Category Archives: punctuation

The Serial Comma

Christina Moore asks, “Should a comma be placed after the last item that comes before the word “and” when listing three or more items in a sentence?”


Comma with Jr. or III

Roslyn Hamp asks, “When you write a name with a jr. after the last name, a comma is used. When you write III, do you put a comma after the name?”…

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Hyphens for Compound Adjectives

Andy Bell asked a great question about when to use a hyphen…


More Punctuation with Quotation Marks

A visitor asked about the proper punctuation of quotations in a couple examples where it looks as if doubling up the punctuation marks would be in order…


Inline and Block Quotations

A visitor to the site writes, “How many lines of printed text must be covered before a quotation becomes long enough to be a block quotation. I used to know, but I can’t remember, and I can’t find it anywhere!”

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Comma with Also

When begining a sentence with “also,” do I have to put a comma after “also?”


Possessive Form of Singular Nouns Ending with S

Many people struggle with the possessive case of singular nouns when the words already end with s. The general rule is this: Form the possessive singular of nouns with ‘s. Here are some examples: James‘s cat Mrs. Jones‘s attorney Dr. … Continue reading 

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Quotation Marks

Susan asks the English Master: What are the rules for punctuation when using quotation marks? I vaguely recall something about commas, question marks, etc. being placed inside and outside the quotation marks, but don’t remember the rules The rules differ … Continue reading 


Semicolons – Part 2

The less common use of semicolons occurs in a sentence when at least one element of a series already has commas in it. Separating the major elements of the series merely with commas could confuse the reader. Let’s imagine that … Continue reading 

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Semicolons – Part 1

There are two uses of semicolons in English. This entry will deal with the more common use. Use a semicolon to join two independent clauses, meaning two clauses that can each stand alone as a sentence. Examples: John loves to … Continue reading 

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