Tag Archives: Punctuation

#GrammarTrivia: Brackets

Hello, fellas! How’s your day?

Today we will talk about “brackets.” Here we go! 

Brackets are symbols mainly used as separator for additional information to a sentence or a main content. If we remove the brackets, the sentence would still make good sense. There are two main types of brackets: round () and square []. British English (BrE) and American English (AmE) define them differently.
BrE: (  ) = round brackets or brackets

AmE: (  ) = parentheses

BrE: [  ] = square brackets

AmE: [  ] = brackets

Round brackets or parentheses are used to add extra information to a sentence.

E.g.: “Lake Toba (Indonesia: Danau Toba) is the largest volcanic lake in the world and is in Sumatra, Indonesia.” 
Round brackets or parentheses are used to indicate plural or singular nouns.

E.g.: “My new shelf need book(s).”
Round brackets or parentheses are used to add a personal comment.

E.g.: “Kuta Beach is the most beautiful beach in Bali. (I prefer Sanur Beach  to Kuta Beach.)”
Round brackets or parentheses are used to define abbreviations.

E.g.: “The link above will take you to a PDF (Portable Document Format) version.”

Square brackets are used to modify another person’s words, especially when we want to make it clear that the modification has been made by us, not by the original writer. 

E.g.: 

The witness said: “He [the policeman] hit me.”
Square brackets are used to add information.

E.g.: “The two teams in the finals of the first FIFA Football World Cup were both from South America [Uruguay and Argentina].”
Square brackets are used to add missing words.

E.g.: “It is [a] good question.” 
Square brackets are used to modify a direct quotation.

E.g.:

He “love[s] driving.” (The original words were “I love driving.”)
That’s all for today, fellas! I hope it’ll be useful for you. Good night!
Compiled and written by @anhtiss at @EnglishTips4U. Saturday, March 10, 2018.

Advertisements

#GrammarTrivia: Hyphen, En Dash, and Em Dash

Good evening, fellas! We’re going to talk about punctuation today in #GrammarTrivia. I’m going to walk you through three types of dashes—hyphen, en dash, and em dash—and when to use them. So, let’s just cut to the chase!

hyp en em

The hyphen (-) is the shortest dash. We use hyphens to connect words and to indicate breaks in the middle of a word. A hyphen isn’t preceded or followed by space, e.g., upper-case, not upper – case. Since we have touched on the hyphen before, you can click here to read more about the use of the hyphen, and click here for a specific explanation on the role of hyphens in compound adjectives.

The en dash (–) is slightly wider than the hyphen; it’s the size of an upper-case N. Here are some uses of the en dash:

  • To represent a range. It usually replaces “to” between a range of numbers, e.g., page 45 – 53.
  • To report scores or results of contests, e.g., Epiphany won 30–27 against Maxwell.
  • To represent conflict, connection, or direction, e.g., Jakarta–Bandung route, the Obama–McCain debate

The em dash (—) is the widest of the three dashes—it’s the size of an upper-case M. And here are the uses of the em dash:

  •  To replace a colon, for instance, compare these sentences:

The en dash (–) is slightly wider than the hyphen; it’s the size of an upper-case N.

The em dash (—) is the widest of the three dashes—it’s the size of an upper-case M.

  • To replace a pair of commas or parentheses that surround additional information in a sentence. Em dashes emphasize the words inside them a little more than commas and parentheses do. For example, compare the sentences below. The clause the only bag looks more emphasized when we use em dashes, don’t you think?

This is the bag, the only bag, that lasts more than three years.

This is the bag—the only bag—that lasts more than three years.

  • To mark interrupted sentence:

Jack: “Jill, wanna go to —”

Jill: “I already have a plan.”

The spaces preceding and following the en dash and em dash is optional.

This is the bag—the only bag—that lasts more than three years.

This is the bag — the only bag — that lasts more than three years.

Notice the spaces before and after the em dashes in the second sentence? Both of those practices are correct. Whichever style you prefer, use it consistently.

I hope now you understand the difference of those three dashes, fellas. But don’t dash away yet. ;) Here are some handy ways to type the en dash and em dash:

  • In Microsoft Word, assuming the AutoCorrect is turned on, typing ‘space-hyphen-space’ (like – this) will automatically replace the hyphen with an en dash, and typing two hyphens without spaces between two words (like–this) will automatically render an em dash.
  • In a smartphone, you can type an en dash or em dash by long-tapping the hyphen key in the keyboard.

That’s all I can share today, fellas. I hope this has been useful for you. Thank you for joining this #grammarTrivia session. Have a good day!

Compiled and written by @fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on August 25, 2016.

#EngQuiz: Fix the punctuation

Study each question and option carefully and pick one with correct punctuation.

1. He has a _____ son.
two, year old
two year-old
two-year-old
When the adjectival phrase (2-year-old) comes before the noun it modifies (son), it’s hyphenated.
2. He got three A’s last semester but his one downfall was Physics.
semester but, his
semester, but his
We use a comma before conjunction to connect two independent clauses.
semester, but, his
3. This is what you’ll need to buy a notebook, a box of diskettes, and some paper.
to buy;
to buy,
to buy:
We use a colon [:] before a list or an explanation that is preceded by a clause that can stand by itself.
4. “My Old Kentucky Home a tune by Stephen Foster, is Kentucky’s state song.
Home” a tune
Home”, a tune
Home,” a tune
Periods and commas go inside quotation marks. And we need a comma here to set apart a parenthetical element. (“A tune by Stephen Foster”)
5. My pin number has two 5s. It’s easy to remember.
5s
We don’t need to use apostrophe [ ‘ ] in this sentence. Apostrophe is used to indicate possessive case, contractions, or omitted letters.
5’s
5s’

Related post(s):

^MQ

#GRAMMARTRIVIA: The Use of Colon (:) and Semicolon (;)

Hi, fellas! How’s life going? Anyway, we’d like to say ‘Happy Eid Mubarak’ for you who celebrate it! We wish you all a very happy day. ;)
In this session, I’d like to talk about the use of colon (:) and semicolon (;) in English. Here we go! #GrammarTrivia

As punctuation, a colon (:) has three different uses. The first one is to introduce a list. See the following examples. #GrammarTrivia

“The price includes the following: travel to New York, flight to Rome, and hotel accommodation.” #GrammarTrivia

“The job calls for skills in the following areas: proofing, editing, and organizing database administration.” #GrammarTrivia

The second use of a colon (:) is to be used before a quotation, and sometimes, before direct speech. See the following examples. #GrammarTrivia

“The headline read: ‘Bus Driver Battles Gangsters’.” Or (2) “They shouted: ‘We are starving! We need food!’.” #GrammarTrivia

Here is the third use of a colon (:). A colon is used between two main clauses, in which the second clause explains the first. #GrammarTrivia

Examples: (1) “That is his biggest secret: always do the impossible.” Or (2) “It was hard: to begin with, I had to find the right person.” #GrammarTrivia

On the other hand, a semicolon (;) is used to mark a break that is stronger than a comma, but not as final as a full stop. #GrammarTrivia

A semicolon (;) is used between two main clauses that balance each other and are too closely linked to be separated. #GrammarTrivia

Examples: (1) “The road runs through a beautiful wooded valley; the railway line follows it.” #GrammarTrivia

“Some people write with a word processor; others write with a pen or pencil.” #GrammarTrivia

A semicolon (;) is also used to link lists where the items contain commas, to avoid confusion between list items. #GrammarTrivia

Example: “There are two ways to write: with a pen, which is easily accessible; or by computer and printer, which is faster.” #GrammarTrivia

Therefore, that’s how we should use a colon (:) and a semicolon (;). I hope you do get the point. ;) #GrammarTrivia

All in all, remember to visit http://englishtips4u.com  and http://facebook.com/englishtips4u,  fellas! See you! :)

Source: English Grammar in Use (Raymond Murphy, Cambridge University Press) and Oxford Dictionaries.

Compiled and written by @aditriasmara at @EnglishTips4U on July 28th, 2014.

#GRAMMARTRIVIA: The Use of Apostrophe (‘)

Howdy, fellas! How’s your Monday going? I hope it’s going great! :D

Anyway, in this session, I’d like to discuss the use of apostrophe (‘). Here we go! #GrammarTrivia

Showing possession and showing omission are two main cases when we need to use an apostrophe (‘). #GrammarTrivia

Showing Possession >> You need to use an apostrophe (‘) to say that a thing or a person belongs to someone or something. #GrammarTrivia

Instead of saying ‘the book of Andy’ and ‘the lesson of today’, you can say ‘Andy’s book’ and ‘today’s lesson’. #GrammarTrivia

In order to show possession with a singular noun or most personal names, add an apostrophe (‘) plus ‘s’. #GrammarTrivia

For example: 1) “The dog’s tail wagged rapidly.” 2) “We met at Roger’s party.” #GrammarTrivia

However, with personal names and plural nouns that end in –s, just add an apostrophe (‘) after the ‘s’. #GrammarTrivia

For example: 1) “James’ finest performance was in 2002.” 2) “The work is due to start in two weeks’ time.” #GrammarTrivia

Moreover, please note that we also need to add an apostrophe (‘) plus ‘s’ with plural nouns that do not end in –s. #GrammarTrivia

For example: 1) “The children’s father came round to see me.” 2) “He employs 14 people at his men’s clothing store.” #GrammarTrivia

An apostrophe (‘) is also needed when we want to show omission. Study the following examples. #GrammarTrivia

(1)    I’m – short from “I am,” (2) He’ll – short for “he will,” (3) It’s cold – short for “it is,” and (4) Didn’t – short for “did not.” #GrammarTrivia

However, you need to remember that we should NOT use an apostrophe (‘) to form plural nouns or abbreviations. #GrammarTrivia

For example: 1) “She buys bananas (NOT banana’s) and carrots (NOT carrot’s).” 2) “The situation was different in 1990s (NOT 1990’s).” #GrammarTrivia

Therefore, that’s how we should use an apostrophe (‘) in English. It’s simple, isn’t it? :D #GrammarTrivia

All in all, remember to visit http://englishtips4u.com  and http://facebook.com/englishtips4u,  fellas! See you! :)

Source: English Grammar in Use (Raymond Murphy, Cambridge University Press) and Oxford Dictionaries.

Compiled and written by @aditriasmara at @EnglishTips4U on July 21st, 2014.

#GRAMMARTRIVIA: The Use of Hyphen (-)

Howdy, fellas! How’s your Monday going? I hope it’s going great! :)

Anyway, in this session, I’d like to discuss the use of hyphen (-). Here we go! #GrammarTrivia

The hyphen (-) is a punctuation mark used to link words or part of words. Its main purpose is to glue words together. #GrammarTrivia

Hyphen is used in various ways. One of them is its use in compound words (compound adjectives, compound nouns and compound verbs). #GrammarTrivia

Compound adjective is a single adjective formed from two or more words. They’re linked by a hyphen to show that they’re part of the same adjectives. #GrammarTrivia

Compound adjectives: 1) ‘good-looking’ man, 2) ‘sugar-free’ coffee, 3) ‘bad-tempered’ person, 4) ‘four-bedroom’ house, etc. #GrammarTrivia

Compound noun consists of two component nouns. In this case, a compound noun can actually be written in one of three different ways. #GrammarTrivia

It can be written in one word, two words, or in a hyphenated-word. See the following examples. #GrammarTrivia

Compound nouns: 1) aircrew, air crew, or air-crew, 2) playgroup, play group, or play-group, 3) chatroom, chat room, or chat-room. #GrammarTrivia

Hyphen can also be used in a compound verb. Use a hyphen for two combined nouns that work as a verb. For example: to ice-skate. #GrammarTrivia

Further, you should use hyphen for a phrasal verb that is made into a noun. For example: There was a build-up of traffic on the main road. #GrammarTrivia

In addition to its use in compound words, a hyphen can also be used in other conditions. Study the following examples. #GrammarTrivia

It is used with prefixes that come before a word that needs a capital letter, like “anti-American”. #GrammarTrivia

It is used when separating words with the same three letters in a row, such as “fall-like”. #GrammarTrivia

It is used when writing numbers twenty-one through ninety-nine, such as “thirty-nine”, “fifty-eight”, etc. #GrammarTrivia

Therefore, that’s how we should use hyphen (-) in English. It’s simple, isn’t it? :) #GrammarTrivia

All in all, remember to visit http://englishtips4u.com  and http://facebook.com/englishtips4u,  fellas! See you! :)

Source: English Grammar in Use (Raymond Murphy, Cambridge University Press) and Oxford Dictionaries.

Compiled and written by @aditriasmara at @EnglishTips4U on June 30th, 2014.