Punctuation

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Underlining Foreign Words or Abbreviations

Underline or italicize foreign words or abbreviations unless they are regularly used in English. Because the English language is very flexible, it may sometimes be hard to tell whether some words are widely used. Check any word or phrase you have a question about in a dictionary. Clearly words like champagne or chimpanzee or an

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Apostrophes with Verb Contractions

Apostrophes generally show missing letters in contractions. In most formal writing such contractions should be avoided. The most common contractions involve verbs in five situations. 1. Verbs with not contracted, or shortened. Examples: aren’t don’t isn’t wasn’t can’t weren’t weren’t wouldn’t doesn’t hasn’t haven’t couldn’t Note: The word won’t is a contraction of will not–in

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When NOT to Use Commas

With Compound Verbs Do not use a comma to separate the paired parts in paired compound subjects or compound verbs. Incorrect: She lets me watch her mom, and pop fight. (Compound subject. No need for comma with the word and already there.) Correct: She lets me watch her mom and pop fight. Incorrect: They would

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