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Punctuation—Where, When, Why, and How to Use It

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Period
There is no space before a period and only one space after. In the past (the days of the old typewriters), two spaces were used after a period, but thanks to modern kerning, this is no longer necessary. With quotation marks, periods go inside the closing quotation mark.

Usage
1. To end a complete sentence

Example: The dog chased the squirrel.

2. Abbreviations (General rule: use periods with abbreviations that appear in lowercase, but don’t use periods with those in uppercase)

Example 1: Mr., Mrs., Dist. Atty., Dr.
Example 2: e.g., i.e., etc., a.ka., USA, NASA, CEO

3. To punctuate a fragment

Example: She stopped dead in her tracks. Frozen.

4. A rhetorical question (Style note: Depending on the feel and/or tone of the rhetorical question, either a period or a question mark can be appropriate.)

Example 1: What difference does it make.
Example 2: How many times do I have to tell you to put your dirty clothes in the hamper.

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7 comments

I felt like I was back in English class! These were great refreshers, some rules I wasn’t even familar with!

Thank you for the refresher course. I am a casual writer and probably break these rules frequently. It must drive you crazy!

I was always told never to put a comma before the word ‘and’ so it’s interesting to learn that’s not always the case!

I think I need to go back to English class!! I have to! lol. This helped me to remember this important things

This topic can’t be communicated enough! It is crazy how many mistakes are made… (I don’t exclude myself here :))

Thank you for sharing! It is so useful. I thought i was good at punctuation but realise i get confused with semi-colons and don’t know the other uses for others x

After leaving school,I have never really payed attention to the way i write and all the grammar rules. But ever since I have started writing again, I feel like I need to go to the library to get back all those grammar rules books. So thanks for this post, it helped me a lot.

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