[Back to Punctuation Home]

PUNCTUATION

APOSTROPHE

·Possessive/Genitive

Alvin Josephy’s house, the students’ books

·Contractions

It’s a chilly morning

·Separation

     The number of recent Ph.D’s in English has declined.

 

COLON

· List --Complete sentence must precede (traditionally—convention is changing)

            There are various interesting houseware stores downtown:  Egbert’s, Les Piafs 
and Great Jones Home.

·Anticipatory:  conjunction of sentences when the second sentence explains the first one:

            When Josephy began writing, Henry Luce’s views were common:  Say

                        “Indian” and people weren’t interested.

· Long Quotations

            Josephy says:  “The story made a deep impression  on me.  Oregon stood for
                        everything wild.  I wanted to get there.”

 

 

COMMA

Separator--separating elements of the same category 
·Series of three of more elements

            The merry din of talk, laughter, music, and clattering spills outside.

·Coordinate adjectives (adjectives that can be joined with ‘and’)

            One after another, cars roll down the wide, straight avenues.

·State and Year

            Le Bistro is the newest restaurant in Corvallis, Oregon.

            She was born on February 13, 1998, on a really sunny day.

·Appositives

He and his wife, Betty, became a true part of Nez Perce country.

Costas Simitis, the socialist prime minister of Greece, announced today that he will seek re-election at his party’s primaries.

·Compound sentences

            Josephy has the look of an Oregon rancher, but his voice flows from another 

world.

Delimiter--Setting off elements/separating them from the independent clause

·Introductory phrase

            As a correspondent in World War II, he landed with the marines in Guam.

·Parenthetical modifiers

It took Josephy a decade to do that, with years of library research and 

            interviewing Nez Perce.

These loans, let me emphasize, are not the ones the states were anxious to make.

·Non-restrictive relative clause (commenting)

In World War II, when I was on a troop ship going to the South Pacific, I

            worried that I’d never get to Oregon.

·Introductory dependent (subordinate) clauses

            When Josephy began writing, Henry Luce’s views were common.

·Direct Address

            Please listen to me, everyone.

·Direct Quotations

            Recalls Josephy, “I left thinking, ‘This is a hell of a story, and somebody’s got

                        To write it.’”

 

DASH

·Interruption within a sentence
            Slate floor tiles and boxlike cherry cabinets –some of which are open for display-- 

                        establish the room’s rectilinear frame.

·Appositive

            It’s a neighborhood of broad avenues and a rich mixture of architecture—from 

                        Victorian and art deco homes to poured-concrete warehouses and

                        gleaming glass high-rises.

 

 

HYPHEN

·Compounds
            It contains radiant-heated, recycled-brick floors.

 

 

SEMICOLON

·Conjunction of sentences

            Publishers Blanche and Alfred Knopf were his aunt and uncle;  family friend

                        H.L.Mencken encouraged his aspirations towards journalism.

·Separation in a series that includes internal punctuation

            It contains radiant-heated, recycled-brick floors;  a soaring fireplace;  and a 

                        light-gathering 150-foot square addition that acts as a cozy sitting area.