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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How common it is to emphasize a sentence by adding periods between words?

I am thinking about this style of writing: We. Do. Not. Negotiate! First of all, how would you call that? I have difficulties finding references about it, even though it seems to me that this is ...
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1answer
651 views

Why do some users from India make these particular punctuation and capitalization errors? [closed]

Many users from India are now using the Stack Exchange sites and I see a common set of errors: Spaces before punctuation: *where is this going ? No space at all around punctuation *This is one ...
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1answer
19 views

Punctuating a list of direct non-question quotes

What is the correct way to punctuate a list of spoken quotes? For example: They had a variety of excuses for missing the meeting, such as: “We weren’t really sure we were meeting tonight. Were we?” ...
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1answer
57 views

If you use semicolons to separate quotes, do you use a period at the end of the sentences within the quotes?

Here is the sentence in question: The worst scenario is when your friend refuses to bear any responsibility for their cancellation: “We weren’t really sure we were meeting tonight, were we?” ; ...
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2answers
33 views

various ways of punctuating a sentence — are they all correct? [on hold]

It was raining. There was a strong wind. It was raining, there was a strong wind. It was raining and there was a strong wind. It was raining, and there was a strong wind. It was raining. And there ...
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3answers
219 views

Is “Are” always used with plural verbs/nouns? [duplicate]

Examples: There's six seasons, dude. Wouldn't it be: There're six seasons, dude. We are talking about multiple items; six seasons. If we refer to multiple items, we should use "Are" in ...
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4answers
67 views

“), or ,”) in the middle of a sentence? [duplicate]

I think commas are typically placed after closed parentheses and within quotation marks. This creates a dilemma when all three are used together. Example one: You may like snelms (or "snail helms,") ...
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1answer
28 views

Em dashes or ellipsis over multiple paragraphs [on hold]

Please consider this blurb: The next year will tell whether Joe -- his father -- and the girl with the secret past -- -- can work together to solve the mystery, or be destroyed by it. To be ...
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3answers
6k views

Is it acceptable to use a tilde symbol to sign your name? [on hold]

Should the tilde symbol (~) be used to sign your name? It seems quite commonplace on Internet forums but I don't believe I've ever seen it used in books.
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1answer
26 views

How to break a paragraph of running text with a example block or figure?

This may have been asked before, but I couldn't find it with my limited vocabulary of linguistic terms. When writing a paragraph of running text that's broken up by a (code) example block or figure, ...
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0answers
140 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 ...
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2answers
28 views

Have I correctly used comma in the following sentences [on hold]

Have I correctly used comma in the following sentences? However, he soon realized he was short of money, even though he had sold his car to pay his debts. He was sent to Court, and the court ordered ...
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3answers
517 views

However vs. how ever: one word or two?

I am writing a paper and stumbled upon this sentence of mine. "The output remained consistently poor however the data was/were analysed". "The output remained consistently poor how ever the ...
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0answers
30 views

The most likely punctuation for a list of words or parts of speech [closed]

Is there a computerized way to find the most likely punctuation given a list of words, a list of classes of words, or a mix? A mixed list would look like this: "The quick brown [NOUN] jumps over the ...
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1answer
40 views

Are commas needed around “for example”? [on hold]

I need help in determining the proper use of commas. It's an ongoing discussion in my creative writing group. Which is correct: "Take, for example, my aversion to horror films," or "Take for ...
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3answers
31 views

Would I need a comma after the main clause here?

Would I need a comma before the word "as" in this sentence? The word "fear" also takes a new meaning(,) as it comes to represent a more self-centered notion.
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49 views

Should a phrase which is the subject of a sentence or paragraph be quoted?

From the Grammarist website: In a manner of speaking is an idiom that means the same as ‘in other words’ or ‘so to speak’. They've bolded the phrase which is the subject of discussion, but ...
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3answers
3k views

Should I use a full stop at the end of text in a table?

The table has a mix of fragments and full sentences. I'm concerned that if I have full stops after the sentences and none after the fragments it will look inconsistent to the reader.
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2answers
1k views

How to punctuate sentences like “I'm just calling a spade, a spade.”

I was browsing Area 51 and I saw this comment: I'm just calling a spade, a spade. I'm never quite sure how to punctuate sentences like these where a phrase is repeated back to back, without any ...
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1answer
81 views

Commas with nested subordinate clauses both of which are restrictive (essential to the meaning)

I have been grappling with the question below for a while now, so hope that you can shed some light on it. Do we need the first comma (the one in brackets below) in the restrictive nested ...
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3answers
84 views

What is the correct possessive form of “Drs. Smith”

I want to address two Doctor Smiths via the abbreviation Drs. Smith; what is correct the possessive form of that (plural) noun phrase? Is it Drs. Smith's? An example sentence: Drs. Smith's house is ...
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2answers
4k views

When to choose em dash over parenthesis for parenthetical phrases?

According to Wikipedia: The em dash, m dash, m-rule, or "mutton" (—) often demarcates a break of thought or some similar interpolation stronger than the interpolation demarcated by parentheses ...
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1answer
45 views

Punctuating a sentence containing em dashes within commas [duplicate]

I always find myself writing sentences that contain clauses within clauses, and I can never decide what the right way to punctuate this is. I'm not specifying what kinds of clauses because they could ...
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1answer
245 views

em-dash and comma, which comes first

I am confused about the preferred way to combine an em-dash insertion with a comma occurring in the outer sentence. Until now, I had preferred to write: The erosion responsible for residuals is ...
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1answer
61 views

Whether to use a comma or not

I have been looking at many company description and I found the following two usages a) We sell a diverse range of products from books to toys. b) We sell a diverse range of products, from ...
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1answer
36 views

Minimal one line self introduction containing name and role/job/title

would it be correct to separate this with a comma? Or is there other punctuation which is more suitable like a colon? I'm neildaemond, an engineer in training. or I'm neildeamond: an ...
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1answer
66 views

Commas or Semicolons [closed]

Consider this (partial) sentence: Literary devices such as the alliteration in “that they” and “with ‘Why’”, the simile in “the pipes like great serpents”, the assonance in “not known before”, and ...
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1answer
58 views

What is the correct grammatical formation of this paragraph?

I have seen this particular meme trending on a lot of social media platforms of late. I'm wondering what the grammatically correct formation of the meme (phrase) is? The meme in questions reads as ...
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1answer
28 views

Comma, quote needed before “quoted” material?

Which punctuation, if any, is correct: A. Did you ever ask Barb, "Hey, what's the matter with you?" B. Did you ever ask Barb, hey, what's the matter with you? C. Did you ever ask Barb, Hey, what's ...
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1answer
70 views

Is using a comma between this list of quoted text awkward/incorrect? Please help!

Is it correct to list the following examples using quotation marks and a simple space? Or would the example below need a comma in-between? For example, you might choose to say: "Thanks for asking, ...
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1answer
108 views

“Take/Consider … as an example” vs “Take/Consider … for example”

For more than a decade, I have always seen/used the phrase "Take/Consider ... as an example" followed by a comma. Then, my recent visit on this page got me confused and raised more questions in me. ...
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1answer
889 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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8 views

Capitalisation after e.g. in a dotpoint list [duplicate]

I am confused how I should treat capitalisation in the following cases: Example 1 Include the following themes in your writing: respect, e.g. students must respect their teachers. Q1: Should ...
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1answer
37 views

Should there be a comma, full stop or semi-colon after 'reality'? [duplicate]

It takes a while to bring myself back into reality, the last few moments having past with such violent surrealism.
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35 views

Usage of Comma required?

I am trying to understand usage of commas while using "and" and "or". Help me with commas in the following. "Let G be a girl name. The G is, Mary if she is going to school and dancing, or Rita if ...
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1answer
43 views

A question about question marks [closed]

I consider the second sentence more a statement than a question and have used a period. Is the following correct? Is she drawn back into the past for a reason? Or is it all simply a horrible ...
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4answers
1k views

Comma before not

If I have this opposition construction with not like It's all about intimidation(,) not the law. should I place comma before not?
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1answer
94 views

Punctuation for referring to a question

Is either of these an incorrect or nonstandard way to refer to a question mid sentence? Or are both of them okay? Our experiment set out to answer the question; is running fruit under water an ...
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3answers
62 views

Comma and arithmetics

Should one put a comma before an arithmetic operation? What about long expressions? Example: The final distance is equal to the initial distance plus initial velocity multiplied by time, plus half ...
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4answers
8k views

Usage of “and” and comma when writing numbers UK style

I am trying to understand the rules for writing numbers in words under the UK rules (with "and"). I understand how to write small numbers (up to a few thousands), but I am not sure when to use "and" ...
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1answer
33 views

English - punctuation in a theme

Is it correct to put a period after a theme if it is in the form of a sentence? For example, our Garden Club theme is "It's our world to garden."
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2answers
34 views

What category is an apostrophe in that a comma or a semicolon is not in?

Apostrophes, commas and semicolons fall under the "punctuation" category. Is there a subcategory, however, that distinguishes between apostrophes and commas/semicolons/colons...? Thank you! Edit: ...
2
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2answers
59 views

When is a clause not essential?

I am having trouble figuring out when to use commas to set off "nonessential" information. Sometimes it's obvious: Bob, who is thirty years old, is an alcoholic. But other times I'm not sure: ...
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0answers
32 views

What form of long dash — to isolate asides — is preferable? [closed]

I started writing books over a decade ago and my first editor kept tossing out most of my parenthetical ideas, replacing them with long dashes. I liked it; so now I separate asides, flashes of ...
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5answers
68 views

Punctuation in a sentence “from A or B to C and even D”

Is there a need for punctuation in the following sentence: "Response time has reduced from weeks or days to hours and even minutes in some cases." More generally, how should one use punctuation in a ...
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2answers
37 views

Punctuating a parenthetical expression inside a quote (that uses ellipses)

Does this punctuation make sense, with the first half of the quote trailing off in an ellipsis and the second half starting with one? “Funny thing…”, he paused to puff the pipe alight, then ...
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0answers
15 views

Should I add a full stop/period at the end of each item in a bullet point list? [duplicate]

Should I add a full stop/period at the end of each item in a bullet point list? i.e. My first item. My second item. My third item. or My first item My second item Or what about a longer item ...
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1answer
30 views

when quoting a quote does the period go at the end, as shown in the below example? [duplicate]

“I, Joe Smith, a Director of ABC Company, hereby swear and affirm that the original ‘Unanimous Consent of the Board of Directors By Way of Written Resolution of ABC Company, Passed on February 13, ...
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3answers
50 views

Is it grammatically incorrect to split two separate items as adj1, or adj2, noun? For example: adj1, or adj2, n = adj1 n and adj2 n

I'm writing some content and a coworker stated that the following was incorrect: You have the option to use the red, or green, ball. or should I be saying: You have the option to use the red ball ...