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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votes
3answers
352 views

Use of Comma And Structure

I want to understand the overall structure and the meaning of the following sentence. I want also an explanation of the use of comma and the the ing verb looking here: Later, Mr. Drigant’s grandson ...
4
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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 ...
3
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2answers
2k views

Sentence Structure With “So”

A sentence structure question: "It was getting late, so we went home." "It was getting late. So, we went home." Should "so" be preceded by a comma or period? Is one of them wrong?
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3answers
493 views

The usage of a comma with conjunctions

I am a little confused about the usage of a comma in sentences with conjunctions. For example: Dairying is concerned not only with the production of milk but with the manufacture of milk products. ...
5
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2answers
756 views

Punctuation in sarcastic question with suggested answer?

How do you correctly format a sarcastic question that includes a suggested answer? Like... Where did you get your license: the back of a cereal box? Is that correct? It seems wrong to make it two ...
4
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2answers
3k views

Beginning quotes with square brackets

I have difficulty understanding why in this article approximately half of the quotes start with a letter in square brackets. What is the reason? Some examples: "[S]ame-sex segregation is a group ...
4
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2answers
143 views

Comma and semicolon

I read this long sentence in today's newspaper: Police believe the pirates who attacked the Singapore-owned oil tanker in the Straits of Malacca near Pulau Ketam early Tuesday, may have had "inside ...
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2answers
742 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 ...
1
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2answers
866 views

Help explain this passage by Jean Jacques Rousseau?

From A Discourse in Political Economy by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1755): The first and most important rule of legitimate or popular government, that is to say, of government whose object is the good ...
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1answer
221 views

Should we put question marks at the end of the following sentences?

The three sentences are: Wouldn't it be good if we invited them over? Wouldn't it be nice to have those kitchen utensils? Wouldn't it be nice if we could have those kitchen utensils? P.S. Another ...
2
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2answers
92 views

Where would we insert the commas in this sentence?

Consider the sentence: Many people find the best times for meditation are in the morning when they first wake up or at night just before bed. Commas after bolded words? Change "times" to "time" and "...
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2answers
763 views

Using question mark in a sentence connecting a question and a statement

Edit On second thoughts, and after reading the answers, I realised that I had misinterpreted the statement from the book. As such, in hindsight, this wasn't a good example for the question. Regardless,...
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1answer
97 views

master's degree vs master degree

Could you please tell me which one is correct, master's degree or master degree? I am writing in this context ....of the college in which I will have completed Master degree Also Do you write ...
2
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1answer
48 views

Is a comma required here?

Is a comma required in the two places in the following example? He asked me(,) “Blah blah?“ My reply was(,) "Blah blah.” Thanks!
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2answers
4k views

What is the meaning of “-er-” in sentence?

I am reading a book in which I see this fragment: . . . but he has —er— ideas what ideas . . . What is the meaning of —er— in this sentence? And what is the — that appears before and after some ...
1
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1answer
440 views

What are the rules that describe the usage of 'em' dash and 'en' dash?

I'm clear about using one hyphen while typing a sentence. I met a 24-year-old girl. She was pretty. But in many sentences I observe a longer dash (--). Probably they are two in number. Microsoft ...
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3answers
196 views

Colon/question mark conflict in a question containing a description

Which punctuation mark to use in a sentence that contains a description (needs colon) and a question (needs question mark)? Example: How would you act in a situation like this one: you are trapped ...
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2answers
1k views

Do I need a comma in this expression?

I want to write the expression I saw various science-fiction, thrillers and war movies last week. in this way The movies I saw last week, they were science-fiction, thrillers and war movies. ...
1
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1answer
149 views

Do I need comma in these expressions?

Consider these expressions, The article is about Mr X, who invented Y in 1960. In this expression do I need a comma after Mr X? I took a look at this document, It discusses Restrictive vs. ...
0
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1answer
314 views

Is this ',' punctuation correct?

I am working on my 'Statement of Purpose' for my grad school application. It seems that correct punctuation is very critical. So I have a question about the comma punctuation in the following ...
2
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1answer
194 views

Which punctuation has the priority?

"Tricky customer, eh? Not to worry, we'll find the perfect match here somewhere –– I wonder, now –– yes, why not –– unusual combination –– holly and phoenix feather, eleven inches, nice and supple." ...
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1answer
2k views

pcs.; or pcs; when used in a list

I am not sure which is the correct form to use when writing a list of products. I need the semi-colon but do I need the full stop? pcs.; pcs; Any help is much appreciated, thanks.
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1answer
187 views

Should I put a dash in this sentence?

I wrote this sentence: In conclusion, the reading claims that minimum wage is harmful to the companies, which the lecturer contradicts by providing three points –which form a compelling argument, ...
1
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1answer
418 views

Hyphenating compound words

Is there a rule whether a compound word is hyphenated (at a line break) between its components? potash is hyphenated as pot-ash, but potassium is hyphenated as po-tas-si-um. From Merriam Webster: ...
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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, ...
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2answers
602 views

Examples of comma rules

I am refreshing - or rather building up from scratch =) - my knowledge about the proper usage of commas in the English language. I would like if you could take a look at the subsequent examples and ...
2
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1answer
103 views

meaning of this semicolon

Turning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger, and a snake surrounding a large letter H. (Harry Potter and the ...
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2answers
2k views

Is “pre-Industrial-Revolution” spelled and hypenated correctly?

I found this quote online: The hackish senses of "engine" are actually close to its original, pre-Industrial-Revolution sense of a skill, clever device, or instrument (the word is cognate to "...
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1answer
142 views

Why isn't there any indentation?

  It was the best evening of Harry’s life, better than winning at Quidditch, or Christmas, or knocking out mountain trolls… he would never, ever forget tonight. Harry had almost ...
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1answer
185 views

The usage of comma and period mark

I have read a sentence which made me confused: But Mary suddenly laughed, "How could that be?" she said. "It's only 2008 this year." I wonder whether I can replace the first comma with a period ...
2
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1answer
2k views

What's the difference between “two story books” and “two story-books”?

There are many books, including two story-books, three picture books, four English books and one Chinese book. What's the difference between two story books and two story-books? When should the ...
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2answers
460 views

Is “One is big, the other is quite small.”correct? Can we use the comma in this sentence?

Can we use the comma before "the other"? I think it should be replaced by a semicolon or a period. Newton has two cats. One is big, the other is quite small.
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4answers
3k views

The question is, should the 'should' in this sentence be capitalized?

The question is, should the 'should' in this sentence be capitalized? Also, is the type of that sentence interrogative or declarative or a mix of both?
4
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1answer
176 views

Why is there a hyphen before this word?

A movement in the trees behind Ronan made Hagrid raise his bow again, but it was only a second centaur, black-haired and -bodied and wilder-looking than Ronan. (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)...
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4answers
119k 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
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1answer
271 views

Can I use quotation marks to mean a word is used euphemistically?

In Italian I could write Ho visto "l'albergo" dove lavori. (I saw the "hotel" where you work.) In that sentence, I am not quoting what somebody said, but I am using albergo in an euphemistic way, ...
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1answer
4k views

Should “either” be preceded by a comma?

An example: The question caught me off-guard. She was right: why I was so confident about my statement? I couldn't disprove the existence of this mystical stone. In fact, I couldn't disprove ...
0
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1answer
653 views

Using quotation marks and apostrophe together

How should I properly write quotation marks and apostrophe in cases like the following ones? There are five "McDonald's"s in our city. All "7-11"'s in our town were opened within the last ten ...
2
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2answers
6k views

When does a comma follow an exclamatory 'oh' or 'ah'?

When does a comma follow an exclamatory 'oh' or 'ah'? Example 1 (no comma after oh) “Everybody can't come here, you know, how ridiculous can you get? There's just barely enough room on this ...
0
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1answer
179 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?"...
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0answers
29 views

Is my usage of the colon in this sentence accurate? [duplicate]

From what I understand, one of the functions of the colon, among other things (introducing lists, direct speech/quotation etc), is to act as a link between two sentences. (A formal version of the ...
2
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1answer
105 views

replace “that” with a dash?

Is it acceptable to use a dash instead of "that" in the following sentence? Kids always say to their classmates that dishes cooked by their own mothers are the best in the world. Kids always ...
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2answers
233 views

Is a dash acceptable in the context of this sentence?

In Capitalization of first letter after a dash , it was claimed (with some citations supplied) Where are the rules that even say a dash is permissible in a sentence like "I'm in South Ossetia - ...
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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?
2
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1answer
374 views

How to use 'i.e.' in a sentence?

Which of the following ways of using i.e. in a sentence is correct? 1) The elephant is a pachyderm, i.e., an animal with thick skin and nails resembling hooves. 2) The elephant is a pachyderm (i....
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1answer
87 views

Is this correct usage of commas before and?

There is a quote from local translation bureau website: A translation shall be excellent in every respect: style, and formatting, and words, and meaning. Is this usage of commas correct? I've ...
2
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2answers
155 views

Which punctuation marks are correctly used in this type of question/phrase

I was asking a question and while formulating the content, I made the following sentence/phrase: What I am facing trouble with, is; referencing.... Is my usage of comma(,) and semi-colon(;) ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
4
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2answers
140 views

Listing alternatives in a question

What punctuation should I use in a question that offers alternatives? What do you like, cheese or bacon? What do you like? Cheese or bacon?
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1answer
168 views

Are these examples of comma-splice?

Are the following sentences examples of comma-splice? I am well, thank you. I have been sick, but I feel better now, thank you. If just one is a comma-splice example, why is one acceptable, and ...