Let's face it, punctuation is important! Depending on how you place commas, periods and other grammatical marks into your sentences, it can change meanings quickly.
1) What's that up the road a piece mother?
2) What's that up the road a piece? Mother?
3) What's that up the road a piece, mother?
Example 1 is referring to a chunk of mother being on the road.
Example 2 is asking if mother is indeed just up the road?
Example 3 is the correct format if asking mother what is up the road.
Examples 1 and 2 can, with very little imagination, become quite ribal. We won't go there.
Misplaced commas and periods in dialog are notorious blunders. When indicating dialog with quotation marks -- it is almost always a comma.
Ex: "Give me that," Johnny said.
OR it could be "Give me that!" Johnny said.
BUT NEVER "Give me that." Johnny said.
Exception to the rule. "Give me that." Johnny held out his hand, waiting.
Difference? No "said" or "asked" or "demanded" or "exclaimed" or any of the possible words indicating Johnny spoke.
Sometimes we make the sentence just too complicated for our own good.
Agreeing with what he thought was the only concession he would get, "Alright, you grab those papers," he said, pointing to them on the table as he walked to the door, "and I'll bring the car around."
Make it easier on yourself.
It was the only concession he thought he would get. "Alright, you grab those papers," he said, pointing to them on the table as he walked to the door. "I'll bring the car around."
Can somebody tell me how to place the commas in the following sentence?
"Happy Feet" "Bambi" "Finding Nemo" and "Dumbo" are excellent movies for children.