English punctuation

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English Punctuation: An Introduction

1) Uses

• Periods/full stops show where a sentence ends. Notice that the English word ‘sentence’ refers to a typographic convention as well as to an object of grammatical study.

You should not use periods after heading in a report, letter, or paper.

You need not use periods in abbreviations or acronyms.

• Commas can act as separators between part of a sentence.

Although suitable protective equipment was available, most of the employees were not wearing it.

• In this case, the marked off element is a concessive clause. Most adverbials may be marked off by commas, though commas are not strictly necessary in the case of prepositional phrases.

• The use of
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Some rules are generally observed, and can be quickly learnt:

Titles: for literary studies and all non-scientific use of titles, begin every word with a capital letter except articles, conjunctions and prepositions. Titles of books, plays, and films should by underlined in handwritten work and typescripts. Other titles are set off by quotation marks

Vertigo (film) England in the Eighteenth Century (book)

"Ash Wednesday" (poem) "Investigating Conrad’s Style" (scholarly article)

If you are using a word processor, italicise the former titles.
For linguistics and most scientific fields, use sentence case (ie the same rules apply as in ordinary prose).
People: Use an initial capital for ranks and titles when attached to a person’s name, thus ‘Prince Charles’ but ‘the prince’. Note:

Mister Smith Pope John Paul II
General Montgomery Emperor Charles V
Doctor Guàrdia King Juan Carlos
Professor Firth Bishop Carles
Saint Joan of Arc Sir Charles Chaplin

Offices of state pre-fixed to names are normally written without initial capitals (ie ‘President Clinton’ but the

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