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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193
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1answer
253k views

When should I use an em-dash, an en-dash, and a hyphen?

I generally know how to use a hyphen, but when should I use an en-dash instead of an em-dash, or when should I use a hyphen instead of an em-dash?
2
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1answer
196 views

use of full stop at the end of incomplete sentence fragment?

Fifty one thousand square miles area. A hundred and fifty six million people. A thousand dollars or less average annual earning per person. Is it ok to use these full stops at the end of these ...
1
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1answer
49 views

introducing, picking up, or influencing the lifespan of [,] discourse referents (last comma necessary?)

Is this comma (last one of the phrase in the bold) mistakenly left in? I don't think it is needed there because the last element of the parallel structure is 'influencing the lifespan of discourse ...
0
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2answers
30 views

Should I use a comma after “noted that”?

Should I use a comma after "noted that" in the following sentence? Tom and Dick, while driving the car, noted that at speed bumps, the suspension was making noise. A preliminary Google ...
1
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0answers
15 views

Correct punctuation of a classical music title?

What is the correct way of punctuating the following classical music title? Antonio Vivaldi - I Solisti Veneti Should a colon, comma or dash be used after the composer's name? Antonio ...
6
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4answers
635 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
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1answer
51 views

Of course I don't! - comma needed or not

All the time I see people replying with "of course I will" or "yes it is!" (to "it's not that good" and not placing a comma after "of course" and "yes". The second case seems even more extreme, as ...
1
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1answer
32 views

How should I punctuate this sentence?

During the interview, I asked Ms. Smith what geared her towards teaching students with special needs.
3
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3answers
1k views

Comma after a coordinating conjunction preceding a parenthetical at the start of the sentence

Although similar questions have been asked before, I am still not clear as to official or, at the very least, preferred position from punctuation rules point of view on comma after coordinating ...
4
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7answers
5k views

Coordinating conjunction immediately followed by parenthetical — Is a comma needed or not?

William Strunk's Rules of Usage states: If a dependent clause, or an introductory phrase requiring to be set off by a comma, precedes the second independent clause, no comma is needed after the ...
42
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5answers
53k views

Is it ever correct to have a space before a question or exclamation mark?

In written English (mainly online) I often come across sentences ending with a question or an exclamation mark with a space before it. Is it always just an error or a typo? Or there are cases when it ...
0
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0answers
24 views

Colon usage in a sentence from CGEL [on hold]

But this is not essential: the crucial feature of licensing is that the admissibility of the element depends on the presence of an appropriate head. The sentence is from CGEL, so I'm certainly not ...
2
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2answers
144 views

Slashes for hyphens in compound modifiers

Take the phrase "a joint FBI-SFPD task force" for example. According to my boss, a slash can stand in for the hyphen. I tend to disagree. Is this grammatically correct? Stylistically acceptable?
1
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1answer
31 views

Periods and contractions and abbreviations

My question is about "Ms". I wonder what the period is for? In 'British English', as opposed to 'American English', if the abbreviation ends in the same letter as the word there is no period. But ...
-1
votes
1answer
32 views

I'm not 100% sure how I should construct the punctuation for a sentence.

I'm having one of those mornings where nothing seems quite right so would appreciate some input (... blah)" is highly inadvisable, but, these things happen."
0
votes
0answers
17 views

The U.S.'s or The U.S.'? [duplicate]

"The U.S.'s highest mountain" or "The U.S.' highest mountain" (in AP Style, and just as a rule - i.e. if one weren't to flip it to "the highest mountain in the U.S.")? I'm inclined toward "the U.S.'s,...
1
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1answer
77 views

Single Comma—how's it being used?

How is the comma being used in this sentence: "But we are not principally concerned here with sentence construction, rather with finding out what makes a proper sentence so that we know where ...
1
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0answers
26 views

What is the Correct Punctuation? [closed]

I've had this question for a while, and now it is appearing in a piece I'm writing where I don't have an alternative I'd like to use. Words replaced for example. The cats were white; the dogs, brown ...
0
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1answer
25 views

Should there be a comma in the quote “At the end everything will be alright”?

Needless to state, the comma wouldn't be necessary if you were to say Everything will be alright at the end But what if you were to state At the end everything will be alright Surely there ...
0
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4answers
43 views

Correct usage of punctuation marks — semi-colon, comma or dash?

In many cases, I run into the situation where I have to state two separate sentences but are closely related to each other. For example: He is not really my type. I just like his personality. I ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

OK, thanks vs OK; thanks

Isn't OK, thanks a comma splice? What is the reason for this being the typical form?
2
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
1
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3answers
1k 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 ...
0
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0answers
22 views

Punctuation in a Figure Caption (Abbreviation List)

I have question regarding punctuation in a caption of a figure. Lets say, for example, I have a figure that depicts a certain schematic. In the caption of the figure I want to list all the ...
1
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1answer
29 views

Can you ever have a question mark after a full-stop/period? [duplicate]

Can you ever have a question mark after a full-stop/period? Imagine that Q.N. is the name of a secret society, and people just call it Q.N. Which one of the following is correct? What time are you ...
0
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2answers
37 views

Does the following sentence structure require comma?

Does the following sentence structure require comma? S(pronoun) V(thought|wished|felt|knew|…) S V. As in: “He wished it would go away.” “I feel it is all so wrong.” “He thought it was ...
5
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1answer
58 views

Would the sentence above be an example of an author making stylistic error on purpose?

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, ...
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1answer
24 views

Punctuating one sentence that has multiple speakers

I not sure how to punctuate this sentence. I want to string together a group of critical comments into one sentence. The idea is that there is more than one speaker, so can I keep it within one set of ...
-1
votes
1answer
45 views

Best way to connect this phrase [closed]

I have a short snippet - it's a call to action so it should be as snappy as possible. However I'm not sure about the best approach: 1) Get started, get sorted with British Widgets. 2) Get started. ...
6
votes
0answers
95 views

Historical frequency of parenthetical plural(s)

Seems to me that parenthetical plurals have been increasing in recent years. Is there any way to accurately measure this? Google Ngram Viewer seems like a method, but the use of parentheses, first ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

Is the apostrophe mark named after the rhetorical device or vice versa?

As far as I can tell, without getting into the possessive apostrophe, they have related functions: The apostrophe mark denotes a missing character (or series of characters) in the contraction of a ...
1
vote
1answer
180 views

Separating dependent clauses and introductory phrases with commas in compound and complex-compound sentences

I know that you are supposed to separate dependent clauses and introductory phrases with a comma if they start the sentence. Examples: If you are ill, you ought to see a doctor. (dependent clause) ...
-3
votes
1answer
34 views

Is comma necessary here? [closed]

In a sentence After all the trouble I went to to make it. do I need a comma after preposition to?
2
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1answer
38 views

Is the comma here needed?

So I just saw this quote: "If anyone needs me, I'll be in the corner crying." Is the comma here needed? And if so, why?
1
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2answers
58 views

Help with meaning of “the difference narrowing the longer women had the vote”

In the quoted passage below, I came across a sentence I don't understand: In 1955 Maurice Duverger published The Political Role of Women, the first behavioralist, multinational comparison of ...
-1
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0answers
16 views

Using punctuation correctly [migrated]

In the sentence: Are you going in or out, I replied, Where should I place the punctuation?
1
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1answer
27 views

Punctuation to show possession

Which is correct? The British Broadcasting Company's (BBC's) policy ... The British Broadcasting Company's (BBC) policy ... The British Broadcasting Company (BBC)'s policy ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

Is a comma between adjacent quoted phrases in the same sentence unnecessary?

This is a quote from Larry Wilmore's performance at the 2016 Correspondents' Dinner. One website wrote it as follows: "They just renamed ‘The Kelly File,’ ‘Becky with the good hair.’” I think the ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

How to differentiate between decimal and larger number, in countries that use a comma

This might be off-topic here, since most people speaking English write decimals with a period and not a comma, but I'm unsure where else to ask this. Let me know, if you know of a better place to ask ...
1
vote
1answer
25 views

Listing independent clauses as effects in a conditional sentence [closed]

I have a sentence of the form "If X, A will B and C will D," and there is some disagreement of how to punctuate it. On one hand, it is a dependent clause followed by two independent clauses ...
0
votes
1answer
123 views

Punctuation before and within an adverb clause

I have a sentence which includes two independent elements connected by 'and' within an adverb clause. Do I still place a comma before the and? Ex: Jett's dad died when he was seven and his little ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

Comma before where when the clause is at the end of the sentence

Please tell me if I should place a comma before the word where in the two sentences below. I would like to work for you since I’m interested in working in a leading international school with ...
1
vote
2answers
119 views

Singularity and Plurality of The Terms “God,” “god,” and “gods”

I've been studying some of the books of the English versions of the Bible, and have discovered how their uses of the terms, "God," "god," and "gods" should seem slightly perplexing to English readers ...
0
votes
1answer
21 views

Commas in sentences with “when”

Is the comma necessary in the sentence below? When a printing is finished, printer sends events to server.
0
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0answers
23 views

How to use three dots?

I would like to know how to use the punctuation mark in the following example: Did you know... (written as a big headline) (and the below text written underneath, on a separate row) ...that our store ...
0
votes
1answer
21 views

Comma before “is that”

:) I came across a sample essay, and there was a comma before "is that" in it. I am not sure why a comma is needed in that context. Can anyone help me with this? Here is a short excerpt from the ...
1
vote
3answers
34 views

Proper puncutation for showing emphasis on a contrast

In a sentence like They use the results produced by A and B, and not C, in their work. Here A, B, and C are three methods. What kind of punctuation is appropriate for "and not C" when: the ...
0
votes
2answers
44 views

Converting direct speech to indirect speech

Please tell me what will be the indirect-speech form of this sentence: The boys shouted, "Don Bosco Public School well played?" The question mark confuses me. Here is the original question:     ...
1
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2answers
39 views

Comma before “with”?

I'm watching Batman with Sara. or I'm watching Batman, with Sara. Sara = my friend, not an actress. Which is correct?
1
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1answer
46 views

Nested question in a sentence

I was taught that any terminal punctuation marks end the sentence, however I have a particular sentence that I have been wrangling with: In order to answer the research question “Are bi-lingual ...