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Punctuation - Definition, Overview, and Lists of Examples

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  Ed Good  —  Grammar Tips
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Below you’ll find links to our discussion on all punctuation marks. We have broken some of the longer topics into multiple pages. So watch for references to “Pages 1-2-3” at the bottom of the topic. Click the next page number to continue reading.

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General Table of Contents

  1. Period
  2. Comma
  3. Semicolon
  4. Colon
  5. Dash
  6. Parentheses
  7. Brackets
  8. Question Mark
  9. Exclamation Point
  10. Hyphen
  11. Apostrophe
  12. Quotation Marks

Detailed Table of Contents


  1. Ending a Sentence
  2. Showing Abbreviation
  3. Vertical, Enumerated Lists
  4. Periods with Quotation Marks
  5. Period with Parentheses or Brackets


  1. Serial-Comma Rule ‑ Red, White, and Blue
  2. Serial-Comma Rule ‑ Examples
  3. Semicolons Instead of Commas
  4. Joining Two Elements
  5. Commas and Independent Clauses
  6. Commas and Introductory Clauses or Phrases
  7. Adverbial Phrases Between Subject and Verb
  8. Adjectival Clauses and Phrases
  9. Parenthetical Pauses
  10. Commas and Noun Appositives
  11. Commas and Coordinate Adjectives
  12. Complementary or Antithetical Expressions
  13. Dates - Month-Day-Year
  14. Dates - Day-Month-Year
  15. Dates - Month-Year
  16. Commas and Elliptical Expressions
  17. Commas with Quotation Marks


  1. Semicolons and Independent Clauses
  2. “However” and Other Conjunctive Adverbs
  3. Semicolons Separating Elements in a Series
  4. Semicolons with Quotation Marks


  1. Colon and Independent Clauses
  2. Introducing a List
  3. Introducing Statements or Quotations
  4. Colons with Quotation Marks


  1. En and Em Dashes
  2. Em Dashes - No Spaces


  1. Amplify, Explain, or Digress
  2. Numbers in Lists Within Text
  3. Parentheses and Other Punctuation


  1. Parentheticals Within Parentheses

Question Mark

  1. Question Marks with Quotation Marks

Exclamation Point


  1. Ranges of Numbers
  2. Prefix Words
  3. Prefix Words - Exceptions to the Rule
  4. Hyphens and Compound Words
  5. Hyphens and Compound Nouns
  6. Hyphens and Compound Adjectives
  7. Compound Adjectives - Decision to Hyphenate
  8. Made-Up Adjectives
  9. Compound Adjectives and-lyAdverbs
  10. Compound Adjectives - A Long List
  11. Combining Various Parts of Speech

Apostrophe and Possessives

  1. Apostrophes Form Contractions
  2. Apostrophes Form a Narrow Class of Plurals

Quotation Marks

  1. Rules on Direct Quotation
  2. Period Goes Inside
  3. Comma Goes Inside
  4. Semicolon Goes Outside
  5. Colon Goes Outside
  6. Question Mark Goes Inside
  7. Question Mark Goes Outside
  8. Exclamation Point Goes Inside
  9. Exclamation Point Goes Outside


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