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 around the word “namely”

It seems somehow tricky to apply the right punctuation when it comes to the word namely. I got the following advice: Search globally for "namely", and add a comma after it, as well as a comma, a ...
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4answers
89 views

This requires a comma, correct?

He jumped down, creating a cloud of dust. I think it's just because the sentence is so short that it looks odd with a comma, but grammatically speaking, that comma is necessary, right?
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2answers
44 views

punctuating phrases

How do you punctuate a phrase such as "Waste not, want not." to indicate that the second phrase is dependent on the first. To me, you could read the above punctuation, which is typical, as "Waste ...
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1answer
56 views

What is the correct way to punctuate this? [duplicate]

There were forty-nine messages, the first of which was “Is it true that you moved to Florida?” sent to my cell phone. It seems like there should be another comma after Florida, but you've already ...
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1answer
60 views

How to word two items together compared to a separate item?

Consider the following example: "there is a relationship between cats and dogs and bears". How can this be punctuated/worded so that it is clear that the comparison is between [cats and dogs] and ...
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1answer
65 views

Using a period… the mean way?

Should you put a period after one-word "sentences?" For example, my boss frequently emails me this way: Name. Content content content. Thanks. It feels very angry, rude, and ...
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2answers
55 views

Omitting commas around non-critical details

In the sentence His ID card is missing, as well as his dog, Ian, though it's likely no-one will notice the latter. is it appropriate to remove the commas around "his dog, Ian,"? The sentence ...
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4answers
208 views

Adjective order: Why is “big” before “beautiful”?

I was reading an English children story to my niece the other day when I came across these phrases said by three different characters: I want a big, beautiful hat! I want a big, ...
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2answers
68 views

Punctuating “waste not, want not”

How do you punctuate a sentence to indicate that the second phrase is contingent on the first, e.g. Waste not, want not? You could read this typical punctuation as meaning "waste not and want not" ...
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3answers
516 views

Do I need a comma before “particularly”?

Do I need a comma before "particularly" in the case below? Thank you very much for your help! Vitamin D has properties against metabolic, neoplastic, and immune disorders particularly breast ...
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2answers
32 views

Comma before “and” in “alleging harassment, and retaliation, which has now been…”

Please be advised that the clerks Intake Specialist Unit is in receipt of the complaint you filed against Maple Lee alleging harassment, and retaliation, which has now been assigned Intake ...
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46 views

Possessive of name? [duplicate]

He was a friend of Mike. He was a friend of Mike’s. Which one is correct, and why? Thank you.
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1answer
76 views

Punctuation of possessive quotations

I believe that these five sentences may be correctly punctuated. Do you agree? I'm using quotes around the movie title (as The New Yorker does) instead of italics. Although it may be ugly, I’m banking ...
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4answers
1k views

Is there supposed to be a comma when the word “had” is used 4 times in a row?

There's a particular sentence which I've been pondering over: All the faith he had had had had no effect on the outcome of his life. Some people seem to think there's supposed to be a comma ...
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2answers
40 views

Punctuation for quote reversal

Is there any punctuation--obviously not standard--for when you rearrange a quotation? It would be similar to an ellipsis, but indicate movement rather than elision. For example, you are given the ...
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3answers
1k views

Should you use a comma before the “Inc.” in a company name?

Should you use a comma before the "Inc." in a company name? Xona Games, Inc. vs. Xona Games Inc. ?
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3answers
68 views

Punctuation of a dependent clause for strong emphasis

Which of the sentences below is correct if I want to strongly emphasize that the pencil is not is not white? This is a black instead of a white pencil. This is a black, instead of a white, ...
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1answer
49 views

What does “in the east” mean here?

I just read this sentence "when the wind was in the east a smell came across the harbour" from the Ernest Hemingway's novel The Old Man And The Sea: Two questions: What does "in" the wind mean? ...
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0answers
45 views

Punctuation with Abbreviations [duplicate]

How would punctuation be used in a sentence ending with an abbreviation? Example: I live in the U.S.. Do you live in the U.S.? We all live in the U.S.!
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2answers
77 views

Comma and dash introducing a list

Is it right to put a comma before the dash that introduces a series? As the mentor of the original five interns, — Meredith, Cristina, Alex, the runaway Izzie, and the now dead George — Dr. ...
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1answer
210 views

“You are right; I'm sorry” — semicolon or comma?

You are right; I'm sorry. You are right, I'm sorry. Do we use the semicolon or comma? A full stop works. Two independent clauses so perhaps the semicolon should be used.
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1answer
83 views

Proper term for “ending punctuation”?

Proper English sentences can end with various types of punctuation characters: periods ("."), question-marks ("?"), exclamations ("!"), etc. Is there a proper terminology for these kinds of ...
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1answer
179 views

A trail of colons

I find I often, when writing, want to string colons together. Here is a recent example: These two moments would be likely candidates for retelling: they both connect the people of San Andrés ...
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1answer
58 views

Is this a signature or a sentence that requires punctuation?

Is a period needed at the closing of a greeting card that reads: "Happy holidays from John Smith and the Smith Realty family"?
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1answer
96 views

Comma after introductory discourse marker

When beginning a sentence with "well", do you put a comma after it? Well, you know I was wrong. Well you know I was wrong.
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1answer
58 views

Treatment of Designation and Title in Text

I work at a company that publishes standards. These publications have a designation and a title. For example, the designation might be "Standard 100." The title might be something like "Machines ...
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2answers
43 views

Should the clauses in these two senses be joined?

In reading the contents of a card, I have come across the following doubt regarding joining the two clauses with a semi colon or keeping them as two separate sentences. The phrase is the following: ...
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5answers
616 views

How do you punctuate a list of titles and names?

I want to write a sentence that has a list of descriptive terms and then names, but I'm unclear as to how to do it... Herman my brother, George my nephew and I went to the market. If I put ...
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2answers
210 views

Are commas considered superfluous in legal documents?

I'm in the process of purchasing a house and reading through the contract, I can't find a single instance of the comma. (As if legalese wasn't hard enough to read already!) This includes the ...
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0answers
10 views

Should a colon be used in this sentence? [duplicate]

I hope that I gain skills in three areas: critical thinking, writing, and collaboration. I am looking to see if the colon should be used in this sentence at all.
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1answer
68 views

Assigning a name in parentheses - do authorities consider it kosher?

I have often seen constructions like, Your best friend(Jim) called today. Six hundred square feet of space on the second floor of 921 County Lane, corresponding to the area shown crosshatched in ...
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0answers
68 views

Am I using the semicolon correctly? [duplicate]

Is this sentence correct? I've never been to Toronto before; do you get the opportunity to visit Montreal often?
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2answers
108 views

Is a comma followed by 'and' grammatically correct?

Is a comma followed by 'and' grammatically correct? For example: This Agreement, and any and all disputes directly or indirectly arising...
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1answer
2k views

What is the abbreviation for 'century'?

I remember being taught in history classes to abbreviate century by writing a large capital C followed by the ordinal number as in: C18th without the full-stop (period). Recently I have noticed on ...
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1answer
268 views

Punctuation of reported speech within direct speech

I've got a fiction 'speech within speech' situation, and I'd like opinions on how to handle the internal final punctuation -- inside or outside the quotes. This is British English. Example: The ...
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1answer
89 views

Correct usage of commas and semicolons [closed]

I am writing an essay to attempt help my friends be themselves and stop worrying about what everyone thinks of them. I am trying to make sure I use punctuation correctly. And I was wondering if I'm ...
3
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1answer
129 views

Why do people use “…” in emails after people's names? For example, “Mike… ”

What does this "..." mean in emails? For example, "Mike...You are always welcome to come to our social event."
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0answers
49 views

Using multiple semicolons? [closed]

First of all, apologies if this has already been asked. I've done some searching however have not been able to find a like topic. My question is pretty straight forward. How, if possible can I use ...
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1answer
193 views

Commas in a complex sentence

Modern English words, then, concerning more complex and theoretical, rather than utilitarian, ideas (astronomy, poetry and epistemology) can generally be found to be of Romance origin, whereas more ...
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3answers
490 views

One comma or two? I have since been [closed]

Which of the following is correct? Context: I left AMD in early 2008. I have, since, been the CTO of a large software firm near Oregon. or is it I have since, been the CTO of a large ...
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2answers
146 views

Is a question mark used when trying to get someone's attention?

Mike: Hey, Matt? Matt: Yeah? Mike: What are you doing? Since it's not actually a question, I'm not sure if a question mark should be used or not. But I'm also not just saying 'hey' to ...
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2answers
52 views

When should I capitalise the first inital after a colon?

I've read a few question and answers on this topic but, to make assurance doubly sure (as it were), here goes. Is the capitalisation correct in the following two instances? Chapter 7 examines ...
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2answers
84 views

How does a dash end the sentence? Is the sentence supposed to be loose?

How does a dash end this sentence correctly? It did seem to me that life was just too lovely to— From A Dog's Tale by Mark Twain
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2answers
98 views

Separating sentences with a comma

Should two different sentences with subject and predicate be separated with a comma? Self documenting code is not your thing I get it. This is so obviously homework it hurts. Is there a ...
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1answer
76 views

Confusion about characters in a dialogue: I can't fathom who spoke what from the punctuation

I am reading The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Conner (The Noonday Press). In the second story, there's a conversation going on between Rayber and the barber. The barber starts saying something about ...
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1answer
80 views

How to punctuate a question within a thought [duplicate]

In a third person narrative, punctuate the following sentence: Wasn't art supposed to impact the reader in an emotional way, she wondered. How would that line be punctuated? I know I could use ...
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2answers
553 views

Punctuation for a list of names in the middle of a sentence

Under the direction of General Manager, Rian Wagner, a motivated project team, including: Edison Ven, Gary Bon, Justin Bembi, Marco Conch, Leo Bold and Richard Trolo, led the effort to bring the ...
2
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2answers
117 views

Should an embedded question be set in quotation marks?

For example, given the following sentence, is it proper to set the enclosed question in quotation marks? The first question to ask is, “should quotation marks be used?” Any additional comments ...
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1answer
67 views

Abreviating a ship name with an apostrophe?

If a ship is named the Scienta Victoria, and I wish to drop the first word for the sake of brevity, is it proper to place an apostrophe before the "Victoria" to signify the dropped word?
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3answers
86 views

Comma after address

Here's an example: Chocolate lovers rejoice! Chocolate lovers, rejoice! To my understanding, the first one says that chocolate lovers are rejoicing and in the second one, we are asking ...