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Question Marks and Exclamation Points in Quotations

If a question or exclamation is quoted directly, the quotation contains the question mark or exclamation point. If the question or exclamation is at the end of the quotation, the question mark or exclamation point comes before the closing quotation mark. Incorrect: “Look at that”! he exclaimed. “Did you see that”? Correct: “Look at that!”

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Hyphenated Prefixes and Suffixes

Use a hyphen after a prefix followed by a proper noun or proper adjective. Examples: mid-June pre-Columbian Afro-American Use a hyphen in words beginning with the prefixes all-, ex- (meaning “former”), and self- and in words ending with the suffix -elect. Incorrect: selfpropelled ex-treme (Prefix self- needs hyphen. The prefix in extreme does not mean

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Other Punctuation Marks with Quotation Marks

Always place a comma or period before beginning or ending quotation marks. Incorrect: “Ned”, he requested”, please take this to Mr. Green”. Correct: “Ned,” he requested, “please take this to Mr. Green.” Always place a colon or semicolon after ending quotation marks. (This is relatively rare.) Correct: George claimed, “I have twenty points”; Bill said

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Hyphenated Compound Words

Hyphens are used internally in some compound words to separate the words forming the compound word. Examples: merry-go-round editor-in-chief When unsure of the hyphenation of such words, check a dictionary. Usage may vary. As some words are more widely used, the hyphen is dropped. For example, in the early 1800s the word blackbird was usually

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Quotation Marks in Dialogue

Begin a new paragraph with every change of speaker. Incorrect: “Hello, Mary,” Jeffrey stammered. “Hi, Jeffrey, how are you?” “Uh, fine. What have you been doing lately?” Correct: “Hello, Mary,” Jeffrey stammered. “Hi, Jeffrey, how are you?” “Uh, fine. What have you been doing lately?” For quotations longer than a single paragraph, put quotation marks

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