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Homework Help: Easy english questions

  1. Apr 23, 2004 #1
    Sigh please dont laugh :)

    I was writing in another thread and wrote "forewards" and "backwards." My spell checker caught it. Is this improper english? It wanted to write either "fore wards" or "fore-wards." The same for backwards.

    Also, when I write a sentence that has a part of it that ends (in a set of parenthesis.) Is it proper to put the period "." inside of the last parenthesis, or should I put it outside? Also, if I were to ask a question in a parenthesis at the end of a setence (you see what I mean?) Would I put the question mark in the parenthesis? Or do I puncate the sentence according to the part of the sentence that is not in parenthesis?

    It's amazing I'm almost out of college, and do not know this!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2004 #2
    Forward is an adjective and forwards is an adverb so correct usage depends on the overall sentence structure or thought you are trying to convey. You're probably encounter more instances of forward vice forwards.

    The second part depends on how you do the quote. Another sentence structure thing...

    Who said, "To be or not to be that is the question"?

    Then she said "What do you think?"

    Notice the first was an interrogative posed by me while the other was a comment about another's statement.

    If the quotation falls in the middle of the sentence use appropriate punctuation within the quote as necessary.

    Can you believe he said "This is silly!" to me?

    My 2 cents.
    Disclaimer: I'm not an English major so take the above w/ a grain of salt.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2004
  4. Apr 23, 2004 #3
    Your spellchecker was correct to catch "forewards." It is misspelled. "Backwards" may also be correctly written as "backward."

    When using parentheses within a sentence, and not as a separate sentence, place the punctuation outside your closing parenthesis. (But if using them to enclose a complete, separate thought, punctuation goes within the parentheses, like so.)

    Avoid the construction that would have you posing a question in a parenthetical remark as part of the sentence. (Instead, can you see that this would be a better choice?)

    Clarity of thought requires clarity of expression.
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