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Unit 8 Punctuation. Tuesday, 13 November 2007 eko@stikom.edu. Punctuation. Comma Semicolon Colon Dash Parentheses Apostrophe End punctuation Quotation Marks. Comma.

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Unit 8 punctuation

Unit 8 Punctuation

Tuesday, 13 November 2007









End punctuation

Quotation Marks


  • Use a comma after an introductory phrase of more than three or four words in a sentence. The comma signals the end of the introductory phrases and the start of the main part or idea of the sentence. After a prenuptial ceremony in a sweat lodge, the couple gathered with their friends on a mountain top for the wedding.

  • Use commas at the beginning and end of a phrase that interrupts the main thought. These commas show that the information between them is extra information in the sentence. The graduate student's paper, in my opinion, was brilliantly written and should be submitted to a journal.

  • Use commas to separate items in a series. Jane walked into her teenager's bedroom and found a half-eaten tuna sandwich, a collection of moldy socks, an empty cigarette carton, and a pile of unopened textbooks.

Comma cont d
Comma (cont’d)

  • Use a comma before a connecting word to link two complete sentences together. I could call my boss and grovel for the day off, or I could assert my right to take a mental health day.

  • Use a comma to introduce a quotation in a sentence.

    1. Joanna repeated the medium's message, "You either must make peace with your brother, or you'll be doomed to repeat the same relationship in the next life." 2. "And I tell you, my fellow Americans," the politician exhorted, "the middle class will not bear the brunt of new taxes."


  • In a sentence, a semi-colon can join two complete sentences that are related and make them into one sentence. "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

  • Semi-colons are used to help emphasize the division between items that themselves include commas.

    1. I invited Fred Flintstone, from Bedrock; Mork, from Ork; and Roseanne, from Langford, Illinois, to our Halloween party.

    2. People flock to Love, Texas; Cupid Falls, Minnesota; Valentine, Idaho; and Heart, Montana to get their special postmarks for Valentine's Day.



  • A colon signals a list. 1)Mary disliked her father-in-law: he smoked, he bragged, he belched, and he scratched his belly. 2) A management student should study the following courses: Human Resource Management, Finance, Accounting, and Organizational Behavior

  • A colon signals and emphasizes a comment or explanation that follows.1)Mary disliked visiting Gordon's father: she disapproved of his habits and his brutish behavior. 2) Mary's father-in-law began to question her affection for him: surely the huge life insurance policy he took out, along with his car blowing up, was no accident.

  • A colon shows that a longer quotation is coming. ("Longer" usually means a quotation that is lengthy enough to be single-spaced and indented in the text, usually five typed lines or more.) Tillie Olsen writes eloquently about the ways women have been silenced as writers through the centuries. In her book Silences, she does offer some hope:

Unit 8 punctuation

  • Dashes tell the reader additional information in an emphatic way. (Parentheses) can be used for this purpose but dashes are a more dramatic way to set off the information. 1) My mother-in-law suddenly became ill--she turned red, clutched her throat, and began to wheeze--and all I could think was that I was killing her. 2) There was only one outstanding pianist--Gonzalez. 3) The cat--with its eerie light eyes and pure white coat barely visible--stayed in our memories like an apparition.

  • Dashes set off an abrupt turn of thought within a sentence. I served my new mother-in-law a cake with ground walnuts in it and then--good grief!--discovered she is deathly allergic to walnuts.


  • Parentheses can hold explanations, illustrations, or clarifications.

    1) According to legend, the Greek playwright Aeschylus was killed when an eagle dropped a tortoise on his bald head (mistaking it for a rock).

    2) Many great writers died before the age of forty (Byron was 36; Nathanael West, Rimbaud, and Robert Burns were 37; Thomas Wolfe and Pushkin were 38; and Dylan Thomas was 39).

    3) I told him I absolutely believe in marriage (as a cure for the temporary insanity of infatuation).

Parentheses cont d
Parentheses (cont’d)

  • Parentheses are also used to set off dates, provide reference information, and to enumerate a list.

    1) Angela Merici (1470-1540), an Italian, founded the Ursulines in 1535, an unconventional religious order in which women took vows but lived at home and taught in the community.

    2) The Chinese poet Li Po (c.700-762), a "lighthearted winebibber," fell out of a boat and was drowned when he tried to kiss and embrace the moon's reflection in the water (Hendrickson 111).

    3) The reason there are so many popular bike trails outside of Washington, D.C., is that the land is mostly flat (see contour map on page 6).

    4) If your toddler does not sleep through the night there are several questions to ask: (1) Have you developed a soothing bedtime ritual? (2) When checking on your child, do you accidentally wake him or her? (3) Is your toddler afraid of the dark? (4) Is your toddler waking regularly in the night hungry or thirsty? (5) Does your toddler use a pacifier or "cuddly" so he or she is able to comfort himself or herself?



  • to take the place of deleted letters as in: that is = that's; have not = haven't; it is = it's; cannot = can't

  • to show possession—to show that something belongs to someone. Use an apostrophe with an "s“: summer's song; Isaac's dog; children's toys ; the Joneses' new land rover


End punctuation
End Punctuation

  • Period used after a statement, command, or indirect question and to separate elements in most abbreviation

  • Question mark is used at the end of a sentence that ask a direct question

  • Exclamation mark adds strong emotion to a sentence, phrase, or single word.

Quotation marks
Quotation Marks

  • Use quotation marks at the beginning and end of the exact words of another speaker or writer. Remember to use correct punctuation when using quotations:

  • Use quotation marks to indicate titles of shorter works: a poem, a song title, a short story or a chapter title of a longer work , a title of a newspaper or magazine article, titles of television or radio programs

    NOTE: for longer title use underline/ italic

  • Use quotation marks to emphasize words. The interior decorator called the color "vermillion," but to me it screamed "fire-engine red.“


Exercise comma semicolon
Exercise: Comma & Semicolon

  • Carla often participated in school plays ___ but she always ended up playing minor roles.

  • Each boy alone was generally well-behaved ___ the two of them together were trouble.

  • TONY AND TINA'S WEDDING is a play that has been playing for many years. It's an unusual play ___ though ___ because members of the audience actually become the wedding guests.

  • What did we like best about our vacation? We liked hiking in the Adirondacks ___ and we liked climbing to the top of the Statue of Liberty ___ I guess you could say that we had ourselves a high time.

  • I anticipate certain things when I hear the words "no problem" in a movie. They indicate that the leading character will encounter problems ___ obstacles ___ and pitfalls galore.

Exercise comma semicolon1
Exercise: Comma & Semicolon

  • It's often difficult to assess the value of a college education.

  • Some people use it to further themselves in their careers by gaining specialized knowledge in career-related fields such as accounting counseling or journalism.

  • Still others often older students choose to attend college because they feel that they missed something in the past perhaps they believe they missed the chance to learn something formally.

  • Anyone who attends college for whatever reason often cannot assess the value of that education right away no matter what his or her reason for attending.

  • A college education therefore is an interesting phenomenon people pursue it for different reasons and it often ends up changing those reasons as it changes the student's ways of thinking about him or herself and the world.

  • The value of a college education an education that helps a student learn how to question and think often emerges in various and interesting ways much later than the time of the actual education itself.

Exercise colon dash parentheses
Exercise: Colon, Dash, Parentheses

Minnie didn't like her name. When she was little, playmates frequently called her "Minnie Mouse." They also called her other names ___ "Skinnie Minnie," "Minnow," "Money," and Manny." As she grew older, Minnie felt even more disadvantaged by her name. She felt that other women ___ with names like Mary or Carolyn or Elizabeth ___ were taken much more seriously. She also thought that her name sounded far too childish for a person with an M.B.A. degree and ten years of experience in the business world. What she didn't realize ___ while others did ___ was that her name had "staying power." Once others learned her name ___ at business meetings, conventions, or other professional gatherings ___ they didn't forget.

Exercise apostrophe
Exercise: Apostrophe

  • "(ITS/IT'S) a bad day in Black Rock," the grizzled sheriff growled. "Only two hangings and one arrest.“

  • The (CHILDRENS/CHILDREN'S) toys were strewn all over the sidewalk.

  • Mary's suitcases went to Arkansas; her traveling (COMPANION'S/ COMPANIONS') suitcases went to Colorado. Unfortunately, Mary and her companion were going to California.

  • Edith Wharton, a famous American author, was one of the wealthy (JONESES/JONES' /JONE'S), the family with whom others tried to keep up.

  • "(DON'T/DO'NT) lick that ice cream cone," she cried. "I just saw the dog lick it from the other side."

Exercise quotation marks
Exercise: Quotation Marks

  • Ms. James announced, Starting in October we will be downsizing each department to no more than six workers.

  • In the Second Coming of the American Small Town, that appeared in the Winter 1992 edition of the Wilson Quarterly, the author states, The town model of development [is] well suited to times of economic adversity.

  • We should not forget the words of one of the greatest American Presidents, Ms. Graham exhorted. Theodore Roosevelt advised us to Speak softly and carry a big stick, and that's the way we should carry out our foreign policy.

  • Be quiet! the teacher shouted. I want everyone to open her book and read the chapter entitled The Life and Times of a Chinese Dissident.


  • Do the exercise about punctuation in pairs. Then we will discuss …