Punctuations By: Karismah Tucker English 2 Periods: 1&2
Usage of COMMAS: • Use a comma to separate the elements in a series (three or more things). • Example: "He hit the ball, dropped the bat, and ran to first base.". The last comma—the one between the word "and" and the preceding word—is often called the serial comma or the Oxford comma. • Use a comma + a little conjunction (and, but, for, nor, yet, or, so)
The Period Use a period at the end of a command. • Hand in the poster essays no later than noon on Friday. • In case of tremors, leave the building immediately. Use a period at the end of an indirect question. • The teacher asked why Maria had left out the easy exercises. • My father used to wonder why Egbert's ears were so big. Use a period with abbreviations: • Dr. Espinoza arrived from Washington, D.C., at 6 p.m.
Colons • Use a colon [ : ] before a list or an explanation that is preceded by a clause that can stand by itself. Think of the colon as a gate, inviting one to go on: • Example: There is only one thing left to do now: confess while you still have time.
Semicolons • Use a semicolon [ ; ] To help sort out a monster list: • Examples: There were citizens from Bangor, Maine; Hartford, Connecticut; Boston, Massachusetts; and Newport, Rhode Island.ORWe had four professors on our committee: Peter Wursthorn, Professor of Mathematics; Ronald Pepin, Professor of English; Cynthia Greenblatt, Professor of Education; and Nada Light, Professor of Nursing. • To separate closely related independent clauses: • Example: My grandmother seldom goes to bed this early; she's afraid she'll miss out on something
Brackets • Use brackets [ [ ] ] in the following situations: • You can use them to include explanatory words or phrases within quoted language: • Example: Lew Perkins, the Director of Athletic Programs, said that Pumita Espinoza, the new soccer coach [at Notre Dame Academy] is going to be a real winner.
Use an apostrophe [ ’ ] to create possessive forms, contractions, and some plurals. In possessives, the placement of the apostrophe depends on whether the noun that shows possession is singular or plural. Generally, if the noun is singular, the apostrophe goes before the s. The witch's broom. If the noun is plural, the apostrophe goes after the s: The witches' brooms. However, if the word is pluralized without an s, the apostrophe comes before the s: He entered the men's room with an armload of children's clothing. If you create a possessive with a phrase like of the witches, you will use no apostrophe: the brooms of the witches.
Examples of quotations marks • What do you think of Robert Frost's "Design"? and • I love "Design"; however, my favorite poem was written by Emily Dickinson. • Further, punctuation around quoted speech or phrases depends on how it fits into the rest of your text. If a quoted word or phrase fits into the flow of your sentence without a break or pause, then a comma may not be necessary: • The phrase "lovely, dark and deep" begins to suggest ominous overtones. • Following a form of to say, however, you'll almost always need a comma: • My father always said, "Be careful what you wish for." • If the quoted speech follows an independent clause yet could be part of the same sentence, use a colon to set off the quoted language: • My mother's favorite quote was from Shakespeare: "This above all, to thine own self be true." • When an attribution of speech comes in the middle of quoted language, set it apart as you would any parenthetical element: • "I don't care," she said, "what you think about it." • Be careful, though, to begin a new sentence after the attribution if sense calls for it: • "I don't care," she said. "What do you think?"
Parentheses • Use parentheses [ ( ) ] to include material that you want to de-emphasize or that wouldn't normally fit into the flow of your text but you want to include nonetheless. If the material within parentheses appears within a sentence, do not use a capital letter or period to punctuate that material, even if the material is itself a complete sentence. (A question mark or exclamation mark, however, might be appropriate and necessary.) If the material within your parentheses is written as a separate sentence (not included within another sentence), punctuate it as if it were a separate sentence. • Examples: • Thirty-five years after his death, Robert Frost (we remember him at Kennedy's inauguration) remains America's favorite poet. • Thirty-five years after his death, Robert Frost (do you remember him?) remains America's favorite poet. • Thirty-five years after his death, Robert Frost remains America's favorite poet. (We remember him at Kennedy's inauguration.)
Quotation Marks • Use quotation marks [ “ ” ] to set off material that represents quoted or spoken language. Quotation marks also set off the titles of things that do not normally stand by themselves: short stories, poems, and articles. Usually, a quotation is set off from the rest of the sentence by a comma; however, the typography of quoted material can become quite complicated.