not parenthetical, and besides, the comma slows down the flow of the sentence. I think the two sentences below are ...
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1answer
60 views

Using co-ordinating conjunctions

My question is about the following sentence. Punctuation omitted. If the man comes back and I am home I will arrest him In the sentence there is one dependent subordinate clause and two ...
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2answers
623 views

Is it correct to use comma before and after the word 'actually' in the following sentence?

So, the sentence is: I think we are all looking for an answer from someone who, actually, is a Hawking's student, at least I am. I want to emphasize on the word 'actually' because someone who is ...
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1answer
25 views

Punctuation of a Process

How would you punctuate this sentence? I watched the conversion of goods into packages into services then into profits.
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1answer
59 views

Comma splice question

is the following a comma splice? The more important idea belongs in the main clause, the less important in the clause introduced by the subordinate conjunction. I know the first part before the ...
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2answers
62 views

Is it correct to use a semi-colon or a colon in this sentence?

Would it be better to use a colon or semi-colon in the following sentence: That being said, the ontological argument fails to do what it intends; it does not prove the existence of God a priori. ...
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1answer
142 views

correctly dotting the “i”s and crossing the “t”s in the expression “dotting the i's and crossing the t's” [duplicate]

I've found questions here at ELU related to the meaning of the expression (I'm clear on that), but this is about the best way to punctuate the expression in the title. Possibilities: a. It's ...
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0answers
19 views

Punctuation with complete or incomplete list of items [duplicate]

Here's a situation: John, Anne, Jake, Pete...they are all from the same class. Is there any way to punctuate this sentence without using the ellipsis? Is an "and" necessary before the last item ...
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1answer
119 views

What does the dash (“—”) in this sentence do? [duplicate]

Does "–" between methods and documenting have any function in this sentence? What is it trying to say? Moreover, multi-lingual texts, like vernacular works, have traditionally had strong ...
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3answers
82 views

Comma usage when a question appears at the end of a quotation, at the end of a subordinate clause

What would be the correct way to punctuate the following sentence? Rather than thinking, "am I being a jerk?", Johann cut to the front of the line, as he did every Tuesday.
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1answer
124 views

What is the correct punctuation to use in the following complex sentence?

Understanding this sentence does, of course, rely heavily on the contextual information provided by my essay. However, I am unsure if I have punctuated this sentence correctly or at all in the right ...
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3answers
2k views

Why is “like” as in Facebook likes often put between quotes?

I often see people use the noun with quotes: We have received a lot of "likes." rather than: We have received a lot of likes. Why is this done?
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51 views

Capitalization after ellipsis

Although there does exist a related question on SE, it doesn't exactly address my issue. What that question asks if the first letter should be capitalized after an ellipsis. I have the same question ...
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1answer
100 views

Capitalization in direct speech without quotation marks

My question has been largely answered in the discussion linked to below. However, one question remains: in mid-sentence hypothetical direct speech without quotation marks, what is preferable ...
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2answers
703 views

Should a semicolon precede an adverb that does not separate two independent clauses?

The sentence I wrote is as follows: The idea behind this technique was that the human eye could not differentiate between the individual colors of each point, thereby causing the eye to blend the ...
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2answers
78 views

Comma in “Hello Michael” [duplicate]

Should comma be used in sentences like "Hello, Michael" / "Hello Michael" ? For example, there is a wikipedia article Hello, sailor (with comma), but it mentions two different books, a band, and two ...
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1answer
65 views

“Knows an awful lot about the Dark Arts, Snape”

He teaches Potions, but he doesn't want to—everyone knows he's after Quirrell's job. Knows an awful lot about the Dark Arts, Snape. From time to time I stumble upon this type of speech with ...
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0answers
40 views

Multiple types of items in parenthesis, abbreviation + reference

In a sentence how do you correctly use punctuate both an abbreviation and a reference within the same parentheses? The Carbon Footprint of imports (CFi, table 1)..
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2answers
596 views

Is “Helper Verb” Old School?

My dilemma is that most of my grammar knowledge goes back a half century, and I want to give current and up to date advice to new English language learners. The opening sentence of this post shows an ...
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1answer
48 views

Spaces within abbreviations and initials

I have come across examples supporting both spaced as well as non-spaced examples and that's what confuses me. I want to understand what the standard practice is as endorsed by any of the major style ...
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2answers
77 views

“5-min” video vs “5 min” video vs “5min” video

Example: Paul and Jake discuss the Frame Timing API in this 5-min video: … Which character (if any) should be put between the number and the word “min”?
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39 views

What is the proper punctuation?

Is the following punctuation usage correct? To Jim it was a mystery; to Jane, a revelation.
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87 views

Multiple instances of the same (foreign) word

Consider the following snippet: The Spanish word lágrima comes from Latin lacrima which also has a descendant in English. When you cry, your eyes get their tears from special glands known as ...
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2answers
71 views

Comma usage while explaining a single word

Consider the following sentence: The French word entrailles means inward. Is it advisable to surround entrailles with commas in this case like this? The French word, entrailles, means inward. Or ...
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0answers
11 views

What is the name for this punctuation combination: “?!” [duplicate]

I can't believe this; Is it actually a true story?!
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1answer
90 views

How to indicate omitted punctuation?

I signaled that I removed a comma here by <s>,</s> (which shows as  , ) but what's the official manner or practice? I don't want to use an ellipsis, because it might confuse and ...
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1answer
134 views

Should there be a comma in “You again?”?

The original sentence is: You again? In which, I am wondering if I should insert a comma after "You": You, again? Which one is more correct, and why?
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3answers
105 views

poetic effect of segmentation of a group of words

Some poems break a sentence or a clause into two lines at the middle of one meaning group of words, like - ... a blue sky and ... What effect such an irregular line break has? Mr. Garrison ...
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2answers
167 views

Number of dots in an ellipsis

It might be an odd question, but I'm trying to comprehend why do we use three dots in an ellipsis. Wouldn't two dots suffice? An ellipsis serves a dual purpose, it can be used to either denote an ...