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Questions tagged [punctuation]

This tag is for questions about punctuation. This encompasses marks such as the period/full stop, comma, dash, and parentheses, used to separate structural units and perform other roles that clarify the meaning. USE THE 'SYMBOLS' tag for currency symbols, accents and so forth.

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How to quote a word in quotes [duplicate]

I want to quote a scholar's use of the term irrealis flavour. So normally I would just say: XYZ merely says that such constructions have an 'irrealis flavour'. However, the original scholar actually ...
Araucaria - Him's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
15 views

Comma at the end of a line on a commemorative plaque [closed]

I am ordering a plaque to commemorate the contributions of an individual to an organization. Is it proper to put a comma at the end of the first line (after "Vossen")? If it was all on one ...
OutofMyDepth's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
52 views

How to parse and punctuate the saying: "United we stand, divided we fall."

Personally, I think the phrase should be punctuated like this: "United, we stand; divided, we fall." The thing is, I could envision "United we stand" without a comma perhaps ...
Ben Mo Juan's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
149 views

What did Tolkien apparently have against commas?

While reading his books in English for the first time a while back, I was shocked by how ultra-concise the language was in the original language. Perhaps the most frustrating part was his extremely ...
Gollum Nicehobbit's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
49 views

Commas around parenthetical phrase

Does the following phrase work with and without commas? He has provided valuable insights, through his work on several projects in the field, to the rest of the team.
Oliver's user avatar
  • 1
2 votes
1 answer
53 views

Comma uncommon usage

At the beginning of The Magician's Nephew, CS Lewis wrote: In those days Mr. Sherlock Holmes was still living in Baker Street and the Bastables were looking for treasure in the Lewisham Road. In ...
jean-luc's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
129 views

Is there precedent for eventually dropping apostrophes from words? If so how long does it normally take for the word to evolve

During the evolution of the English language words are invented, stuck together to create new words and in some cases change meaning altogether. As such I would assume there are lots of words we use ...
Dharc17's user avatar
  • 41
0 votes
1 answer
75 views

Punctuation for "the following" followed by sentence [closed]

How do I separate "construction" and "let" in the following sentence? (the context comes from mathematics) More examples come from the following construction. Let A be ... Thank ...
Omar's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
0 answers
60 views

Comma Rules - It sounds weird in my head without the Comma, but can't tell what's wrong about not having one either

I was marked wrong for this - Do we or do we not use commas to separate two nouns that come like this: From the couch, Alice continued, "I will speak to..." I thought From the couch would ...
Helen's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
1 answer
43 views

Is the comma after "practices" in that sentence correct?

A lot of people care about the environment, and a lot don’t. Which side are you? It’s your practices that tell. For those who don’t, there must be a way to make them aware of their bad practices, and ...
Ibrahim Fathy's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
43 views

Is "???" a valid version of ellipsis?

I'm marking essays for the IB (International Baccalaureate), and I've run into two student essays from students in the UK (don't know if that makes a difference) where they've identified the use of &...
tylerharms's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
18 views

Bracketing comma and placement [duplicate]

Which of the following shows the correct use of bracketing commas? "The last chapter of the first section is set, in contrast to the preceding ones, in the couples' home." OR "The last ...
AKR's user avatar
  • 9
3 votes
2 answers
198 views

Punctuation Breakdown: Examining Commas in a Sentence

I'm hoping to get a breakdown of the punctuation in the following sentence: It has a wider-reaching impact because, arguably, in addition to being of use to vehicle owners, it also benefits the ...
Noor Nizar's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
985 views

What punctuation do I use in "stage performers, their stage: the sky"?

I have a sentence which currently looks like They dance in the distance like graceful stage performers, their stage: the sky! The comma introduces more detail, but the colon is "more" than ...
Lala trav's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
96 views

How best to punctuate this sentence? [closed]

I have a sentence and am wondering how best to punctuate it. I've included the raw sentence below, as well as my own attempt, and my instructor's suggestion. Any other ideas welcome! I basically feel ...
KQUB's user avatar
  • 65
0 votes
1 answer
40 views

The semicolon (;) put before "one of which"? [duplicate]

Today I took an English Writing class, and my professor assigned sentence correcting practice exercises. Five components of defective parts have been identified, one of which is severely damaged. My ...
User's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
0 answers
24 views

Spacing around an em dash [duplicate]

Should an em dash have spaces around it? I always thought it shouldn't have spaces, but I recently read that in some cultures it is common to include spaces: [...] the "space, en dash, space&...
Jake Ireland's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Use of double colon (::) as a sentence separator [closed]

I know that the double colon (::) has been used in computing languages (e.g., in Haskell, Julia, and R), though its uses are not limited to computing. However, in recent years, I have seen this more ...
Jake Ireland's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
90 views

When and why did American English begin to use different punctuation?

I was wondering when and why American English began to use different punctuation. On the web I find a lot of examples but no date or reason why. Any date/year or explanation as to why would be amazing....
Becbel60's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
45 views

Where to place a note number within a list

If I need to include an explanatory footnote for one item within a list, where does the number go? I know that under normal circumstances, the number would go after the comma at the end of a clause. ...
Sam Levi's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
49 views

Treating Medieval text/poem's name according to Chicago

Republishing a work from the '50s where the author references a medieval text, a poem, with a Latin title that is otherwise written in Middle English, and now must present it in a manner that conforms ...
Typothalamus's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
55 views

Do I use a quotation mark at the end of a blockquote of dialogue?

"Sing it to me," said Jane. I answered, "Here goes: Row, row, row your boat Gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, Merrily, merrily, Life is but a dream. "That was nice," ...
Celia Betty's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
95 views

Comma before "that" clause at the end of a sentence

I recently wrote an article about writing comments in code. Upon reading it, a colleague of mine reacted to the following sentence: Any time you’ve spent more than 30 minutes getting something to ...
Jon Gjengset's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
50 views

Placement of "for all" in "show that"

In a mathematical text, suppose that we have a statement A(n) where n is a number. My question is where the phrase "for all n" should stand in "show that": For all n[,] show that ...
Gargantuar's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
106 views

"So" and "yet" as conjunctive adverbs rather than coordinators

I have recently been digging into the "FANBOYS" concept and how "so," "yet," and "for" are not truly coordinating conjunctions in the same vein as the other ...
GrammarCop's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
805 views

How would you name the different types of periods? ~ Translating ‘punto seguido’, ‘punto y aparte’ and ‘punto final’

In Spanish, we have different names for the different types of periods: If the period is inside a paragraph, it's called punto seguido. If the period ends a paragraph, it's called punto y aparte. If ...
tac's user avatar
  • 474
0 votes
1 answer
75 views

What punctuation is used to indicate paraphrased dialogue?

I'm translating a prose work about an epic poem. Instead of quoting dialogues in the original verse form, the author sometimes paraphrases them. What is the standard punctuation for such paraphrased ...
Maya's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
0 answers
34 views

Punctuation: I miss them too, they’re adorable. or (too; they’re adorable.) or (too. They’re adorable.) [duplicate]

What is the right punctuation for the last sentence? There were two parks in my old neighborhood, where kids used to ride their bicycles. I miss the park kids too; they’re adorable. I miss the park ...
Ibrahim Fathy's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
611 views

What is Patrick O'Brian trying to convey in this passage from Post Captain? ('Get over, you —,')

I was reading Patrick O'Brian's novel Post Captain and came across this passage: 'Get over, you —,' said the girl, in her pure clear young voice. Jack had never heard a girl say — before, and he ...
Pallie's user avatar
  • 121
1 vote
1 answer
44 views

Adjective for "being added an ellipsis"

This is a related question to Adjective for "containing an ellipsis" with a distinction for the act of becoming, instead of the state of being. The provided answer suggests elliptic: ...
Konrad Viltersten's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
95 views

I was thinking of her(,) swimming in the lake

Do we place a comma before 'swimming' in 'I was thinking of her swimming in the lake.'? How can it be rephrased? I was thinking of her while I was swimming in the lake. She swimming in the lake was ...
Didyougo's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
72 views

Hyphens are used in words from 0-99 (correction 21-99), but what if a number larger than 99 is a compound adjective before a noun?

For example, which of these are correct? The pizza delivery service had three thousand, seven hundred and eighty-two clients. The pizza delivery service had three-thousand-seven-hundred-and-eighty-...
Jof's user avatar
  • 11
-1 votes
2 answers
101 views

Nested quotations & internal commas: an edge case

Which of the following would be best practice, and why and according to whom? Alice says, “Bob said, ‘Hello’ ” and she smiles at the memory. Alice says, “Bob said, ‘Hello’, ” and she smiles at the ...
brianyin99's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
25 views

Punctuation when completing a quotation yet not concluding the sentence [duplicate]

I recently encountered a quirky situation. A student wrote a sentence, and it was much more technical than this example (actually for a literature review on microbiology), but this examples ...
Jeffbluesky's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
28 views

When quoting a thought, do I use quotations? [duplicate]

Example. In the story, the protagonist is thinking about Billy putting his hands all over his sister. It descriptive. I had to pick three instances of sensory and i picked that one. If I quote the ...
Amy Lawson's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
54 views

Punctuate "I've had it cut [] do you like it?" (comma, period, dash, or semicolon)

This is from a test: What on earth have you done to your hair? Oh. I've had it cut, do you like it? I am wondering if the comma after "cut" is justified. Would a period, dash, or semicolon ...
Quirkier's user avatar
21 votes
5 answers
4k views

When someone spells out letters in dialogue, should they be capitalized? "P-L-E-A-S-E" vs. "p-l-e-a-s-e"

I'm not finding the answer to this on the internet after searching. When writing dialogue, do you use capital letters to spell out words? Jamie said, "I said P-L-E-A-S-E please, and don't you ...
Bettey's user avatar
  • 211
2 votes
0 answers
109 views

Grammar of “In Meditations, Aurelius wrote about ways to live a Stoic life, asserting that humans should aim to live a virtuous life to be happy”

Below: a photo of a learner's textbook exercise page with a reading passage about a Stoic Roman emperor, with punctuation issues – and a question about punctuation, with rejoinders. "A" (the ...
Mr.Brian's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
49 views

Replace em dash with semicolon [duplicate]

There is the following sentence: I love the big and funny dog — Cooper. This is absolutely fine to my understanding. Now I was wondering if I could also simplify my sentence by writing it as follows....
Henrik's user avatar
  • 113
0 votes
1 answer
229 views

Three-word compound adjectives that look awful [closed]

One English rule is to hyphenate two or more words when they come before a noun they modify and act as a single idea, called a compound adjective. This is the most common use of the hyphen I've seen. ...
Daniel M.'s user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
41 views

Punctuation when 'another' refers to a modified noun

I'm helping edit a piece of fiction, which has a sentence that begins so: In another smaller kitchen... How is this to be punctuated? One choice is to leave it as it is. Another is using two commas: ...
Pixel the Cat's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
68 views

Which punctuation is best for connecting the latter longer clause in this sentence, or is the comma splice okay? [closed]

I am proofreading a colleague's work. And I know that you should use a connective/conjunction to join two clauses together rather than a comma splice, and so, in the past I have made such corrections ...
MarkB's user avatar
  • 3
0 votes
0 answers
27 views

Autocorrect gives example comma insertion, but I think it's wrong? [duplicate]

I encountered this correction in IntelliJ, a tool for editing computer programs: Is this right? I feel like there is an implicit "that" in the sentence: I need to borrow some money so [...
Archr's user avatar
  • 101
0 votes
0 answers
48 views

Should you insert a space between the second hyphen and the next word? [duplicate]

Here's a sample sentence: The waiters scurried back and forth with drink- and snack- laden trays. Or is there another way to punctuate this?
Ricky's user avatar
  • 20.4k
1 vote
0 answers
109 views

Do you capitalize words after mentioning a book with a punctuation mark in it?

If someone uses the name of a book/object with punctuation in it, does one need to capitalize the word after? Do I write: In the book Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? the main character... Or In the ...
Fedor Scheglov's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
438 views

Are "compared with" and "compared to" participle phrases?

Is "compared with" in the sentence below a participle phrase? If so, why shouldn't a comma precede it? If not, what role is it playing? The number of people who regularly eat fast food was ...
AES's user avatar
  • 53
0 votes
1 answer
29 views

Is given by(:) <eqn>; acquires the form of(:) <eqn> [closed]

Does one need to put a colon in the following cases? The equation of motion is given by: <eqn> The equation of motion takes / acquires the form of: ...
mavzolej's user avatar
  • 103
0 votes
1 answer
37 views

Punctuation inside and outside of a quotation? [duplicate]

How to punctuate a quotation which is an exclamation, at the end of a sentence which is a question? The quotation is "Fire!" The sentence is: Did he really shout "Fire!"? OK, this ...
Victoria's user avatar
  • 101
0 votes
2 answers
430 views

Confusion between full stop and comma usage while writing a letter

I was writing a letter that ends as follows: Awaiting to hear from you. With Regards, (My name). Now, my question is whether I should use a full stop or a comma after the "awaiting to hear from ...
Grothendieck Ring's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
34 views

Usage of commas in the English language [closed]

English is not my mother tongue, and I have a question regarding commas. In many languages grammar and punctuation rules are fixed, not using a rule is a mistake. My impression is that in English ...
Superfluous's user avatar

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