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 splice proceeded by conjunctive adverb

I'm wondering what the rule is as to where any commas or semicolons would go. (a) and (b) are showing the two sentences that are to be combined, and (a)+(b)[1,2] show the sentences in question. (a): ...
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1answer
20 views

How should I punctuate the “Shocked” line from Casablanca?

I'm writing something that mimics the famous "Shocked" line from Casablanca, but I can't find a good way to punctuate the phrase without it looking odd. Any ideas please? I'm shocked, shocked, ...
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1answer
25 views

“Respect, where has it gone?” vs “Respect. Where has it gone?”

We are using the following topic for a speech contest and there is a question as to punctuation Respect, where has it gone? or Respect. Where has it gone?
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4answers
21k views

Where does the question mark go — inside or outside the parentheses?

I know that when brackets enclose part of a sentence, the full stop goes outside. I tripped over this morning. I was distracted by a plane (which turned out to be Superman). If it's a full ...
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2answers
63 views

Proper Punctuation for “Over” in Radio Communication

Given the statement "Vickery to Crann, Over" as radio communication, and knowing that over, as a radio procedure, is used to request a response from the person/group in which the radio procedure had ...
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7answers
2k views

Any authoritative source on British rules on space before question mark?

A space before a question or an exclamation mark. Can it be correct? is affirming what I always use, but now some translators at my office said that I always need a space before. I am sure they are ...
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3answers
2k views

How to punctuate an answer to a question when the answer is also a question?

The title to this question is sort of long-winded but the example here should clarify it. Which of these is correct? Who should be baby-sitting your children, your neighborhood teenagers or ...
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2answers
66 views

Is this sentence structure correct? I catch myself using this structure a lot [on hold]

This is a line from a story I'm writing: "The blanket had been peeled back, revealing imprints of recent slumber." Is this correct or should I make another sentence for the second clause?
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2answers
90 views

Questions becoming statements [duplicate]

Sometimes there is an interesting effect when you convert a question into a statement, though this does seem somewhat modern. For example, What the heck. as opposed to What the heck? or ...
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2answers
31 views

What is the proper comma placement around an Author's Name?

The Gregg Reference Manual, by William Sabin, was a bestseller. Are the commas correct in this sentence? She loved the Gregg Reference Manual, by William Sabin. Is the comma correct after ...
2
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1answer
47 views

Comma placement between two clauses

Based on my research, #2 is most correct, with two independent clauses separated by the "and". For some reason, a pause after "and" SOUNDS better to me. Is one of these correct and the others ...
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1answer
49 views

Should I use a colon or semicolon?

Which of the following punctuations is more appropriate? Strict liability serves to uphold the rights of individuals: in this case, the rights of the neighbor to the security of his property. or ...
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2answers
54 views

Apostrophe with Singular Proper Noun made up on Plural Word [duplicate]

I'm normally pretty confident with my punctuation, but this one has been stumping me, and it's probably because I don't know the proper phrasing for what I'm trying to ask: How to we add a possessive ...
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0answers
23 views

Why add extra space between a word and punctuation (e.g. a period, question mark, etc.)? [duplicate]

I was just wondering this because of noticing a lot of people I've worked with typed this way. Examples: Okay, that's great . Thanks, Stephanie . Was there anything else ? I was wondering if ...
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1answer
29 views

Punctuation for a compound question

What is the proper punctuation for the following? Have you heard, I like chocolate ice cream (?) (.) Should it be two separate sentences? Have you heard? I like chocolate ice cream. Is there a ...
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5answers
6k views

Is it proper to use a colon followed immediately by a hyphen?

I have seen some writing where people have a list or a figure in writing and they will write something like this: The information is provided in Image 3:- Is that correct? Is this a British ...
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1answer
55 views

If the article title ends in closing punctuation, do we still add a period in an APA reference? [closed]

I have a question about citing a reference in APA format. The following reference was created by one of the members of my school group for a paper we are working on (let's just dismiss indentation on ...
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1answer
24 views

Punctuation between clauses when the first clause is a series

I have this sentence: Even if I seem too busy, or you made a mistake, or someone we care about will be upset, or you feel embarrassed, if anything bothers you, I want to know. I believe that ...
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2answers
57 views

How should one punctuate “upper right most”?

For upper right most, I’ve seen it written upper-right most, upper-right-most, and with no hyphens at all. What makes the most sense to me is upper rightmost, but it’s hard to tell that upper right ...
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1answer
55 views

How do I correctly punctuate the phrase “that is” in the context of an explanation?

I find myself wanting to use the phrase "that is" or "that's to say" but often can't figure out what sort of punctuation I use with it. I think it's an explanatory phrase, but I'm not sure. I ...
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3answers
69 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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2answers
38 views

Proper Names Functioning as Adjectives

To me, "California," "New Jersey," "Texas," "N.Y.," and "1969" are functioning as appositives in the examples below, when in fact they are not. All these words are essential information to the ...
84
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1answer
48k 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?
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2answers
500 views

Can “;” be used to replace the word “but”?

Are these two sentences both correct and equivalent? People say stuff like "all lawyers are liars", but it's not true. People say stuff like "all lawyers are liars"; it's not true. Is ...
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4answers
4k views

Placing a comma after a conditional statement

I've always had difficulties in figuring out where commas should be placed. For example, in a phrase containing a conditional statement, how should I write... If they don't arrive by noon, she'll ...
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2answers
70 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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3answers
5k views

Parentheses vs. double commas vs. dashes to provide additional detail

When do you use commas and when do you use parentheses to provide more detail about something? For example: The suspect, Tom Wilson, is now being charged with murder. The suspect (Tom Wilson) is ...
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2answers
44 views

Does removing the comma before 'which' in a non-restrictive clause change the meaning of the sentence?

There are many 'rules' on the net saying that a comma should be placed before the relative pronoun 'which' in a non-restrictive clause. (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/relative-clauses) But ...
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0answers
23 views

Can a declarative, independent clause be considered an introductory element?

Consider this question: Are you going to the birthday party? I know that the following response can be punctuated correctly in at least two ways: "I hope so. I have already bought a ...
6
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2answers
912 views

Using a comma after “that”

I would like to know if you can use "that" with a comma after it. For example: Findings show that, during the initial stages of love, there is increased blood flow to the brain.
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0answers
11 views

One or two possessive apostrophes for two subjects with different possession [duplicate]

'The similarities between Odelle's and Smith’s artistic depictions of women [...]' OR 'The similarities between Odelle and Smith’s artistic depictions of women [...]' The point in question regards ...
0
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0answers
30 views

Comma after “first” [duplicate]

Can anyone justify the presence and absence of comma after first in the sentences below? First we’ll create a screen for the user to log in. First, we’ll define the AniJS helper and then ...
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1answer
46 views

commas in “They are sweet, not sour, grapes”

In the sentence "They are sweet, not sour, grapes.", is the second comma correct, incorrect, or optional?
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4answers
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Punctuation for the phrase “including but not limited to”

This is my first question on this stack exchange. I'm hoping this kind of question is welcome here, and excuse my ignorance, but my confusion evident below is exactly why I am a Software Engineer ...
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2answers
1k views

Should this word be in quotes or in italic?

Let's suppose there exists a standard that documents fruits. This standard has already accepted apple and peach. Banana has just been accepted as a standard. When I say: The proposal of banana has ...
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2answers
73 views

Usage of dash in the sentence

I came across the below line in a newspaper Wayne Rooney finally scored his first World Cup goal for England - after 759 minutes, in his third cup and 10th game. Why is the dash required in the ...
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2answers
90 views

Commas that are sentence flow-stoppers … Can I leave them out?

Is it acceptable in BrE to omit the commas (as I've done below) after 2006, 1946, France, Texas and New York? To me, commas after each serve no purpose: they reduce the flow of the sentence. • The ...
2
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1answer
49 views

Using 'certainly' at the end of a sentence — what is the correct punctuation and what is the construction called?

Consider this construction: Certainly, I will see you tomorrow. The word 'certainly' constitutes an introductory phrase, and the appropriate punctuation to use is a comma. (AFAIK). Now, ...
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1answer
157 views

Oxford Comma Conventions

According to the Wikipedia page for the Oxford Comma, "Use of the comma is consistent with conventional practice" and "Use of the comma is inconsistent with conventional practice." Did the Oxford ...
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3answers
96 views

Are the commas right? [duplicate]

The man, who is standing there, is her ex-husband. Are these commas needed? Or is it: The man who is standing there is her ex-husband.
2
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3answers
109 views

Marine Corps Possessive [duplicate]

I am editing my brother’s paper, and I realized I am unsure about the possessive form of Marine Corps, such as The best kept secret of the Marine Corps Is it the Marine Corps’ best kept ...
2
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1answer
407 views

Should I use a comma or semicolon to separate these ideas?

I can no longer remember her face, too much time has passed. I can no longer remember her face; too much time has passed.
3
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1answer
93 views

Using “scare quotes” inside a quotation

I understand that scare quotes can be used when a word is being used in a specialized, unconventional, or disputable sense: The census bureau encountered problems when trying to define a “normal” ...
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2answers
55 views

Use of colon before reasons

If we say something has advantages over something else, should we write ":" before the reasons or not? For example, A has advantages over B: The value of A is more than B and… or A has ...
2
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3answers
4k views

Using “and” twice in a list

About using and, I've learned it is usually used in lists, between the last two items. For example: I like movies, traveling and going out with friends. Please tell me if the use of and ...
0
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3answers
70 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?
170
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15answers
20k views

How many spaces should come after a period/full stop?

In the past — or at least, when I was in elementary school — periods/full stops were followed by two spaces. Lately, it's become more and more common to see just one space. In the modern ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Comma in conditional sentence and in antithesis

I've got a couple questions: Should I always put comma between condition and consequence parts, like in the following sentence: If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Should I always ...
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2answers
136 views

Commas After Conditionals

It seems to me that commas for conditionals are falling out of favor. I often see the comma dropped in sentences like: If you get stuck in a passive sentence always ask the question: I would ...
3
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5answers
328 views

Question Regarding Possessives with ('s) and (of) [duplicate]

Question: Is the first one redundant and proper, or is it redundant and not necessarily correct? (1) He is a friend of Doug's. (2) He is a friend of Doug.