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Grammar Review: PUNCTUATION

A. Commas
Commas are commonly used to:

  • Set off nonessential words from the rest of the sentence
  • Set off parenthetical expressions
  • Set off introductory phrases
  • Separate words in a series
  • Separate two independent clauses

B. Periods
Periods are commonly used:

  • To end a sentence
  • After capitalized word abbreviations
  • After some lowercase abbreviations

C. Semicolons
Semicolons are commonly used:

  • Between two independent clauses which are not separated by a conjunction
  • Between two independent clauses if either or both are already punctuated
  • Between a series of phrases when one or more elements in the series contains internal commas

D. Colon
Colons are commonly used:

  • To introduce an example
  • Following a salutation in a business letter
  • To introduce a list of items
  • Following headings in certain reports or outlines

E. Apostrophe
Apostrophes are commonly used:

  • To demonstrate singular or plural possession
  • In contractions
  • To form the plural of certain words

F. Parentheses
Parentheses are commonly used to:

  • Set off obviously nonessential words or phrases

G. Quotation Marks
Quotation Marks are commonly used to:

  • Identify and enclose exact words of a third party
  • Emphasize certain words or phrases

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