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Transcript of Punctuation
Use an exclamation point to show emotion, emphasis, or surprise.
Ex.: I'm truly shocked by your behavior!
Yay! We won!
Use a question mark only after a direct question.
Ex.: Will you go with me?
Question marks is not used after indirect questions.
Ex.: I wonder if she would go with me.
The question marks is not used in rhetorical questions.
Ex.:Why don’t you take a break.
The semicolon is used to connect two complete related sentences.
Use a semicolon between closely related independent clauses not joined with a coordinating conjunction.
Ex: In film, a low-angle shot makes the subject look powerful; a high angle shot does just the opposite.
Also, a semicolon must be used whenever a coordinating conjunction has been omitted between independent clauses.
Ex: In 1800, a traveler needed six weeks to get from New York City to Chicago; in 1860, the trip by railroad took only two days.
Use a semicolon between independent clauses linked with a transitional expression (conjunctive adverb).
Ex: Many corals grow very gradually
; in fact,
the creation of a coral reef can take centuries.
Ex: Biologists have observed laughter in primates other than humans
sound more like they are painting than laughing.
Use a semicolon between items in a series containing internal punctuation.
Ex: Classic science fiction sagas are Star Trek, with Mr. Spock; Battlestar Galactica, with its Cylons; and Star Wars, with Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Darth Vader.
The colon is used primarily to call attention to the words that follow it. In addition, the colon has come conventional uses.
Use a colon after an independent clause to direct attention to a list, an appositive, a quotation, or a summary or an explanation.
Use a COLON before a list or an explanation that is preceded by a clause that can stand by itself.
- A LIST
The daily routine should include at least the following: twenty knee bends, fifty sit-ups, and five of running in place.
- AN APPOSITIVE
My roommate is guilty of two of the seven deadly sins: gluttony and sloth.
- A QUOTATION
Consider the words of Benjamin Franklin: “There never was a good war or a bad peace.”
- A SUMMARY OR AN EXPLANATION
Faith is like love: It cannot be forced.
The novel is clearly autobiographical: The author even gives his own name to the main character.
Use a colon after according to convention.
SALUTATION IN A LETTER
Dear Sir or Madam:
HOURS AND MINUTES
The ratio of women to men was 2:1.
TITLE AND SUBTITLE
The Glory of Hera: Greek Mythology and the Greek Family.
Boston: Bedford, 2009
When a transitional expression appears between independent clauses, it is preceded by a semicolon and usually followed by a comma.
Opposite of parentheses.
Parentheses indicate that the reader should put less emphasis on the enclosed material, and dashes indicate that the reader should pay more attention to the material between the dashes.
Dashes add drama—parentheses whisper.
Use it to set off material for emphasis
A single dash can emphasize material at the beginning or end of a sentence.
Ex.: After eighty years of dreaming, the elderly man realized it was time to finally revisit the land of his youth—Ireland.
Ex.: “The Office”—a harmless television program or a dangerously subversive guide to delinquency in the workplace?
Two dashes can emphasize material in the middle of a sentence.
Ex.: Everything I saw in my new neighborhood—from the graceful elm trees to the stately brick buildings—reminded me of my alma mater.
Ex. (Complete sentence): The students—they were each over the age of eighteen—lined up in the streets to vote for the presidential candidates.
Two dashes can emphasize a modifier. Words or phrases that describe a noun can be set off with dashes if you wish to emphasize them.
Ex.: The fairgrounds—cold and wet in the October rain—were deserted.
Ex.: Nettie—her chin held high—walked out into the storm.
To indicate sentence introductions or conclusions.
Ex.: Books, paper, pencils—many students lacked even the simplest tools for learning in nineteenth-century America.
Ex.: To improve their health, Americans should critically examine the foods that they eat—fast food, fatty fried foods, junk food, and sugary snacks.
Use it to mark “bonus phrases.”
Slightly confusing example with commas:
Even the simplest tasks, washing, dressing, and going to work, were nearly impossible after I broke my leg.
Better example with dashes:
Even the simplest tasks—washing, dressing, and going to work—were nearly impossible after I broke my leg.
Use it to break up dialogue.
Ex.: “I—I don’t know what you’re talking about,” denied the politician.
Ex.: Mimi began to explain herself, saying, “I was thinking—”
“I don’t care what you were thinking,” Rodolpho interrupted.
Use to enclose information that clarifies or is used as an aside.
Ex.: He finally answered (after taking five minutes to think) that he did not understand the question.
If material in parentheses ends a sentence, the period goes after the parentheses.
Ex.: He gave me a nice bonus ($500).
Parentheses, despite appearances, are not part of the subject.
Ex.: Joe (and his trusty mutt) was always welcome.
Direct quotations of a person's words
In the words of George Washington Carver, “When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.”
In dialogue, begin a new paragraph to mark a change in speaker.
She wrote: "I don't paint anymore. For a while I thought it was just a phase that I'd get over."
"Now, I don't even try."
Periods and commas
Place periods and commas always go
"I'm here as part of my service-learning project
I told the classroom teacher. "I'm hoping to become a reading specialist."
Colon and Semicolons
Put colons and semicolons
Harold wrote, "I regret that I am unable to attend the fundraiser for AIDS research
his letter, however, came with a substancial contribution.
Question marks and exclamation points
Put question marks and exclamation points
quotation marks unless they apply to the whole sentence.
"Mommy, can I tell you a story now?"
Have you heard the proverb "Do not climb the hill until you reach it"?
Gene said, “I can’t believe it’s not butter!”