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SEPARATION PUNCTUATION #1: the PERIOD, the QUESTION MARK, and the EXCLAMATION MARK

SEPARATION PUNCTUATION #1: the PERIOD, the QUESTION MARK, and the EXCLAMATION MARK

Author: DAVID SHAFFER
Description:

Objective: to review and provide examples for various types of separation punctuation, including the period, the question mark, and the exclamation mark.

Through text explanations and videos, this lesson explains various forms of separation punctuation and their usage. Separation punctuation marks will include the comma, period, exclamation point, and question mark. Please search SEPARATION PUNCTUATION on Sophia to read about other types.

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Tutorial

MAJOR USES OF PUNCTUATION: SEPARATING AND ENCLOSING

There are many types of punctuation, and all are designed to give written words, phrases, clauses, sentences, and paragraphs more clarity.

Punctuation has two major functions: either they separate or they enclose. This lesson will discuss punctuation that separates.

The hierarchy of Separation Punctuation is as follows, together with the units they normally separate: 

1. period, question mark, exclamation mark      sentence, words, numbers

2. colon                                           sentence(s), independent clause, phrase

3. semi-colon                                                                       independent clause

4. dash                                                                    independent clause, phrase

5. comma                                  subordinate clause, phrase, words, numbers

Commas and periods are, far and away, the most-used punctuation marks, with commas holding a slight edge.


Source: The Oxford English Grammar, by Sidney Greenbaum, 1st Ed.

SEPARATION PUNCTUATION: the PERIOD

END of SENTENCE: Periods are commonly used at the ends of sentences to separate them from the next sentence. (The question mark and exclamation mark are the other alternatives. Since they replace the period, they are not followed by a period. Exclamation marks should be used sparingly, with preference given to the period, unless a sentence is to be read as undoubtedly exclamatory.)

ABBREVIATION: a period may be used after initial letters or after the shortened form of a word:

B.A., U.K., a.m., C.O.D.

Mon., Dec., Prof., Fig.

A period is not used in acronyms (AIDS, NOW, UNESCO),  even if the letters are pronounced (IRS, FDA, AC/DC). 

NUMBERS: a period separates dollars and cents:($1.29); or decimals (3.75 meters) 

Source: Adapted from: The Oxford English Grammar, by Sidney Greenbaum, 1st Ed.

WHERE DO PERIODS GO IN QUOTATIONS?

A quick explanation regarding whether periods go inside or outside end-of-sentence quotation marks

Source: YouTube

SEPARATION PUNCTUATION: QUESTION MARKS

Question marks go at the end of a sentence to signal that the sentence is a question.  (Simple, isn't it?)

QUESTIONS MAY BE ELLIPTICALthat is, part of the question is understood, but not stated outright.

[Have you] Seen anyone I know?  

[Do you have] Any ideas?

[Are you] Looking forward to your move to Tampa?

[Would you like] More coffee?

TAG QUESTIONS: ("tagged" onto the end)

You don't mind, do you?

What have you been up to, eh?

You love me, don't you?

They haven't come back either, have they?

DECLARATIVE QUESTIONS (have the function of a question, but not the form):

Perhaps this represents cash advanced?

The Labrador was a male?

Source: Adapted from The Oxford English Grammar, by Sidney Greenbaum, 1st Ed.

SEPARATION PUNCTUATION: EXCLAMATION MARKS

AN EXCLAMATION MARK SIGNALS THAT A SENTENCE IS A FORCEFUL UTTERANCE.

EXCLAMATORY SENTENCES INTRODUCED by HOW or WHAT:

1.  How boring!

2.  What an appropriate introduction to Chicago!

EXCLAMATORY QUESTIONS:  

"Aren't things different now!"

"Have I got a deal for you!"

EXPRESSIONS of SURPRISE or SHOCK:

1.  I couldn't believe it!

2.  The architecture here is dramatically different from that of New York. You can see the sky!

WISHES and CURSES:

1.  Good luck on your exams!

2.  Happy Birthday!

3.  A pox on Thomas Putnam! (from The Crucible, by Arthur Miller)

WARNINGS or ALARMS:

1.  Benjamin, duck!

2.  The woman in the wheelchair cried, "Too fast! Too fast!"

INTERJECTIONS:

1.  Hrumph!  

2.  Oh, no!  

3.  Hi again!  

4.  At last! 

Source: Adapted from: The Oxford English Grammar, by Sidney Greenbaum, 1st Ed.

A Little Levity

A Seinfeld snip on too many exclamation marks.

Source: YouTube