Viewed 3k times. I went to the club, only to see Joel leaving. Particulary, does a comma make the sentence less ambiguous: I went to the club in vain because Joel was leaving. I only went to the club for the purpose of seeing Joel leave.
Araucaria - Not here any more. I favor the Chicago Manual of Style , which would suggest placing the comma for three reasons -- You have a contrasting element, since the implication of the sentence is that you went to the club expecting to meet Joel.
Your dashed expectation should be preceded by a comma. As FumbleFingers notes in his comment, without the comma the sentence may have an entirely separate meaning, namely that the sole reason for your going to the club was to watch Joel leave. Quotations must be verifiably attributed, and the wording of the quoted text should be faithfully reproduced. This is referred to as the principle of minimal change.
Where there is good reason to change the wording, bracket the changed text; for example, "Ocyrhoe told him his fate" might be quoted as "Ocyrhoe told [her father] his fate". However, insignificant spelling and typographic errors should simply be silently corrected for example, correct basicly to basically.
Use ellipses to indicate omissions from quoted text. Legitimate omissions include extraneous, irrelevant, or parenthetical words, and unintelligible speech umm , and hmm. Do not omit text where doing so would remove important context or alter the meaning of the text. When a vulgarity or obscenity is quoted, it should appear exactly as it does in the cited source; Wikipedians should never bowdlerize words by replacing letters with dashes, asterisks, or other symbols, except when faithfully reproducing quoted text that did so.
In direct quotations, retain dialectal and archaic spellings, including capitalization but not archaic glyphs and ligatures, as detailed below. Quotation should be used, with attribution, to present emotive opinions that cannot be expressed in Wikipedia's own voice, but never to present cultural norms as simply opinional:.
Concise opinions that are not overly emotive can often be reported with attribution instead of direct quotation. Use of quotation marks around simple descriptive terms can often seem to imply something doubtful regarding the material being quoted; sarcasm or weasel words , such as supposedly or so-called , might be inferred.
A quotation is not a facsimile and, in most cases, it is not a requirement that the original formatting be preserved. Formatting and other purely typographical elements of quoted text should be adapted to English Wikipedia's conventions without comment provided that doing so will not change or obscure meaning or intent of the text.
These are alterations which make no difference when the text is read aloud, for example:. However, national varieties should not be changed, as these may involve changes in vocabulary. For example, a quotation from a British source should retain British spelling, even in an article that otherwise uses American spelling. Numbers also usually should not be reformatted. Direct quotation should not be used to preserve the formatting preferred by an external publisher especially when the material would otherwise be unchanged , as this tends to have the effect of " scare-quoting ":.
Italics can be used to mark a particular usage as a term of art a case of " words as words " , especially when it is unfamiliar or should not be reworded by a non-expert:. When quoting a complete sentence, it is usually recommended to keep the first word capitalized.
However, if the quoted passage has been integrated into the surrounding sentence for example, with an introduction such as " X said that" , the original capital letter may be lower-cased. It is not normally necessary to explicitly note changes in capitalization. The reader must be able to determine the source of any quotation, at the very least via a footnote. When attributing a quotation, avoid characterizing it in a biased manner.
Be conservative when linking within quotations: link only to targets that correspond to the meaning clearly intended by the quote's author. Where possible, link from text outside of the quotation instead — either before it or soon after. If quoting hypertext , add an editorial note, [link in original] or [link added] , as appropriate, to avoid ambiguity as to whether the link was made by the original author.
Format a long quote more than about 40 words or a few hundred characters, or consisting of more than one paragraph, regardless of length as a block quotation , indented on both sides. Block quotations using a colored background are also discouraged. The template also provides parameters for attribution. Below-quote attributions are not typical in articles. It is more usual to attribute the quotation in an introductory sentence or fragment, ending with a colon and the source citation for it.
However, quotation templates that support attribution also have citation parameters for when that format is used. Added citations do not go within the text of block quotations, since they are not part of the quoted material. Quotations from foreign-language sources should appear with a translation into English, preferably a modern one.
Quotations that are translations should be explicitly distinguished from those that are not. Indicate the original source of a translation if it is available, and not first published within Wikipedia , and the original language if that is not clear from the context.
If the original, untranslated text is available, provide a reference for it or include it, as appropriate. When editors themselves translate foreign text into English, care must always be taken to include the original text, in italics except for non-Latin-based writing systems , and to use actual and if at all possible common English words in the translation.
Unless you are certain of your competency to translate something, see Wikipedia:Translation for assistance. In the material below, the term quotation includes conventional uses of quotation marks such as for titles of songs, chapters, episodes, and so on. Quotation marks are also used in other contexts, such as in cultivar names.
Most quotations take double quotation marks Bob said: "Jim ate the apple. The use of a comma before a quotation embedded within a sentence is optional, if a non-quoted but otherwise identical construction would work grammatically without the comma:. A comma is required when it would be present in the same construction if none of the material were a quotation:.
It is clearer to use a colon to introduce a quotation if it forms a complete sentence, and this should always be done for multi-sentence quotations:. No additional punctuation is necessary for an explicit words-as-words scenario:. Many, but not all, of the above items should also be in title case. On the English Wikipedia, use the " logical quotation " style in all articles, regardless of the variety of English in which they are written. Include terminal punctuation within the quotation marks only if it was present in the original material, and otherwise place it after the closing quotation mark.
For the most part, this means treating periods and commas in the same way as question marks: keep them inside the quotation marks if they apply only to the quoted material and outside if they apply to the whole sentence. Examples are given below. If the quotation is a single word or a sentence fragment, place the terminal punctuation outside the closing quotation mark.
When quoting a full sentence, the end of which coincides with the end of the sentence containing it, place terminal punctuation inside the closing quotation mark. If the quoted sentence has been broken up with an editorial insertion, still include the terminal punctuation inside the closing quotation mark.
If the quoted sentence is followed by a clause that should be preceded by a comma, omit the full stop period — but other terminal punctuation, such as a question mark or exclamation mark, may be retained.
If the quoted sentence is followed by a clause identifying the speaker, use a comma outside the quotation mark instead of a full stop inside it, but retain any other terminal punctuation, such as question marks. Do not follow quoted words or fragments with commas inside the quotation marks, except where a longer quotation has been broken up and the comma is part of the full quotation. If a sentence contains a bracketed phrase, place the sentence punctuation outside the brackets as shown here.
However, where one or more sentences are wholly inside brackets, place their punctuation inside the brackets. There should be no space next to the inner side of a bracket. An opening bracket should usually be preceded by a space. This may not be the case if it is preceded by an opening quotation mark, another opening bracket, or a portion of a word:.
There should be a space after a closing bracket, except where a punctuation mark follows though a spaced dash would still be spaced after a closing bracket and in unusual cases similar to those listed for opening brackets. If sets of brackets are nested, use different types for adjacent levels of nesting; for two levels, it is customary to have square brackets appear within round brackets. This is often a sign of excessively convoluted expressions; it is often better to recast, linking the thoughts with commas, semicolons, colons, or dashes.
Avoid adjacent sets of brackets. Either put the parenthetic phrases in one set separated by commas, or rewrite:. Square brackets are used to indicate editorial replacements and insertions within quotations, though this should never alter the intended meaning. They serve three main purposes:.
Square brackets inside of links must be escaped :. On the first day [etc. This will avoid truncation of the link after xxx. Always use a pair of commas for this, unless another punctuation mark takes the place of the second comma:. A serial comma is a comma used immediately before a conjunction and , or , nor in a list of three or more items: the phrase ham, chips, and eggs includes a serial comma, while ham, chips and eggs omits it.
Editors may use either convention so long as each article is internally consistent; however, there are cases in which either omitting or including the serial comma results in ambiguity:. A colon : introduces something which demonstrates, explains, or modifies what has come before, or is a list of items that has just been introduced. The items in such a list may be separated by commas; or, if they are more complex and perhaps themselves contain commas, the items should be separated by semicolons.
In most cases a colon works best with a complete grammatical sentence before it. When what follows the colon is also a complete sentence, start it with a capital letter, but otherwise do not capitalize after a colon except where doing so is needed for another reason, usually for a proper name.
There are exceptional cases, such as those where the colon introduces items set off in new lines. Examples: [i]. Except in technical usage a ratio , no sentence should contain multiple colons, no space precedes a colon, and a space but never a hyphen or dash follows a colon. A semicolon ; is sometimes an alternative to a full stop period , enabling related material to be kept in the same sentence; it marks a more decisive division in a sentence than a comma.
If the semicolon separates clauses, normally each clause must be independent meaning that it could stand on its own as a sentence. In many cases, only a comma or only a semicolon will be correct in a given sentence. Above, "Though he had been here before" cannot stand on its own as a sentence, and therefore is not an independent clause. This incorrect use of a comma between two independent clauses is known as a comma splice ; however, in certain kinds of cases a comma may be used where a semicolon would seem to be called for:.
A sentence may contain several semicolons, especially when the clauses are parallel in construction and meaning; multiple unrelated semicolons are often signs that the sentence should be divided into shorter sentences or otherwise refashioned.
Semicolons are used in addition to commas to separate items in a listing, when commas alone would result in confusion. The meaning of a sentence containing a trailing clause that starts with the word however depends on the punctuation preceding that word.
A common error is to use the wrong punctuation, thereby changing the meaning to one not intended. When the word however is an adverb meaning "nevertheless", it should be preceded by a semicolon and followed by a comma.
When the word however is a conjunction meaning "in whatever manner", or "regardless of how", it may be preceded by a comma but not by a semicolon, and should not be followed by punctuation. In the first case, the clause that starts with "however" cannot be swapped with the first clause; in the second case this can be done without change of meaning:.
A sentence or clause can also contain the word however in the middle, if it is an adverb meaning "although" that could have been placed at the beginning but does not start a new clause in mid-sentence. In this use, the word may be enclosed between commas. Hyphens - indicate conjunction. There are three main uses:. Multi-word hyphenated items: It is often possible to avoid multi-word hyphenated modifiers by rewording a four-CD soundtrack album may be easier to read as a soundtrack album of four CDs.
This is particularly important where converted units are involved the 6-hectare-limit Do not use a capital letter after a hyphen except for a proper name: Graeco-Roman and Mediterranean-style , but not Gandhi-Like. In titles of published works, follow the capitalization rule for each part independently resulting in, e.
Hyphenation rules in other languages may be different. Follow reliable sources in such cases. Spacing: A hyphen is never followed or preceded by a space, except when hanging see above or when used to display parts of words independently, such as the prefix sub- and the suffix -less. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Skip to content. Consider the following: My heroes are my parents, Superman and Wonder Woman.
If you leave out the comma after Superman, it appears that your parents are Superman and Wonder Woman. Highlights of his global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an year old demigod and a dildo collector.
A single comma after demigod would make the difference between slandering Mr. Mandela or not. Apparently this one really happened. Oh, dear. A comma after Kristofferson would have been so much clearer. Share on Tumblr Print Email. About cathleentownsend.
Your example contains two complete sentences. One is 'You should have known that he is quite adept at what he does' and the other is ' You should have known that he has the best conversion rate'. So use a comma before and to signal the start of a new clause.
The purpose of punctuation is to help the reader understand the grammatical structure of a sentence, and a thoughtfully placed comma will do just that. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. Asked 5 years, 11 months ago. Is this another matter of American versus British usage, or is there a grammatical nicety here that I am missing? In the usages you describe, the tag too should indeed be preceded by a comma, but the punctuation mark is often omitted in informal or conversational contexts or simply out of ignorance.
I refer to my stylebooks all the time in an effort to get [ appositive epithets ] right. Do you know of an easy mnemonic device that can help me remember this rule? And would you please expand on such when the second is not clearly subordinate — e. This type of phrasing is highly flexible in terms of punctuation, and what the writer does depends not on construction but on connotation.
If a pairing of adjectives or other parts of speech is straightforward and sensible — lithe and graceful, hale and hearty, cheap and shoddy — the second element need not be set off, but when it is extraordinary, emphatic treatment is effective. Want to improve your English in five minutes a day?Jun 27, · Could you elaborate on the awkwardness of my punctuation, please? Is the matter a rule of grammar rather than a form of awkwardness? Well, I have found 'and then' is a complex subordinator under 'Coherence: Transitions between ideas' in the 'Guide to Grammar and Writing' from the Internet, but your punctuation is in the form of FANBOYS.