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 before “and that” in a compound object

You should have known that he is quite adept at what he does and that he has the best conversion rate. You should have known that he is quite adept at what he does, and that he has the best ...
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1answer
80 views

Comma in “still is, and will always remain”

Manchester United still is and will always remain a force despite these setbacks. Do I need a comma after is here? I personally don't think so but would like to be sure.
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34 views

Comma usage in a series of three [duplicate]

Which is correct comma usage in the following sentence? It is time to shake, rattle , and roll. It is time to shake, rattle and roll.
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0answers
16 views

Quoting non-contiguous paragraphs [duplicate]

How do I quote two non-contiguous paragraphs from a longer article? I want to be clear that they're non-contiguous, but not have an editorial interlude between them. Here's an example quotation from ...
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2answers
104 views

Understanding semicolons

I am reading Murray's Microbiology book and thinking what how you understand the use of semicolons: [Mycobacteria cell wall is a complex, lipid-rich.] It is responsible for many of the ...
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1answer
87 views

Adding a new line to this statement

In the following statement: After confronting Nick about it he said “I have helped you out in the past you owe me for that!”. Should the quoted text be put on a new line and rephrased? This is ...
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1answer
86 views

Comma after the noun of the Oxford comma?

In a sentence like: Next to apple, pears, and bananas, a lot of other fruit exists. Is the comma after bananas needed, allowed, or forbidden? And why? Is the same true for descriptions with ...
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2answers
40 views

Where does the period go? [duplicate]

Which of these is correct? Our company has a philosophy that "People Matter". Our company has a philosophy that "People Matter." Does the period go inside the quotes here or outside?
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1answer
89 views

“All X-related things” / “All things X-related” / “All things X related”?

My French origins (probably?) would have me intuitively write “all X-related things”, but it seems usage favours the construct “all things X-related”, or even without a hyphen: “all things X related” ...
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2answers
112 views

Place interrogation mark within question with “dashed”-comment

I'm trying to figure out where should I place an iterrogation mark in the sentence below. First, what I want to say: Does X mean X, or does it mean Y? As we talked before about X meaning Y. And ...
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0answers
167 views

How do you punctuate a conditional question or properly restate it? [closed]

Today someone pointed out that a sentence I had written was incorrect in their eyes. They could not recall any specific rule or reference that explained their point, but it seems interesting enough to ...
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0answers
53 views

How should the end of a question be punctuated if the last word is an abbr.? [duplicate]

The question itself is an example, but it isn't the best example Have you ever visited D.C.? or Have you ever visited D.C? Both look wrong to me. The former has double punctuation, which is ...
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1answer
62 views

Would a semicolon be more appropriate here?

For the two sentences below, would a semicolon work better to separate these two sentences? Circle graphs, often called pie charts, are used to represent data with a relatively small number of ...
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1answer
55 views

Where do I make the pause in this sentence

I am a Catholic monk, in our breviaries, in the English edition, we have a response for the night prayer which goes: "Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit." How do I use this? Is it Into your ...
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2answers
91 views

The use of commas

My friend wrote me an email with the sentence Would the coming Tuesday at 12:15 be okay for you? I immediately thought there should be a comma, somewhere in the sentence. Well he doesn't ...
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3answers
138 views

How would you handle ellipsis outside quotation marks?

Would it be: If I had only said, "I love you."... or If I had only said, "I love you"... or even If I had only said, "I love you,"... Basically, the ellipsis would represent someone trailing ...
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1answer
113 views

What is the correct punctuation of e.g. when used with a single example? [duplicate]

After e.g. do you always put a comma even if the example is only one thing? DO you write e.g., chicken soup or e.g. chicken soup? My question refers explicitly to using just a singular example.
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317 views

Comma usage when but is used between two adjective or adverbs

What is the rule regarding comma usage when but is used between two contrasting adjectives or adverbs? It is a vey interesting, but stupid question, and one that I have had a hard time finding a ...
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1answer
74 views

Usage of brackets for missing or unclear transcription [duplicate]

I have for many year wondered what is missing when I read sentences like David Canton, the Education Department spokesman, stated: “(It) shouldn’t have happened. (C)ommon sense should prevail.” ...
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2answers
87 views

Can a mid-sentence quote have a comma outside the quotation marks?

I have a sentence such as the one below, and am unsure as to where the commas should go. I, John Doe, the man feared as "the tyrant," guarantee it. In particular, I'm wondering about the comma ...
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1answer
150 views

Active and passive verb with different prepositions for same object - commas?

I've got a sentence like this: A will impose B on and further be affected by C The two verbs have nothing in common, they both just put A in some relation to C. As C is quite long I don't want ...
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1answer
65 views

Should there be a comma after “if X”?

Consider the sentences: If you agree with that, could you suggest us some references? If you agree with that could you suggest us some references? Which one is written correctly? Notice ...
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2answers
183 views

Is a comma before a conjunction optional, or old? (not talking about lists) [duplicate]

I have been corrected several times recently for putting a comma before a conjunction in a sentence (splitting phrases, not items in a list). To each their own style guide, but my understanding was ...
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4answers
108 views

Pauses and Punctuation

My girlfriend and I were discussing the following sentence: "Curiosity and diversity were discouraged, at times, disciplined." I feel that there is clearly a larger pause with the first comma than ...
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2answers
78 views

quoting and punctuating a quote within parentheses

How do I make sure to punctuate my quotes within parentheses correctly? For example: Joe did not demonstrate insight into how he might alter his behavior to improve his social interactions (e.g., ...
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0answers
46 views

What happened to the possessive form, its'? [duplicate]

When I was young, the possessive form of the word, it, required an apostrophe preceded by an S. An example our teacher used, which I've always remembered, was: "It's my work but I am its' property, ...
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1answer
257 views

How to end one-word sentences like “done”?

How do we end one-word sentences? Should there be a full stop or another punctuation mark? or can I just use it without any punctuation mark? I usually say "Done." in response to emails where I'm ...
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1answer
67 views

How would you write informal language like this?

"What are you, a saint?" or "What are you? A saint?" Or is there a better way of punctuating this?
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50 views

Punctuation to separate clauses: “What is X _ now that Y?”

In sentences like: What is your name _ now that you have changed it? Where do they live _ now that the coal industry has collapsed? Why are we still here _ now that the election is over? ...
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57 views

Why and when did the practice of successive punctuation marks such as periods (…) originate in English sentence structure?

Ex. "* The MS. is here deficient; but ....b for 'byrig' is discernible." ---Ingram. Source: Bede's Ecclesiastical History and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle; Edited by J.A. Giles D.C.L.; London: George ...
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1answer
44 views

How should one punctuate a sentence like this? [closed]

How should one punctuate a sentence like the following? If she were to find out about our . . . "secret plan" shall I say . . . it would be the end of everything.
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2answers
95 views

Can a colon be used after a helping verb like “is”?

I'm writing an answer to a science question and I'm not sure if I need a semicolon in the sentence. The problem for the experiment is; How do homing pigeons find their way home?
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4answers
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I thought blah blah blah, and I was right. Is the comma correct?

This sentence is bugging me: I knew going in that the orange flavor component of the cake was going to be lacking, and I was right. The comma doesn't seem to be enough, but the semicolon just ...
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1answer
42 views

Where would the commas go in this sentence?

A man so powerful he could crush stones in his hands approached me. I'm not sure, but I'm guessing after "powerful" and maybe "hands"?
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32 views

Are hyphens needed in a noun-phrase that precedes 'manner'? [duplicate]

I sometimes use "manner" to use noun-phrases as adverbs, like "in the manner of a vigilant watchdog". If I reverse the order, does the noun phrase then have to be hypenated? Like so: "in a ...
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1answer
91 views

Punctuation with unusual element in begining of the sentence

I want to bend English a bit and put weird elements into position one, mirroring the more idiomatic constructions there are. Here's the "standard"sentence The rule is clear, but it makes no sense ...
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2answers
2k views

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
94 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
90 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
61 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
87 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
74 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
65 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
280 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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77 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
1k 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
38 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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49 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
98 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
2k 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 ...