Punctuation

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The Virgule

The virgule, often called the “slant bar” by computer users, has four specific uses in punctuation. A virgule separates parts of an extended date. Example: The 1994/95 basketball season. Washington was born in February 1731/32. A virgule represents the word per in measurements: Example: 186,000 mi./sec. (miles per second) A virgule stands for the word

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Semicolons and Colons

Semicolons and colons were originally used to designate pauses shorter than a period and longer than a comma. Now they are used to show certain grammatical relationships with the colon the more emphatic of the two.

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Question Marks

Question marks end all direct questions. This includes incomplete questions and statements intended as questions. Direct Question: What is your name? Incomplete Question: Really? When? No kidding? Statement Intended as Question: Your name is Fred? Sentences which describe a question but do not directly ask a question are called indirect questions. They do not take

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Exclamation Points

Sometimes called the exclamation mark, the exclamation point is used at the end of a sentence or after an interjection to show strong emotion or emphasis. Exclamatory sentence: The rain did not stop for four days! Strong command: Be back at ten o’clock or else! Interjection: Wow! When an emphatic interjection or direct address begins

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Periods

Periods end declarative sentences and requests or mild commands. Declarative: His name is Joshua. Request or Mild Command: Please be sure to tell her I am coming. Periods are used to end most abbreviations except for acronyms and abbreviations which are pronounced. See Abbreviations Contents for more information. If a sentence ends with an abbreviation,

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