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Punctuation Rules

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  • 1. Punctuation Notes and Rules
  • 2. PERIOD • Period . • End of declarative sentence (and mild imperative) • I am going to the grocery store. • Pick up that paper. • _______________________________________________ • After some abbreviations: Dr., Mrs., _____, ______ • Between dollars and cents • $10.25 $109.47 __________ • After numbers and letters in a list or outline 1. A. 2. 1. 3. a.
  • 3. QUESTION MARK • Question Mark ? • End of interrogative sentence • Are you making that noise? • ______________________________________ • ______________________________________ • ______________________________________ • ______________________________________
  • 4. EXCLAMATION POINT • Exclamation point ! • End of an exclamatory sentence (and emphatic imperative) • I thought that was exhilarating! • Leave my house! • _______________________________________ _______________________________________ • After an emphatic interjection • Wow! Those fireworks were awesome! • _______________________________________ _______________________________________
  • 5. Apostrophe • Apostrophe ’ • Use ‘s to show possession for singular nouns, plural nouns not ending in –s, indefinite pronouns, and acronyms • Al’s farm someone’s car NASA’s schedule children’s books • • Important note: Personal pronouns do not use an apostrophe. • his hers its
  • 6. Apostrophe • Use ‘ to show possession for plural nouns ending in –s. • boys’ games babies’ toys • Shows omissions in contractions and numbers • don’t they’ll back in ‘98 • Shows plural of symbols • A’s 5’s *’s • For a quotation within a quotation • He said, “Robert Frost wrote the poem ’The Road Not Taken’.” • Important note: An apostrophe is not used to indicate plurals of words: • The Smiths The Joneses the cows
  • 7. Commas • After direct address Lily, let the kitty cat in, please. • Before the coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence I like broccoli, but I love asparagus. • After introductory phrases (can be omitted if not needed for clear meaning) From the deck, I could not see my father on the dock. Seeing her father, the child ran up the steps. • After introductory words Yes, I can go.
  • 8. Commas • To separate words, phrases, and clauses in a series (Often the comma before the conjunction is omitted.) I bought soap, shampoo, and toothpaste. • Separate adjectives you can put and between and not change the meaning I walked along the rushing, shallow creek. I sank into the small, still pool. • After geographical names (places) He has lived in Walhalla, South Carolina, for ten years.
  • 9. Commas • After items in dates He wrote the letter on Monday, November 10, 1937, while in the hospital. • After mild interjections Gee, I like that. • After the salutation of a friendly letter Dear Billy, Dear Aunt Lola, • After the closing of any letter Sincerely, Your friend,
  • 10. Semi-Colon • To connect sentencess clauses not linked by a coordinating conjunction in compound sentence I;I My daddy fixed breakfast; my mommy packed my lunch. • To separate elements in a series that already contains commas I subscribe to a computer magazine that includes reviews of new,better-designed hardware; descriptions of inexpensive, easy-to-use software; advice from experienced, clever experts; and programs that help me keep track of my files.
  • 11. Colon • Introduce a list or example We packed three things: a toothbrush, a bathing suit, and a towel. • Important note: Colons don’t usually follow verbs. • In time 11:25 A.M. • After salutation in business letter Dear Sir: • Between titles and subtitles. Walt Whitman: Poet of America
  • 12. Quotation Marks • To set off direct quotations and dialogue Benjamin Franklin said, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” “Do you own this land?” I asked him. He shook his head. “The land belongs to Allah,” he said. • Enclose the titles of short works such as stories, essays, poems, and magazine articles “Flowers for Algernon” “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” “Eat Hot Dogs and Lose Weight”
  • 13. Underline or Italics • Titles of books, magazines, newspapers, plays, movies, TV series, works of art , comic strips, software Gone With the Wind Sports Illustrated Camelot Mona Lisa • Names of specific ships, spacecraft, planes, trains, etc. the Yorktown Discovery
  • 14. Slash • Between terms to show either can be used All students were supposed to bring a sweater/jacket.
  • 15. Ellipsis … • Shows something is left out He was speaking from the back of the train … and saying he would continue the race. • Reflects hesitation Merlin, … may I speak with you privately?
  • 16. Hyphen • To link two words to form a compound hard-boiled egg forget-me-nots • Divide words at the end of a line in-flate par-ty sci-ence • Fractions written as words three-fourths one-half • In numbers 21 to 99 seventy-five
  • 17. Dash • Mark an abrupt break in thought or change in tone When I was six, I made my mother a little hat — out of her new blouse. She was — punchbuggy! — upside down on the monkey bars. • After an introductory list Beautiful, talented, well-spoken — she was all of these.
  • 18. Parentheses • Set off nonessential matter Following the rules (up to a point), we could spell fish this way: ghoti.
  • 19. Brackets • Replaces parentheses within parentheses (Johnson notes, “At this time [Dickens] began to weaken.”)