Questions tagged [punctuation]

The correct and appropriate usage of punctuation.

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36 views

Do quotation marks used to name something go inside or outside commas in Chicago style? [duplicate]

I am using quotation marks like this: Joshua Abraham Norton, who liked to call himself "Emperor", dressed in elaborate clothing. The strange fish, which scientists call a "coelacanth&...
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26 views

Capitalising after punctuation within speech?

I've notices that Emily Bronte does not always capitalise in dialogue after exclamation marks or question marks, for example (light spoilers): "Be with me always - take any form - drive me mad! ...
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24 views

Should there be a comma between an independent clause followed by "intent on" + -ing (ex. intent on helping...)

If there's a sentence beginning with an independent clause and ending with something like "intent on seeing the good in others," how would I punctuate it midway (if at all)? Ex. We are ...
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1answer
34 views

Comma between two independent clauses subordinate to another clause

I have learned that I need a comma between two independent clauses, e.g., The tram service was disrupted, and the bus was too crowded. What if the clause pair is subordinate to another clause, e.g., I ...
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1answer
74 views

Punctuation in a dialogue where a character says their nickname, followed by their full name

I've been wondering about this rule for a while now, and I haven't seem to get what the 'correct' answer is. For example, there are times where I want a character (let's say the full name is Chris ...
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2answers
68 views

Comma after colon, or just use hyphens instead?

Please read the following sentence: My interest in learning and thirst to seek out information whenever I can: my curiosity, is what I would consider my greatest talent. In this situation, is the ...
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2answers
75 views

When is a colon recommended or more grammatically correct than a comma or semicolon when used mid sentence?

Please note I am posting as a UK English writer, I point this out as I know there are differences between American and UK grammar guidelines or accepted practices. I would also add that I am asking ...
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2answers
61 views

Can I link a dialogue tag to dialogue using a colon

Can I introduce dialogue as follows - The headmaster entered the room: "Everybody sit down now!" or - "Everybody sit down now": The headmaster had entered the room I know I could ...
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1answer
64 views

Trying to decide on writing style and format for dialogue. Looking for Grammatical advice and suggestions. Native British English spearker

I am new to this forum and writing and I am trying to decide on my preferred writing style. I am currently working on dialogue and looking for ideas and suggestions for grammatically correct and 'good ...
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1answer
87 views

Action between dialogue

I've noticed I've been putting lots of action between someone's dialogue and have many inconsistencies and wanted to know if there was a difference between different ways of punctuating it or if it ...
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1answer
39 views

Best method to separate complex/multiple nouns and the verb? Semi-colon?

Would a semi-colon be appropriate separating a list of nouns all affected by a verb/or are all the agents responsible for said action? If not what do you all suggest without altering the structure of ...
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17 views

Punctuating consecutive usage of "and"

What should a transcriptionist do if the speakers utters, "You need to accept the consequences and deal with the problem and focus more on growth." Be informed that transcription ...
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1answer
47 views

A question on comma usage

I was proofreading an article when I stumbled upon the following sentence: "The truth is, basically we haven't laid the foundation of the medical infrastructure in our country." I know that ...
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2answers
34 views

Period in list of numbers?

A319: 200km B737: 400km vs A319: 200km. B737: 400km. Which is correct? Period or no period in a bullet point list of numbers?
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50 views

How do you format a song when it's part of a larger spoken piece?

I'm editing a children's book which includes songs. I usually format the songs as a block quote in a slightly smaller type size and centred on the longest line. However, I've just come to a song that ...
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2answers
80 views

When does a comma before "and" apply? [closed]

Should there be a comma before "and" in this sentence? I look forward to visiting with you and thank you for your consideration.
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2answers
67 views

When a character is mentally recalling prior dialog verbatim, how should it be quoted?

When a character is mentally recalling prior dialog verbatim, should the dialog be surrounded by double-quotes or single-quotes, be italicized, or get no special treatment at all? For example: O'...
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2answers
53 views

Is this question mark placement correct: "You've never heard 'Dancing Queen'?"

Would the question mark come after the single quotation mark and before the double quotation mark? Like this: "You've never heard 'Dancing Queen'?" This is dialogue in fiction, so the ...
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4answers
192 views

Overuse of commas?

I've noticed I have a thing for commas, but I don't know if it's a big enough deal. I do try to sparse my longer sentences, but it leaves these lingering ones with probably an overuse of commas? I ...
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5answers
141 views

How to punctuate quotes in paragraphs and multiple quotes used in succession

How would you punctuate quotes for multiple people talking simultaneously in the same paragraph? I.e., They lined up and waited for the last bell of the day and cheered with their tiny voices, "...
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4answers
319 views

Usage of comma vs dash

Which sentence works best in regards to ',' or '-'? If you don't, the track record will become diluted or If you don't - the track record will become diluted
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3answers
128 views

How to give the voice expression of shouting as well as rhetorical question

While writing dialogue, I came across this confusion. There are some moments when the characters are deep in their thoughts (past troubling thoughts), and something happens that makes them flip-out. ...
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1answer
65 views

Comma punctuation

The bold in the following sentence is where I am confused - is it punctuated properly? It will be necessary to either return this money to the government if possible or, if not, give it to the poor ...
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2answers
91 views

Hyphen, Comma or Brackets? What should I use?

Which would be the proper style for a scientific publication: It is required that a, b, and, depending on a and b, c is given. It is required that a, b, and - depending on a and b - c is given. It ...
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1answer
140 views

Using an em dash in a sentence spanning over multiple lines

When using em dash in a sentence that runs to multiple lines, especially in poetry, can it be the last word of the continuous sentence? For example, let us consider the following Wordsworth poetry. (I ...
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48 views

Em dash with other punctuation

Proofreading my book: I've consulted the Chicago Manual of Style and do not find this question answered directly. Using em dashes to set off parenthetical material: Within a clause an em dash is ...
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1answer
83 views

How to punctuate dialogue interupted by the same character's dialogue?

I understand how to punctuate dialogue interrupted by action. But there are two main examples of where I feel it's effective for the same character to interrupt their own dialogue. Example 1: ...
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What's the most effective way to indicate an unknown year in a decade?

I want to indicate that the setting of a story is Los Angeles in the 2030s, but I don't want to specify the year, and I don't want to write it as Los Angeles, 2030s The Possibilities Los Angeles, 203-...
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36 views

Should I use a comma or a colon? [closed]

I am a bit confused as to whether I should use a comma or a colon for the following sentence: Art quickly became a world where I could trust my abilities, a world where I can share my emotions and ...
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1answer
64 views

How to punctuate a list of quoted questions

I'm editing a work with the following passage, which describes seven signs: . . . signs. Each had both picture and words. The pictures were an X on a rock, a cave mouth, a castle, a big tent, a tall ...
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4answers
80 views

If I can't smoothly fit something into my writing, can I use parenthesis instead?

Ok, so I'm writing a book set around 10 years in the future. Obviously, them being in the future, there are more high-tech gadgets that we don't have here. Normal things that they use in their every ...
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3answers
114 views

What is the proper punctuation when using the word "however" at the beginning or middle of a sentence?

I've asked this question using many platforms and tend to get conflicting answers. However, I believe the users of StackExchange will provide a trustworthy answer. In the example above, my instinct ...
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2answers
75 views

Can I use two different types of Punctuation at the end of the same sentence?

I've finally started writing my romance novel. There's a scene in the novel where the girl (Luna) is sneaking in from her boyfriend's house. Her dad, however, was waiting for her. The scene goes ...
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4answers
182 views

How to punctuate long, never-ending dialogue sentences?

I need some basic grammar guidelines to follow regarding how to punctuate dialogues where people go on forever, like in the example below: Now I've edited the whole series all five books which means ...
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1answer
54 views

How to punctuate repeated thoughts/words when transcribing dialogues?

I'm transcribing a webinar for work and I need to get the punctuations right for this. How do I punctuate dialogue when the speaker repeats words in a row whilst wondering out loud? For example, in ...
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1answer
1k views

Using 'somehow' in a sentence

This is what I have: Entering the house, she realized that somehow, inside was worse. I'm just using the comma here as a natural pause but should it have a comma before 'somehow' as well? That was ...
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1answer
101 views

Use of commas with non-dialogue-tag verbs before and after dialogue

I've recently found myself second guessing a convention I've followed for a while where with a piece of dialogue, for instance: "Hurry home" came down the front stairs behind her. I'm ...
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2answers
457 views

How do I punctuate a slogan?

I have the following slogan: I sell, I build I want to make sure it's clear and concise. I did not add a period, because I know it's not a full sentence. However, I want to make sure it's ...
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1answer
225 views

Which manual of style suggests using parentheses within parentheses?

When it comes to nested parentheses, there are two options. (The first is to use square brackets for the inner text [like this]. The second is to simply use parentheses (like this).) I believe that ...
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2answers
52 views

Correctly phrasing a sentence containing "along with" followed by a list

I have the following sentence structure and I am wondering about the best way to phrase it: "Along with A, B, C and D have been shown to influence the production of E." What I am trying to ...
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1answer
32 views

Writing a brief report in a job

I recall a comma limit rule with respect to many things (inanimate) in a list e.g. "I have completed an initial patrol of all the interior/exterior points, including: doors, openings, passages, ...
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1answer
165 views

Capitalization for a thought mid-sentence [duplicate]

This is an example of something I've run into: I felt my excitement grow at the view, with “now THIS is a true alien world!” running through my mind. Should the "n" in "now" be ...
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1answer
66 views

A question about punctuation

Every man chased three deer going to the forest while eating oranges. Every man chased three deer going to the forest, while eating oranges. Does the comma greatly alter the meaning of the second ...
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1answer
54 views

Semicolon Usage [duplicate]

Would a semicolon be used in the following instance? Looking for alternatives to using 'as I did this' or 'while I did that' lines. I should probably just be using a comma, but please let me know ...
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1answer
231 views

Punctuation in direct speech with multiple sentences

The information I found on using punctuation marks in direct speech did not address doing so with multiple sentences. For example, I want to write four sentences with direct speech with reporting ...
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4answers
149 views

If you're writing a story where the location is based in the USA, should you adapt your spelling to the American way, rather than British?

If an Australian writer writes a story based in America or another country that uses American English, should you change your spelling to American English, or continue using British English? Is this ...
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1answer
92 views

Punctuation of a quote inside parentheses

I was wondering how to properly format a quote inside parentheses in MLA. So far I have mostly used the third option, although the double parentheses seem a bit ugly. example: 1) He directs his ...
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0answers
62 views

Em-dashes and interrupting one's own dialogue within the same quote

I am looking for an example of a specific dialogue interruption case. I've been putting a following space my entire life, an editor just told me it doesn't belong, neither of us can cite a guide ...
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25 views

How to punctuate the phrase at end of this sentence - With arms crossed he looked as if to say is that all you have, big boy? [closed]

How to punctuate the phrase at end of this sentence - With arms crossed he looked as if to say is that all you have, big boy?
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1answer
101 views

Use of quotations when introducing a character alias

Should the following aliases be enclosed in quotations? I believe it may be down to personal preference and I prefer this format, but keen to opinions. His name is Dave, "The Dude", and he's a ...

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