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Questions tagged [punctuation]

Use this tag for questions about the correct use of punctuation marks, or about using a punctuation mark instead of another one.

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4
votes
1answer
371 views

Do periods and question marks come inside the quotation mark, or outside?

I am very well aware of punctuation usage difference between American and British usage, but this part confuses me a little. Example: A. Why did he ask, "Who are you?" B. Why did he ask, "Who ...
-2
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1answer
2k views

What do programmers call these punctuation marks? (Parentheses, brackets, ticks, etc.) [closed]

In our international (TypeScript) developer team, we have often problems in the communication; in the worst case, everyone understands something else. Therefore I would unmistakable know, how should ...
5
votes
3answers
965 views

Which is right in this sentence: semicolon or colon?

Daylight began to forsake the red-room; it was past four o'clock, and the beclouded afternoon was tending to drear twilight. I heard the rain still beating continuously on the staircase window, and ...
12
votes
4answers
115k views

Should I always use a comma before a quote?

When quoting something said by someone else, should I use a comma before the quote? Suppose I quote the definition given in a dictionary. Am I correctly using the the punctuation marks in the ...
4
votes
5answers
811 views

Can the comma be used to create a pause in a (long) sentence?

I'm studying for TOEFL and saw some punctuation rules online. Some sources mention the pause for comma, while others don't. Is there a canonical source for questions like this?
6
votes
2answers
15k views

Where are the periods in acronyms?

Okay, when I see acronyms I usually see stuff like NYOB, OMG, PM, stuff like that. I also see some of them with periods on them like N.A.S.A. Do you put the dots in them, or not?
8
votes
8answers
18k views

Is “Hello.” a sentence?

I've seen this at many places, that people who know very good English (even native speakers of English) write "Hello" followed by a full stop. My confusion is that the use of the full stop indicates ...
4
votes
1answer
376 views

Appropriate use of commas

I hope syntax questions are appropriate here. I've been writing in English for many years, but there are certain recurring issues that come up in my writing, which I can't seem to resolve ...
3
votes
3answers
170 views

Haruki Murakami, Phrases, Em-Dash Use?

You said that the mind is like the wind, but perhaps it is we who are like the wind. Knowing nothing, simply blowing through. ― Haruki Murakami In this, may Knowing nothing (participle phrase[?], ...
1
vote
2answers
695 views

About using 'so' as a coordinator

I have heard the following usage of 'so' quite frequently in Indian schools: He was sick so he did not come. Isn't this incorrect? I prefer this usage: He was sick, and so he did not come. My ...
2
votes
2answers
18k views

Should there be a comma before “but instead” in the following example?

Am I correct to include a comma before "but instead" in the following example? I am not sure if the latter part of the sentence could be considered a main clause because there is no subject, so I am ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

When can a hyphen (“-”) be used, and what does it mean?

I've seen the hyphen (-) used in phrases a lot, for example: audience-knowing moves-sometimes do-gooder When and why is the hyphen used, and what does it mean when it's used?
1
vote
1answer
110 views

Shouldn't the comma be omitted? And is this sentence consistent in the tense?

Original sentence: Prince Andrew, looking again at that genealogical tree, shook his head, laughing as a man laughs who looks at a portrait so characteristic of the original as to be amusing. (...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Where to insert the exclamation mark

Where would I insert an exclamation mark and a comma in the below sentence? "Look at that boy" he exclaimed.
0
votes
1answer
390 views

British Punctuation versus American Punctuation

I've learned that American English use double quotation marks and place periods inside quotation marks while British English use single quotation marks and place periods outside quotation marks. ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

possessive apostrophe for two things or persons

What is the difference between the two sentences below? Are they the same or different in meaning? Jack and Laura's new house is almost ready. Jack's and Laura's new house is almost ready. To ...
15
votes
2answers
40k views

Capitalization of first letter after a dash

I'm in South Ossetia – yes, I managed to get a visa! In this sentence, should "yes" be capitalised ("Yes") after the dash?
15
votes
7answers
2k views

Should I use diacritical marks?

Being a speaker of several European languages, I'm always getting upset when I see people are using certain loanwords ignoring accent marks: Sending my resume for your review; We went to cafe; ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Should there be a space before punctuation?

I often see questions, exclamations, or sentences written with a space before punctuation marks (specifically ,, :, ?, and !), but I usually see these without the space. Which is correct? Are both ...
6
votes
1answer
406 views

Is it okay to write “gale force” without the hyphen?

Northern New South Wales is bracing for more flooding today. Heavy rain and gale force winds are expected to hit the region later this morning. (ABC News) ABC’s news script has no hyphen between ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Should add a comma after “it turns out”?

Example: It turns out(,) religion isn't the best topic for a romantic dinner. I've seen all these two versions: It turns out that X ... As it turns out, X ... How about It turns out? Does ...
6
votes
1answer
20k views

If a comma were to be put before “when”, does it change the meaning?

"So what happened to you two?" said Harry. "Well, I got back all right," said Hermione. "I brought Ron round - that took a while - and we were dashing up to the owlery to contact Dumbledore when ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

'I, too, am waiting …' and 'I, also, am waiting …'

Kitty: I'm waiting for a banana. Jair: I, too, am waiting for a banana. (1) Jair: I, also, am waiting for a banana. (2) Which is correct, (1) or (2)? If both, what's the difference? Plus, ...
2
votes
2answers
104 views

Comma usage of non-restrictive and restrictive clauses containing that and which

I am a native speaker of English but am having trouble with the distinction between that and which, with respect to restrictive and non-restrictive clauses and comma usage. For example, which is ...
2
votes
2answers
31 views

The precise meaning of comma splice

I was told by one supporter that there is a case of comma splice in the following sentence: When he was able to crack the Trident code, that was deemed by many as his major achievement in his ...
7
votes
2answers
16k views

Is it wrong to put exclamation mark (!) after 'Thanks'?

Is the following approach wrong? Thanks! for the LIC receipt. I am good. How are you? Is it ok to put an exclamation mark after 'Thanks'?
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Can a colon be regarded as a junction for complex sentences?

Bessie and Abbot having retreated, Mrs. Reed, impatient of my now frantic anguish and wild sobs, abruptly thrust me back and locked me in, without farther parley. I heard her sweeping away; and soon ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

“Life changes; memories don't.” A comma would be better?

I came across this sentence on a blog. Life changes; memories don't. The first time I read this sentence, I knew something was wrong. If I'm not wrong, a semicolon is used between two independent ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Why is there a comma before “my friends” in this sentence?

In the sentence below, why is "my friends" set off with a comma? “It is a great misfortune to be alone, my friends; and it must be believed that solitude can quickly destroy reason.” ― Jules ...
4
votes
3answers
149 views

What is the subject? And where to put comma(s)?

A world in which there are monsters, and ghosts, and things that want to steal your heart is a world in which there are angels, and dreams and a world in which there is hope. ― Neil Gaiman May you ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the question mark needed at the end of indirect questions?

When I asked an earlier question I wasn't sure whether to put a question mark at the end of the following sentence, which is, obviously, a question, even if it is not written in interrogative form: ...
3
votes
1answer
175 views

Does “The watch which I bought from Japan is a birthday present for my sister.” need some commas?

The watch which I bought from Japan is a birthday present for my sister. Does the sentence need some commas?
2
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2answers
1k views

Do I need to use a comma if a subject follows “and” in a sentence?

Mike went to the shop, and he bought vegetables. or Mike went to the shop and bought vegetables. My understanding is that when the subject is there after 'and', the comma is required. My ...
1
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2answers
501 views

Omitting conjunctions

"Meaning doesn't come from words, ( ) it comes from context." This was my answer for one of the questions in my English test. But unfortunately my teacher said it was a wrong answer. The ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

When you can't change the girl, change the girl

How can one differentiate between these two "Girl"? I mean I was not able to understand the sentence first is there any sort of punctuation missing in this sentence? Just want to clarify my ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

A comma before “because” in a sentence like “This effect happens(,) because of this cause.”

In this sentence, should there be a comma before because: A file was excluded because it cannot be updated. Part of me thinks cause and effect should have a comma. This effect happens, ...
1
vote
1answer
26 views

Can “A game a few would play” be a valid structure?

This is a line in a "poem", but I have changed two words to "game" and "play" with preserving the sentence exact structure. Indeed, a game a few would play. I have searched for this structure ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

Comma usage and placement

According to Sautter (1980), authorities feared that the end of the war would leave thousands of workers from the weapons industries [,] and at least half a million “demobilized” soldiers [,] out of ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Use of Punctuation Mark:The Comma

All my childhood I longed desperately for a tricycle, which my parents could never afford ,and later the wish was transferred to a bicycle, and there, too I was permanently disappointed. In this ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

Choice of punctuation: Which is easier for the native speaker to read

Which of these sentences is easier to read and understand for the native speaker? I guess it should also be the most correct of these options. Please note that the question is directed at the ...
0
votes
1answer
185 views

Help me to understand this usage of periods in quotations and with incomplete sentences

Help me to understand this quote: "You should never read just for 'enjoyment.' Read to make yourself smarter! Less judgmental. More apt to understand your friends’ insane behavior, or better yet, ...
0
votes
1answer
169 views

Punctuation inside quotes: Should I put the period inside quotes, if the sentence ends with a question mark or an exclamation point?

In American English, a period is not added at the end of a sentence if it ends with a quote whose last letter is a quotation mark or an exclamation point. Edema asked, "Am I an alliteration addict?"...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

How do I improve this? How can I put semicolon? [duplicate]

Being taught and raised in a society; where art and design is an awful career option, I still manage myself pursuing my inner desire anyway.
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1answer
69 views

How to put semicolon in this sentence?

Is the semicolon correct in this sentence? Being taught and raised in a society; where art and design is an awful career option, I still manage myself pursuing my inner desire anyway.