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Questions tagged [punctuation]

The correct and appropriate usage of punctuation.

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Which expressions do you find the most suitable in this data report?

This is the first time I've used the writing site of Stack Exchange. I'm writing a data report on the percentages of males and females playing different sports in the UK. The data for males and ...
Just a non-native speaker's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
3k views

Which comma(s) can I remove in this sentence? I feel like there are too many here but all seem necessary to me

We can see that the London subway system, which was opened in 1863, has the longest total track length, at 394 kilometers, followed by those in Paris and Tokyo, at 199 and 155 kilometers respectively. ...
A guest's user avatar
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1 answer
42 views

How would you format dialogue that is in the middle of a sentence?

Below I will provide an example sentence in various forms to demonstrate what I mean. I want to see which punctuation is correct or most widely accepted. My assumption is an example will be correct ...
LED Fish Walker's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
28 views

Question about how to punctuate inaccuracy in a quote

In the following sentence, the speaker is quoting the title of a book, but stumbles on a word in the title. "The Art of Liv -- Living." The quotation marks and the inclusion of the partial ...
Cedar's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
78 views

Question mark for unfinished question?

I am wondering if using a question mark at the end of the following sentence is acceptable: Is there any— I mean? Or should an ellipsis be used: Is there any— I mean... The words in the sentence ...
Cedar's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
63 views

Location of commas after a series of exclamations?

In keeping with Chicago Manual of Style, where is it appropriate to place commas in a situation like the following sentence?: The Romans seemed happy with the morning’s entertainment, and to shouts ...
user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
60 views

How to "punctualize" this prospective title for a poem I'm writing:

The title: Sick But I want the 's' to represent: The capitalization of the title It actually be written in the lower case, as to represent the Latin word "sic"; the translation meaning to ...
Hospes's user avatar
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1 answer
31 views

Should hyphens be used at the beginning of a line in compound nouns?

Is there a rule about using two hyphens at the end of the line and at the beginning of the next? How to hyphen compound word like Bat-Signal? Is it: Bat- / -Signal or Bat- / Signal
cri's user avatar
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0 answers
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Comma placement in form "this occurs...this is what results"

This paradox results from a psychological alliance that forms between captor and captive leading to emotional bonding that is hard to break. My knee-jerk instinct is to add a comma after "...
Eddie Cruz's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
70 views

How do I punctuate a sentence that contains a quotation with a question mark?

What is the correct punctuation surrounding the quoted question in this example: When a neighbor asks, "When are we getting together?" that is the beginning of building community.
janet's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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Do I need the comma before "not" in "X, not Y"? What about when they're quotes?

Unable to find this from googling. The trees seemed to be shouting "I'm dead!" not "I'm alive!" The trees seemed to be shouting "I'm dead," not "I'm alive!" ...
janey's user avatar
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1 answer
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Should I use a dash or a comma here?

I googled this and found nothing. This is silly, and silly literally. Word editor tells me the comma use is wrong here, but I don't want to use a dash because I don't want to "overdash" in ...
janey's user avatar
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-1 votes
3 answers
62 views

Spacing around (and types of) dashes in American English

I'm not a native English speaker, and the way American English texts typically use em-dashes without spaces to separate sentence parts seems very strange and even disruptive for me. For example: &...
gaspar's user avatar
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2 answers
163 views

How do I write dialogue separated with 'said' in the middle? [duplicate]

I'm studying for a test and don't know which one of the two following bits of dialogue is correct, and I haven't been able to find the answer online since I don't know what it is called. "Hello,&...
Vihaan Kaustuv's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
250 views

Spoken lists in dialogue

A character is speaking to another and calling out a number of items listed in their notes. How can that dialogue be formatted to reflect a steady stream of speech? Not a bullet list or assigning a ...
Drew's user avatar
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2 answers
107 views

How to punctuate an interrupted question?

I have a convoluted sentence that I am struggling to get punctuated correctly. Sam is talking with Perkins. "This is costing me money," Perkins retorted. "And Triple A doesn't pay ...
NoName's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
147 views

What is the best or most common way to include web search terms within a complete sentence?

I am looking for a good or common way to include search terms and phrases in complete sentences with clarity when the term/phrase begins and ends. I do not want to include punctuation near the terms ...
ejbpesca's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
26 views

Should I use commas when providing one location in a sentence [closed]

I am having trouble finding information on whether or not I should use commas in this sentence. I'm hoping someone on here can help me. Your physical permit can be picked up from the Transportation ...
Jesse Moschler's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
289 views

Should you respect Japanese punctuation rules when citing something using Japanese characters?

From the Wikipedia page on Japanese punctuation: Double quotation marks (二重鉤括弧, nijūkagikakko) are used to mark quotes within quotes: 「...『...』...」 as well as to mark book titles (Japanese does not ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
68 views

How do I punctuate two immediate interruptions with em dashes?

The following contains incomplete sentences: One day, I’m going to become a car designer. Or maybe a cop. Or maybe the president. As a result, I'd like to replace them with em dashes. My guess is ...
The Editor's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
176 views

Can you switch from past to present tense to expound on an action?

If the text is primarily past tense, can you briefly switch to present tense to expound on an action? An example is as follows. She took one step before the brass bell above her door echoed a sharp ...
Bubbles's user avatar
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1 answer
45 views

How does one punctuate narration that references such things as door numbers or street names?

How does one punctuate narration that references such things as door numbers or street names? For example: Aaron slips through an unremarkable timber door, noteworthy only for the unlucky 13 painted ...
Richie Hayes's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
4k views

Do I always need a comma after a person's name?

This is a big issue between my husband and me. He says always put a comma after a name, I say only when a break is needed. Example: A review of the complaint filed by Andrew, shows that Linnea, and ...
A. McGowan's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
108 views

Use of unconventional punctuation

https://www.thepunctuationguide.com/ellipses.html I thought it was an ellipses, but ellipses only typically have three dots. Are there good use cases or is there a good justification to using four ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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3 answers
180 views

How to use parentheses with parenthesis inside

For example, The model shows a great divergence at zero momentum (see Fig. 5(c)) I am not sure if the last two "))" appear cluttered. I have seen suggestions of using [] on the outside but ...
wooohooo's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
217 views

Should a question mark be used after an em dash that abruptly ends a sentence?

I looked through a number of the site's questions to find an answer to my problem. The closest thing I could find was this: Is it acceptable to place a dash after a question mark? However, my question ...
The Editor's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
86 views

What's the word for shortened speech?

I've seen it everywhere where a character uses shortened words often with this single punctuation mark: '. Like G'day, G'night. I've seen it in some TV shows too. Like "'Bout time someone hit him....
Carambamucho's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
254 views

Listing quotes in a sentence

Wondering if I could get an opinion on this sentence in which the author lists some of his father's favorite quotes (apologies for crudeness): A greatest hits list of those would include: “flatter ...
Dewi Weale's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
615 views

What would the dialogue be when a character is not listening to another character?

Like a son tuning out his mother's scolding. Or a character being distracted as their friend blabs on about something. Would it be like: "Isn't he dreamy? I mean, look at the size of those ...
AmateurWriter's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
890 views

Should ending punctuation be put before or after an ellipsis? Compare ?..., ...?, !... and ...!

Through reading some self-published novels, I have noticed some writers in their character dialogue put an exclamation mark or question mark before an ellipsis and sometimes after. However I am not ...
covfefe's user avatar
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-2 votes
1 answer
114 views

Semicolon and period in software instructions

I'm writing a software manual and I worry about my semicolon usage. I believe I'm using them correctly, but it's not that I have to. My project is a software manual. People scan for the information ...
Pierce Devol's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
100 views

Is an ellipsis after an em dash unusual?

In my writing, I’ve found that (in dialogue) I use the em dash to show a sudden break from dialogue, and I use an ellipsis for trailing off, often coupled with a pause. I’ve run into the situation ...
Lea's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
91 views

Right single quotation mark for shortened word (e.g., ’roo for kangaroo)?

For shortened words, e.g., ’roo for kangaroo, ’Canes for the Carolina Hurricanes (a professional ice hockey team), is a right single quotation mark the only proper punctuation or is a left one also ...
Jeff W's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
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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&...
Village's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
33 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! ...
Anthony Hill's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
33 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 ...
Maggie's user avatar
  • 3
0 votes
1 answer
43 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 ...
Behnam Akbari's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
136 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 ...
Ran's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
90 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 ...
Mave's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
99 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 ...
kerry's user avatar
  • 131
0 votes
2 answers
190 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 ...
kerry's user avatar
  • 131
0 votes
1 answer
76 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 ...
kerry's user avatar
  • 131
1 vote
1 answer
134 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 ...
Unknown Brain's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
45 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 ...
CEwritproc's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
63 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 ...
user51841's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
59 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 ...
user51841's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
45 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?
stevederekson555's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
60 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 ...
Daniel James Smith's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
97 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.
JFS's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
79 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'...
dhinson919's user avatar

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