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 should I punctuate this sentence?

During the interview, I asked Ms. Smith what geared her towards teaching students with special needs.
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How to format a sentence that a character has written down?

I'm trying my hand at editing a friends work. They've written the following: 'Thinks he's the smartest one in the room,' Henry wrote on a piece of paper. (For context, they use double quotation ...
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155 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?
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37 views

Comma needed to offset expansion clause?

Which of the following is most grammatically correct? In Boston, and other cities above a certain size, public transit is paid for with an RFID card. In Boston and other cities above a certain size, ...
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27 views

Can I use a colon and a question mark at the same time?

What punctuation should I use with a monologue that starts out with a rhetorical question and continues with an example? Have you ever wondered how much time we spend in situations like this one: [...
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1answer
84 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 ...
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168 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 ...
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4answers
29k views

What is the proper way of using triple dots and spaces before/after them?

...␣part of a sentence␣... ...part of a sentence␣... ...␣part of a sentence... Notice the spaces before/after the dots. Which usage is the correct one ?
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37 views

Factoring a for in “of” expressions [on hold]

I am wondering if I can factor a word in the following expression: According to the definition of A, definition of B, and definition of C, ... and write it briefly as According to the definition of ...
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2answers
58 views

Dashes usage for additional explanation after or before a comma?

So, here is the sentence I'm trying to write: They got to know our business through many different venues - through actually just people they knew, through consulting companies - but I think the most ...
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35 views

Quotation marks within parentheses within a quotation

My example is this: The agency stated, "Our draft environmental assessment ("EA") will be ready when it's ready". My question is: when one is writing a direct quote from a statement and the ...
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1answer
54 views

How is a misuse of punctuation spacing perceived by native British and American people?

I am a Frenchie and an English enthusiast. In my language, we use spaces before quotation marks, exclamation marks, and colons. While I'm aware that this is not the case in English, there are times ...
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26 views

What would be the appropriate punctuation for the phrase? [closed]

I'm not to sure what the correct, or most appropriate, punctuation mark for this phrase. I basically read a sentence online (about grammar of course!) and decided to rephrase it in this format. Two ...
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1answer
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Period as abbreviation and bullet point usages

Usage questions surrounding period (.) Plural after abbreviation do you add s? e.g. certificates->cert.s, environments->env.s, configurations->config.s? as bullet points period or bracket goes ...
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3answers
16k views

Usage of hyphen in “oft-cited”

The oft-cited first sentence of this work Why would you not just use two words, oft cited?
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3answers
118 views

Do I need a comma after this question mark?

I want to write the folowing sentence in some work: You went there on Thursday? for instance, is not an interrogative clause but a declarative one, even if the utterance may be a question. In the ...
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1answer
35 views

Hyphens and Commas in an Outdoor Sign

I drive past a sign every day on my way to work; it reads: Free Range Non GMO Chicken Eggs My mind tells me that it should be: Free-range, Non-GMO, Chicken Eggs. I think that you'd put the ...
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4answers
54 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 ...
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unlike you, I don't write songs

a. I don't write songs like you. b. I don't write songs as you do. c. I don't write songs, as you do. d. I don't write songs, like you. Which of these could be used to mean Unlike you, I don't ...
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27 views

Em dash, semicolon, or comma? [closed]

"You don't deserve to witness the best of me— not even a glimpse." "You don't deserve to witness the best of me, not even a glimpse." "You don't deserve to witness the best of me; not even a glimpse." ...
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1answer
24 views

Punctuation of successive imperative sentences [closed]

I was wondering whether the following sentences are punctuated properly: To show this, multiply the ODE by x; integrate over x, and perform repeated integration by parts, it then follows that: f=0.
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1answer
37 views

Is it direct speech?

I have a question regarding the sentence below. If you say “I hate grammar,” you mean “I have a lot of difficulties with understanding rules how to use words correctly.” Is it direct speech ...
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1answer
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Using a full stop, question mark, apostrophe and a comma all at the same time in a sentence (in UK English)

Would .?', in the following sentence be correct? A man asked 'how many are red, how many are green, etc.?', so I tried to find out.
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Should there be a comma in this sentence? [closed]

In the introduction to The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins there is the following sentence: "The correct word of the title to stress is 'gene' and let me explain why." I thought that since and ...
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1answer
19 views

Punctuation of dependent clauses with a common subject [closed]

I am wondering whether the following sentence is punctuated properly: From the previous section, the operator A is skew-adjoint; has compact resolvents; and thus has the required conditions.
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2answers
390 views

Why capitalize this word in the middle of the sentence?

I came across this sentence at http://www.thepunctuationguide.com/period.html. Why is "Does" capitalized? The question is, Does anyone support this legislation?
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3answers
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Should a colon be used following a dependent clause to introduce a quote? [duplicate]

Doing some editing and came across a sentence in which a colon is used to introduce a quote. Is the colon justified in this case? SENTENCE ENDS: ...wearing a T-shirt that says: "When the going ...
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4answers
574 views

Correct punctuation to introduce a supporting quote

What is the correct way to punctuate the end of a sentence before a quote that directly supports the statement? I assume either a colon or a semicolon, but I have no idea which is correct. For ...
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1answer
26 views

In what circumstances can we omit commas when using adverbs at the beginning of a sentence? [closed]

it is a common practice to separate an adverb at the beginning of a sentence from the rest with a comma. However, I have read somewhere that we can omit the comma when no pause is needed. Is this ...
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3answers
95 views

Should I use a comma after “it should be 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 ...
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777 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 ...
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1answer
63 views

Interchangeability of “—” (dash) and “:” (colon)

Let me cite two examples, one using "—" (dash) and the other using ":" (colon): John has three sisters — Sita, Mita and Rita. John has three sisters: Sita, Mita and Rita. Grammatically, ...
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2answers
55 views

Is there an official symbol for repetition in a table

In one of the tables of a paper, I used a hyphen to indicate the repetition of the value in a cell into the one below. Here is an (ugly) example: ╭────────╥────────────┬─────────────────────╮ │ ...
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1answer
189 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) ...
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1answer
38 views

Can someone describe the difference between “—”, comma and “:” for putting emphasize? [closed]

Referring to this : Usage of a comma for emphasis I don't really get the diffrence between "—", comma and ":" in the case of putting emphasize in some sentences like this: don't forget () they ...
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1answer
52 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?
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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 ...
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1answer
35 views

What to do if ellipses are already in a text

What should I do to let a reader know that in a quote the ellipses aren't mine and have been placed by the original author? This is the quote: My home university did a study of its alumni a few ...
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1answer
132 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 ...
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50 views

Is it acceptable to have a period inside and outside of a quotation mark, if the inner period should be specifically specified in a quote?

For example, say I needed to specify that the following sentence should be written exactly as it appears: Use eye protection. Example: The statement previously appeared in the document as "Use eye ...
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1answer
48 views

Changing tone during a sentence and having “and/or” in a list [closed]

I am unsure about the following sentence: "Reasons a guest may be turned away include, but are not limited to, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, exceeding the weight limit, unable to ...
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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 ...
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1answer
149 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 ...
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28 views

Commas in sentences with “when”

Is the comma necessary in the sentence below? When a printing is finished, printer sends events to server.
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Quoting a password at the end of a sentence: Where to put the point?

Recent Slashdot article: They feature Wi-Fi that can't be turned off (protected, however, with a WEP password of "abcde"), an unencrypted database, and administrative access with a hardcoded ...
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3answers
38 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 ...
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1answer
124 views

Where do I make the pause in this sentence [closed]

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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1answer
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When and where did * become “splat”?

I learned the asterisk character is the reason splatbooks are named such (from *books). However, I've been unable to find any specifics on who started pronouncing * as "splat". I know it's not very ...
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28 views

Use quotation marks for phrases on items

I am editing a story with a character who is wearing a "Search and Rescue" T-shirt. If I understand correctly, "Search and Rescue" is not a proper name. The shirt simply identifies the character as a ...