Archive for the ‘punctuation’ Category


The Dash

As noted in the section on commas, you can use a dash at the beginning and end of parenthetical information. Usually, you will use dashes when you want to emphasise the information, but you might also use them if the parenthetical information is too long or abrupt to be set off with commas.


the Apostrophe

You should use an apostrophe to form the possessive case of a noun or to show that you have left out letters in a contraction. Note that you should not generally use contractions in formal, academic writing.


Quotation Marks

The exact rules for quotation marks vary greatly from language to language and even from country to country within the English-speaking world. In North American usage, you should place double quotation marks (“) before and after directly quoted material and words of dialogue:

End punctuation

The punctuation marks that signal the end of a sentence are the period, the question mark and the exclamation mark.
You use the period, by far the most common of the end punctuation marks, to terminate a sentence that makes a statement. You may also use periods with imperative sentences that have no sense of urgency […]


The Colon

Writers often confuse the colon with the semicolon, but their uses are entirely different.


The semicolon

You will usually use the semicolon to link independent clauses not joined by a co-ordinating conjunction. Semicolons should join only those independent clauses that are closely related in meaning.