Punctuation marks. Wıth explanatıons and examples. Punctuation tree. The question mark.
Wıth explanatıons and examples
Use a question mark [ ? ] at the end of a direct question. It is considered bad form to use a question mark in combination with other marks, although that is often done in informal prose in an attempt to convey complex tones: He told you what!? That combination (or similar combination) of punctuation marks is sometimes called an interrobang, but the interrobang currently has no role in academic prose.*
If a question mark is part of an italicized or underlined title, make sure that the question mark is also italicized:
Usequotation marks [ “ ” ]to set off material that represents quoted orspoken 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. Here is one simple rule to remember:
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.
Use an exclamation point [ ! ] at the end of an emphatic declaration, interjection, or command.
Note that there is no space between the last letter of the word so emphasized and the parentheses. This device should be used rarely, if ever, in formal text.
In academic prose, an exclamation point is used rarely, if at all, and in newspaper writing the exclamation point is virtually nonexistent.
Anellipsis [ … ] proves to be a handy device when you're quoting material and you want to omit some words. The ellipsis consists of three evenly spaced dots (periods) with spaces between the ellipsis and surrounding letters or other marks. Let's take the sentence,"The ceremony honored twelve brilliant athletes from the Caribbean who were visiting the U.S." and leave out "from the Caribbean who were":
The MLA Handbook recommends using square brackets on either side of the ellipsis points to distinguish between an ellipsis that you've added and the ellipses that might have been in the original text. Such a bracketed ellipsis in a quotation would look like this:
Use a period [ . ] at the end of a sentence that makes a statement. There is no space between the last letter and the period. Use one space between the period and the first letter of the next sentence. This goes against the grain for people using the typography instilled by generations of old-fashioned typewriter users, but modern word-processors nicely accommodate the spacing after a period, and double-spacing after a period can only serve to discombobulate the good intentions of one's software.
See Quotation Marksand Parentheses for special placement considerations with those marks.Usea period at the end of a command.
Use acolon [ : ]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:
A slash or slant or solidus or virgule [ / ] (take your pick of names) is used to indicate a choice between the words it separates.
The semicolon allows the writer to imply a relationship between nicely balanced ideas without actually stating that relationship. (Instead of saying because my grandmother is afraid she'll miss out on something, we have implied the because. Thus the reader is involved in the development of an idea—a clever, subliminal way of engaging the reader's attention.)
I have grown fond of semicolons in recent years. . . . It is almost always a greater pleasure to come across a semicolon than a period. The period tells you that that is that; if you didn't get all the meaning you wanted or expected, anyway you got all the writer intended to parcel out and now you have to move along. But with a semicolon there you get a pleasant little feeling of expectancy; there is more to come; read on; it will get clearer.
Use a dash [ — ] (or two hyphens [ -- ] on old-fashioned typewriters) or dashes as a super-comma or set of super-commas to set off parenthetical elements, especially when those elements contain internal forms of punctuation:
All four of them—Bob, Jeffrey, Jason, and Brett—did well in college.
In writing dialogue, the dash is used to show breaks in thought and shifts in tone:
"How many times have I asked you not to —" Jasion suddenly stopped talking and looked out the window.
"Not to do what?" I prompted.
A dash is sometimes used to set off concluding lists and explanations in a more informal and abrupt manner than the colon. We seldom see the dash used this way in formal, academic prose.
We use an apostrophe [ ’ ]to create possessive forms, contractions, and some plurals (see below). The apostrophe shows where a letter or letters have been left out of a contracted verb:
If you have italicized or underlined words within quoted language that was not italicized or underlined in the original, you can note that change in brackets included within the sentence or paragraph:
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.
Use parentheses to enclose a phrase or word that is not essential to the meaning of the sentences :*Herpetology ( the study of snakes ) is fascinating area of zoology.*she left her hometown (Plunkville) to go to the big city (Fairmount) in search of success.
Use a commato separate the elements in a series (three or more things), including the last two. "He hit the ball, dropped the bat, and ran to first base." You may have learned that the comma before the "and" is unnecessary, which is fine if you're in control of things. However, there are situations in which, if you don't use this comma (especially when the list is complex or lengthy), these last two items in the list will try to glom together (like macaroni and cheese).Using a comma betweenall the items in a series, including the last two, avoids this problem. This last comma—the one between the word "and" and the preceding word—is often called the serial comma or the Oxford comma. In newspaper writing, incidentally, you will seldom find a serial comma, but that is not necessarily a sign that it should be omitted in academic prose.
When a parenthetical element — an interjection, adverbial modifier, or even an adverbial clause — follows a coordinating conjunction used to connect two independent clauses, we do not put a comma in front of the parenthetical element.