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 to punctuate spoken dialog with multiple levels of nested clauses?

I'm trying to do an audio transcription (for fun—I'm a complete amateur at this) and struggling with how to punctuate this part. Could anyone please help? We've designed this around the functions of ...
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2answers
51 views

Punctuation help

I need help with the correct punctuation for the following: Every empty box symbolizes a child's wish unanswered, and a dream unfulfilled. I think the construction of the sentence is more ...
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51 views

Is there a comma before “so”? What is the correct answer?

What is the correct version: Suddenly the noise stopped, so Dani, the new resident, started feeling uneasy. Suddenly the noise stopped so Dani, the new resident, started feeling uneasy.
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46 views

“Knows an awful lot about the Dark Arts, Snape”

He teaches Potions, but he doesn't want to—everyone knows he's after Quirrell's job. Knows an awful lot about the Dark Arts, Snape. From time to time I stumble upon this type of speech with ...
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1answer
21 views

Should a semicolon precede an adverb that does not separate two independent clauses?

The sentence I wrote is as follows: "The idea behind this technique was that the human eye could not differentiate between the individual colors of each point, thereby causing the eye to blend the ...
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1answer
27 views

When to use Comma before coordinating conjunctions?

So I understand that serial comma (the one used before and/or) is used only when we have 3 or more items to be separated using and/or. What exactly is the rule that governs where to add comma before ...
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44 views

Question about an AP Style rule

AP STYLE RULE: If the word following a singular common noun ending in "s" begins with "s," add an apostrophe only. Based on AP's rule above, are the following bulleted examples correctly punctuated ...
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1answer
50 views

How would I punctuate a run-on sentence like this?

How can I punctuate this sentence to establish clarity without having to sacrifice cohesiveness? In general, there are four distinct castes that one could be born into: Brahmans, the highest ...
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61 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 ...
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1answer
35 views

Colon or semicolon?

We need help with colons and semicolons - and we need the definitive answer here, with examples. Here is my example: There is hardly any reason to be happy in the DPRK: the people are the most ...
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1answer
28 views

How to use “then” as a modifier

Which would you use or expect to see? "Iggy accidently caught me in the eye when he was hugging a then friend, Howard Devoto." "Iggy accidently caught me in the eye when he was hugging a, then, ...
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195 views

Can we use the abbreviation “etc” without a period/full stop?

Throughout Practical English Usage 3rd Edition (Swan, 2005), the author writes etc in a manner I can't help but wonder if it's a typo. Much/far/a lot etc more money Many/far/a lot etc ...
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70 views

Can one use a question mark after “Please”?

I'm imagining someone importuning another person. For example, if someone asked another person if he or she could come join them on an outing, and when the other person doesn't seem too keen on the ...
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1answer
61 views

In my example, can I use a comma before the word “thus”?

Graph 4 improves Graph 3 because it shows potentially similar outliers that occur at each birthday, thus this represents our best range of x.
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1answer
789 views

Is it “midsentence” or “mid-sentence”? Onelook doesn't say

Is it "midsentence" or "mid-sentence"? Onelook doesn't say. Also, is it: mid- to late 50s mid-to-late 50s mid to late 50s I'd say, "mid- to late 50s" because "mid" is a prefix that requires a ...
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1answer
115 views

Punctuating Adverbial Speech Descriptors

This may have already been covered somewhere, though I can't find it, but I'd always thought that adverbs qualifying, describing, modifying the verb in speech delivery, required a comma before the ...
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1answer
114 views

Question mark or period?

Is this sentence a question or a statement (or other). It ends with a question, so I used a question mark. (Just ignore the tech jargon.) I get that this should show me the PID of the SIGTERMing ...
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1answer
397 views

Using the FANBOYS “for” in a series

I have a sentence that is constructed the same as this one: She bought food for a black cat, a white horse, a red dog, and a green frog. However, I feel the comma does not give enough pause for ...
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59 views

poetic effect of segmentation of a group of words

Some poems break a sentence or a clause into two lines at the middle of one meaning group of words, like - ... a blue sky and ... What effect such an irregular line break has? Mr. Garrison ...
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Capitalization in direct speech without quotation marks

My question has been largely answered in the discussion linked to below. However, one question remains: in mid-sentence hypothetical direct speech without quotation marks, what is preferable ...
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20 views

Multiple types of items in parenthesis, abbreviation + reference

In a sentence how do you correctly use punctuate both an abbreviation and a reference within the same parentheses? The Carbon Footprint of imports (CFi, table 1)..
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35 views

How to indicate omitted punctuation?

I signaled that I removed a comma here by <s>,</s> (which shows as  , ) but what's the official manner or practice? I don't want to use an ellipsis, because it might confuse and ...
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52 views

Is the usage of this semicolon correct? Should I replace it with a colon or dash?

I am getting ready to have my first tattoo and, as a fairly strict grammarian, I want to make sure that I get it right. I plan for the tattoo to look like the following, but I'm not totally sure about ...
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45 views

double punctuation marks: one inside parenthesis and one outside

I don't seem to be able to find the answer I'm after so here is my question. Can I make a sentence and at the end of the sentence make a a startling comment in parenthesis ending with an exclamation ...