Punctuation

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When To Use A Comma Before “Or”

“Or” is a versatile word that provides an audience with a choice between multiple ideas, actions, or items. It can be used before an independent clause or introduce a subordinate clause. It also can be used to list items. When using “or” in a sentence, you may have seen it used with a comma, but do you know when comma usage is appropriate with its use? We have provided a quick guide below to help you understand these simple rules …

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How to Use “Etc.” in Parentheses

When naming off items in a list, many people choose to include the abbreviation, etc., to help avoid creating long, rambling sentences. It quickly allows the reader to understand that other items in the list are related to one another and are not important to the overall understanding of the author’s message. Etc. is mostly used in informal, business, and technical writing. When used in parentheses, follow the same rules of use when included in regular sentences. Let’s look briefly …

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Can You Put Parentheses Inside Parentheses?

Can you put parentheses inside parentheses? Maybe you can, but many grammarians will loathe you for it. Instead, you should use square brackets. Keep reading as I show you how to insert square brackets within another set of parentheses. Learn what the APA and MLA say about enclosing another part of parenthetical material. What Is a Parenthesis? Parentheses (()) is a pair of punctuation marks that add additional information to a sentence. For example: Parentheses Within Parentheses Double parentheses in …

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Is There a Comma Before or After “Please”?

We all use “please” to add a degree of politeness to our speech, but do you know how to punctuate it? Some people use it with a comma, and some do not, but which way is correct? Actually, both depend on how you use it and what emphasis you want to place on it. The word please also has more than one part of speech associated with it, so knowing how to use it correctly can dictate whether you need …

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Brackets in Quotes – Usage & Examples

When I teach students how to quote blend, they often need help making a quote work with their writing. Integrating a quote into a sentence in a way that flows can be challenging, but did you know that you can change the tense and add words to make this easier? There are different types of brackets, and they are versatile in their uses, but the square bracket, in particular, is extremely helpful when it comes to adding quotes to your …

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Parentheses or Parenthesis – What’s the Difference?

Nobody likes to read bland or boring sentences, but luckily there are multiple ways to add details to your material for reader enjoyment. One of the most popular techniques is the inclusion of parenthetical elements, additional information that allows you to share details with your reader without breaking the flow of sentences. Set within parentheses (a form of punctuation), these words add tone, details, and definitions to your writing. A parenthesis is part of a parenthetical expression and can denote …

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Does the Comma Go Before or After “So”?

Oh, commas. The bane of every writer’s existence. The comma is a small but mighty punctuation mark that can make a big impact on your writing. So, does the comma go before or after “so?” Don’t let my previous sentence fool you. “So” bends some of the grammar rules you may be familiar with, so let’s discover when to use a comma with “so.” Do Commas Go Before or After “So”? Depending on the context, “so” can be used as …

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How to Use Apostrophes in Contractions – Worksheet Included

When I talk about contractions in class, I’m often met with blank stares. But what my students don’t realize is that they use them all the time! Popular in informal speech and writing, contractions are part of our everyday speech; we just don’t name them as such. Contractions are simply a contracted form for two or more words combined to create one word. An apostrophe is required to indicate the removal of a letter and follows some very specific rules. …

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Do You Put A Period After An Abbreviation?

Are you supposed to put a period after an abbreviation? Yes, but you should never double the punctuation when ending a sentence. Read on as I show you the rules for putting a period after an abbreviation. And also discover what MLA and other style manuals recommend about this scenario. What are Abbreviations? An abbreviation is the shortened version of the original form of a word or phrase. You can find them on street signs, maps, calendars, and emails. Some …

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Comma Before Too – Guide & Examples

Proper punctuation is important for the overall understanding of your writing. Most students learning the nuances of good grammar know that commas are important punctuation marks but struggle with their placement. For example, when the word too is used to mean “also,” “in addition,” or “as well as,” you may have seen a comma placed before “too,” but in other sentences, it is absent. So, which is it? Do you put a comma before too, or not? The decision is …

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