Punctuation Pattern Sheet

Most punctuation rules are based on the independent clause.  An independent clause can stand on its own as complete sentence, but may be part of a larger complex sentence.  An independent clause usually has a subject, verb, object. 

Example of an independent clause:  The house burned to the ground.

1. Independent Clause.

e.g., The house burned to the ground.

2. Independent clause; independent clause.

e.g., The house burned to the ground; the car was saved.

3. Independent clause; therefore, independent clause.

e.g., She didnít study for the test; therefore, she is likely to fail it.

                ; however,
                ; consequently,
                ; likewise,
                ; moreover,
                ; then,
                ; still,
                ; also,
                ; otherwise,
                ; nevertheless,
                ; in fact,
                ; for example,
                ; furthermore,
                ; instead,

4. Independent clause, and independent clause.

e.g., The skier collapsed, but she won the trophy.

,or
,nor
,for
,so
,but
,and
,yet

 

4a. NOTEIndependent clause and dependent phrase. (compound predicate=no comma)

e.g. The dog ran into the room and jumped on the sofa.

       The skier cleared the jump but hit a tree.

              or                                          
              nor
              for
              so
              but
              and
              yet

5. Introductory word, Independent clause

e.g., However, he should have told her.

e.g., First, I need to speak to my father.

6. Adjective, Adjective noun

e.g., The blue, shining waters of the Mediterranean appear frequently in my thoughts.

7.  Although dependent clause, independent clause.

e.g., Although she was hungry, she ran a mile.

Subordinate Conjunctions:

although     till after   as provided that
because      before if in order that  though
since        so that  than     that   whereas
unless until when where which
whether while who while  
what why whose as if   

8. NOTE - Independent clause although dependent clause.

e.g., She ran a mile although she was hungry.

9. Independent clause, unnecessary/parenthetical information, independent clause.

e.g., He asked her, his heart beating wildly, but she refused.

Or   Dependent clause, unnecessary/parenthetical information, dependent clause.

e.g. I fear, unfortunately, that it will rain on our picnic.

10. Independent necessary information clause.

e.g. The class that I failed was difficult.

e.g., The woman with diabetes was frequently thirsty.

11.a. Independent clause: word, word, and word.

e.g., Beauty surrounded him: green grass, tall oak trees and an azure sky.

11.b.  Independent clause: phrase, phrase, and phrase.

e.g. To design a web page, follow these rules: keep it simple, prioritize items,

repeat certain elements.

11.c. Independent clause: independent clause; independent clause.

e.g.  Iíll always remember the words of my father: donít live to eat; eat to live.

12.a..   "__________________," he said.

e.g. "Please be mine," he said.

12.bHe said, "____________________."

e.g. He said, "I have to go now."

12.c. "__________________," she said, "___________."

        e.g. "Now please go upstairs," she said, "before it's too late."

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:  ***Periods and commas always go inside quotation marks.

 Colons and semicolons always go outside quotation marks

        e.g. Franklin wrote, "He who lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas."

        e.g. "I'll cross that bridge when I come to it"; "I won't be budged for the moment."

The Exception is MLA Style-- "How vain it is to write if you have not stood up to live" (Thoreau 30).