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PUNCTUATION consists in separating the different parts of a sentence, or different sentences, from each other by certain agreed upon Points, so as to make the meaning of written language clear to the reader.
The Points most commonly employed for this purpose are these :1. Comma............(,) | 4. Period ............(.) 17. Parenthesis... ( ). 2. Semicolon ........ (;) | 5. Interrogation... (?) 8. Quotation......(" ") 3. Colon..............(:) | 6. Exclamation ....(!) | 9. Dash ............(-)
1. (a.) Commas are not required in an ordinary simple sentence. EXAMPLE.—The high wind blew down the trees.
(6.) Adjective and adverbial phrases are generally separated from the rest of the sentence by commas.
EXAMPLES.—The king, led on by insatiable ambition, was unwilling to stop in his career of conquest. —They formed, in fact, the vanguard of that movement.
(c.) Nouns in apposition, when accompanied by adjuncts, are separated from the rest of the sentence by commas.
EXAMPLE.—Julius Cæsar, by far the greatest general of his age, was assassinated.
(d.) When several words of the same kind follow each other, with no conjunction intervening, they are separated from each other by commas.
EXAMPLES.--He was a simple, unpretending citizen.-It is impossible to de scribe his scorn, loathing, and contempt.
(e.) When several words of the same kind follow each other in pairs, the pairs are separated from each other by commas.
EXAMPLE.-High and low, rich and poor, young and old, meet together.
(f.) All nominatives of address are separated from the rest of the sentence by commas.
EXAMPLE.—O king, live for ever!
(g.) There are certain Adverbs, such as however, moreover, besides, &c., which are commonly separated from the rest of the sentence by commas.
EXAMPLE.-The king, however, refused to comply.
LESSON I. Point the following sentences, and give a reason for each point you insert :
The king having been detained some days by adverse winds went on board at Gravesend. The ministers were accused in prose and in verse sometimes in earnest sometimes in jest of having hired a gang of ruffians to swear away the lives of honest gentlemen. The leading Whigs with great judgment demanded an inquiry. They related that a scrivener in town a stanch friend of hereditary right had been struck dead. An edifice surpassing any in the kingdom rose on the banks of the Thames. Through all the spring and summer time garlands of fresh flowers wreathed by infant hands rested on the stone. Ultimately returning to the country he was thrown into jail for debt. Within a stone's throw was another retreat enlivened by children's voices. Dick the favourite old blackbird was however removed from the countinghouse. Ralph having died intestate was buried at the public expense. There were then a good many such schools in existence. Farewell St. Petersburg stately city! Toiling rejoicing sorrowing onward through life he goes.
Thou too sail on O ship of state !
Is hanging on thy fate.
LESSON II. Point the following sentences, and give a reason for each point you insert :
The idle and the busy the good and the bad the grave and the gay all
mingle together in this world. Tallow hides horns hoofs raw material of every kind is exported from South America. Virtue and vice love and hatred friendship and enmity were in his gift. A mightier poet tried at once by pain danger poverty obloquy and blindness meditated undisturbed by the obscene tumult all around him a sublime and holy song. Poetry far from injuring society is one of the great instruments of its refinement and exaltation. Strains of pure feeling touches of tenderness images of innocent happiness bursts of scorn or indignation often escape froin the poet's lips. All corners of the earth kings queens and states maids matrons the very secrets of the grave are hardly hid from his searching glance. He surveyed the generations of men with their different concerns passions follies vices virtues actions and motives. Friends I come not here to talk. Friends Romans country. men and lovers I come to bury Cæsar. Nelson the greatest of our seacaptains was mortally wounded at Trafalgar. The emperor having given the requisite orders rode off at a rapid pace. Finally the green grass waves over the lonely spot. To remain in the darkness on a battle-field in an enemy's country among the enemy themselves all for pity and mercy's sake is one of the noblest deeds recorded in history.
LESSON III. Point the following sentences, and give a reason for each point you insert :
Now my co-mates and brothers in exile hath not old custom made this life sweet? To tell the truth I was not greatly struck with his appearance. Sooth to say his appearance belied his profession. We may however let that pass. The moon having now risen the enemy having quietly crept round the battlements commenced the attack in earnest. To-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day. The history of England during the seventeenth century is the history of the transformation of a limited monarchy constituted after the fashion of the middle ages into a limited monarchy suited to a more advanced stage of society. Soon however the conquerors glutted with the blood of the regicides turned against each other. Other objects of vengeance few indeed yet too many were found among the republican chiefs. During the last century no prime minister however powerful has become rich in office. At present an average crop of wheat rye barley oats and beans is supposed considerably to exceed thirty millions of quarters. Charles Davenant an acute and well-informed though most unprincipled and rancorous politician differed from King as to some of the items of the account. The gross uneducated untravelled country gentleman was generally a Tory. Many able high
born aspiring youths entered the ministry. Of the metropolis the City properly so called was the most important division.
2. (a.) In complex sentences the subordinate clauses are generally separated from the principal clause by commas. N.B.-The practice of good writers is by no means uniform in this respect. If the subordinate clause is short, and closely connected with the principal clause, the commas are frequently omitted.
EXAMPLES.—These people well knew that, if he were convicted, his sentence would be one of extreme severity.--Many, who had formerly regarded him as the deliverer of his country, shuddered at the sight of his hideous features. The man who saw this reported the fact.
(6.) An indirect quotation is separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma.
EXAMPLE. — It is the part of a madman to say, I never thought of this.
(c.) The simple clauses of a compound sentence are generally separated from each other by commas. N.B.—When the clauses are very short, the comma is frequently left out.
EXAMPLES.—She never told her love, but let concealment feed on her damask cheek.—John went away and May remained.
(u.) In a compound sentence, when the Verb is omitted in the second clause, its place is supplied by a comma.
EXAMPLE. —To err is human; to forgive, divine.
LESSON IV. Point the following sentences, and give a reason for each point you insert :
The sea was gradually gaining on the buildings which at length almost entirely disappeared. Some weeks had passed and the first shock of these events had subsided. He had wandered nearly twenty miles and when his poor favourite died he lost courage and lay down beside him. Another was discovered in a yard hard by the school sleeping with a dog that bit at those who came to remove him and licked the sleeping child's pale face. They were taken back and some other stragglers were recovered. And even now as he paced the streets and listlessly looked round on the gradually increasing bustle and preparation for the day everything appeared to yield him some new occasion for despondency. Last night the sacrifice of a young affectionate and beautiful creature to such a wretch and in such a cause had seemed a thing too monstrous to succeed. The hostile religious sects were allied intermingled and confounded with hostile political parties.
Trust me Clara Vere de Vere
From yon blue heavens above us bent
Smile at the claims of long descent.
The winds are high on Helle’s wave
As on that night of stormy water
The young the beautiful the brave.
LESSON V. Point the following sentences, and give a reason for each point you insert :
The fool hath said in his heart There is no God. It is a trite observation that habit is second nature. It has been well said by Bacon that reading makes a full man. To imprison a Roman citizen is a crime to scourge him parricide. It is excellent to have a giant's strength but tyrannous to use it like a giant. I was pleased to see the fondness with which the little fellows leaped about the steady old footman and hugged the pointer who wriggled his whole body for joy. To all the charms of beauty and the utmost elegance of external form Mary added those accomplishments which render their impression irresistible. She was polite affable insinuating sprightly and capable of speaking and of writing with equal ease and dignity. She was however sudden and violent in all her attachments because her heart was warm and unsuspicious. To say that she was always unfortunate will not account for the calamities which befell her. A few years earlier his short neck his legs uneven as those of a badger his forehead low as that of a baboon his purple cheeks and his monstrous length of chin had been familiar to all who frequented the courts of law.
And canst thou mother for a moment think
That we thy children when old age shall shed
Its blanching honours on thy weary head
The heath this night must be my bed