Perfect English Punctuation for Beginners | Duncan Koerber | Skillshare

Perfect English Punctuation for Beginners

Duncan Koerber, University Professor

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
13 Lessons (1h 35m)
    • 1. Course Overview

    • 2. Instructor's Introduction to the Course

    • 3. The Top Six Punctuation Errors

    • 4. Commas

    • 5. Semicolons

    • 6. Apostrophes

    • 7. Hyphens, Slashes, and Dashes

    • 8. Colons

    • 9. Parentheses and Square Brackets

    • 10. Quotation Marks

    • 11. Question Marks

    • 12. Exclamation Points

    • 13. Periods and Ellipsis Points

25 students are watching this class

About This Class

Writing is held together by punctuation: semicolons, colons, commas, periods, apostrophes and more.

But few writers have mastered these small but vital marks and points. Indeed, writers are more focused on grammar and style, forgetting the glue between the words.  

Without punctuation, your writing becomes confusing and even misleading. 

A poor grasp of punctuation shows a lack of attention to detail, whether you’re writing a cover letter for a job, a book manuscript for a publishing house, or a research paper for school.

Do you really know where to put a semicolon? Are you certain that your commas are in the right places?

Show editors, teachers, and employers that you are a punctuation master with this new course on English punctuation.

This course takes you through all of the major punctuation marks and points, including my  Top 6 punctuation errors, a list I’ve developed from reading thousands of writing assignments from university students. These errors spring eternal in students’ writing.

Do you really know the difference between its and it’s and you’re and your?

The course lessons begin with the most common but misunderstood punctuation mark: the comma. Then the course moves through other commonly misapplied punctuation, including dashes, apostrophes, and colons.

In this comprehensive course, I will help you:

  • See the importance of punctuation in making correct meaning;
  • Avoid embarrassing punctuation errors;
  • Write better sentences through punctuating properly;
  • Use more obscure punctuation marks appropriately;
  • Add structure to your writing through proper usage;

Join now and complete this course to produce perfectly punctuated writing that impresses teachers, editors, and employers.

If you do not find this course helpful, you may request a refund within 30 days, no questions asked.


1. Course Overview: welcome to my course on English punctuation. You learn about the importance of good punctuation and the main errors that occur and most people's writing. I am Dr Duncan Kerber. I'm a professor of professional writing and communication. Before my teaching career, I worked as a journalist in newspapers, and recently I published an effective writing textbook with Oxford University Press. Things courses about the little marks and points that hold writing together punctuation makes or breaks your documents poorly punctuated writing is hard to read and may unintentionally confuse your readers. By the end of this course, you'll be able to communicate more clearly. Employees things like sent me Coghlan's properly. They're not Commons and use commas for more than just pauses. Learn to tell the difference between its and it's and discover my top six punctuation errors. Things course explains every major form of punctuation in the English language, beginning with commas and then semi colons. It also looks at apostrophes, hyphens, dashes, Coghlan's parentheses, exclamation points and more. Theo Ideal Student is looking for a complete rundown of punctuation or wants to brush up on some specific points. This course is also useful for professionals and freelancers who want to edit and proofread punctuation in their clients. Documents. Thank you for your interest in my punctuation course. Try a free preview of some of the lectures, I hope. See you in the course. 2. Instructor's Introduction to the Course : Hello. I just want to thank you for your interest in my punctuation course. This is a really important but overlooked topic in English writing. We get so focused on grammar and style that we forget those little marks like the period, the semi colon, the colon. Ah, the hyphen, the dash apostrophe. And in this course, I give you a rundown of just about every instance of these points and marks and how they can cause issues if they are misused on This is not simply a question of correctness. You can follow the punctuation guide for meaning as well. So that means that if you misuse a punctuation mark, you can drastically change the meaning of your sentences. If you're editing other people's work and attention on punctuation helps you clarify what they're trying to say to make sure that they're saying what they intended and not giving off some alternative meanings that may trouble their readers. So this course is good both for your own writing. Or maybe if you're doing freelance work and working on other people's documents, you need to become a master of punctuation to avoid any confusing issues that come up in the course, I also list the top six problems that I come across every single term as a university professor in student rough student writing. And so these problems are annoying to me. And I've created this video to talk about some of them to focus on those specific issues. And when you've seen that video, then you Condell of into some of the more specific points in punctuation mastery. So again, thank you for taking this course. I hope by the end of it you are a punctuation master that you can see these problems coming up in other people's documents in your own writing in signs on the street, and you'll be able to correct those in your work. If you have any questions, please e mail me within the course. I'm always there to answer any queries you might have. Thank you. 3. The Top Six Punctuation Errors: this course provides a complete look at punctuation. So how it functions but also airs. And this video, I simply want to summarize what I think are the top six heirs in punctuation. I've been teaching writing to students at the university level for over 10 years, and these problems are the ones I see all the time. 30% 40% of papers. So this provides a summary of these airs. If you identify this in your own writing, you can go to the other videos in the course for a detailed look at these problems. So the first that I see in a lot of writing is the comma spice. So that is, dividing two independent clauses with a comma. So, for example, she loved that motorbike comma. It was her 1st 1 on both sides of the comment. We have what essentially could be stand alone sentences, but they've been divided by Comus, and that is an punctuation air. You need a period here or you need a semi colon again. I talk about that more in a full video in this course, so avoid dividing these. What could stand alone these sentences with commas, the other Big one that comes up in a lot of writing is its versus. It's so remember before you. If you have an apostrophe before the S on its, it's a contraction it's bringing together. It is. But if you have, I ts so no apostrophes. It's a possessive pronoun for an it it's owns something. For example, it's a shame she failed the test, So that is a contraction of it is, if you're not sure, expand it and see if it works with it. Is if I said it is a shame she failed the test. Yes, that works on this one. The car was in the shop for its first oil change. The car owns the oil change, right? So it's definitely correct. I ts no apostrophe. It is definitely not a case where we could say the car was in the shop, for it is first oil change, So definitely it's not a contraction of its Also, another contraction that troubles people is you are contracted to your versus the possessive pronoun your as in your dog. Keep that in mind. Some people use dashes too much. I have a whole video and dashes in this course watch this. Do you see all the dash is, I think, when people start learning about the what's called the Em Dash, which I talk about in that video. In this course, people start peppering their writing with dashes. They put in these little interrupting parts into their paragraphs, and it can really be overdone, saying the same vein, using parentheses too much So Prince parentheses can provide those little asides or digressions, little comments that are not part of the main sentence. But even just not even reading this just looking at it. See all those round brackets that that's too much interruption. It's too many asides. Also, I talk a little bit about this new the end of the periods video, but there are problems with people using too many spaces after periods. So in the typewriter days, people put two spaces after a period because typewriters didn't have any proportional space spacing system. So he will want to make sure that it was clear when a new sentence began and another one ended. But today this is unnecessary. It messes up the proportional spacing in desktop publishing programs, So if you're one of those people who for many years, This putting been putting too spaces after a period cut that out, and another issue is the use of exclamation point. Some people, prettily infection, love to write these things all over the place, but I say Avoid using them at all. I think in the thousands and thousands of words I've written for books and journal articles , I've never used them. Occasionally in e mails, I've used exclamation points in informal writing. So those are the top six heirs and punctuation or usage of punctuation that I see in writing. And I've seen these every year that I've been teaching writing. So if you're doing any of those and want to learn more, go to the specific video in this course to get a detailed explanation. 4. Commas: this video looks advert, common type of punctuation, and that is the common. We often don't think about commas, but they are all around our sentences. It's the most common important punctuation used within senses. It gives a slight pause. It gives a visual break to make it easier to understand the sentence, because otherwise you've just got a whole bunch of words running into each other. And these commas that we use and we sometimes forget about actually make meaning. They take certain things in the make meaning. They're not just there, you know, sitting there and sentences. So a comma separates clauses and phrases from each other. It separates items in a series or a list, and it delineates known essential elements from the rest of the sentence. Those things we want to say something, but it's not that important, so we use commas to set it off from the rest of the sentence. Now let's begin with a specific look at the use of commas. I'm gonna talk about commas, an independent clauses. So if you know your grammar, you know that an independent clause is simply a thought that could stand alone grammatically so that's typically what we think of as an independent sentence. So that independent sentence has all the elements we need dramatically and it can. It can stand on its own the way a house of cards stands. If your sentence is a compound sentence, however, so that means you have more than one thought that stands alone. You have to orm or independent clauses joined by these little things called coordinating conjunctions. Then we need a comma between them. So what are coordinating conjunctions? Things like. But yet so for and and nor so when we're combining these independent clauses, they need to be joined up by commas and coordinating conjunctions. So let's look at some examples of this. So this is incorrect. The dog barked at the intruder and the intruder ran out the door. The problem here, in terms of the topic of commas, is that we do not have a comma separating the two independent clauses. So here we have the independent clause. The dog barked at the intruder. That could be its own sentence, right? It has everything that we need in a grammatical sentence. Then we have the coordinating conjunction and which is linking up another part of the sentence that could stand alone, too. So if I said the intruder ran out the door, that could be its own sense. So that is an independent clause. So we've got that coordinated conjunction that is bringing these two sentences together. But we're missing the comma. So the correct version of this is to put that comma after intruder. The first version, the dog barked at the intruder comma and the intruder ran out the door. This is one of the biggest punctuation mistakes it's made in writing that when you've got two of those independent clauses of the sentence, we need the comma after the first independent clause. Here's another example. The woman liked the vegetarian meal, but she didn't like the vegan dessert. You might want to pause this video and think about for a second where the common needs to go. So the correct answer for this he's after that first independent clause, right? So we have the woman like the vegetarian meal that could stand alone as its own sense, but we're linking it using the coordinating conjunction. But to another independent clause, another full sentence. She didn't like the vegan desert. Obviously, these air related points, right? So they come together into one sentence with that coordinating conjunction. But But again, we need that comma after the first independent clause after meal. Now another type of clause in writing is the dependent clause, so it does not stand alone as a full sentence. If you strip it away from the longer sentence, it does not stand alone. That's why it's called Dependent. It depends upon on independent clause. That's in the sense. So in the first example we've got, I wanted to get some rest but needed to get more work done. Here we have the independent clause. I wanted to get some rest. We've got a coordinating conjunction, but and we've got what's called the dependent clause needed to get more work done. Now if I strip that dependent clause away and I just say to you needed to get more work done. We have a sentence fragment because we don't know who is doing. You know who needs to do this work, who's doing that work. So it's not a grammatically complete sentence, and that means the comma is in the wrong spot. So what we actually have to have is I wanted to get some rest but needed to get more work done. So when we are approaching that dependent clause, we do not put a comma dividing the independent from the dependent it's on. Lee used that commas only used when you're dividing two independent clauses. You don't want to talk about two grammatical errors that are associated with comets. These extremely common certainly in student writing that I've read over 10 12 years of teaching. This comes up in probably every other paper. The 1st 1 is the comma splice. The second is the run on sentence. If you've ever had a teacher or an editor make these kind of comments, you're you haven't issue with punctuation. So what is a Comus place? Well, it's simply using a comma to separate those two independent clauses. We already talked about those things that are not connected by a coordinating conjunction. So if you are connecting those independent clauses, you need the comma and you need that coordinating conjunction the and the but the nor so what does this look like? Well, here we have a comments place that goes, the dog barked at the intruder. The intruder ran out the door. So in that case we have the independent clause. The dog barked at the intruder comma. The intruder ran out the door in grammatical terms were missing something here. And as we saw in the previous example, we need and there are other ways to fix this kind of a sentence. You don't have to do it this way. You could change the common to a semi colon. I'll talk about semi colon elsewhere In this course, you could replace the comma with a period and have just two separate sentences. Of course, you have to capitalize the, uh, the on intruder in the second independent clause. He could do that, and you could also make the first class subordinate so dependent on the second clause, you could say as the dog barked at the intruder comma, the intruder ran out the door. That's another option if you want to change things around and that would be grammatically correct. Now let's turn to number 21 of the most common things that that happens in student writing is the run on sentence. So a run on sentence is simply using independent clauses without using any coordinating conjunctions without any proper punctuation, commas, semi cones, periods or whatever they run into each other. For example, I could say we visited the city of Florence and saw all the museums. I likes the Museo Galileo the best. So here we've got to independent clauses. So the 1st 1 is. We visited the city of Florence and saw all the museums. We have another independent clause. I like the Museo Galileo the best, but they're running into each other after museums. We need something. Something is missing there, and there's a number of things you can do. We can add a comma, plus one of those coordinating conjunctions like and or But we could put a period and make two separate sentences. Although they are related in points, right, they're about museums, so you might wanna keep those together rather than have a period. Or you get a semi colon. I'll talk about the purpose of the semi colon elsewhere in this course, but see how those two independent clauses just ran into each other. Now let's turn to some other uses of commas in introductions, so sentences may begin with the word or combinations of words that add to or modify the rest of the sentence so they're not complete sentences. Thes they're not independent clauses, but they add meeting to the rest of the sentence. These must be set off from the rest of the sentence with a comma at the end of the section . So I'll show you what this means with some examples here we've got unfortunately, comma money does not go on shrug, grow on trees. So in this example, unfortunately, is that modifying little piece there it modifies the rest of the sentence. By the end of World war comma, Europe was devastated. So here, by the end of World War one is not a complete sentence. It's not in the independent clause. It modifies what's to come. We're waiting for the independent closet says Europe was devastated. So before we get to that clause, we need that comma. Even though I dislike cheese comma, I ate the cheese pizza. Of course, we can't say I can't have standing alone. The part. Even though I dislike cheese, that's not a complete sense. It demands mawr information that is dependent on the rest to come. So we need that comma after it. Before I ate, we can also use commas in parenthetical expressions, so parenthetical and spread expressions are simply interruptions of one's thought. So we're talking. We're talking. We're talking that we have a little bit of an aside, a little bit of additional information. That's not that important. And we set it off with comments that information is not key to the meaning of the sentence , but we want to include its. We need commas to set that off. Some examples The road comma, which wound around the forest, led to the castle. So said the independent clause here is the road led to the castle, but we wanted that had a little bit of information. It's not key to the sentence, but it gives us a little bit more detail. So we put it within two commas, which wound around the forest. Another parenthetical expression. Sarah Comma, who lives in London comma, prefers Lexus over BMW. The sentence would function perfectly. A Sarah prefers Lexus over BMW, but we're adding it in a little bit of information. That's not key to the sentence, but gives us some detail about Sarah. And finally he was comma, of course, Coma, the leader of the gang another parenthetical expression. Of course, the sentence could still function as he was the leader of the game. There are also some cases where we need commas just for clarity, to make meaning clear. Here's a sentence. We left him assured that he would succeed. There are two possible meetings here, So this group of people left the man of the boy thinking he's going to succeed. We have confidence, and that's one possible meaning. But another possible meeting is that they talked to him and they said, You're gonna do great. You're gonna succeed there, assuring him he's going to do well. So in one case, it's the group that is sure of him. And in the other case, it's the group making him feel good and have confidence. So there's two different meanings. So maybe we need to clarify depending on what we what we're thinking. Akama would go nicely here after we left him. So this case, it becomes we left him coma, assured that he would succeed. So this means we, as a group, talk to him. We didn't necessarily say you're gonna do great. Instead, we just we left the meeting by thinking, Yeah, that guy's going to do well, but he doesn't necessarily know that. Here's another one. Let's eat Grandma. So this amusing example shows why we need comments for clarity, because this suggests we're gonna eat grandma, where much cannibals. We're very hungry. We need to eat her. But I think the person means let's eat Grandma. So Dinner's ready were calling were directing Grandma, and that comma is absolutely essential. As I said earlier in making meaning. Another example of the use of Commons is in list. So between now downs, we use commas. He wore a suit comma, jack jacket, comma and pants. Same thing between adjectives. The dress was red, white and blue. And I'm gonna talk later that we would not use a comma if we only had two of those. So if it was just, the dress was red and white. There's no need for a calm. What about multiple adjectives announced? The building had blue damaged walls, so these were two separate types of adjectives modifying the wall because those coordinate adjectives and then a final example of using commas unless it is a little bit different. So if I wrote he bought a red Mercedes van. I don't need a comma after red because these two adjectives come together to modify the noun van, and that's called a cumulative adjectives. You contest this to decide whether you need a calmer between those adjectives or not use a test of. And so we took that comma in the previous example and we replaced it with and we'd have the building have blue and damage walls. And that sounds fine. If we said he bought a red and Mercedes van that doesn't make that doesn't work, it doesn't make sense. So we would actually want to avoid a comma in that case. So that's a little test that you conduce Oh, to see if you need that comma after the first of the two or more adjectives. Now, another, uh, controversial issue and punctuation can get very controversial among people who are very interested in editing and grammar. And one of the big controversial topics is the Oxford comma, and this example. He wore a suit, comma, jacket, comma and pants. What's called the Oxford Coma is the second comma that is the common that comes before the final elements of the Siris of the list. But not everybody believes that we should use that comma. So some people say, And some style guides will say this. He wore a suit com, a jacket and pants, and you would think, Wow, what's the big deal here? Why do some style guides say Use that comma before the final element and some say, Don't use it. All the people who say Don't use it say that it's just extra. We understand the meaning of the sentence, whether it's in the 1st 1 of the 2nd 1 If we ditch the comma, we save a little bit of space you can see on the screen. The sentence is a little bit smaller and desktop publishing. If you keep doing that across page after page, you save a lot of space. But they're the Oxford comma. People argue that if we don't habitually use those final Commons, we can run into some problems that we need to always have a comma there to avoid this kind of an issue. What if someone says I'd like to thank my parents comma health and John and God Well, in this case, the dependent clauses. Actually, Elton joining God, independent clauses could come at the end of a sentence, and it is modifying my parents. So this person is saying that Elton John and God are her parents, and I don't think that's what she means. So by not using the Oxford comma, the one that should come after Elton John we created this the situation subordinate situation that is pretty funny, right? That that her parents are Elton John and got If we use the Oxford comma, we say, I'd like to thank my parents Elton John and God so it becomes a list off three different units that this person has a debt to. For whatever reason, maybe there are music family with a musician. They like Delfin, John, maybe the religious. And of course, they love their parents. But that makes more sense. And so that's why people say, to use the Oxford comma. Now let's look at commas and quotation marks. Typically in most picture nonfiction writing, we have an ATTRIBUTION, I said, he said she said, They said that kind of thing. We need commas after those. When they introduced the quotation, as David always said, Comma, you've got a lot, you've got to work hard to succeed so we have that common in place before the quote. If the attribution comes at the end of the sentence, weaken, say, don't come back here again, Comma Quote Mark, she said. So that comes inside. The second quote mark another example. Let's say we have the attribution in the middle of the quotes. If somebody's quote starts before the attribution and ends after I wonder, said Zane, comma, whether I'll ever get another job, the common they there suggests the quote continues and we don't capitalize weather. And if the quote doesn't continue after the attribution, then we have a period. I love that job, said Zane Period. I wonder whether I'll ever get another job. So keep this in mind when you are editing dialogue in fiction, nonfiction, journalism, thes air, the basic rules for using commas or also in that case, at the end, using periods for format. Now what about when a quote has an exclamation work? A question mark elsewhere in this course? I talk about those two marks, but let's just look at it in relation to quotations, someone yells. I couldn't believe my eyes, he said, See the exclamation mark. We do not put a comma after that exclamation mark. Some people do they sometimes they put that in. I've seen that in student writing, but we don't need it here. Why didn't you go? She said. So she's asking a question again. We don't need a comma there. That's an exception here when you use those two marks. Also, when you introduce a quotation with that, we don't need one. So the researchers argued that the studies revealed problems in the way we review patients , so we do not need to have a comma before that. You know some other uses for commas. We can separate geographical units like states, provinces, countries, as in this case with Toronto, Ontario, in Orlando, Florida, to divide days, months and years. Whenever you write the dates fully out like that, we need the separation between the parts and commas. Do that also, if you got titles degrees after the name of a person, for example, here we got the person's PhD. We set that off with commerce. If we've got numbers mawr than 9 99 so 1000 up use commas at the three number point backwards. If we're looking backwards, there just makes it easier to see that really is 100,000 and 23 if you're running a cover letter and you're saluting people of the beginning or your closing Dear Mr Rath in Comma Sincerely comma yours truly coma. And also to contrast a what's called a not phrase from the rest of a sense. Books should be kept on the table, not on the floor. We need that. Come at the end. Now where do we not use commas? And I've just taken these examples from student writing. I don't use a comma between a single adjective in its noun. He wore a blue comma suit. Now, for some of you, this seems obvious, but I've seen people do this. Don't use a comma between a subject and it's verb. The board. This week, comma adopted measures from my 10 point plan to reduce overcrowding on buses and subways. I took this from an actual politicians tweet. There's just no reason of that common there. We we can remove that, or maybe the person meant to have a parenthetical expression. So maybe they meant to the board comma. This week, comma adopted measures, but we never have that before a single verb like that and then also don't use accommodating two elements in the list. Earlier, I mentioned the similar example. The car was blue and black. There's just no reason for that. We only use that comma there after blue. We only use that if there were more than two. So that is the rundown of using commas more complicated than perhaps you thought there are . There are many different uses of commas. Ah, and keep the major issues in mind when you were writing or editing somebody else's work. 5. Semicolons: Now let's look at an often misused form, a punctuation and that is the semi colon. Simply put, the main use of a semi colon is to join to complete sentence. So these air independent clauses so an independent clause is a group of words. It stands alone as a full sentence. I've talked about that elsewhere in this course when I dealt with the use of commas. So you've got to independent sentences. They could stand alone. You Kenbrell them together for a reason, and that reason is simply that they are related in meaning. And that's really the only reason you're not just going to take to kind of random sentences and bring them together with semi colons. You use them to bring them together to suggest they are related to the reader. An example. I have a big test tomorrow. Semi colon, I can't go out tonight. So of course, these two points are related. The fact is a test the fact the person can't go out. So that is a non opportunity to bring together it with a semi colon. Of course, you could have the sentence like this. I have a big test tomorrow period I can't go out tonight. I mean, those two options are perfectly correct, but the person has intentionally brought them together with semi colon because they are related in meaning. So that's a test. If you could put a period in its place and you have to stand alone sentences, then you can use a semicolon. Sometimes people use semi cones all over the place that taking the place of a lot of other forms of punctuation incorrectly and really, for the main use of the semi colon. Test it with a period if you contest it and the the second sentence, the one after the 1st 1 The first independent clause. If that can stand alone dramatically, then you can use a semi colon there so a semi colon is closer to a period than a comma. Now make sure that whatever comes after the semi colon is not a fragment. It's on Lee for separating independent clauses in this way. Now I'm going to give you another use of the semi colon later in this video. But in this per you in this case for this purpose, we cannot have fragments after the semi colon, so we cannot write. I have a big test tomorrow. Semi Colon can't go stripped that away from the construction here. And if I just said can't go, you know that's a sentence fragment, right? It does not have the do er of the action, which is I. It's not grammatically correct. So we cannot use a semi colon on, then have a fragment after. It has to be a full sentence. Also with the use of semi cones between independent clauses, we sometimes like to use what are called conjunctivitis, adverbs that provide a little bit of a transition between the two independent closet. They provide that smoothness in terms of logic and idea. What are some conjunctivitis? Verbs? Well, there's accordingly also, however, meanwhile, therefore thus and many more. Of course, if you check the dictionary, let's look at an example. I want to go to the party. However, I must stay home and study. We've got that semi colon there we could have put. I want to go to the party semi colon. I must stay home and study. But that doesn't make sense. Logically, like the connection between those trends are, those independent clauses doesn't necessarily make a lot of sense. The two have disconnected points. But if you put in the conductive adverb, however, with a comma and that goes right, you know that, however, goes right after the semi colon, then we have a link there between the two ideas and we need that comma after her. However, now however, it can float around if you use, however, within one of those independent clauses, so not at the start of the 2nd 1 but within an independent clause. Then it needs Comus. It needs to calm a setting it apart and however can float around. So you could say I want to go to the party semi colon. I must, however, stay home and study. So there's options there for moving that conjunctivitis verb around. So I said, there's another use of semi colons. Now this is more obscure. This is maybe 5% of the time, the first use that I just talked about between independent clauses or independent sentences , bringing them together to make meaning connecting them in meeting that is the majority use of chemical. But there are cases when they could be used in lists where we were typically put commas, you know, When you have a list, you put things on the list in the sentence. Use commas between them while you can use semi colons. If there could be some confusion with the commas, for example, he spent his formative years in New York, Los Angeles, Boise, Idaho and Chicago. Now those of you who know your geography probably recognized New York New York City. You probably recognize Los Angeles. In California. You recognize Chicago from Illinois, you may go. What is Boise? What is Idaho? But those of you who know this well, uh, no. That Boise is a city within Idaho, but some people don't know that they might think there's 12345 cities here, so there's some confusion thanks to those commas. Everything is kind of equal because of those commas when Idaho is actually a state, so we could use a semi colon in this way. He spent his formative years in New York, semi colon, Los Angeles, semi colon, Boise comma, Idaho semi colon and Chicago Chicago. So we see how we we can divide them into those units, and that's a really important way to provide to the reader some distinction. Some division. Between these things that may confuse in some places and I haven't put it on the slide. But sometimes you will have long sentences that have a lot of different points and you may want to use semi colons in that way to divide up where the beginnings and endings of those of those long statements are. So see, we have the semi colon after New York semi colon semi colon, and that provides this this nice division one, 234 units, essentially thanks to the semi colons. But that's really rare and just a warning. A final warning about semi cones Don't use them too often. Some people, when they spurt suddenly figure out the purpose of a semi colon. They start peppering their writing with semi colons where simply periods will work or commas, and in the second case will work. Don't use them too often 6. Apostrophes: now let's look at apostrophes often confused in a number of situations in writing, but also in signs. So we see a lot of problems with apostrophes in signs out in public. Do you see the problem in this sign by professional signs and lettering here? We're using an apostrophe when we should, so this should just be plural, so signs should just be plural. There's no reason to put an apostrophe here, which suggests possession as if the sign owns something. Of course, that's not the case, so there are three uses for apostrophes. Three main uses will go through each of these in this video, one is for contractions. That's probably the main reason is for contractions to is for possession or ownership of something. And there's a rare version when you're forming the plural. But it's debatable. Some style guides disagree with this usage, and I'll talk about that right on the last slide of this video. So let's begin with that first category of usage of apostrophes, and that is in contractions. So in contractions, the apostrophe takes the place of letters and numbers or numbers that have been removed. So some examples, if we have the two words it is, you know, it is a sunny day. We can contracted as it's it's a sunny day, and that is often done in informal Reddick. So e mails fiction, sometimes in journalism but typically an academic writing. In business writing, we write out the full words we don't use. Contractions, you are can be contracted to you apostrophe R e. And that again, that apostrophe shows that something is missing. There something's been removed, something that dialogue will have the apostrophe to show that something was removed. This can help capture the exact way that people speak in a certain location. Instead of saying swimming, which is the full way of saying it may be, the character in a book will say Swimming, I'm going swimming and that is again informal, used only occasionally. Also in numbers are going to talk more about numbers later in this video, but if we have something like 1969 the year 1969 some people like to shorten it to apostrophe 69 I'm reminded of that famous rock song by Bryan Adams, the Canadian rocker. Summer off 69 right? So he had that famous song and it just goes off the tongue a little bit better than saying summer of 1969. So some people will use it to remove the one in the nine. On those years, we could also use apostrophes for possession. So this is the second category after contracting words. And this simply comes up when a noun and remember that a now so a person place or thing owns something else. If those noun czar Singular So the only one of those now owns the apostrophe goes before the s. So we use an apostrophe. We use an S to show possession. Now, if Announcer pleura Oh, the apostrophe typically goes after the s. Now there are some exceptions and I'll show you what those look like. So let's look at some examples of apostrophes for possession and with singular now owns. Here's one. Sarah's dog ate the food on the table. So we have that apostrophe going before the s. So here the apostrophe s means possession. It does. That s does not mean multiple sit doesn't mean plural. It is Sarah's ownership of that dog. And that dog ate that food. Rome's weather is hot in the summer again. We only have one. Rome, its singular. It's a place. So we have the apostrophe, and then the s. The car's lights were on again. We have a singular car. Writes a one car C a r. And we put the apostrophe in the S after that to show the possession of those lights. The car owns those lights. Pretty straightforward. Now let's turn to some straightforward plural Noun is in the possession there. Here we have. The customer's complaints were recorded. We have multiple customers and multiple complaints. So we do. What we typically do with singular noun is when we play relies them. We add the S and then the apostrophe. We do not go as we did with singular announce with apostrophe s. In that case, we would have to s is here, and that's just typically not done. Sometimes you'll see an apostrophe s on a plural with some names and and in some style guides. Some style guides will say if you say the Joneses house was burned down or something like that. But in that case, of course, that that's considered the Jones are considered together right there, considered as one family, so it's actually not plural, but you don't use the s he after the apostrophe in this case just paralyzed that noun. Here's another one. The horses, Manes. We have multiple horses. Multiple means again. Justin apostrophe after that s same thing here with cars. The cars windows were smashed. Some multiple cars, multiple windows. Apostrophe goes after the s. Now there's an exception. So some plural noun is don't have s on the end. So if you're an English native speaker, then you know this just intuitively. But if if English is not your first language, you have to learn which now owns are just inherently plural and do not having s on the end to flag that they are plural for example men, women, Children. So the singular versions of these are man and man. Ah, woman W O M A. And and then Children we would have child. A child would be the singular. So in these cases, the apostrophe goes before the s men's women's Children's. Typically, those will come up when you're describing or writing about bathrooms, the men's bathroom, the women's bathroom, that kind of thing will put the apostrophe s Oh, that reminds us of the singular apostrophe s for possession. But that's one exception can be kind of confusing. Sometimes I've seen people put that apostrophe. Let's say, Look at the men's there. They'll put that apostrophe after the S. But that's actually incorrect because men is already plural. Now the soccer ball pronounce. So of course I've shown you how apostrophes air needed to show possession by noun xray, Right? We always use those to show that possession, but it's never and, I repeat, never used to show possession by pronounce pronouns again. They replace Noun is right. He she it Veii. We know those is the basic pronounce, often used to avoid repetition, to avoid saying someone's name over and over and over again. So we have to use them for that variety. But we never should put an apostrophe. When we're showing possession by these possessive opponents, it's there. There's his hers, our hours mine again. All of those pronouns replace downs, and they show some sort of ownership, and that it's there is the one that really gets confused in beginning writers work with the contraction that I showed you earlier. I t apostrophe s a lot of people confuse those two. So it's incorrect to do any of this. Any of these things I've shown you here, but the 1st 1 that you see there, I ts apostrophe. I see that all the time in writing and student writing. I do a lot of editing, and people just put that apostrophe on because they think while any possession needs an apostrophe But member, that's only with downs. So none of these air correct. And again, many writers confused as I said, I t apostrophe s with I ts This is probably the biggest lesson that you'll get out of this video. And I see this come up in probably 2030% of student writing at the university level is to confuse these two people will use i t Apostrophe s as a possessive, but that is the contraction of it is. And as I mentioned, you never use apostrophe on possessive pronouns. This is simply showing that it owns something. It's hard drive was broken. That would be I t s not. I t apostrophe s. What if you have co ownership of something? So if if the sentence has to now owns that own a single thing or there they collectively owned those things. The apostrophe goes on the second person. So Samir and Alison's cars were stolen. I mean, it could also be Samir in. Allison's car was stolen. We only need the apostrophe s on Ellison because they're considered a collective. Now, if Sameer on Ellison are not living in the same house, they don't own the same cars. They may be our neighbors if they each had a car stolen than we need the apostrophe s on each person. This shows that they had separate cars, but those cars were stolen. So now onto the third use rare use of apostrophes and that is forming a plural. So I'm going to say right now, style guides disagree on whether to use apostrophes In these examples of these decades in academic writing, we often say, Well, the 19 eighties, this and that in the 18 sixties, the 17 seventies. For a long, long time, people have used apostrophes here toe, I guess set off or clarify the decade and visually right to show that. But some people believe this almost shows ownership. So the 19 sixties owning something are 19 eighties owning something the 18 sixties, owning something and so on. So now it. And nowadays, in a lot of style guides, you'll see this. It's a lot of style. Guys recommend removing the apostrophe on these and just paralyzing. So the 19 eighties, showing that all the years within the eighties are shown here with plural. So check your style guides and see which version it prefers. Earlier, we looked at 69 using an apostrophe to contract the one in the nine. And if you were to do the first case here, so apostrophe s, it would look pretty funny, wouldn't it? So you would have on apostrophe and eight a zero another apostrophe and s. And so, if you want to contract that even further, it's best to remove that second apostrophe before the S. So in this video of giving you three categories that cover apostrophes, you use them for contractions, removing letters from words or bringing multiple words together. We use them in numbers I've shown you here and also in possession 7. Hyphens, Slashes, and Dashes: Now let's look at those little lines that go through all of our writing. We often don't notice them, so we have hyphens, dashes and slashes. Let's look first at hyphens and dashes, so hyphens air short dashes or longer. This is a hyphen, very small. This is a dash, or you can have the longer ones, and I'll explain later why you might want to use those. So what are hyphens? Will hyphens air used within individual words and to connect words into one unit? While dashes air typically used to introduce a quick change or addition to a thought, they can also suggest ranges. For example, in numbers. Here's some examples of words that employ hyphens to clarify meaning. So the really small little line in re sign. Now that's just to us. This person is signing once again. So they had a contract. They signed it and the re signing without the hyphens. Without the hyphen, we would have resigned, and the person is resigning from their position. Very different, meaning another one that needs a hyphen is co ops. When we think of co operatives where people help together to produce something, the hyphen here suggests that is that coop. But if we remove it, we would have coop like a chicken coop. A house for chickens. Right. So we need that hyphen for meaning. Another one is reform. Without that hyphen, we would have reform, which means to change something. But if I'm gonna reform something, I'm gonna put it back to its original form. And then also an exit. Good example of using hyphen is re cover. So without the hyphen, it's recover. I'm gonna get something back, right? You're gonna find something, but with the hyphen, I'm gonna cover something again. Maybe with a tarp, maybe with a blanket. It was previously covered. Now I'm gonna cover it again. So the hyphen is very useful in these cases. Now, the English language is known for hyphenate ing full words to create new words. So we're constantly creating new words that are combinations of other words. And we use hyphens to indicate that words like sugar free Two words linked by a little hyphen. Well known break in. There was a break in it at his house. That's a noun that's formed with two different words. So law times in the English language, we create new words by combining those with hyphens. There's also disappearing hyphen, so the English language is always changing. It looks different over time. Usually we lose hyphens onwards as we become more comfortable with those words, So new combination of words often use hyphens. And then, as we get used to them, we ditch those hyphens. For example, the word cry baby. We just spell it as the first example here. But originally when the first you know, When the word first came about, we had cry hyphen, baby logjam, we spell. It is one word now, but if we originally had a hyphen in it, low life again, we do it as one word. But it was originally low hyphen life and another one so common ice cream. So we now spell ice cream as two separate words with a space between. But originally, ice cream was spelt when it was totally new. A new idea. It had a hyphen between it to see elbows have changed over time. Now let's turn to another usage of the hyphen, and that is with compound adjectives when we have a bunch of adjectives in front of a now and we want to combine them into one. So a compound objective is simply to or more adjectives that go together to form one thought or image proceeding and noun. And we use hyphens to do that. So let's look at some examples. Sarah Wiggins Bottom was an 18th century suffragette, so here we're putting those together with the hyphen, 18th and century. Those are two separate words, but they come in front of the noun suffrage yet, so we bring them together. Remember, those two words don't have to be together if we wrote it this way. Sarah Wiggins Bottom was a suffragette in the 18th century. Then there's no reason for the dash there. They're two separate words, and they're not functioning together as adjectives. Here's another two examples of how the hyphen can really change things in terms of adjectives, we have two bit players. So when we bring those together, compound adjectives to and bit were saying, Those players, which are often actors, are not very good there, too bit. They're just not very high quality players. But if we put that hyphen into bit players, that's the noun. Now when we say we have to bits players We mean those two actors are having very small roles in the play or the performance to see how those little hyphens can make a big difference. Also hyphens or new, often used when we're spelling out numbers. So with numbers up to 99 hyphens are used between the words when you're writing out those numbers, so we do 90 hyphen. Nine. We do 36 but 200 has no hyphen. There's also a thing called suspended hyphens these air when there's a separation of and or or between multiple adjectives and a noun. So if we say four and five year old pro five year programs or two or four door cars R two or four door car, we put that hyphen both in the spot before the noun programs and car, and we put it suspended after that first number, see the four and then hyphen or in the 2nd 12 and then hyphen, so they're suspended, but they're technically connected to the other, huh? Hyphenated parts. Now let's turn to those dashes that I mentioned earlier that can often either interrupt thought or can suggest a range in terms of numbers. Now, if you are putting them as interruptions of thought. The material inside the dashes doesn't have to be in full sentences. It can be fragmented, and these dashes air used to add variety informality. They can draw attention to what's between them. And there are two types that I mentioned earlier, and I just want to talk again about those lengths. So the hyphen was really, really short. And then we have a thing called the N Dash, which is kind of a medium length. And then we have the em dash, which is very long. What are their purposes? I mentioned earlier that some dashes deal with a range meeting to or through, and that's the end. Ash that's the medium size, then the EM dash. It provides the extra or interrupting information in your sentences. You probably use the em dash or at least try to when you are writing your sentences. That's that's the main purpose of that kind of a dash, Um, used to provide that interruption. Now, you may not have used the proper size, and that can be the problem in this punctuation that instead of using an em dash, you use a hyphen to provide that interrupting information or maybe using n dash. So some examples. Well, for the end, ash, when I talked about kind of providing a range, that's why we wanted my fifth Ron right? 50 to 60. We can use that that end ash there or April to me or April through May. We use that that medium sized ash. Some examples of those interruptions I mentioned earlier with the Big dash long dashed the em dash. The birthday greeting Daniella sends the same car to everybody, reads Happy Birthday to my closest friend. So that part between the EM dashes is not really that important. But it adds a little bit of detail to it, suggesting that, uh, she is kind of fake with her friends. Another one. The conditions stimulus. This part of the evidence is crucial failed to produce the anticipated results. So we're putting that little interruption about the evidence into those em dashes. Now, some style guides will say to put spaces one space on either side of those em dashes free, even greater clarity. Some style guides will say, Just have the the em dashes between those words, as I as I've drawn them up on this slide. I know that you may have trouble forming these to the proper size within Microsoft Word, unless you have some sort of automatic creation on Microsoft Word. For example, when I do dash, dash or hyphen hyphen between two words, my Microsoft word automatically converts that into an em dash. If your software won't do that, then you can probably find the symbol option in Microsoft Word and find you the end. Ashour the em dash. Typically, though, your keyboard will do the hyphen. And then, finally, our last little line that breaks upwards is the slash. So slashes mean either one of two things they can mean or this or that, or they could be fractions. For example, we can write he slash c and slash or and we can also say a kilometer is 31 50th so of a mile. So that's a fraction. So that's the main purpose of the slash. So I've given you hear three different types of these little lines that show up in our writing, make sure using them properly in the right moment where they need to be and are not misusing any of these elements in your writing 8. Colons: Now let's look at Coghlan's and we're not looking at the part of your body were looking at the two dots one above the other. I put this after the discussion of semi colons. Because Coghlan's are not as common in writing as semi colons. I think people try to use semi cones more often. This is, ah, simpler idea, simpler piece of punctuation. So Coghlan's essentially signal that some closely related information is coming. If you want a visual metaphor, I see a colon like the curtains in a theater. So before you're gonna watch ah play or a show, the curtains will rise right, and then the actors come on stage. Well, metaphorically speaking, the colon is doing that. It's revealing something related to the first part of the sentence. You hear some examples of Coghlan's sandy gloves to foods, ice cream and carrots. So here the independent clause ends with foods. And then we have the colon, which is going to reveal his favorite to foods, which are the very unusual combination of ice cream and carrots. We would not do it this way, so you do not break up the independent clause with a colon so you would not put Sandeep favorite to foods are cold and ice cream and carrots. This is breaking up. What is the object of the sentence? So the sentence is still continuing. There's a verb are and we have that colon and that is separating the verb from the receivers of the action, so to speak, in grammatical terms, the ice cream and carrots. So that is, uh, a mistake of writing is to put the colon after the verb like that. We don't write like that. We wanna have it essentially at the end of the independent clause. In the first example, Sandeep loves to foods. You could have a period there that could stand alone as its own sense. But of course, we are revealing what those two foods are, so we use the coal. Here's another one. You can also have independent clauses on both sides of the colon. There is only one solution. Colon drunken drivers must go to jail, and this is a nice use of the colon because we're hinting that there's a solution. But we want to find out more. We want to raise the curtain on that solution. Find out what that IHS. Now drunken drivers must go to jail is a full sentence that could stand alone, right? It's got all the elements we need to create an independent clause. But here some people might say, Well, why not a period? Why not a semi colon? Well, I think it's simply because of the way that first part is written. There is only one solution. It's hinting at that, and we're going to reveal what that solution is, thanks to the colon. But, yes, you could use a period. Although that's harsh, it doesn't transition. It doesn't connect Those, Ah, and a semi colon could work, too, because they are related points. But I think the point of the sentences to reveal. So that's when the colon is the best choice, pointing forward to the part about drunken drivers. Now, Coghlan's air also used in another situation, and that is when you're introducing a quotation. Earlier in this course, I talked about how you often will use commas before a quotation when you lead into it with , said with the attribution said, Well, if you don't have an attribution of set and you actually have an independent clause like this example the story ended on a cliche note. That's a full sentence. Then we would use a colon because we are not grammatically still in the same sentence, so to speak or on the same flow, we are introducing a new quotation, a new sentence. So we introduce it. We point forward to it with the colon. We can also use Coghlan's with salutations and cover letters. So salutations they address the receiver of the cover letter. And some examples are Dear Jayson Williams Colon to the hiring committee. Call them now. You could put commas there, too, but some people, like the look of the semicolon put, are the colon, particularly on to the hiring committee. Some people prefer that, so these are a few ways the you may encounter Coghlan's not too complicated, pretty straightforward usage. 9. Parentheses and Square Brackets: in this video, I want to talk about two forms of punctuation that every similar and do similar things they add in asides or digressions to writing. And that is the parentheses, with a round brackets and the square brackets. Let's first talk about parentheses, so parentheses. This the round brackets set off extra information from the sentence information that is not key to understanding the sentence. You don't put the key information in brackets. Key information goes in the actual sentence, the full sentence, and then you put little extra information. They're less important information into the parentheses now. The purpose is similar to a common purpose in this case when it comes to parenthetical expressions. But the comma, you know, keeps the information within the sentence more mawr directly. Well, the parentheses kind of throws it off into a digression or an aside. It's suggesting that this information is not as important as if you had put it in Calmus. Here's an example you could see in some sort of research. The data set was used by all researchers. See Appendix A for names. So as you can see there, the information within the parentheses is not key it's not vital. The meaning is about the data set. But we've added that in ink in case the person wants to go find out the names of those researchers. Another one. I visited Calgary. I grew up there on my summer holidays again. The information in the parentheses here I grew up there is not key to the sentence. The key point is that he visited Calgary on summer holidays, but he wanted to put that information in, I guess, to suggest the rial connection that he has to this city. You can also use parentheses, the round brackets for years and dates. So someone's life. Pierre Trudeau, 1919 to 2000 was born in Montreal. So that is the birth year and the death year of Pierre Trudeau. And between the two years I've got an N E N Dash, which I talked about elsewhere in this course as meaning to so that dash means to 1919 to 2000 but also used these round brackets in lists. So if we've got three options, for example here fish, chicken and beef, we can put those into Prince sees ABC, and then maybe someone has to on a piece of paper write down which option they want A B or C and, of course, in citations. So in academia we have citations in text, and they typically look like this. The theory was proven wrong in the next book, Smith 2000 and nine. So if any of you were in academia, you recognize a P a style of the in text citation there, American Psychological Association. And so we have the name of the author comma and then the year of the publication of that book. So that's another option for using the round brackets. So now let's start with square brackets. This is much more simple, straightforward there typically used to make editorial comments. And that would be, for example, in an academic paper You may have a quotation that has an error in, and you want to note that typically when we have an air in a quotation, so not in our own writing. But in somebody else's work, we would do something like this. The article stated that there and then in square brackets, we have sick s. I see money was stolen, so it s I C simply is a Latin word that means this is as it was in the original document. And what's the air here? Do you see it? The air is th e r e when the person wanted the possessive pronoun t h e i r So the author of this sentence is saying that Hey, I didn't make that typing mistake. That mistake comes in the original quotation. I'm just putting a comment here in square brackets to that effect. Also, Sometimes when you're using brackets within brackets, so you have the round brackets and then you have something else in brackets within that people will use the square brackets just to make things clear. Those air two options for these parentheses, these different types of brackets in your writing. 10. Quotation Marks: quotation marks extremely common in writing as well. One of the most used forms of punctuation and those double quotes. They show the exact words of other people. Now there are alternatives. You don't have to quote people you can paraphrase, which is kind of a 1 to 1 rephrasing of what someone said or you can summarize with somebody, said A summary is to bring down and reduce some thing that someone said into a smaller package. For example, you if somebody said of what it was a whole paragraph of words, you would summarize it down to maybe a sentence. That's not like the paraphrase, which is kind of a 1 to 1 restatement in different words. It's what someone says. There's a tendency in writing to over quote people because we're afraid of paraphrasing, were afraid of getting it wrong. We're afraid of summarizing making a mistake, but I argue that you should only quote someone if the words are brilliant and also don't quote fax in numbers. So if someone says something absolutely brilliant, you couldn't have said it in another way. If it really captures the way they speak, then put it in quotation marks But if it's really straightforward, like the Q three results were higher than expected. You're not gonna quote that. That's really boring. It's just fax. Uh, and we can put that in a pair of phrase. The big thing with quotation marks of punctuation is in formatting, so I'm gonna run through some formatting tips. This is for fiction, for creative nonfiction for journalism, and the first tip is simply that a new quotation should be indented. It starts essentially what is like a new paragraph and every quote new quotation by a different person that should be indented as well. And if a quote is longer than one paragraphs, if you're quoting a lot from someone, let's say you have a character in a novel speaking a lot. You can start a new paragraph and keep them talking. So here in this line, the first person says, What do you want from me? He and then a woman says this next part. And then she continues on Ah, and you'll see that there is no quote mark after but the shirt on your back because that in formatting, these kind of documents hints to the reader that the next quote that's on the next line. That is the same person talking, so we don't have to say, the woman said again. We can tell that that's from that little removal of the of the quotation mark after your back that this person is continuing to talk. See that? So we know that when we get to the next paragraph, then when I return, that is the same person talking. But when you have these long paragraphs, thanks to break them up so that it's on a big chunk of people tough a person talking and we just start the final one again with the quote mark and then finish it off with another quote mark. But that's the same person talking in two different paragraphs. Also, when you have quotes, you have the attribution part of the quote. So that has the said in it, and commas there used to separate the said from the rest of the quote. So look at this example. So we've got a quote. Hey, you got a smoke. So before that, we need the comma. After said, If you have a quotation, as in the third paragraph here, that breaks up by an attribution sewn attribution breaks up the quote and the quote continues after the attribution. See the break there you use a comma before continuing and you don't capitalize the first word. You know, unless it's I you don't capitalize it because it's a continuation of the sentence that started. Sorry, I'm all out if you're attribution doesn't continue the quotation. So here we have. I'd be a very happy woman if you did. That's the end of the sentence and a new sentence starts. I haven't had a smoking weeks. You don't use a comma, use a period and then you start the next part. So this is important for any kind of fiction. Nonfiction. Anytime you have dialogue used this thes formatting rules. Now there's some other uses for quotation marks when a word or phrase is taken out of context. So here's an example. My mother didn't know if it was a compliment or an insult when I described her as being fat , so the fat Ph. 80 is slang word. It's taken out of context, and it actually is a positive common. It's not the f A T word that we normally would consider an insult, so that the author has put this in quotation marks just to show that it's being taken out of context. You can also use quotation marks for skepticism. I'm not sure he was filthy rich, as he said, but he sure looked filthy. So here again, the person is skeptical about the fact that this person says the filthy rich and that goes in quote marks expresses that concern about that. If you could see me as I was reading that actually did the air quotes we ever seen the air quotes where somebody puts their on both hands, puts their their index finger in their middle finger of and kind of draws those quote marks into the air. And that's when someone, again is being skeptical. So those are the basic details about how to use and format quotation marks for just about any kind of writing 11. Question Marks: Now let's look at the question of question marks now. These seem pretty obvious, But not all sentences that ask something or present a question actually require question marks at the end. So you Onley use question marks for what it called direct questions, and I'll define that in a second and statement. So if you just making a statement that has within it some restatement of a question, you don't need question marks. So what is a direct question? Well, if the voice, if you were speaking what's on the page, if the voice would rise at the end of the sentence, use a question mark. So here are some examples. Where is the stapler who eat the food in the fridge? Do you like the new model of the BMW? So you hear how my voice went up at the end of the sentence? That's usually a good test to decide whether you need a question mark right of the end of that sentence, and that would be a direct question. But sometimes we put questions within statements, so the statement presents the question. It's not asking the question. It's presenting it. In those cases, we do not need a question mark. Here's some examples. She asked me if I liked cheese. I wonder whether he will come to my party. I'm asking if you have the flu to concede each case. That statement begins not with the question but with that statement. Verb. For example. She asked me, I wonder. I'm asking. That's putting the statement out there and then we have the question come up after now in the last one, I'm asking you if you have the flu, the person might have said. Imagine a doctor saying Do you think you have the flu? That would be a direct question. Maybe the person did not answer. They didn't provide an answer to that direct question, and then the person has to repeat it with a statement. I'm asking if you have the flu more forceful there. We also use question marks for uncertainty. So this is kind of like a commentary that the author will put into sentences where maybe some facts are in dispute so we can put question marks in brackets and that suggests that you are some other author. He's unsure about a factor statement. So the example I have here is she said. She was 120 years old, and I've put that question mark in the round brackets, the parentheses, and that alerts the reader that the author is not sure. But the veracity of that is the person really 120 years old. The person can't confirm this. The author can't confirm this, so they put the that element in question marks. We can also talk about where the question mark goes in quotation. So this kind of a formatting point with this question marks typically go inside the last quote mark of a quotation if the person quoted asked that question. But if it's the author, that's questioning what the person said in the quote. Then the quote mark goes outside the quotation, for example. Somebody could say the police officer said, Have you been drinking, sir? See the question Mark is inside the last quote. But if someone wrote this, did she really want $1000 in $1 bills? The quote mark goes after the quotation because the person was not the person who said that . Who wants that $1 bills? They did not actually ask a question. They made a statement. So, of course, that the question comes from the author, and that goes outside of the quote mark. So those are some basic ways that quotation marks are used pretty straightforward. If you have any questions about this punctuation or any of the other ones that I've described in this course, please send me a direct question on the website. 12. Exclamation Points: the exclamation point. This is a rarely used piece of punctuation for good reason, and I'll talk about that in this video. What do they do? Exclamation points express strong feelings right at the end of the sentence, so they take the place of the period. But this is on Lee used in informal writing. So if you're writing an email or a text message, sometimes infection, but usually for the dialogue of the characters who are speaking, you can use in those situations. But you will not use this in academic writing journalism where you're supposed tohave. You have a rational, unbiased approach to your writing. There are no strong feelings there, so you'll only be using these in informal writing situations. I think in the 20 something years that I've been writing journalism that I've been writing academic writing. I've probably never used this, so it's extremely rare. I do admit to using it sometimes in emails or text messages. Here's some examples he finally proposed to her three exclamation points. This person is saying, Wow, this is great! This is awesome! He finally did it. This would typically be maybe a text message to somebody or an email. We won the lottery. Oh, maybe I should have put more than two exclamation points here because this is a really big deal. And certainly if you just send an email to somebody and you had we won the lottery, period, the person on the other end may question how much you won. You know, whether you really care about this. It's suitable to put exclamation points there. Here's an example. Earlier in the course, I mentioned that under the question marks, if you question the veracity of a fact, you can put it in round brackets. Well, you can also put exclamation points in round brackets if you just are amazed by a fact. He told me he was only 14 years old and you put that in front of the 14 to suggest Wow, that's amazing. I mean, perhaps this person, the they met is very tall for his age. Maybe he just looks a lot more mature, maybe looks 20 or 21 years old, so that's an opportunity to put the exclamation point there. So these are the only reasons you would use this. Now I wanna give you a caution here, and I've Huston exclamation point after caution is very important. This is again. This is not used informal writing, and it's only used occasionally or you'll look hysterical occasionally when people you know when they learn about the exclamation point, whether it's in high school or in public school, they start peppering all their writing with these marks, and it just doesn't have a purpose in many of those cases. And it just looks, uh, very hysterical like you. You're telling me things. You're elevating the emotion of things that don't need elevating. So if you just had lunch today and you wrote, I had lunch, you would put a period right. But if you put an exclamation point on it, I had lunch. It just doesn't make sense. It's inappropriate in that kind of a situation to be talking about lunch that way. But you see this all the time with a lot of beginning writers is that they discover the exclamation mark and they overuse it, so just keep that in mind. Use it with caution 13. Periods and Ellipsis Points: So let's now turn to the final and easiest point of a punctuation. That is the period for the ellipsis points. So that's the single dot, or the three spaced dots. Now periods are simple things, but they're so important they separate one sentence from another. If we didn't have them, we would have a mess of sentences. We'd have run on sentences. They marked the ending of a sudden. Sometimes this is called a stop or a full stop there, used at the end of Declan declarative sentences, indirect questions, polite commands, requests, some examples. The majority of viewers stopped watching the program after the format was changed. So we need that period to get us to the end of the thought to allow us to pause for a second to breathe for a second before the next point. Your commanding somebody hand that pen to me. We need that period. He asked why the account was empty, period. Straightforward, obvious, clear to all of us. But periods were also used in abbreviations, so he arrived at 10 a.m. We need those periods between the A and the M, Incidentally, am if you didn't know. I mean you know it means morning, but did you know it means anti more idiom, which is the Latin? The PM So for the afternoon and evening times, PM is Post Meridian. If we have someone's title like Doctor, Dr Johnson provided the prescription. We need that period after Dr. You know, depending on the style guide you use, you may also put periods in acronyms or initial ISMs like Y M. C A and NASA here. I haven't done that on the slide. My style guide suggests not doing that, but there's a little bit of a debate there. So you may have to put why dot m dot c dot air end on ADA s a period having periods on both of those. But check with your style guides. You don't use periods, entitles. I mean, look at the title of books. They don't put periods at that, but also in academic papers, they don't put periods at the end of the title. We also don't put no spaces between the last letter of a sentence in the period. Sometimes I see people doing this. So, for example, in that sentence you've got period at the end. There's no space right between the D and the period. But some people sometimes put a space there. I don't know why now. If the sentence ends with an abbreviation, you don't need to double up, you don't need to have another period. But again, I see this in a lot of writing. For example, when you and the sentence with PM for the afternoon or evening, some people will double up because they think, well, the period that's on P M. Is for the abbreviation, So they think I need to put another period after that. But you don't You can just take that out. Remove that now onto ellipsis points of these are the three space period that shows something is missing from the sentence. We use this to tighten up a sense to remove unnecessary information in a quotation, but we only do this in the middle of the quotation, so it's not needed at the start or end of a quote. So here's an example in the middle, So the original quotation had a whole bunch of stuff there. We put this the space periods just to get that out by to remind the reader, tell the reader the Yes, there was something here I am removing something, the person said. But I'm telling you it was removed. You have to be ethical about this. You can't just remove things that are important to the sentence and has to be grammatically correct after. But you can use this to identify that you have removed something. Typically, we do this in academic writing. But as I said, we don't put this in the beginning in end. I know some people still do this in academic writing. They put dot, dot, dot at the start of the quote and at the end to say that, well, I remove the rest of the quote. But most style guides now say not to do this, they say, just to have the quote, start and Onley to use it. If you're moving stuff from the middle of the quotation, I think that's because it looks better not having these three dots at both ends. One end of the the quotation. You can also use ellipsis points in dialogue to show a pause by the speaker. So that's the basics of very simple notion of the period or the ellipsis point