A period (.) after every declarative and every imperative sentence; as,

It is true. Do right.

A period is also used after every abbreviation; as, Dr., Mr., Capt.

An interrogation point (?) after every question.

The exclamation point (!) after exclamations; as, Alas! Oh, how lovely!

Quotation marks ( ) inclose quoted expressions; as Socrates said: I

believe the soul is immortal.

A colon (:) is used between parts of a sentence that are subdivided by


A colon is used before a quotation, enumeration, or observation, that is

introduced by as follows, the following, or any similar expression; as,

Send me the following: 10 doz. Armstrong's Treasury, 25 Schulte's

Manual, etc.

A semicolon (;) between parts that are subdivided by commas.

The semicolon is used also between clauses or members that are

disconnected in sense; as, Man grows old; he passes away; all is

uncertain. When as, namely, that is, is used to introduce an example or

enumeration, a semicolon is put before it and a comma after it; as, The

night was cold; that is, for the time of year.

A comma is used to set off interposed words, phrases and subordinate

clauses not restrictive; as, Good deeds are never lost, though sometimes


A comma is used to set off transposed phrases and clauses, as, When the

wicked entice thee, consent thou not.

A comma is used to set off interposed words, phrases and clauses; as,

Let us, if we can, make others happy.

A comma is used between similar or repeated words or phrases; as, The

sky, the water, the trees, were illumined with sunlight.

A comma is used to mark an ellipsis, or the omission of a verb or other

important word.

A comma is used to set off a short quotation informally introduced; as,

Who said, The good die young?

A comma is used whenever necessary to prevent ambiguity.

The marks of parenthesis ( ) are used to inclose an interpolation where

such interpolation is by the writer or speaker of the sentence in which

it occurs. Interpolations by an editor or by anyone other than the

author of the sentence should be inclosed in brackets--[ ].

Dashes (--) may be used to set off a parenthetical expression, also to

denote an interruption or a sudden change of thought or a significant


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