What are some punctuation rules?

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As we all help each other develop... What are some things to remember about punctuation?

Like when do you use a semi colon for instance , that sort of thing... Im not good at it , thats why Im asking, but I can pick up quick. I think its time to finally learn some things in this area. Maybe others would like to read this too.
  • Profile picture of the author KimW
    People love to correct me with your and you're. I know the difference but if I am not in a formal situation,I really don't worry about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    !Never put your exclamation mark at the beginning of a sentence, it should go at the end. You probably knew that already.

    To tell you the truth, I don't know a lot of grammar rules. I know what looks right to me, which undoubtedly comes from the hundreds of books I've read, and that's what I go by. Well, I guess I have learned some from letting the grammar checker in Word do it's thing.

    If someone doesn't like the way I punk chew ate, too bad for them.
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  • Profile picture of the author whateverpedia
    I was always taught to be nice to your grammar. Your grampar as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author JustVisiting
    Let's start here then John

    An apostrophe should be used to indicate missing letters in the middle of words or phrases.

    Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

    Im not good at it , thats why Im asking, but I can pick up quick. I think its time to finally learn some things in this area. Maybe others would like to read this too.
    Im should be I'm because we are losing an 'a' to shorten 'I am'.
    Similarly thats should be that's (shortening that is)
    Also its should be it's (shortening it is)

    End of lesson 1 :p

    Cheers
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    • Profile picture of the author Jun Balona
      Originally Posted by JustVisiting View Post

      Let's start here then John

      An apostrophe should be used to indicate missing letters in the middle of words or phrases.
      Uhmm...what's missing in "Jonas' kitchen"?
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      • Profile picture of the author jimbo13
        John's a great guy; he's always helping people.

        I could have written:

        John's a great guy. He's always helping people. (Using a full stop UK/period US)

        Or

        John's a great guy and he's always helping people. (Using what is known as a conjunction ie a joining word)

        Each part is a complete clause (mini sentence) that stands alone. This is essential.

        A semi-colon joins two related clauses together to make one sentence that is more complete if that makes sense.

        The most famous example is from Dickens 'Tale of Two Cities' when we ignore the whole quotation and just use 'It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.'

        By the way John, there is nothing wrong with your writing. A lot of punctuation such as semi-colons and Oxford Commas are going out of fashion. eg To-Day and To-Morrow. No one writes that anymore.

        Amazon.com: Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero...Amazon.com: Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero...

        Dan
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      • Profile picture of the author Jerry McGough
        Here's a little diddy from punctuation.com that shows how punctuation and change meaning.


        A college professor wrote the words: "A woman without her man is nothing" on the chalkboard and asked his students to punctuate it correctly.
        All of the males in the class wrote: "A woman, without her man, is nothing."

        All the females in the class wrote: "A woman: without her, man is nothing."



        P.S. John...ahem...check your post. "Im not good at that"....missed something.

        ....and yes....I too dot dot dot... often....and it drives my wife nuts.....
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      • Profile picture of the author hardraysnight
        Originally Posted by Jun Balona View Post

        Uhmm...what's missing in "Jonas' kitchen"?
        The capital K
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      • Profile picture of the author hardraysnight
        Originally Posted by Jun Balona View Post

        Uhmm...what's missing in "Jonas' kitchen"?
        The capital K
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      • Profile picture of the author JustVisiting
        Originally Posted by Jun Balona View Post

        Uhmm...what's missing in "Jonas' kitchen"?
        This is another use for the apostrophe. :p The kitchen belongs to Jonas. However, I believe "Jonas' kitchen" is grammatically wrong. For proper names, you add the apostrophe-s to the end. Therefore "Jonas's kitchen" is correct. :p

        End of Lesson 2
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        • Profile picture of the author HeySal
          Originally Posted by JustVisiting View Post

          This is another use for the apostrophe. :p The kitchen belongs to Jonas. However, I believe "Jonas' kitchen" is grammatically wrong. For proper names, you add the apostrophe-s to the end. Therefore "Jonas's kitchen" is correct. :p

          End of Lesson 2

          Start of lesson 3

          When a singular noun ends in "s", you can use the apostrophe without adding an additional "s" after it - now. It used to be an incorrect form. It has melded into standard form, possibly because of pronunciation.
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          Sal
          When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
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          • Profile picture of the author JustVisiting
            Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

            Start of lesson 3

            When a singular noun ends in "s", you can use the apostrophe without adding an additional "s" after it - now. It used to be an incorrect form. It has melded into standard form, possibly because of pronunciation.
            Singular nouns get the apostrophe-s and plural nouns ending in s do not. If Jonas were a surname then there would be no extra s. However in the example given I believe Jonas is a first name and thus a singular noun. Therefore it should correctly be Jonas's kitchen.

            Lesson 3 corrected.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    The purpose of punctuation is to give people an understanding of how the flow of the sentence goes - so just about anything that makes people pause, stop, group ideas or items, emphasize, question..........is just fine and dandy if you are producing something that is not to be written in formal register.

    Dan's right about the ; indicating two independent clauses. If the later clause is contrary you add "however," - as such: (colon meaning - hey - the example or relevant info is coming up right here)

    John is an intelligent guy; however, the lack of hair sometimes causes his brain to freeze.

    Commas in a series in REAL English should be placed even before the "and". AP style has that comma omitted and I hate that. When you have three (or more items in a series) bananas, apples, and oranges - to leave out the comma before the and makes two of the items register subconsciously as more equivalent than the item set apart by the comma: bananas, apples and oranges. Note - that in this particular example, I KNOW that bananas are different from apples and oranges but in a context you are speaking of fruit in general - the lack of the comma before the "and" will subconsciously subordinate or separate the bananas from the other two fruits. Also in this example, that might not matter a hell of a lot, but when you start getting into complex and abstract item series, it can really whack out the meanings - it's a propaganda device and a way to slide some logical fallacy into an argument without conscious notice so the desired predisposition is registered only subconsciously where it will associate itself in all the other relevant coding and really f**k up your head. This is a slip-programming device.

    Is that the kind of stuff you were asking about, John? LOL.
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    Sal
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      The purpose of punctuation is to give people an understanding of how the flow of the sentence goes - so just about anything that makes people pause, stop, group ideas or items, emphasize, question..........is just fine and dandy if you are producing something that is not to be written in formal register.

      Dan's right about the ; indicating two independent clauses. If the later clause is contrary you add "however," - as such: (colon meaning - hey - the example or relevant info is coming up right here)

      John is an intelligent guy; however, the lack of hair sometimes causes his brain to freeze.

      Commas in a series in REAL English should be placed even before the "and". AP style has that comma omitted and I hate that. When you have three (or more items in a series) bananas, apples, and oranges - to leave out the comma before the and makes two of the items register subconsciously as more equivalent than the item set apart by the comma: bananas, apples and oranges. Note - that in this particular example, I KNOW that bananas are different from apples and oranges but in a context you are speaking of fruit in general - the lack of the comma before the "and" will subconsciously subordinate or separate the bananas from the other two fruits. Also in this example, that might not matter a hell of a lot, but when you start getting into complex and abstract item series, it can really whack out the meanings - it's a propaganda device and a way to slide some logical fallacy into an argument without conscious notice so the desired predisposition is registered only subconsciously where it will associate itself in all the other relevant coding and really f**k up your head. This is a slip-programming device.

      Is that the kind of stuff you were asking about, John? LOL.
      Excellent. Yes. Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

    As we all help each other develop... What are some things to remember about punctuation?

    Like when do you use a semi colon for instance , that sort of thing... Im not good at it , thats why Im asking, but I can pick up quick. I think its time to finally learn some things in this area. Maybe others would like to read this too.
    Since folks are using your own words to offer you a lesson, here's one nobody has pointed out yet. I bolded the relevant parts. There should never be a space before the comma, only after one.
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    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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  • Profile picture of the author hardraysnight
    Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

    I like using dashes -like this - to show emphasis.

    Copywriting trick:

    To get people involved in reading your sentences, use an introductory phrase like I just did.

    Extra credit:

    There is four misteaks in this here sentence.

    Find them.
    here is for misteaks on that hear sentence

    god to sea ewe spelled misteaks allright

    wear dohs eye scent mein paypal
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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  • Profile picture of the author Magento developer
    I usually more question marks in my speech....
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  • Profile picture of the author msu
    This is designed for learners of English but it's a good reference for the rest of us too:
    Improving your English punctuation
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