Oxford comma: why comma before ‘and’, ‘or’ is necessary

This usage of the comma has instigated arguments from writers and grammarians over the years. As much as those who use it have proven its necessity, not everyone has accepted its importance. The comma before and (or or) is called a serial comma or Oxford comma (because it’s used by Oxford University Press). It is used before the penultimate (second from the last) item on a list consisting of three or more items. It’s important to use some sentences as examples to see whether this comma is really necessary or it’s just overrated.…

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Hyphen: do you know these uses?

The hyphen is a punctuation mark that is sometimes underrated. For some writers, it is only used to form some compound words, so they leave it at that. The hyphen may sometimes be confused with an en dash or em dash, but they are different. Also read Em dash: the regular dash Let’s look at the uses of the hyphen: To form compound words. soft-speaking wife-to-be state-of-the-art The use of the hyphen in compound adjectives might be a bit tricky. For example, compound adjectives beginning with ‘well’ are generally written…

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En dash: the tricky dash

The en dash (or en rule) is shorter than the em dash, longer than the hyphen, and different from both in usage. It is said to have derived its name from the length of a lower case ‘n’. Also read Em dash: the regular dash Uses *It is used between different periods of time to mean ‘to’ or ‘through’. Examples: My father fought in the Second World War (1939–45). July–August 1999. He said 100–200 people were present. Note that you should not use an en dash if you use ‘from’…

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Em dash: the regular dash

The em dash (—), or long dash, is probably the most versatile punctuation mark because it can be used in place of a comma, parenthesis or colon. This dash is the popular dash, the longer of the two dashes (en dash and em dash). An em dash is twice as long as the en dash and three times longer than the hyphen. It is said to have derived its name from the length of hyphen. It is said to have derived its name from the length of letter ‘m’. Also…

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Exclamation mark: what you should know about it

The exclamation mark (or exclamation point) is a punctuation mark that looks simple—and it really is—but you should master how and when to use it. Though it is used fewer times than the question mark and full stop, it often appears at the end of a phrase, clause or sentence like them. This punctuation mark was introduced in the 15th century but was not added to the typewriter keys until the 1970s. The exclamation mark is used to express tension, surprise, exasperation, shock, anger, humour, sarcasm, joy, etc. It is…

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