68 Answered Questions for the topic punctuation
The Semi in the Colon
What is the difference between a semicolon and a colon?
I'm wondering about punctuation with regard to citing a book after a quotation.
Hi,I'm working on a companion guidebook which refers often to the book which it accompanies. What is the correct punctuation for quotes we will put in the margins of this guidebook? These quotes... more
Should the word after "e.g." be capital?
If you are using a word that normally wouldn't start with a capital letter, should it be lower case after an *e.g.*? Also should *e.g.* have a capital *E* at the start of a sentence?Example... more
How are embedded quotations used?
How would embedded quotations be used when quoting from passages/sources within an essay? What would be the difference between normal quotations and embedded quotations?
Are modern authors still using colons and semicolons in dialogue?
Not sure if it's just my idea but I rarely see colons and semicolons in dialogue (especially in modern novels). Is it because they don't simulate normal speech? Because their use is more a... more
What are the punctuation rules for two pieces of direct speech in a single sentence?
Please help me with the punctuation rules for sentences with two pieces of direct speech within quotes, with the following as example. > “It’s fun to get out on a Sunday and race,” said... more
Punctuation within quotes?
When I was at school I was told that a quote should end with a comma. For example: > "The car is on the road," said Tom. "No it isn't," replied Dick. "He's right — it's over there!" said... more
“She ran… , her nose pressed against the glass” Are the actions simultaneous or consecutive?
>She ran towards the display, her nose pressed against the glass.My friend and I don't understand the same thing when reading this sentence, and neither of us can explain why. To me, it doesn't... more
Punctuating a quote of multiple answers?
Consider the following: 'The lecturer asked the students a question. A chorus of "yes"es was heard.' I know that the second sentence is incorrectly punctuated, but am not sure how to sort it out.... more
Punctuation of direct speech, edge cases?
I recently learned that I have developed a consistent, but entirely wrong approach to punctuating direct speech in fiction. I am in the unenviable position of trying to relearn. Previously I wrote... more
Punctuating short quoted speeches?
I'm a copywriter editing some text for a client who is a life coach. She has written this sentence which I'm stumped by having to punctuate in Australian English. It explains the excuses people... more
Punctuation of reported speech within direct speech?
I've got a fiction 'speech within speech' situation, and I'd like opinions on how to handle the internal final punctuation -- inside or outside the quotes. This is British English. Example: The... more
Punctuation: We promise [that] it's a big deal?
I'm editing a marketing campaign. Out loud, one might say, "We promise it's a big deal." I believe there's an unspoken "that" in there: "We promise [that] it's a big deal." Would you punctuate the... more
Punctuation for the phrase "including but not limited to"?
When using the phrase "including but not limited to", how should it be punctuated? When used in the following (no punctuation): > There are many activities including but not limited to running... more
Comma after To at the beginning of a sentence?
I am just writing my master thesis and I am unsure whether to place a comma in sentences starting with "To". Here are some examples: - To be able to improve the performance[,] it is important to... more
Punctuation for the phrase "including but not limited to"?
When using the phrase "including but not limited to", how should it be punctuated?When used in the following (no punctuation):> There are many activities including but not limited to running... more
Use semicolon or period when telling a result of an action?
If you look at these sentences, the second one is result of the first: > Alex shouts and feels pain in his leg, and he rubs the place with hand and looks at the leg. His leg swelled little bit.... more
Punctuating a sentence containing em dashes within commas?
I always find myself writing sentences that contain clauses within clauses, and I can never decide what the right way to punctuate this is. I'm not specifying what kinds of clauses because they... more
Is the phrase, "Use commas sparingly" a valid piece of advice?
I am currently in the process of collaboratively editing a research paper, and participated in a meeting about it today. During the discussion, the head of the group made a blanket statement about... more
Is it OK to add a question mark to show inflection?
When asking a question you generally have to raise your voice at the end of the sentence, is it okay to stuff a question mark in order to show inflection? A couple examples: - 'That really... more
Is the em dash used in formal writing?
Is it valid to use em dashes in formal writing? My teacher said it's informal to use em dashes under any circumstances, so I just wanted to make sure. I've gone through several related questions in... more
Is it correct to use a tilde (~) in a paper as punctuation meaning ''sort of identical to"?
In a paper I am writing (APA style), I have a sentence like this: > Another category of common sounds found across many languages are the palato-alveolar consonants (~siblants). These... more
How much seconds for punctuation when we read a loud text?
I have one question that when we read text for **comma, semi-colon** we use approximately **1 second of pause** and for **period and colon** there is **2 second of pause** but I also want to know... more
Dashes vs. Commas vs. parentheses?
Occasionally I write sentences containing subparts with extra information. I never know how to block off this information from the rest of the sentence. Three ways I have seen are dashes, commas,... more