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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1answer
36 views

using a comma after a compound phrase

a. John was talking incessantly and Bob was drinking shot after shot of vodka making me feel very uncomfortable. b. John was talking incessantly and Bob was drinking shot after shot of vodka, ...
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1answer
20 views

Comma location in: “But he has,” wailed the servant, “to be the culprit!”?

The context There is a servant who is accusing another man to be a culprit of some petty crime. I am not sure whether the comma should be there or not.(Please see the alternatives below.) First form:...
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1answer
15 views

Capitalizing the suffix “-like”

Should I capitalize the suffix -like in a title if it is hyphenated? For example: Diamond-Like Carbon Coating or Diamond-like Carbon Coating Metal-Like Compounds or Metal-like Compounds Which is ...
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1answer
37 views

Does the construction “not only … but also” require a comma?

Example sentence: She had not only lost her job(,) but was also about to fail university. A quick search on Google Books told me that most people put a comma in this type of construction. The ...
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1answer
66 views

Is there something wrong with the conjunction “but” in the second sentence of this example?

Example: Thanks for contacting our support. I'll be happy to help you with your question. Currently, our product does not support comment or review feature. That is why you're only seeing the ...
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1answer
52 views

What punctuation mark should I put after the word introduce (to emphasize, convey a pause), “Let me introduce (—/,/:) [name]”?

What punctuation mark should I put after the word introduce (to emphasize, convey a pause), "Let me introduce (—/,/:) [name]"? I would favor dash, but in English, it's used differently than in my ...
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0answers
17 views

If an adverbial is at the beginning of a subordinate clause, should I separate it both from the subordinating conjunction and the rest of the clause?

For example, here's a sentence, "What was new was that(,) now(,) the party abstained from a vote" (you can additionally comment on the "was was" structure, if you wish; I don't see anything wrong with ...
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1answer
92 views

“to use in case of emergency”

a. This is a gun, to use in case of emergency. b. This is a gun, to use only in case of emergency. c. This is a gun, to be used in case of emergency. d. This is a gun, to be used only in case of ...
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1answer
16 views

Can bracketing commas contain incomplete sentences when introduced by although, though, even though, because, etc.?

According to this university site (section dedicated to bracketing commas): There are a number of common words which typically introduce weak interruptions containing complete sentences. Among ...
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1answer
26 views

as if in a superhero movie/as in a superhero movie

a. Those kids were talking as in gangster movies. b. Those kids were talking as if in a gangster movie. (Meaning: They were talking the way they do in gangster movies.) =============================...
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1answer
22 views

“Great Leader, X” or “Great Leader X”

I want to know if that comma is necessary in this case, it kinda gives me a feeling that it should be used but I'm not really sure. They went directly to the Great Leader, X They went directly to the ...
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1answer
27 views

Is a comma required to separate an “and” from a list?

Here's an example. This is from the novel 1Q87 by Haruki Murakami. Just before noon, Tengo put on a raincoat and hat and was headed out to the local market when he noticed a brown padded ...
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1answer
75 views

Should there be a comma before too (at the end of the sentence) if the sentence already has commas?

According to many sources, like Grammarly's blog, you can omit the comma before too. This got me thinking, how about sentences like these? Come to think of it, Tom was angry, and Mark was mad too. ...
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1answer
28 views

Why is “and so” often followed by a comma even though it's a conjunction?

From this website, I found the following advice: If you have an introductory word (or two) that is being used as an adverb (usually answers the question of when, where, why, or to what degree), ...
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1answer
385 views

Is it OK to use single quotation marks around a business name?

I'm currently in the process of writing a written piece/assignment for university as a contrast and compare piece and was curious as to if using single quotation marks around a business name for ...
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1answer
32 views

Should there be two commas in the construction so … so … that (intensifier)?

Here's an example: Her deception had been so deep, so disappointing(,) that he swore never to speak to her again. Should there be a second comma there? I'm sure you need a comma if you write ...
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1answer
34 views

Why do some introductory words are always followed by a comma and others aren't?

Some examples. However is always followed by a comma. Examples. Mostly is almost always followed by a comma. Examples. Rather is 50-50, I think. Examples. (I think this is the case with so too.) ...
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3answers
42 views

Is “along the way” parenthetical in the following example?

They dated for two years. Then(,) along the way, their love started to fade. I wonder if along the way here is parenthetical or not. Is it the same as this structure? Then, without even noticing ...
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1answer
29 views

Shouldn't there have been a question mark after “do you” in this context?

I read this in Kafka on the shore: Man alive, how'd you get all that blood all over you? What the hell were you doing? But you don't remember a thing, do you. I strongly believe there should have ...
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2answers
37 views

Grammatically speaking, should I put a comma in the following introductory clause?

After having a green salad and black coffee for breakfast(,) and putting on her white cap and black hoodie, Mary went to university to meet her professor. At first, I thought I had to put a comma ...
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2answers
483 views

Why does “or at least” is usually preceded by a comma?

This is from independent.co.uk (it showed up as a result on a website): You have probably read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, or at least heard of it. Or is a coordinating conjunction, so ...
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1answer
87 views

“So something,” vs. “so something that” vs. “so something”

I've seen the three versions. The one with a comma, the one with "that," and the one with nothing: It was so big, it was scary. It was so big that Sampson had to drag it to her. Only it ...
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1answer
57 views

Should an apostrophe be used when writing “predeceased by her husband's”?

Should there be an apostrophe after husband when writing "she is predeceased by her husband's" or should it be husbands?
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1answer
23 views

Is the second clause defining or non-defining clause?

When I plug the equipment into an electrical source, its green light turns on, but when I push the start button, the microwave does not work. I think there is an electrical problem , which ...
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3answers
1k views

On the expression “sun-down”

She took a factory job working from sun-down to sun-up. (Source: Drifting ) I think sun-down expression seems to have been made from "the sun is down", but what I want to know is what is the rule ...
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1answer
33 views

“In 2006, XYZ got his first job out of college at Microsoft, in San Francisco.” vs

In 2006, XYZ got his first job out of college at Microsoft, in San Francisco." or In 2006, XYZ got his first job out of college, at Microsoft, in San Francisco." In 2006, XYZ got his first job out of ...
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0answers
10 views

How should I use of the structure: “the question what”?

Which sentence is correct? Why? Gerunds can answer the question "what". Gerunds can answer the question "what?". I often feel that it would be a mistake to write something like: "Seldom" ...
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2answers
18 views

use of brackets

What is the function of these brackets? Do they signify something or give details? Such as if I write: The sustainer of the poor (people)… Does the word ‘people’ refer back to the whole phrase “...
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1answer
26 views

How to correctly punctuate a statement that has a list of questions after a colon?

Option 1: An unemployed individual asks three essential questions following their loss of employment: Do I qualify for EI benefits? If I qualify, how much will I receive? How long will I receive EI ...
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2answers
123 views

Saxon genitive: When to use the possessive apostrophe correctly

I know that If both elements are inanimated one can use the preposition of but not necessarily, example: "This is my car door" or "This is the door of my car" As far as I know, it would be wrong to ...
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1answer
25 views

Do we use comma in this situation or not?

Do we use comma in this situation or not? I have a sentence in mind and I was wondering if someone could give me a feedback on it. He yelled "blasphemy!" as the man showed him the Bible on top of ...
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1answer
35 views

Do I need to use definite article and commas in a defining relative clause?

Do I need to use 'the' instead of 'a' here? Are the punctuation marks correct? She gave him a reason. A reason, that was sufficient to burst a passion inside him so that he could reveal all his ...
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0answers
180 views

punctuation following “Likewise”

I'm wondering whether or not "Likewise" should be followed by a comma in the following dialogue: A: Hello, you must be Peter. B: And you must be Sam. A: That's right. Welcome to Boston. ...
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20 views

What is the correct punctuation Of the following statement

Is ; rightly placed in the following sentence or not? He is a nice boy; however, he had been rude last evening
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2answers
37 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 ...
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2answers
87 views

Read the grammar box and check your answer. Should I put a comma?

I am proofreading, and I found this sentence: Read the passage and answer the questions below. I believe that we need to put a comma before 'and' since there are two independent clauses. Thus, it ...
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1answer
109 views

Use of colon in bibliography

An article describes one of the usage of colon as: In bibliography entries. Many citation styles use a colon to separate information in bibliography entries. Example: Kurlansky, M. (2002). ...
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1answer
45 views

Colon between title and subtitle

A colon is often put between the title and the subtitle of essays and articles. Is it necessary? Can I drop it?
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147 views

In this sentence, is the comma after “president” necessary?

This is the plan of the United States' new president, Donald Trump. I have seen sentences like the above both with and without that comma after "president". Which is the right way to write it?
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1answer
33 views

Placement of comma in order to be grammatically correct

He drew a deep breath as they slowly lowered the rope. He drew a deep breath as, slowly, they lowered the rope. He drew a deep breath as slowly, they lowered the rope. I wrote the sentence ...
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2answers
38 views

The use of the colon in context

Tell me please if I used the colon correctly in the following sentence. What word does convey the meaning better: connote or imply? I am not sure if it is a correct use of it. So tell me please ...
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2answers
279 views

Can a comma always replace a colon?

Can a comma always replace a colon? I am not sure, but I think I've heard you can replace a colon (:) with a comma (,) without significantly changing the meaning in any way, the comma is a more ...
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1answer
56 views

Do we put an interrogation mark inside a quote?

Do we put an interrogation mark inside a quote? I've heard you shouldn't put a dot, but I feel like you should put an interrogation mark inside a quote, because otherwise you wouldn't know if it's a ...
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1answer
15 views

Do you need to wrap the phrase “including X” with commas?

Do you need to wrap the phrase "including X" with commas? I was told that you had to, but I am not sure if it's true, because I don't think it's necessarily a parenthetical clause, at least it's not ...
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1answer
66 views

Does part of a sentence starting with “For why else” need question mark?

Death must be an evil — and the gods agree; for why else would they live for ever ? Source: Sappho (c. 600 B.C.). Poetarum Lesbiorum Fragmenta, ed. Edgar Lobel and Denys Page. Oxford: Clarendon ...
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1answer
45 views

comma before the word “too”

Is it correct to put a comma before the word too in this sentence? He was getting tired of eating sandwiches! It turned out his father was getting tired of eating sandwiches, too, so they both went ...
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0answers
12 views

capital or small letter in the first letter after a term definition double colons

If I am using double colons to define a term, shall I start the first letter after it with capital or small? Example: Top-websites: Websites that are visited by more than # users each day. Or, ...
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1answer
37 views

What punctuation should I use between a question and a bullet list?

Posting in a StackExchange website, I was confronted to this situation: Should I do it considering the following? condition 1 condition 2 ... My first question is, was I right to use a question ...
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1answer
27 views

Should I add a comma before “then” in the following examples (dependent/nonrestrictive clauses)?

A few examples: He gulped from his glass(,) then stroke and twisted it. He blinked at her for a few second(,) then smiled. She stared at his chest for a moment(,) then agreed with a nod. ...
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2answers
29 views

Commas around introductory phrase which is part of subordinate clause

Example sentence: The army was barely ready when, in February 1794, the war broke out. Are the commas around "in February 1794" correct? Could I leave them out? Or should I rather move "in ...

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