Most everyone gets the period right. In fact, the biggest problem most writers have is inserting two spaces after the period before starting the next sentence.
Back when we used typewriters, it was necessary to insert those two spaces between sentences to help distinguish one sentence from the next. With computers, they’re coded to add an extra bit of space, so you don’t need to.
One self-editing tip everyone can easily do is use
Find > Replace to search out “._ _” and replace it with “._” (the single underline represents a blank space).
…the proper use of quotation marks, commas, semicolons, colons, ellipsis, etc., including how to properly mark dialog, ahem. As Properly Punctuated is in no way complete, I would appreciate suggestions and comments from anyone…
If you’d like to track it, bookmark this page — and consider sharing this Properly Punctuated tidbit with friends by tweeting it.
|Credit to: Burckmyer, 154|
|General Definition: Indicates the ending for a sentence.
|Always Use a Period with:|
|End of Sentence||Rule: A period always ends a sentence, unless of course it’s a question or an exclamation or an ellipsis or… There is no space between the last letter and the period. Use one space between the period and the first letter of the next sentence.|
|There will be a test on Monday.
Leave the building in an orderly fashion.
Joey played with the kittens all afternoon.
|Sentence Ends with an Abbreviation||Rule: If the sentence ends with a punctuated abbreviation, that period is enough to end the sentence. Never use a double period. The exceptions are if the sentence ends with a question mark or an exclamation mark.|
|Did you get your Ph.D.?
I understand that you got your Ph.D.
You got your Ph.D.…
You got your Ph.D.!
|Sentence Ends with an Indirect Question||Rule: Use a period at the end of an indirect question.|
|Why he can never pick up his socks, I will never understand.
I wonder why Helen is always late.
Use a period to separate a heading that is run in at the beginning of a paragraph.
CAUTION: Be aware that various style guides require that this subhead by distinguished from the paragraph text with styles ranging from italics to bold to a combination of bold and italics. It should also use sentence-style capitalization and use that period to finish the “sentence”.
|APA & MLA||Rule: A 3rd level run-in subhead is:
A 4th level run-in subhead is:
A 5th level run-in subhead is:
A 5th level run-in subhead is:
|Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)||Rule:
A 2nd level run-in subhead is:
|Society for American Archaeology (SAA)||Rule:
A 3rd level run-in subhead is:
|Inside Brackets or Parentheses|
|End Sentence Inside Brackets or Parentheses||Rule: If the entire sentence is inside brackets or parentheses, the period goes inside.|
|Mary ate the whole bag. (She loves marshmallows.)|
|Phrase Inside Brackets or Parentheses||Rule: If the phrase is inside brackets or parentheses AND is part of a sentence, the period goes outside.|
|Mary ate the whole bag (of marshmallows).|
|Person’s Initials||Rule: In using a person’s initials, add a period immediately after each letter, only adding a space after the last initial.|
|Sometimes Use a Period with:|
|Abbreviation||Rule: In the U.S., most abbreviations end with a period. Some can go either way, i.e., PhD.
NOTE: If the abbreviated word ends the sentence, the period at the end of the abbreviation is enough; don’t add a second period. Of course, if the sentence is a question or an exclamation, then do add the appropriate ending punctuation. If the sentence ends with an abbreviation AND an ellipsis, use four periods.
|Personal Title||Rule: In the U.S., abbreviated titles end with a period.
In Britain, titles usually leave off the period.
|Acronym||Rule: Acronyms were once required to use a period after each letter, but this is falling by the wayside. Verify how that organization prefers to style its acronym by checking with their website.|
|Lists||Caution: Do not use at the end of list items in a vertical list unless you have more than one complete sentence in that item.|
|Never Use a Period with:|
|Double Period||Rule: Never use a double period to end a sentence.|
|The study was funded by Mulvehill & Co.|
|Rule: Never use a period after chapter titles, any kind of headings, short captions, datelines in correspondence, signatures, or addresses (Chicago, 6.15).|
The -ing Endings
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January 4, 2016
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