Business English at Work
© 2003 Glencoe/McGraw-Hill
The Period
and the Comma
Use periods correctly at the end of declarative
and imperativeObjectives
sentences, courteous requests,
and indirect questions.
Identify miscellaneous uses of the period.
Use commas correctly between items in a series
and in compound sentences.
Use commas correctly with independent
adjectives.
continued
Business English at Work
PP 16-1a
The Period
and the Comma
continued
Use commas correctly to set off appositive and
Objectives
parenthetical expressions.
Use commas correctly with introductory
expressions.
Use commas correctly with nonrestrictive
clauses.
Identify miscellaneous uses of the comma.
Business English at Work
PP 16-1b
The Period
and the Comma
Declarative Sentences
Use a period at the end of a declarative
sentence.
Rick finds job openings on the Internet.
Sara’s final interview with the company is on
Friday.
Business English at Work
PP 16-2
The Period
and the Comma
Imperative Sentences
Use a period at the end of a sentence that
indicates a command or a strong suggestion.
Proofread your cover letter carefully.
Fill out the job application within 24 hours.
Business English at Work
PP 16-3
The Period
and the Comma
Courteous Requests
Use a period at the end of a sentence that
makes a courteous request.
Will you please call the applicants to tell them that
the position is filled.
May I have the phone numbers of your last three
supervisors.
Business English at Work
PP 16-4
The Period
and the Comma
Indirect Questions
Use a period after an indirect question.
I wonder whether Bob applied for the accounts
payable position.
Jamey asked how I posted my résumé on the
Internet.
Business English at Work
PP 16-5
The Period
and the Comma
Decimal Points
Use a period to separate dollars and cents.
$5.59
$178.25
$14,382.38
Do not place a period after a dollar amount if
there are no cents involved.
$5
$802
$78,455
Use a period as a decimal point to express
whole numbers and fractional amounts.
0.008
Business English at Work
0.09
5.2
29.5
PP 16-6
The Period
and the Comma
Abbreviated Words and
Measurements
Use a period at the end of an abbreviated
word.
assn.
asst.
bldg.
intl.
mfg.
pd.
Business English at Work
association
assistant
building
international
manufacturing
paid
PP 16-7a
The Period
and the Comma
continued
Abbreviated Words and
Measurements
Do not use a period after a measurement that
is abbreviated on most business or technical
forms.
Ft
gal
hr
foot, feet
gallon
hour, hours
oz
qt
yr
ounce, ounces
quart, quarts
year, years
Spell out measurements when they are used
in general or nontechnical writing.
Business English at Work
PP 16-7b
The Period
and the Comma
Small and Capital Letters
Use a period after each letter in abbreviations that
consist of small letters.
a.k.a.
c.o.d.
f.o.b.
also known as
collect on delivery
free on board (within sentences)
Do not use a period after each letter in most
abbreviations that consist of all capital letters.
CEO
HMO
PIN
Business English at Work
chief executive officer
health maintenance organization
personal identification number
PP 16-8a
The Period
and the Comma
continued
Small and Capital Letters
Exceptions
P.O.
U.S.
M.A.
M.D.
B.C.
Business English at Work
post office
United States
Master of Arts
Doctor of Medicine
before Christ
PP 16-8b
The Period
and the Comma
Personal Names and
Corporate Names
Use a period after the initials or with abbreviations of
most names.
J. C. Williams
Thos. C. McGraw
Do not use a period with a nickname.
Skip Jenner
Red Stocker
Use the same format that an individual uses in a
signature or that a company uses on its letterhead as
its official designation
Harry S Truman
Business English at Work
JCPenney
PP 16-9
The Period
and the Comma
Titles, Academic Degrees,
Professional Identification
Use a period after an abbreviation of a
person’s title.
Mrs.
Ms.
Mr.
Dr.
Use a period after each element in the
abbreviation of an academic degree or
professional identification.
B.A.
Business English at Work
Ph.D.
M.B.A.
M.D.
PP 16-10a
The Period
and the Comma
continued
Titles, Academic Degrees,
Professional Identification
Examples
Dr. Carole Bennett accepted a position as a
technical writer.
Sara Wong, M.D., hired Rose to work as a
receptionist.
Gretchen Carpenter, M.B.A., uses the Internet to
post company job openings
Business English at Work
PP 16-10b
The Period
and the Comma
Seniority Designations
Use a period after an abbreviated seniority
designation.
Jason Harrison Jr. accepted a position in Nevada.
Anthony Biasi III applied for an international
banking position.
Business English at Work
PP 16-11
The Period
and the Comma
The Period and
Geographic Locations
Use a period after an abbreviation of a country,
state, or province unless the abbreviation
appears in ZIP Code format.
ZIP Code
Abbreviation
NC
AR
ON
Business English at Work
State or
Province
North Carolina
Arkansas
Ontario
Standard
Abbreviation
N.C.
Ark.
Ont.
PP 16-12
The Period
and the Comma
Shortened Forms of Words
Do not use a period after shortened words or
foreign words that are not abbreviations.
info
rep
specs
temp
ad hoc
in re or re
Business English at Work
information
representative
specifications
temporary
for a particular purpose
concerning
PP 16-13
The Period
and the Comma
Outlines and Lists
Use a period after the numbers or letters that
identify items in an outline or list unless the
numbers or letters are in parentheses.
I.
EMPLOYMENT MATERIALS
A.
Resume
1.
Chronological
a.
Advantages
(1)
Shows job history
Business English at Work
PP 16-14a
The Period
and the Comma
continued
Outlines and Lists
Use periods after complete sentences,
dependent clauses, and long phrases in a list
or outline.
The keys to salary negotiation are the following:
1. Discuss salary at the end of the interview.
2. Let the interviewer introduce the issue of salary.
3. Do research on salaries for your field.
Business English at Work
PP 16-14b
The Period
and the Comma
continued
Outlines and Lists
Do not use periods after short phrases listed
on separate lines if the lead-in statement is
complete.
Avoid the following job-hunting methods:
1. Unsolicited resumes
2. Employment agencies
3. Employment advertisements
Business English at Work
PP 16-14c
The Period
and the Comma
Compound Sentences
Use a comma to separate two independent
clauses in a compound sentence.
Place the comma before the coordinating
conjunction (and, or, nor, but) that joins the
two clauses.
Most public libraries have company directories, and most
online services also offer access to these directories.
Everyone knows about doing job hunting research, but few
people do it well.
Business English at Work
PP 16-15a
The Period
and the Comma
continued
Compound Sentences
Omit the comma before a coordinating
conjunction in a compound sentence if either
or both of the two independent clauses are
very short (four words or less).
Read the job description and fax your résumé.
Do not omit the comma if it is necessary for
clarity.
Kyle interviewed me, and Maria tested my skills.
Business English at Work
PP 16-15b
The Period
and the Comma
continued
Compound Sentences
Use a comma before the coordinating
conjunction when a subject is not expressed
(but implied) in one or both clauses in an
imperative sentence.
Call companies that interest you, and ask to speak to
people who can give you specific information about
available positions.
Prepare a portfolio of your best work, and bring it with you
to the interview.
Business English at Work
PP 16-15c
The Period
and the Comma
continued
Compound Sentences
Do not use a comma before a coordinating
conjunction that joins a compound subject,
predicate, object, or subject complement.
Stress educational achievements and extracurricular
activities in your cover letter.
Working in temporary positions will introduce you to
different industries and help you discover the types of
jobs available.
Business English at Work
PP 16-15d
The Period
and the Comma
Series
Use commas to separate words, phrases, or
clauses in a series.
Include the comma before the coordinating
conjunction.
Be selective when listing job duties, skills, and accomplishments on your
résumé.
Please bring your résumé, a sharpened pencil, and a list of references to
the interview.
Interviewing effectively means listening to suggestions of others, reading
about interviewing, and participating in as many interviews as possible.
Business English at Work
PP 16-16a
The Period
and the Comma
continued
Series
Do not use commas to separate items when
each item is connected by a conjunction.
Cover letters require the exact last name of the
person and the exact spelling of the name and
the title of his or her position.
Business English at Work
PP 16-16b
The Period
and the Comma
continued
Series
Use commas in a series of names in an organization
exactly the way that the organization uses the commas on
its letterhead or on another verifiable source.
Do not use a comma before the ampersand (&) in the
name of an organization unless the company itself does.
The firm of Farrell, White, and Jones specializes in
recruiting hospital employees.
Henderson, Hernandez, & Holmes fills its positions
through networking.
Business English at Work
PP 16-16c
The Period
and the Comma
The Comma and Etc.
Use a comma before and after the
abbreviation etc. When etc. appears at the
end of a sentence, use a comma before the
abbreviation only. The abbreviation etc. means
and so forth or and others.
Do not use the phrase and etc.
Most experts recommend cream, white, offwhite, etc., bond paper for résumés.
Business English at Work
PP 16-17
The Period
and the Comma
Independent Adjectives
Place a comma between independent adjectives
that precede a noun unless they are already
separated by a coordinating conjunction.
To determine whether adjectives are independent,
reverse their order or place the word and
between the two adjectives. If both revisions
sound satisfactory, place a comma between the
two adjectives.
Business English at Work
PP 16-18a
The Period
and the Comma
continued
Independent Adjectives
Examples
James offered vague, disorganized answers
to the interview questions.
Anne conducted a successful, wellorganized job search.
A study of successful female job hunters
indicated that attention to detail is vital.
Business English at Work
PP 16-18b
The Period
and the Comma
Appositives
Use commas to set off an appositive if it is not
essential to the meaning of a sentence.
Kris Hing, CEO of Hing and Associates, looks
for candidates who speak at least three
languages.
JOBS, an online listing of professional
positions, helped me narrow my job search.
Business English at Work
PP 16-19a
The Period
and the Comma
continued
Appositives
Do not use commas to set off an appositive
that explains or clarifies the noun preceding it.
The newspaper National Business
Employment Weekly offers job hunting
strategies.
The year 2001 was the year that I was
promoted to assistant manager.
Business English at Work
PP 16-19b
The Period
and the Comma
Parenthetical Expressions
Parenthetical expressions interrupt a
sentence. These side remarks do not add to
the clarity of a sentence, and they are set
aside by commas.
Business English at Work
PP 16-20a
The Period
and the Comma
continued
Parenthetical Expressions
Below is a partial list of parenthetical
expressions.
after all
as a matter of fact
as a rule
at any rate
by the way
however
I assure you
Business English at Work
as a consequence
as a result
as you know
believe me
for example
I am sure
I believe
PP 16-20b
The Period
and the Comma
continued
Parenthetical Expressions
Examples
Being unemployed, as you can see, allowed
me to return to school.
Unfortunately, Jack lost his disk that
contained his résumé.
Group interviews, by the way, are popular with
educational institutions.
Business English at Work
PP 16-20c
The Period
and the Comma
Introductory Expressions
Dependent Clauses
Use a comma to separate an introductory
dependent clause from the independent
clause.
If I have to move to another state, I will turn
down the job offer.
Although the competition was intimidating,
Carrie still secured the job.
Business English at Work
PP 16-21a
The Period
and the Comma
continued
Introductory Expressions
Dependent Clauses
Generally, do not use a comma when the
dependent clause follows the independent
clause or when the comma is necessary for
the meaning of the sentence.
Do thorough research on a company before any
job interview.
Business English at Work
PP 16-21b
The Period
and the Comma
Introductory Expressions
Prepositional Phrases
Use a comma to set off an introductory
prepositional phrase from the independent
clause that follows.
Within one year, he received a promotion to the
position of accounts payable supervisor.
From an employer’s standpoint, a thank-you
note that is sent after the interview is important.
Business English at Work
PP 16-22
The Period
and the Comma
Introductory Expressions
Infinitive Phrases
Use a comma to set off an introductory infinitive
phrase from the rest of the sentence.
To save time, more companies are using résumé
scanning software.
Do not use a comma when an infinitive phrase is the
subject of a sentence.
To purposely lie on your employment application may
cause dismissal from most positions.
Business English at Work
PP 16-23
The Period
and the Comma
Introductory Expressions
Participial Phrases
Use a comma to set off an introductory
participial phrase from the rest of the
sentence.
Surprised by the results of my skill tests, I decided to
set new goals.
Reviewing my cover letter, I realized that I had used an
incorrect telephone number.
Business English at Work
PP 16-24
The Period
and the Comma
Nonrestrictive Adjective Clauses
Use commas to set off a nonrestrictive
adjective clause from the rest of the sentence.
Drug testing, which is becoming more
prevalent, is a requirement for some occupations.
I carry my resume in a leather portfolio, which
was a graduation gift.
Business English at Work
PP 16-25
The Period
and the Comma
Restrictive Adjective Clauses
Do not set off a restrictive adjective clause
(necessary for the meaning of the word it
modifies) from the rest of the sentence.
Job applicants who arrive late for their
interviews are usually not hired at our firm.
A college degree that emphasizes
communication skills is valuable in today’s job
market.
Business English at Work
PP 16-26
The Period
and the Comma
Contrasting Expressions
Use commas to set aside a contrasting
expression from the rest of the sentence. A
contrasting expression often begins with the
word not or never. A contrasting expression
contradicts the noun or idea it follows.
The interview, not the résumé, gets you the job.
The position for which Nina is interviewing is an
existing position, not a new one.
Business English at Work
PP 16-27
The Period
and the Comma
Direct Address
Use commas to set off the names of
individuals who are being addressed directly.
You will be pleased to know, Larry, that you will
receive a bonus this year.
Sheila, you are a finalist for the position.
Business English at Work
PP 16-28
The Period
and the Comma
Tag Questions
Use a comma to separate a tag question from
the rest of the sentence.
We have five job candidates to interview
today, don’t we?
We do not need to interview the job
candidates on Saturday, do we?
Business English at Work
PP 16-29
The Period
and the Comma
Quotations
Use a comma to introduce a direct quotation
or set it off from other parts of a sentence.
Mr. Bertoli asked me, “How do you define success?”
“Success,” Mr. Bertoli said, “depends upon your own
definition.”
Do not use a comma to set off an indirect
quotation.
Mr. Bertoli said that success depends upon your own
definition.
Business English at Work
PP 16-30
The Period
and the Comma
Dates
Use a comma before and after the year when a
date includes a month, day, and year.
I hope to graduate by June 30, 2005, or at the latest
December 31, 2005.
Do not use a comma if only the month and day or
only the month and year are in a sentence.
Mr. Elias indicated that he would notify me by August 5 about
the position.
My first interview was in October 2001 for a retail sales position.
Business English at Work
PP 16-31
The Period
and the Comma
Addresses
Use commas to separate parts of an address
or geographical location.
Do not place a comma between a state name
or a two-letter state abbreviation and the ZIP
Code within a document or on an envelope.
I applied for a position at Sonoma State
University, 1801 East Coati Avenue, Rohnert
Park, CA 94953, last week.
Business English at Work
PP 16-32
The Period
and the Comma
Occupational Designations,
Academic Degrees
Use commas to set off occupational designations or
academic degrees when they follow a person’s name.
Do not use both a personal or job title before a name
and a job or academic degree designation after the
name.
Pamela Guzman, M.S., refers her clients for vocational
assessment.
Dylan works with Leslie Salazar, Ph.D., and Luis
Pardue, M.B.A.
Business English at Work
PP 16-33
The Period
and the Comma
Seniority Designations
Do not use commas to separate seniority
designations from the name unless the person
being referenced prefers to use commas.
Lonnie Lamont Jr. works for Diamond Lane
Communications.
Nielson Electronics promoted Richard Whitmore II
to the position of comptroller of their Canadian
operations.
Business English at Work
PP 16-34
The Period
and the Comma
Company Names
Do not use commas to separate Inc. or Ltd.
from the rest of the company name unless the
company’s letterhead or other official source
indicates commas are necessary.
Fantastic Foods Inc. offers excellent profit
sharing bonuses to its employees.
Business English at Work
PP 16-35
The Period
and the Comma
Numbers
Use a comma in a whole number with more than
four figures. Some prefer to insert a comma in a
number such as 3,482.
Rhonda discovered 12,325 career sites on the Internet.
Do not use a comma in a policy, account, page,
serial, model, or check number or in a house
number in an address.
Policy 1503 describes our hiring procedures.
Business English at Work
PP 16-36
End of
Business English at Work
© 2003 Glencoe/McGraw-Hill
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