0 基礎 0.6 標點符號

Minimum
Essentials of English   Second
edition   by Fred Obrecht

 

Punctuations

 

A.   
THE
COMMA

Among its many functions, the comma is used
to set off independent clauses, items in a series, coordinate adjectives,
parenthetical expressions, and nonrestrictive phrases or clauses.

 

1.    
Use
a comma to separate independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction
(and, but, for, or, nor, or yet)

 
He wanted to be a salesman but no jobs were available.

 
The people refused to send their children to school, and the school
building stood empty the entire year.

 

2.   
Use
commas to separate items in a series

 
Friendly, small, and innovative are adjectives that accurately
characterize this college.

 
He went to the basement, set the trap, and returned to the kitchen to
wait.

 

3.   
Use
a comma to separate coordinate adjectives modifying the same noun

     He washed his new, black, shiny pickup.

     Himalayan cats have long, silky, heavy
fur.

 

4.   
Use
a common to set off an introductory phrase or clause from the main clause

PARTICIPAL PHRASE:

 
Having spent his last penny, Luster tried to borrow a quarter from his
boss.

PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE:

 
At the beginning of each game, a noted singer gives his rendition of “The
Star-Spangled Banner.”

ADVERBIAL CLASUE:

 
When the composer was finished with the prelude, she began work on the
first movement.

 

 

 

5.   
Use
a pair of commas to set off nonrestrictive (amplifying or explanatory) phrases
and clauses inserted into a sentence

     Mary Jennings, who was my best friend,
dropped the class.

     The first offer on the Blake house, which
had been on the market for almost a month, was very disappointing.

     My son, a soldier in the 82nd
Airborne Division, spends most of his time at Fort Bragg, N.C.

 

6.   
Use
a comma to set off nonrestrictive phrases and clauses that follow the main
clause

     Jessica wanted to see the ice show, not
the circus.

     Few fans thought the reigning heavyweight
champion cloud win, although he was superior to the challenger in every
category.

 

7.   
Use
commas to set off an appositive

An appositive is a noun or noun phrase that
renames or explains the noun it follows.

 
The novel, a mystery about a secret island off the Washington coast, was
an instant bestseller.

 

8.   
Use
commas to set off words in direct address

Words in direct address identify the one
being spoken to.

 
Excuse me, Beth, but aren’t you late for your tennis lesson?

 

9.   
A
comma can take the place of an omitted word or phrase

 
The Capitol Bank is located in a shopping mall; the investors Bank, in
the heart of town.

 

10. 
A
comma is sometimes needed for clarity

     Ever since, we have taken the plane rather
than the train.

     In May, Marcia went to Washington, D.C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B.   
THE
SEMICOLON

The semicolon is generally used to separate
coordinate elements in a sentence, that is, items of the same grammatical
nature. Most often, it is used between related ideas that require punctuation
weaker than a period, but stronger than a comma. In addition, the semicolon
divides three or more items in a series when the items themselves contain
commas.

 

1.    
Use
a semicolon between related independent clauses not joined by a coordinating
conjunction

     A mature male gorilla may be six feet tall
and weigh 400 pounds or more; his enormous arms can span eight feet.

     New York has twelve major stadiums; Los
Angeles has fifteen.

 

2.   
Use
a semicolon between independent clauses joined by a conjunctive adverb

Frequently, two independent clauses are
joined, not by a coordinating conjunction, but by a transitional word
(conjunctive adverb) introducing the second clause. A semicolon must be used
between the clauses because these transitional words (such as accordingly,
also, consequently, finally, furthermore, however, indeed, meanwhile,
nevertheless, similarly, still, therefore, thus, and the like) are not
connecting words.

 
A female coyote will not bear pups if her diet consists of fewer than
fifty rodents a week; thus, Mother Nature achieves a population balance.

 

3.   
Use
a semicolon to separate coordinate clauses (joined by a cording conjunction) if
the clauses themselves have several commas

     The warranty on the car covered extensive
repairs to the electrical system, front end, transmission fuel injection
system, and valves; but the amount of time and inconvenience involved in
returning each time to the dealer cannot be ignored.

 

 

 

 

 

4.   
Use
a semicolon to separate items in a series when the item themselves contain
internal punctuation

Normally, three or more items in a series
are set off by commas; however, when they are made more complex by commas and
other punctuation, they are separated by semicolons.

 
The trio was composed of a cellist named Grosz, who had been a European
virtuoso for many years; a pianist who had won a major music festival in 1954,
1955, and 1958; and a violinist who had studied in Budapest, Vienna, and
Munich.

 

C.   
THE
COLON

The colon is a signal that something is to
follow: a rephrased statement, a list or series, or a formal quotation. Use a
colon in a sentence if you can logically insert namely after it.

 

Use a colon at the end of a complete
statement to show anticipation – that is, to show that amplifying details
follow, such as a list, a series of items, a formal quotation, or an
explanation.

 
Of all the gauges in an airplane cockpit, three are crucial: the
altimeter, the gas gauge, and the crash-warning indicator.

 
After five minutes of silence, the actor uttered those famous words: “To
be or not to be; that is the question.”

 
A popover has four common ingredients: flour, milk, salt, and butter.

 

    Problems that occur in the
use of the colon usually result form lapses in the following rules:

1.    
Only
a complete statement (independent clause) should precede the colon.

Incorrect:

 
Tasks that I must complete today: mow the lawn, read two chapters of
history, and tidy my room.

Correct:

 
I must complete several tasks today: mow the lawn, read two chapters of
history, and tidy my room.

 

 

 

 

2.   
A
colon should not separate essential parts of a sentence.

Incorrect:

 
In updating my computer, I added: a hard disk, a laser printer, and a
fine-resolution monitor. (The colon separates the verb from its direct
objects.)

Correct:

 
In updating my computer, I added some new components: a hard disk, a
laser printer, and a fine-resolution monitor.

 
In updating my computer, I added a hard disk, a laser printer, and a
fine-resolution monitor.

 

3.   
There
should not be more than one colon in a sentence.

Incorrect:

 
The success of the action depended upon three variables: that the
weather would hold out, that the supplies would arrive on time, and that the
enemy would be short on three things: planes, ammunition, and food.

Correct:

 
The success of the action depended upon three variables: that the
weather would hold out, that the supplies would arrive on time, and that the
enemy would be short on planes, ammunition, and food.

 

D.  
THE
HYPHEN

The hyphen has two main uses: to divide
syllables at the end of a line and to link words in certain combinations. It is
also used in compound numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine.

 

Hyphenate a compound adjective (an
adjective made up of two or more words) when it precedes the noun it modifies.
The hyphen is ordinarily not used when the words follow the noun.

 
She wore a well-used raincoat.

 BUT  Her raincoat was well used.

 
The past-due bill lay unnoticed behind the couch.

 
BUT  The bill, past due, lay
unnoticed behind the couch.

 

 

 

E.   
THE
APOSTROPHE

In addition to indicating possession, the
apostrophe is used to take the place of omitted numbers (class of ’87) and
omitted letters or words in contractions (wasn’t [was not], o’clock [of the
clock]), and sometimes to indicate plurals (A’s, I.D.’s).

 

Use an apostrophe to show the possessive
case of nouns and indefinite pronouns.

1.    
The
possessive case of singular nouns (either common or proper) is indicated by
adding an apostrophe and an s.

     George’s speech, the senator’s campaign,
the boss’s office

2.   
The
possessive case of plural nouns ending in s is formed by adding only the
apostrophe.

     The girls’ softball team, the waitresses’
union, the Harrisons’ antique cars, the Wiesses’ party

 

F.   
THE
DASH

The main function of the dash, like the
parentheses, is to enclose information within a sentence. Dashes are generally
more forceful and therefore should be used sparingly, since they highlight the
ideas and items they enclose.

 

Use dashes to indicate hesitation, or a
sudden break in thought or sentence structure, or to set off appositives and
other explanatory or parenthetical elements. The dash adds emphasis to any part
of a sentence that can be separated from the rest of the sentence.

 
The skydiver—in spite of his broken leg—set a new record for endurance.

Some specific uses of the dash follow:

  1. To interrupt continuity of
    prose

     “I rally can’t tolerate—Well, never mind.”

  1. To emphasize appositives

     The items she had asked for in the new car—tape
deck, mileage computer, stick shift—were all included.

 

 

 

 

  1. To set off phrases or
    clauses containing commas

When a modifier itself contains commas,
dashes can make its boundaries clear.

 
General Motors—which has manufactured tanks, cannons, and mobile cranes—has
always been far more than an automobiles assembler.

  1. To set off parenthetical
    elements

     The child was sitting—actually sprawling—at
the desk.

 

G.   
THE
QUESTION MARK

A question mark indicates the end of a
direct question. A question mark in parentheses signals doubt or uncertainty
about a fact such as a date or a number.

 

Use a question mark after a direct
question.

 
When are we going to eat?

 
Ask yourself, what are the odds of winning?

 
(It is also correct to capitalize the word what.)

A question mark in parentheses may be used
to express doubt.

 
The Dean’s notes, published in 1774 (?), are considered the novel’s
origin.

NOTE:

The use of the question mark as a mark of
irony or sarcasm is not usually considered proper: The superintendent’s
important (?) announcements took all morning.

A question mark should never be combined
with a comma, period, exclamation point, or other question mark. Most often,
the question mark assumes the functions of other marks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

H.  
THE
EXCLAMATION POINT

An exclamation point is an indicator of
strong emotional feelings, such as anger, joy, shock, surprise, or fear. It may
also be used to express irony or emphasis. Like the dash, it should be used
sparingly.

 

Use an exclamation point after a command,
an interjection, an exclamation, or some other expression of strong emotion.

COMMAND:

 
Stop!

INTERJECTION:

 
Wow! Fire! Help!

EMTOIONAL EXPRESSION:

     Don’t tell me you did
it again! How wonderful!

 

I.   
THE
QUOTATION MARKS

One of the main uses of quotation marks is
to signal the exact words of a writer or speaker. Quotation marks are also used
to enclose the titles or short literary or musical works (articles, short
stories or poems, songs), as well as words used in a special way.

 
“Ozmandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley is an example of an Italian sonnet.

Enclose direct quotations in quotation
marks.

 
“We will wage war wherever it takes us,” Winston Churchill pledged.

Quotation marks should enclose only the
exact words of the person quoted.

 
Winston Churchill pledged that “we will wage war wherever it takes us.”
(NOT…pledged “that we will…”)

NOTE:

When a quoted sentence is interrupted by a
phrase such as he said or she replied, two parts of quotation marks must be
used, one for each part of the quotation. The first word of the second part of
the quoted material should not be capitalized unless it is a proper noun or the
pronoun I.

  “There are two
sorts of contests between men,” John Locke argued, “one managed by law, the
other by force.”

 

 

 

NOTE:

When a quotation is a structural part of
the sentence, it begins with a lowercase letter, even though the original
quotation is a separate sentence beginning with a capital.

 
F.D.R. told a worried nation that “there is nothing to fear but fear
itself.”

However, when the quotation is not
structurally integrated with the rest of the sentence, the initial letter is
capitalized.

 
F.D.R.’s sage words of wisdom, “There is nothing to fear but fear
itself,” soothed a worried nation.

 

   Commas and periods always belong
inside quotation marks; semicolons and colons, outside. Question marks and exclamation
points are placed inside the quotation marks when they are part of the quotation;
otherwise, they are placed outside.

     What did he mean when
he said, “I know the answer already”?

     “The case is closed!”
the attorney exclaimed.

 

J.   
THE
PARENTHESES

Parentheses, like dashes, are used to set
off words of explanation and other secondary supporting details—figures, data,
examples—that are not really part of the main sentence or paragraph.
Parentheses are less emphatic than dashes and should be reserved for ideas that
have no essential connection with the rest of the sentence.

 

Use parentheses to enclose an explanatory
or parenthetical element that is not closely connected with the rest of the
sentence.

 
The speech that she gave on Sunday (under extremely difficult
circumstances, it should be noted) was her best.

If the parenthetical item is an independent
sentence that stands alone capitalize the first word and place a period inside
the end parenthesis. If it is a complete sentence within another complete
sentence, do not begin it with a capital letter or end it with a period. A
question mark or exclamation point is part of the parenthetical element should
be placed inside the parenthesis.

 
On Easter, I always think of the hot cross buns I used to buy for two
cents apiece. (At the time, the year was 1939, and I was three years old.)

A speech decrying the lack of basic skills
on campuses today was given by Congressman Jones (he was the man who once
proposed having no entrance standards for community college students).

The absurd placement of the child-care
center (fifteen feet from a classroom building!) was amateur architecture at
its worst.

 

K.   
THE
ITALICS/UNDERLINING

Italic type is the slanted type used for
titles and special emphasis (Moby Dick).
In handwritten or typed text, italics are indicated with underlining (Moby
Dick
).

Use italics to designate or draw attention
to:

1. Titles of complete or independent works,
such as books, periodicals newspapers, plays, films, television programs, long
poems (long enough to be published as separate works), long musical
compositions, albums, paintings, and statues. Do not underline the title at the
head of a term or research paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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