Contents 1 Article titles, headings, and sections 1.1 Article titles 1.2 Section organization 1.3 Section headings 2 Retaining existing styles 3 National varieties of English 3.1 Opportunities for commonality 3.2 Consistency within articles 3.3 Strong national ties to a topic 3.4 Retaining the existing variety 4 Capital letters 4.1 Capitalization of "The" 4.2 Titles of works 4.3 Titles of people 4.4 Religions, deities, philosophies, doctrines 4.5 Calendar items 4.6 Animals, plants, and other organisms 4.7 Celestial bodies 4.8 Compass points 4.9 Proper names versus generic terms 5 Ligatures 6 Abbreviations 6.1 Write out both the full version and the abbreviation at first occurrence 6.2 Plural and possessive forms 6.3 Full stops and spaces 6.4 US and U.S. 6.5 Circa 6.6 Do not use unwarranted abbreviations 6.7 Do not invent abbreviations or acronyms 6.8 HTML elements 6.9 Ampersand 7 Italics 7.1 Emphasis 7.2 Titles 7.3 Words as words 7.4 Foreign words 7.5 Scientific names 7.6 Quotations in italics 7.7 Italics within quotations 7.8 Effect on nearby punctuation 7.9 Italicized links 8 Controlling line breaks 9 Quotations 9.1 Original wording 9.2 Point of view 9.3 Typographic conformity 9.4 Attribution 9.5 Quotations within quotations 9.6 Linking 9.7 Block quotations 9.8 Foreign-language quotations 10 Punctuation 10.1 Apostrophes 10.2 Quotation marks 10.2.1 Names and titles 10.2.2 Punctuation inside or outside 10.3 Brackets and parentheses 10.3.1 Sentences and brackets 10.3.2 Brackets and linking 10.4 Ellipses 10.5 Commas 10.5.1 Serial commas 10.6 Colons 10.7 Semicolons 10.7.1 Semicolon before "however" 10.8 Hyphens 10.9 Dashes 10.9.1 In article titles 10.9.2 Punctuating a sentence (em or en dashes) 10.9.3 Other uses (en dash only) 10.9.3.1 In ranges that might otherwise be expressed with to or through 10.9.3.2 In compounds when the connection might otherwise be expressed with to, versus, and, or between 10.9.3.3 Instead of a hyphen, when applying a prefix to a compound that includes a space 10.9.3.4 To separate parts of an item in a list 10.9.4 Other dashes 10.10 Slashes 10.10.1 And/or 10.11 Number sign 10.12 Terminal punctuation 10.13 Spacing 10.13.1 Spaces following terminal punctuation 10.14 Consecutive punctuation marks 10.15 Punctuation and footnotes 10.16 Punctuation after formulae 11 Dates and time 11.1 Time of day 11.2 Days 11.2.1 Choice of format 11.3 Months 11.4 Seasons 11.5 Years and longer periods 11.6 Current 12 Numbers 13 Currencies 14 Units of measurement 15 Common mathematical symbols 16 Grammar and usage 16.1 Possessives 16.1.1 Singular nouns 16.1.2 Plural nouns 16.1.3 Official names 16.2 First-person pronouns 16.3 Second-person pronouns 16.4 Plurals 16.5 Verb tense 17 Vocabulary 17.1 Contractions 17.2 Gender-neutral language 17.3 Contested vocabulary 17.4 Instructional and presumptuous language 17.5 Subset terms 17.6 Identity 17.6.1 Gender identity 17.7 Foreign terms 17.7.1 No common usage in English 17.7.2 Common usage in English 17.7.3 Spelling and romanization 17.7.4 Other concerns 17.8 Technical language 17.9 Geographical items 18 Media files 18.1 Images 18.2 Other media files 18.3 Avoid using images to convey text 18.4 Captions 18.4.1 Formatting of captions 19 Bulleted and numbered lists 20 Links 20.1 Wikilinks 20.2 External links 21 Miscellaneous 21.1 Keep markup simple 21.2 Formatting issues 21.2.1 Color coding 21.3 Scrolling lists and collapsible content 21.4 Invisible comments 21.5 Pronunciation 22 See also 22.1 Guidance 22.2 Tools 22.3 Other community standards 22.4 Guidelines within the Manual of Style 22.4.1 Names 23 Notes 24 References 25 Further reading 25.1 Style guides on other Wikimedia projects 25.2 External style guides 25.3 Search engines

Retaining existing styles Shortcuts MOS:VAR MOS:STYLEVAR MOS:STYLERET On some questions of style, the MoS provides more than one acceptable answer; on other questions it gives no guidance. The Arbitration Committee has expressed the principle that "When either of two styles are acceptable it is inappropriate for a Wikipedia editor to change from one style to another unless there is some substantial reason for the change."[1] Edit-warring over styles is never acceptable. If the existing style of an article is problematic, discuss it at the article's talkpage or if necessary at the MoS talkpage.

National varieties of English Shortcut MOS:ENGVAR See also: Wikipedia:Article titles § National varieties of English, and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Spelling The English Wikipedia prefers no major national variety of the language over any other. These varieties (for example American English or British English) differ in a number of ways, including vocabulary (elevator vs. lift), spelling (center vs. centre), date formatting ("April 13" vs. "13 April"), and occasionally grammar (see § Plurals, below). The following subsections describe how to determine the appropriate variety for an article. (The accepted style of punctuation is covered in § Punctuation, below.) Articles such as English plurals and Comparison of American and British English provide information on the differences between these major varieties of the language. Opportunities for commonality Shortcut MOS:COMMONALITY Prefer vocabulary common to all varieties of English. Insisting on a single term or a single usage as the only correct option does not serve the purposes of an international encyclopedia. Universally used terms are often preferable to less widely distributed terms, especially in article titles. For example, glasses is preferred to the national varieties spectacles (British English) and eyeglasses (American English); ten million is preferable to one crore (Indian English). If one variant spelling appears in an article title, make a redirect page to accommodate the other variants, as with artefact and artifact, so that all variants can be used in searches and in linking. Terms that differ between varieties of English, or that have divergent meanings, may be glossed to prevent confusion, for example, the trunk (American English) or boot (British English) of a car .... Use a commonly understood word or phrase in preference to one that has a different meaning because of national differences (rather than alternate, use alternative or alternating depending on which sense is intended). When more than one variant spelling for a word exists within a national variety of English, the most commonly used current variant should usually be preferred.[g] This would not apply in cases where the less common spelling has a specific usage in a specialized context e.g. connexion in Methodist connexionalism. Consistency within articles Shortcut MOS:ARTCON See also Wikipedia:Consistency for additional policies and guidelines on consistency. While Wikipedia does not prefer any national variety of English, within a given article the conventions of one particular variety should be followed consistently. The exceptions are: quotations, titles of works (books, films, etc.): Quote these as given in the source (but see § Typographic conformity, below); proper names: Use the subject's own spelling e.g., joint project of the United States Department of Defense and the Australian Defence Force; passages explicitly discussing a variety of English; URLs: Changing the spelling of part of an external link's URL will almost always break the link. Strong national ties to a topic Shortcut MOS:TIES See also: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Strong national ties to a topic An article on a topic that has strong ties to a particular English-speaking nation should use the (formal, not colloquial) English of that nation. For example: Afrikaner (South African English) American Civil War (American English) Australian Defence Force (Australian English) Christchurch (New Zealand English) Great Fire of London (British English) Muhammad Ali Jinnah (Pakistani English) Mumbai (Indian English) Vancouver (Canadian English) Institutions of the European Union (British or Irish English) In an article about a modern writer, it is often a good choice to use the variety of English in which the subject wrote, especially if the writings are quoted. For example, the article J. R. R. Tolkien follows his use of British English with Oxford spelling. In an article about a supranational or international organization, it is often a good choice to use the variety of English used by that body. This guideline should not be used to claim national ownership of any article; see Wikipedia:Ownership of articles. Retaining the existing variety Shortcut MOS:RETAIN See also: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Retaining the existing format When an English variety's consistent usage has been established in an article, maintain it in the absence of consensus to the contrary. With few exceptions (e.g., when a topic has strong national ties or a term/spelling carries less ambiguity), there is no valid reason for such a change. When no English variety has been established and discussion does not resolve the issue, use the variety found in the first post-stub revision that introduced an identifiable variety. The established variety in a given article can be documented by placing the appropriate Varieties of English template on its talk page. An article should not be edited or renamed simply to switch from one variety of English to another. The {{subst:uw-lang}} template may be placed on an editor's talk page to explain this.

Ligatures See also: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English) § Modified letters Shortcut MOS:LIGATURE Ligatures should be used in languages in which they are standard (hence Moreau's last words were clin d'œil is preferable to Moreau's last words were clin d'oeil) but not in English (encyclopedia or encyclopaedia, not encyclopædia), except in proper names (Æthelstan not Aethelstan).

Abbreviations Main page: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Abbreviations Abbreviations are shortened forms of words or phrases. In strict analysis, they are distinct from contractions, which use an apostrophe (e.g., won't, see § Contractions) and initialisms (including acronyms). An initialism is usually formed from some or all of the initial letters of words in a phrase. In some linguistic works, an acronym is considered to be only an initialism pronounced as a word (e.g., NATO), as distinct from the case where the initialism is said as a string of individual letters (e.g., US). Herein, general statements regarding abbreviations are inclusive of acronyms, and the term acronym applies collectively to initialisms, without distinction that an acronym is said as a word. Write out both the full version and the abbreviation at first occurrence When an abbreviation is used in an article, give the expression in full at first, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses (round brackets). Thereafter the abbreviation can be used alone: The New Democratic Party (NDP) won the 1990 Ontario election with a significant majority ... The NDP quickly became unpopular with voters. If the full version is already in parentheses, use a comma and or to indicate the abbreviation. They first debated the issue in 1992 (at a convention of the New Democratic Party, or NDP) Make an exception for very common abbreviations; in most articles they require no expansion (PhD, DNA, USSR). Do not apply initial capitals in a full version simply because capitals are used in the abbreviation. Correct (not a proper name): We used digital scanning (DS) technology Incorrect: We used Digital Scanning (DS) technology Correct (a proper name): The film was produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Plural and possessive forms Like other nouns, acronyms are pluralized via addition of -s or -es: they produced three CD-ROMs;  three different BIOSes were released. As always, do not use an apostrophe to form a plural: one DVD's menu was wrong, and five CD-ROMs' titles were misspelled, not He bought two DVD's. Full stops and spaces Abbreviations may or may not be closed with a full stop or point (period – .). A consistent style should be maintained within an article. North American usage is typically to end all abbreviations with a period (Dr. Smith of 42 Drummond St.), but in common British and Australian usage, no stop is used if the abbreviation ends in the last letter of the unabbreviated form, except when confusion could result (Dr Smith of 42 Drummond St). This is also common practice in scientific writing. Regardless of punctuation, words that are abbreviated to more than one letter are spaced (op. cit. not op.cit. or opcit). There are some exceptions: PhD (see above) for "Philosophiae Doctor"; BVetMed for "Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine". US and U.S. Shortcuts MOS:US MOS:NOTUSA US is a commonly used abbreviation for United States, although U.S. – with periods and without a space – remains common in North American publications, including in news journalism.[h] Multiple American style guides, including The Chicago Manual of Style (since 2010), now deprecate "U.S." and recommend "US". For commonality reasons, use US by default when abbreviating, but retain U.S. in American or Canadian English articles in which it is already established, unless there is a good reason to change it. Because use of periods for abbreviations and acronyms should be consistent within any given article, use US in an article with other country abbreviations, and especially avoid constructions like the U.S. and the UK. In longer abbreviations that incorporate the country's initials (USN, USAF), never use periods. When the United States is mentioned with one or more other countries in the same sentence, US (or U.S.) may be too informal, especially at the first mention or as a noun instead of an adjective (France and the United States, not France and the US). Do not use the spaced U. S. or the archaic U.S. of A., except when quoting. Do not use U.S.A. or USA except in a quotation, as part of a proper name (Team USA), or in certain technical/formal uses (e.g., the ISO 3166-1 alpha-3, FIFA, and IOC country codes). Circa See also: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Uncertain, incomplete, or approximate dates for examples. To indicate approximately, the abbreviation c. (followed by a space and not italicized) is preferred over circa, ca., or approx. The template {{circa}} may be used. Do not use unwarranted abbreviations See also: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Units of measurement for when to abbreviate units of measurement. Avoid abbreviations when they might confuse the reader, interrupt the flow, or appear informal. For example, do not use approx. for approximate or approximately, except in a technical passage where the term occurs many times or in an infobox or a data table to reduce width. Do not invent abbreviations or acronyms Generally avoid devising new abbreviations, especially acronyms (World Union of Billiards is good as a translation of Union Mondiale de Billard, but neither it nor the reduction WUB is used by the organization; so use the original name and its official abbreviation, UMB). If it is necessary to abbreviate in a tight space, such as a column header in a table, use widely recognized abbreviations. For example, for New Zealand gross national product, use NZ and GNP, with a link if the term has not already been written out in the article: NZ GNP. Do not make up initialisms such as NZGNP. HTML elements Either the <abbr> element or the {{abbr}} template can be used for abbreviations and acronyms: <abbr title="World Health Organization">WHO</abbr> or {{abbr|WHO|World Health Organization}} will generate WHO; hovering over the rendered text causes a tooltip of the long form to pop up. MediaWiki, the software on which Wikipedia runs, does not support <acronym>. Ampersand Shortcuts MOS:AMP MOS:& In normal text and headings, use and instead of the ampersand (&) in most cases: January 1 and 2, not January 1 & 2. But retain an ampersand when it is a legitimate part of a proper noun, such as in Up & Down or AT&T. Elsewhere, ampersands may be used with consistency and discretion where space is extremely limited (e.g. tables and infoboxes). Quotations (see also MOS:QUOTE) may be cautiously modified, especially for consistency where different editions are quoted, as modern editions of old texts routinely replace ampersands with and (just as they replace other disused glyphs, ligatures, and abbreviations).

Italics Shortcut MOS:ITAL Main page: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Text formatting § Italic type Emphasis Boldface or CAPITALS are not normally used for emphasis; use italics instead, but sparingly: overuse of emphasis reduces its effectiveness. Ideally, use <em>word</em> or {{em|word}} instead of ''word'' to indicate emphasis: The vaccine is {{em|not}} a cure, but a prophylactic. This allows user style sheets to handle emphasis in a customized way, and is an aid to re-users and translators.[2] Titles For complete guidance on the handling of titles of works, see (until the material is better consolidated): WP:Manual of Style/Titles (overview and details) WP:Manual of Style § Titles of works (which summarizes the key points) WP:Manual of Style/Text formatting § Names and titles (provides greater detail than the section are you are reading now) WP:Manual of Style § Punctuation §§ Quotation marks §§§ Names and titles (summarizes details at WP:Manual of Style/Titles) WP:Manual of Style/Lists of works WP:Manual of Style/Music § Capitalization Use italics for the titles of works such as books, pamphlets, films (including short films), television series, named exhibitions, computer and video games (but not other software), music albums, and paintings. The titles of articles, chapters, songs, television episodes, research papers and other short works take double quotation marks instead. Italics are not used for major revered religious works (the Bible, the Quran, the Talmud). Many of these titles should also be in title case. Words as words Main page: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Text formatting § Words as words Use italics when mentioning a word or character (see Use–mention distinction) or a string of words up to one full sentence (the term panning is derived from panorama; the most common letter in English is e). When a whole sentence is mentioned, quotation marks may be used instead, with consistency (The preposition in She sat on the chair is on; or The preposition in "She sat on the chair" is "on"). Quotation marks may also be used for this purpose for shorter material to avoid confusion, such as when italics are already being heavily used in the page for some other purpose (e.g. many non-English words and phrases). Mentioning (to discuss grammar, wording, punctuation, etc.) is different from quoting (in which something is usually expressed on behalf of a quoted source). A closely related use of italics is when introducing or distinguishing terms: The natural numbers are the integers greater than 0. Foreign words Main page: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Text formatting § Foreign terms Use italics for phrases in other languages and for isolated foreign words that are not common in everyday English. However, proper names (such as place names) in other languages are not usually italicized, nor are terms in non-Latin scripts. Scientific names Use italics for the scientific names of plants, animals and other organisms at the genus level and below (italicize Panthera leo but not Felidae). The hybrid sign is not italicized (Rosa × damascena), nor is the "connecting term" required in three-part botanical names (Rosa gallica subsp. officinalis). Quotations in italics Shortcut MOS:ITALQUOTE Main page: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Text formatting § Quotations For quotations, use only quotation marks (for short quotations) or block quoting (for long ones), not italics. (See § Quotations, below.) This means: 1) a quotation is not italicized inside quotation marks or a block quote just because it is a quotation; and 2) italics are no substitute for proper quotation formatting. To distinguish block quotations from ordinary text, you can use <blockquote> or {{quote}}. (See § Block quotations, below.) Italics within quotations Use italics within quotations if they are already in the source material. When adding emphasis on Wikipedia, add an editorial note [emphasis added] after the quotation. "Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince: And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest" [emphasis added]. If the source has used italics (or some other styling) for emphasis and this is not otherwise evident, the editorial note [emphasis in original] should appear after the quotation. Effect on nearby punctuation Shortcut MOS:ITALPUNCT Italicize only the elements of the sentence affected by the emphasis. Do not italicize surrounding punctuation. Incorrect: What are we to make of that? (The question mark applies to the whole sentence, not just to the emphasized that, so should not be italicized.) Correct: What are we to make of that? Correct: Four of Patrick White's most famous novels are A Fringe of Leaves, The Aunt's Story, Voss, and The Tree of Man. (The commas, the period, and the word and are not italicized.) Italicized links For a link to function, any italics markup must be either completely outside the link markup, or in the link's "piped" portion. Incorrect: He died with [[''Turandot'']] still unfinished. Correct: He died with ''[[Turandot]]'' still unfinished. Incorrect: The [[USS ''Adder'' (SS-3)]] was a submarine. Correct: The [[USS Adder (SS-3)|USS ''Adder'' (SS-3)]] was a submarine.

Controlling line breaks Shortcut MOS:NBSP See also: Wikipedia:Line-break handling and Template:Spaces It is sometimes desirable to force a text segment to appear entirely on a single line‍—‌that is, to prevent a line break (line wrap) from occurring anywhere within it. A non-breaking space (or hard space) will never be used as a line-break point. Markup: for 19 kg, code 19&nbsp;kg or 19{{nbsp}}kg. Or use {{nowrap}}, {{nobreak}}, or {{nobr}} (all equivalent). Markup: for 5° 24′ N code {{nobr|5° 24′ N}} It is desirable to prevent line breaks where breaking across lines might be confusing or awkward. For example: 17{{nbsp}}kg AD{{nbsp}}565 2:50{{nbsp}}pm £11{{nbsp}}billion May{{nbsp}}2014 {{nobr|5° 24′ 21″ N}} Boeing{{nbsp}}747 123{{nbsp}}Elm Street World War{{nbsp}}II Pope Paul{{nbsp}}VI Whether a non-breaking space is appropriate depends on context: whereas it is appropriate to use 12{{nbsp}}MB in prose, it may be counterproductive in a table (where horizontal space is precious) and unnecessary in a short parameter value in an infobox (where a break would never occur anyway). A line break may occur at a thin space (&thinsp;, or {{thinsp}}), which is sometimes used to correct too-close placement of adjacent characters. To prevent this, consider using {{nobr}}. Insert non-breaking and thin spaces symbolically ({{nbsp}}, {{thinsp}}, &nbsp; or &thinsp;), never by entering them directly into the edit window from the keyboard – they are visually indistinguishable from regular spaces, and later editors will be unable to see what they are. Inside wikilinks, a construction such as [[World War&nbsp;II]] works as expected, but [[World War{{nbsp}}II]] will not work. Adjacent quotation marks: The templates {{' "}} and {{" '}} will add a sliver of visual space between adjacent quotation marks/apostrophes for better readability.[i] Markup: He announced, "The answer was 'Yes!{{' "}} or {{" '}}Yes!' was the answer."

Punctuation Shortcuts MOS:PUNCT MOS:' Apostrophes Consistent use of the straight apostrophe ( ' ) is recommended, as opposed to the curly apostrophe ( ’ ). For details and reasons, see § Quotation marks, below. Do not use accent marks or backticks () as apostrophes. Where an apostrophe might otherwise be misinterpreted as wiki markup, use the templates {{'}}, {{}}, and {{'s}}, or use <nowiki> tags, or use &apos; entity. Characters resembling apostrophes, such as transliterated Arabic ayin ( ʿ ) and alif ( ʾ ), are represented by their correct Unicode characters (that is, U+02BF MODIFIER LETTER LEFT HALF RING and U+02BE MODIFIER LETTER RIGHT HALF RING respectively), despite possible display problems. If this is not feasible, use a straight apostrophe instead. For usage of the possessive apostrophe, see § Possessives, below. For a thorough treatment of all uses of the apostrophe (possessive, elision, formation of certain plurals, specific foreign-language issues) see the article Apostrophe. Quotation marks Shortcut MOS:QUOTEMARKS "MOS:QUOTEMARKS" redirects here. For the guideline on the use of quotation marks in titles of works in particular, see Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Titles § Quotation marks. See also: Wikipedia:Manual of Style § Quotations In the material below, the term quotation includes conventional uses of quotation marks such as for titles of songs, chapters, episodes, and so on. Quotation characters Shortcuts MOS:CURLY MOS:CQ MOS:STRAIGHT Use "straight" quotes, not “curly” (for single quotes or apostrophes: 'straight', not ‘curly’).[d] Do not use accent marks, backticks (text´), low-high („ “) or guillemet (« ») marks as quotation marks (or as apostrophes). The symbols ′ and ″ seen in edit window dropdowns are prime and double-prime; these are used to indicate subdivisions of the degree, but not as apostrophes or quote marks. Quotation marks and apostrophes in imported material should be changed if necessary. Shortcuts MOS:DOUBLE MOS:SINGLE Double or single Enclose most quotations with double quotation marks (Bob said: "Jim ate the apple."). Enclose a quotation inside a quotation with single quotation marks (Bob said: "Did Jim say 'I ate the apple' after he left?").[j] But there are exceptions, such as: Plant cultivars take single quotation marks (Malus domestica 'Golden Delicious'; see WP:Naming conventions (flora)). Simple glosses that translate or define unfamiliar terms usually take single quotes (Cossack comes from the Turkic qazaq, 'freebooter'). Article openings In the bolded text typically appearing at the opening of an article: Any quotation marks that are part of the title should be in bold just like the rest of the title (from "A" Is for Alibi: "A" Is for Alibi is a mystery novel ...). Quotation marks not part of the article title should not be bolded (from Jabberwocky: "Jabberwocky" is a nonsense poem ...; from Buffalo Bill: William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody was an American scout, bison hunter, and showman ...). Punctuation before quotations The use of a comma before a quotation embedded within a sentence is optional, if a non-quoted but otherwise identical construction would work grammatically without the comma: The report stated "There was a 45% reduction in transmission rate." (cf. the non-quotation The report stated there was a 45% reduction in transmission rate.) The report stated, "There was a 45% reduction in transmission rate." The comma-free approach is often used with partial quotations: The report observed "a 45% reduction in transmission rate". Free will was central to Anaïs Nin's experience of life, which she wrote "shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage". Commas are usually used with interrupted quotations: "Life", Anaïs Nin wrote, "shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." A comma is required when it would be present in the same construction if none of the material were a quotation: In Margaret Mead's view, "we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities" to enrich our culture. Do not insert a comma if it would confuse or alter the meaning: Caitlyn Jenner expressed concerns about children "who are coming to terms with being true to who they are". (Accurate quote of a statement about some children – specifically those children "who are coming to terms ...") Caitlyn Jenner expressed concerns about children, "who are coming to terms with being true to who they are". (Changes the meaning to imply Jenner was expressing concern about all children, while separately observing that children, in general, "are coming to terms ...") It is clearer to use a colon to introduce a quotation if it forms a complete sentence, and this should always be done for multi-sentence quotations: The report stated: "There was a 45% reduction in transmission rate." Albert Einstein wrote: "Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." No additional punctuation is necessary for an explicit words-as-words scenario: The message was unintelligible except for the fragments "help soon" and "how much longer before". Names and titles For complete guidance on the handling of titles of works, see (until the material is better consolidated): WP:Manual of Style/Titles (overview and details) WP:Manual of Style § Titles of works (which summarizes the key points) WP:Manual of Style § Italics §§ Titles and WP:Manual of Style/Text formatting § Names and titles (both summarize details at WP:Manual of Style/Titles) and the section you are reading now. WP:Manual of Style/Lists of works WP:Manual of Style/Music § Capitalization Quotation marks should be used for the following names and titles: Articles and chapters (books and periodicals italicized) Sections of musical pieces (pieces italicized) Individual strips from comics and webcomics (comics italicized) Poems (long or epic poems italicized) Songs (albums, song cycles, operas, operettas, and oratorios italicized) Individual episodes of television and radio series and serials (series title italicized)[k] For example: The song "Example" from the album Example by the band Example. Do not use quotation marks or italics for: Ancient writings Concert tours Locations Myths and epics Prayers Many, but not all, of the above items should also be in title case. Punctuation inside or outside Shortcuts MOS:LQ MOS:TQ "WP:TQ" redirects here. For the Teahouse, a forum for new editors to receive assistance and feedback, see Wikipedia:Teahouse (or WP:THQ). On the English Wikipedia, use the "logical quotation" style in all articles, regardless of the variety of English in which they are written. Include terminal punctuation within the quotation marks only if it was present in the original material, and otherwise place it after the closing quotation mark. For the most part, this means treating periods and commas in the same way as question marks: Keep them inside the quotation marks if they apply only to the quoted material and outside if they apply to the whole sentence. Examples are given below. Did Darla say, "There I am"? (mark applies to whole sentence) No, she said, "Where am I?" (mark applies to quoted material only) If the quotation is a single word or a sentence fragment, place the terminal punctuation outside the closing quotation mark. When quoting a full sentence, the end of which coincides with the end of the sentence containing it, place terminal punctuation inside the closing quotation mark. Marlin needed, he said, "to find Nemo". Marlin said: "I need to find Nemo." If the quoted sentence has been broken up with an editorial insertion, still include the terminal punctuation inside the closing quotation mark. "I need", said Marlin, "to find Nemo." If the quoted sentence is followed by a clause that should be preceded by a comma, omit the full stop—but other terminal punctuation, such as a question mark or exclamation mark, may be retained. A question should always end with a question mark. Dory said, "Yes, I can read", which gave Marlin an idea. Dory said, "Yes, I can read!", which gave Marlin an idea. If the quoted sentence is followed by a clause identifying the speaker, use a comma outside the quotation mark instead of a full stop inside it, but retain any other terminal punctuation, such as question marks. "Why are you sleeping?", asked Darla. "Fish are friends, not food", said Bruce. Do not follow quoted words or fragments with commas inside the quotation marks, except where a longer quotation has been broken up and the comma is part of the full quotation. "Fish are friends," said Bruce, "not food." "Why", asked Darla, "are you sleeping?" Brackets and parentheses Shortcuts MOS:B&P MOS:BRACKET MOS:PAREN The rules in this section apply to both round brackets ( ), often called parentheses, and square brackets [ ]. If a sentence contains a bracketed phrase, place the sentence punctuation outside the brackets (as shown here). However, where one or more sentences are wholly inside brackets, place their punctuation inside the brackets. (For examples, see § Sentences and brackets, below.) There should be no space next to the inner side of a bracket. An opening bracket should usually be preceded by a space, for example. This may not be the case if it is preceded by an opening quotation mark, another opening bracket, or a portion of a word: He rose to address the meeting: "(Ahem) ... Ladies and gentlemen, welcome!" Only the royal characters in the play ([Prince] Hamlet and his family) habitually speak in blank verse. We journeyed on the Inter[continental]. There should be a space after a closing bracket, except where a punctuation mark follows (though a spaced dash would still be spaced after a closing bracket) and in unusual cases similar to those listed for opening brackets. If sets of brackets are nested, use different types for adjacent levels of nesting; for two levels, it is customary to have square brackets appear within round brackets. This is often a sign of excessively convoluted expression; it is often better to recast, linking the thoughts with commas, semicolons, colons, or dashes. Avoid adjacent sets of brackets. Either put the parenthetic phrases in one set separated by commas, or rewrite the sentence: Avoid: Nikifor Grigoriev (c. 1885–1919) (also known as Matviy Hryhoriyiv) was a Ukrainian insurgent leader. Better: Nikifor Grigoriev (c. 1885–1919, also known as Matviy Hryhoriyiv) was a Ukrainian insurgent leader. Better: Nikifor Grigoriev (c. 1885–1919) was a Ukrainian insurgent leader. He was also known as Matviy Hryhoriyiv. Square brackets are used to indicate editorial replacements and insertions within quotations, though this should never alter the intended meaning. They serve three main purposes: To clarify: (She attended [secondary] school, where this was the intended meaning, but the type of school was unstated in the original sentence.) To reduce the size of a quotation: (X contains Y, and under certain circumstances, X may contain Z as well may be reduced to X contains Y [and sometimes Z].) When an ellipsis (...) is used to indicate that material is removed from a direct quotation, it should not normally be bracketed (see § Ellipses, below). To make the grammar work: (Referring to someone's statement "I hate to do laundry", one could properly write She "hate[s] to do laundry".) Sentences and brackets If any sentence includes material that is enclosed in square or round brackets, it still must end—with a period, a question mark, or an exclamation mark—after those brackets. This principle applies no matter what punctuation is used within the brackets: She refused all requests (except for basics such as food, medicine, etc.). However, if the entire sentence is within brackets, the closing punctuation falls within the brackets. (This sentence is an example.) This does not apply to matter that is added (or modified editorially) at the beginning of a sentence[b] for clarity, which is usually in square brackets: "[Principal Skinner] already told me that", he objected. That is preferable to this, which is potentially ambiguous: "He already told me that", he objected. But even here consider an addition rather than a replacement of text: "He [Principal Skinner] already told me that", he objected. A sentence that occurs within brackets in the course of another sentence does not generally have its first word capitalized nor end with a period (full stop) just because it starts a sentence:[l] She was born in Moravia (it was an imperial state of the Holy Roman Empire then) in 1802. It is often clearer to rewrite as a single sentence or to separate the thoughts into separate sentences: She was born in Moravia (then an imperial state of the Holy Roman Empire) in 1802. She was born in 1802 in Moravia. It was an imperial state of the Holy Roman Empire at that time. Brackets and linking Brackets inside of links must be escaped: He said, "[[John Doe|John &#91;Doe&#93;]] answered." He said, "John [Doe] answered." He said, "[[John Doe|John {{bracket|Doe}}]] answered." He said, "John [Doe] answered." [http://example.site On the first day &#91;etc.&#93;] On the first day [etc.] [http://example.site On the first day {{bracket|etc.}}] On the first day [etc.] The <nowiki> markup can also be used: <nowiki>[Doe]</nowiki> or <nowiki>[etc.]</nowiki>. If a URL itself contains square brackets, the wiki-text should use the URL-encoded form http://example.site/foo.php?query=%5Bxxx%5Dyyy, rather than ...query=[xxx]yyy. This will avoid truncation of the link after xxx. Ellipses Shortcuts MOS:ELLIPSIS MOS:DOTDOTDOT To indicate an omission of material from quoted text, use an ellipsis (plural ellipses): a set of three unspaced dots: ... (The pre-composed ellipsis character (…), or three dots separated by spaces (. . .), are not recommended.) Use an ellipsis if material is omitted in the course of a quotation, unless square brackets are used to gloss the quotation (see § Brackets and parentheses, above, and the points below). Put a space on each side of an ellipsis ("France, Germany, ... and Belgium"), except that there should be no space between an ellipsis and: a quotation mark directly following the ellipsis ("France, Germany, and Belgium ..."). any (round, square, curly, etc.) bracket, where the ellipsis is on the inside ("France, Germany (but not Berlin, Munich, ...), and Belgium"). any terminal punctuation, colon, semicolon, or comma, directly following the ellipsis ("Are we going to France ...?"). Place terminal punctuation after an ellipsis only if it is textually important (as is often the case with exclamation marks and question marks and rarely with periods). Use non-breaking spaces (&nbsp;) as needed to prevent improper line breaks, for example, to keep a quotation mark (and any adjacent punctuation) from being separated from the start or end of the quotation ("...&nbsp;we are still worried"; "Are we going to France&nbsp;...?"). to keep the ellipsis from wrapping to the next line ("France, Germany,&nbsp;... and Belgium", not "France, Germany,&nbsp;...&nbsp;and Belgium"). Pause or suspension of speech Three dots are occasionally used to represent a pause in or suspense of speech, in which case the punctuation is retained in its original form: Virginia's startled reply was "Could he ...? No, I cannot believe it!". Avoid this usage except in direct quotations. When it indicates an incomplete word, no space is used between the word fragment(s) and the ellipsis: The garbled transmission ended with "We are stranded near San L...o", interpreted as a reference to either San Leandro or San Lorenzo. With square brackets An ellipsis does not normally need square brackets around it, because its function is usually obvious. However, square brackets may optionally be used for precision, to make it clear that the ellipsis is not itself quoted; this is usually only necessary if the quoted passage also uses three periods in it to indicate a pause or suspension. The ellipsis should follow exactly the principles given above but with square brackets inserted immediately before and after it (Her long rant continued: "How do I feel? How do you think I ... look, this has gone far enough! [...] I want to go home!"). Commas Shortcut MOS:COMMA Commas are the most frequently used punctuation marks and can be the most difficult to use well. Some important points regarding their use follow below and at § Semicolons. Pairs of commas are used to delimit parenthetic material, forming an appositive. Using commas in this way interrupts a sentence less than using round brackets or dashes. When inserting a parenthetical, use two commas, or none at all.[m] For example: Correct: John Smith, Janet Cooper's son, is a well-known playwright. Correct: Janet Cooper's son John Smith is a well-known playwright. (when Janet has multiple sons) Correct: Janet Cooper's son, John Smith, is a well-known playwright. (when Janet has only one son) Incorrect: John Smith, Janet Cooper's son is a well-known playwright. Do not be fooled by other punctuation, which can distract from the need for a comma, especially when it collides with a bracket or parenthesis, as in this example: Correct: Burke and Wills, fed by locals (on beans, fish, and ngardu), survived for a few months. Incorrect: Burke and Wills, fed by locals (on beans, fish, and ngardu) survived for a few months. Modern writing uses fewer commas; there are usually ways to simplify a sentence so that fewer are needed. Clear: Schubert's heroes included Mozart, Beethoven, and Joseph and Michael Haydn. Awkward: Mozart was, along with the Haydns, both Joseph and Michael, and also Beethoven, one of Schubert's heroes. In geographical references that include multiple levels of subordinate divisions (e.g., city, state/province, country), a comma separates each element and follows the last element unless followed by other punctuation. Dates in month–day–year format require a comma after the day, as well as after the year, unless followed by other punctuation. In both cases, the last element is treated as parenthetical. Correct: He set October 1, 2011, as the deadline for Chattanooga, Oklahoma, to meet his demands. Incorrect: He set October 1, 2011 as the deadline for Chattanooga, Oklahoma to meet his demands. On Wikipedia, place quotation marks by following the system described above. This is called "logical quotation" (see also § Punctuation inside or outside quotation marks). Correct: She said, "Punctuation styles on Wikipedia change too often", and made other complaints. Incorrect: She said, "Punctuation styles on Wikipedia change too often," and made other complaints. A comma may be included before a quotation embedded within a sentence (see § Quotation marks above). Serial commas Shortcuts MOS:SERIAL MOS:OXFORD MOS:HARVARD "MOS:OXFORD" redirects here. For Oxford spelling, see WP:Manual of Style/Spelling § British English with "-ize" (Oxford spelling). A serial comma (also known as an Oxford comma or a Harvard comma) is a comma used immediately before a conjunction (and, or, nor) in a list of three or more items: the phrase ham, chips, and eggs includes a serial comma, while ham, chips and eggs omits it. Editors may use either convention so long as each article is internally consistent; however, there are cases in which either omitting or including the serial comma results in ambiguity: The author thanked her friends, Sinéad O'Connor and Bob Marley – which may list either four or more people (the friends and the two people named) or two people (O'Connor and Marley, who are the friends). The author thanked a friend, Sinéad O'Connor, and Bob Marley – which may list either two people (O'Connor, who is the friend, and Marley) or three people (the first being the friend, the second O'Connor, and the third Marley). In such cases of ambiguity, clarify one of three ways: Add or remove the serial comma. Use separate sentences, bullet lists, or some other structural change to clarify. Recast the sentence (first example above): To list several people: The author thanked Sinéad O'Connor, Bob Marley, and her friends. To list two people: The author thanked Bob Marley and Sinéad O'Connor, her friends. Clearer: The author thanked two friends – Bob Marley and Sinéad O'Connor. Or for something more specific (the commas here set off non-restrictive appositives): The author thanked her mentor, Bob Marley, and her childhood friend, Sinéad O'Connor. Recast the sentence (second example above): To list two people: The author thanked Bob Marley and her friend, Sinéad O'Connor. To list three people: The author thanked Bob Marley, Sinéad O'Connor, and a friend. Clarity with gender-specific terms like mother can be tricky; The author thanked her mother, Kim Thayil, and Sinéad O'Connor is unclear because readers may not know Kim Thayil is male and couldn't be the same person as the mother. Clearer: The author thanked Kim Thayil, Sinéad O'Connor, and her mother. Colons Shortcut MOS:COLON A colon (:) introduces something which demonstrates, explains, or modifies what has come before, or is a list of items that has just been introduced. The items in such a list may be separated by commas; or, if they are more complex and perhaps themselves contain commas, the items should be separated by semicolons: We visited several tourist attractions: the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which I thought could fall at any moment; the Bridge of Sighs; the supposed birthplace of Petrarch, or at least the first known house in which he lived; and so many more. A colon may also be used to introduce direct speech enclosed within quotation marks (see § Quotation marks above). In most cases a colon works best with a complete grammatical sentence before it. There are exceptional cases, such as those where the colon introduces items set off in new lines like the very next colon here. Examples: Correct: He attempted it in two years: 1941 and 1943. Incorrect: The years he attempted it included: 1941 and 1943. (Just remove the colon.) Permissible but awkward: Spanish, Portuguese, French: these, with a few others, are the West Romance languages. Sometimes the word following a colon is capitalized, if that word effectively begins a new grammatical sentence, and especially if the colon serves to introduce more than one sentence: The announcement outlined three agreements: Cascadia and Elbonia would ratify the peace treaty. Cascadian troops would be withdrawn from Elbonia within the year. Elbonian trade sanctions against Cascadia would end upon that withdrawal. No sentence should contain more than one colon. There should never be a hyphen or a dash immediately following a colon. No space precedes a colon, and a space must follow one.[n] Semicolons Shortcuts MOS:SEMICOLON MOS:COMMASPLICE For usage in marking up description (definition) lists, see Help:List § Description lists. A semicolon (;) is sometimes an alternative to a full stop (period), enabling related material to be kept in the same sentence; it marks a more decisive division in a sentence than a comma. If the semicolon separates clauses, normally each clause must be independent (meaning that it could stand on its own as a sentence); in many cases, only a comma or only a semicolon will be correct in a given sentence. Correct: Though he had been here before, I did not recognize him. Incorrect:    Though he had been here before; I did not recognize him. Above, "Though he had been here before" cannot stand on its own as a sentence, and therefore is not an independent clause. Correct: Oranges are an acid fruit; bananas are classified as alkaline. Incorrect: Oranges are an acid fruit, bananas are classified as alkaline. This incorrect use of a comma between two independent clauses is known as a comma splice; however, in certain kinds of cases, a comma may be used where a semicolon would seem to be called for: Accepted: "Life is short, art is long." (citing a brief aphorism; see Ars longa, vita brevis) Accepted: "I have studied it, you have not." (reporting brisk conversation, like this reply of Newton's) A sentence may contain several semicolons, especially when the clauses are parallel in construction and meaning; multiple unrelated semicolons are often signs that the sentence should be divided into shorter sentences, or otherwise refashioned. Unwieldy: Oranges are an acid fruit; bananas are classified as alkaline; pears are close to neutral; these distinctions are rarely discussed. One better way: Oranges are an acid fruit, bananas are alkaline, and pears are close to neutral; these distinctions are rarely discussed. Semicolons are used in addition to commas to separate items in a listing, when commas alone would result in confusion. Confusing: Sales offices are located in Boston, Massachusetts, San Francisco, California, Singapore, and Millbank, London, England. Clear: Sales offices are located in Boston, Massachusetts; San Francisco, California; Singapore; and Millbank, London, England. Semicolon before "however" Shortcut MOS:HOWEVER The meaning of a sentence containing a trailing clause that starts with the word "however" depends on the punctuation preceding that word. A common error is to use the wrong punctuation, thereby changing the meaning to one not intended. When the word "however" is an adverb meaning "nevertheless", it should be preceded by a semicolon and followed by a comma. Example: It was obvious they could not convert these people; however, they tried. Meaning: It was obvious they could not convert these people; nevertheless, they tried. When the word "however" is a conjunction meaning "in whatever manner", or "regardless of how", it may be preceded by a comma but not by a semicolon, and should not be followed by punctuation. Example: It was obvious they could not convert these people, however they tried. Meaning: It was obvious they could not convert these people, regardless of how they tried. In the first case, the clause that starts with "however" cannot be swapped with the first clause; in the second case this can be done without change of meaning: However they tried, it was obvious they could not convert these people. Meaning: Regardless of how they tried, it was obvious they could not convert these people. If the two clauses cannot be swapped, a semicolon is required. A sentence or clause can also contain the word "however" in the middle, if it is an adverb meaning "although", which could have been placed at the beginning but does not start a new clause in mid-sentence. In this use, the word may be enclosed between commas. Example: He did not know, however, that the venue had been changed at the last minute. Meaning: However, he did not know that the venue had been changed at the last minute. Hyphens Shortcut MOS:HYPHEN Hyphens (-) indicate conjunction. There are three main uses: In hyphenated personal names: John Lennard-Jones. To link prefixes with their main terms in certain constructions (quasi-scientific, pseudo-Apollodorus, ultra-nationalistic). A hyphen may be used to distinguish between homographs (re-dress means dress again, but redress means remedy or set right). There is a clear trend to join both elements in all varieties of English (subsection, nonlinear), particularly in American English. British English tends to hyphenate when the letters brought into contact are the same (non-negotiable, sub-basement) or are vowels (pre-industrial), or where a word is uncommon (co-proposed, re-target) or may be misread (sub-era, not subera). American English reflects the same factors, but is more likely to close up without a hyphen. Consult a good dictionary, and see National varieties of English above. To link related terms in compound modifiers:[o] Hyphens can help with ease of reading (face-to-face discussion, hard-boiled egg) and are particularly useful in long noun phrases: gas-phase reaction dynamics. But never insert a hyphen into a proper name (Middle Eastern cuisine, not Middle-Eastern cuisine). A hyphen can help to disambiguate (little-celebrated paintings is not a reference to little paintings; a government-monitoring program is a program that monitors the government, whereas a government monitoring program is a government program that monitors something else). Many compounds that are hyphenated when used attributively (adjectives before the nouns they qualify: a light-blue handbag, a 34-year-old woman) or substantively (as a noun: she is a 34-year-old), are usually not hyphenated when used predicatively (descriptive phrase separated from the noun: the handbag was light blue, the woman is 34 years old). Where there would otherwise be a loss of clarity, a hyphen may optionally be used in the predicative form as well (hand-fed turkeys, the turkeys were hand-fed). Awkward attributive hyphenation can sometimes be avoided with a simple rewording: Hawaiian-native culture → native Hawaiian culture. Avoid using a hyphen after a standard -ly adverb (a newly available home, a wholly owned subsidiary) unless part of a larger compound (a slowly-but-surely strategy). In rare cases, a hyphen can improve clarity if a rewritten alternative is awkward, but rewording is usually preferable: The idea was clearly stated enough can be disambiguated as The idea clearly was stated often enough or The idea was stated with enough clarity. A few words ending in -ly function as both adjectives and adverbs (a kindly-looking teacher; a kindly provided facility). Some such dual-purpose words (like early, only, northerly) are not standard -ly adverbs, because they are not formed by addition of -ly to an independent current-English adjective. These need careful treatment: Early flowering plants appeared around 130 million years ago, but Early-flowering plants risk damage from winter frosts; only child actors (no adult actors) but only-child actors (actors without siblings). A hyphen is normally used when the adverb well precedes a participle used attributively (a well-meaning gesture; but normally a very well managed firm, because well itself is modified) and even predicatively, if well is necessary to, or alters, the sense of the adjective rather than simply intensifying it (the gesture was well-meaning, the child was well-behaved, but the floor was well polished). In some cases, like diode–transistor logic, the independent status of the linked elements requires an en dash instead of a hyphen. See En dashes below. Use a hanging hyphen when two compound modifiers are separated (two- and three-digit numbers; a ten-car or -truck convoy; sloping right- or leftward). Values and units used as compound modifiers are hyphenated only where the unit is given as a whole word; when using the unit symbol, separate it from the number with a non-breaking space (&nbsp;). Incorrect: 9-mm gap Correct: 9 mm gap (markup: 9&nbsp;mm gap) Incorrect:    9 millimetre gap Correct: 9-millimetre gap Correct: 12-hour shift Correct: 12 h shift Multi-hyphenated items: It is often possible to avoid multi-word hyphenated modifiers by rewording (a four-CD soundtrack album may be easier to read as a soundtrack album of four CDs). This is particularly important where converted units are involved (the 6-hectare-limit (14.8-acre-limit) rule might be possible as the rule imposing a limit of 6 hectares (14.8 acres), and the ungainly 4.9-mile (7.9 km) -long tributary as simply 4.9-mile (7.9 km) tributary). For optional hyphenation of compound points of the compass such as southwest/south-west, see § Compass points, above. Do not use a capital letter after a hyphen except for a proper name: Graeco-Roman and Mediterranean-style, but not Gandhi-Like. In titles of published works, follow the capitalization rule for each part independently (resulting in, e.g., The Out-of-Towners), unless reliable sources consistently do otherwise in a particular case (The History of Middle-earth). Hyphenation rules in other languages may be different. Thus, in French a place name such as Trois-Rivières ("Three Rivers") is hyphenated, when it would not be in English. Follow reliable sources in such cases. Spacing: A hyphen is never followed or preceded by a space, except when hanging (see above) or when used to display parts of words independently, such as the prefix sub- and the suffix ‑less. Image filenames and redirects: Image filenames are not part of the encyclopedic content; they are tools. They are most useful if they can be readily typed, so they always use hyphens instead of dashes. Similarly, article titles with dashes should also have a corresponding redirect from a copy of the title with hyphens: for example, Michelson-Morley experiment redirects to Michelson–Morley experiment. Non-breaking: A non-breaking hyphen (&#8209; or {{nbhyph}}) will not be used as a point of line-wrap. Shortcut MOS:SHY Soft hyphens: Use soft hyphens to mark locations where a word will be broken and hyphenated if necessary at the end of a line of text, usually in very long words or narrow spaces (such as captions, narrow table columns, or text adjacent to a very wide image), for example: {{shy| Penn|syl|va|nia and Mass|a|chu|setts style themselves com|mon|wealths.}}. Use sparingly to avoid making wikitext difficult to read and edit. Hyphenation involves many subtleties that cannot be covered here; the rules and examples presented above illustrate the broad principles. Dashes Not to be confused with WP:DASHBOARD. Shortcuts MOS:DASH MOS:EMDASH MOS:MDASH MOS:ENDASH MOS:NDASH Two forms of dash are used on Wikipedia: en dash (–) and em dash (—). To enter them, click on them to the right of the "Insert" dropdown beneath the edit window, or enter them manually as &ndash; or &mdash;, respectively. Do not use a double hyphen (--) to stand in for a dash. Sources use dashes in varying ways. For consistency and clarity, Wikipedia adopts the following principles. In article titles In article titles, do not use a hyphen (-) as a substitute for an en dash, for example in eye–hand span (since eye does not modify hand). Nonetheless, to aid searching and linking, provide a redirect with hyphens replacing the en dash(es), as in eye-hand span. Similarly, provide category redirects for categories containing dashes. Punctuating a sentence (em or en dashes) Dashes are often used to mark divisions within a sentence: in pairs (parenthetical dashes, instead of parentheses or pairs of commas); or singly (perhaps instead of a colon). They may also indicate an abrupt stop or interruption, in reporting quoted speech. In all these cases, use either unspaced em dashes or spaced en dashes, with consistency in any one article: An em dash is always unspaced (that is, without a space on either side): Another "planet" was detected—but it was later found to be a moon of Saturn. An en dash is spaced (that is, with a space on each side) when used as sentence punctuation: Another "planet" was detected – but it was later found to be a moon of Saturn. Ideally, use a non-breaking space before the en dash, which prevents the en dash from occurring at the beginning of a line (markup: the {{spaced ndash}} or {{snd}} templates, or the HTML character entity &nbsp;): Another "planet" was detected{{spaced ndash}} but it was later found to be a moon of Saturn. But do not insert a non-breaking or other space where the en dash should be unspaced (see § Other uses (en dash only), below). Dashes can clarify the sentence structure when there are already commas or parentheses, or both. We read them in chronological order: Descartes, Locke, Hume—but not his Treatise (it is too complex)—and Kant. Use dashes sparingly. More than two in a single sentence makes the structure unclear; it takes time for the reader to see which dashes, if any, form a pair. The birds—at least the ones Darwin collected—had red and blue feathers. "Where is the—", she began, but the line went dead. Avoid: First—and most spectacularly—came the bishops—then the other clergy. Better: First—and most spectacularly—came the bishops, who were followed by the other clergy. Other uses (en dash only) The en dash (–) has other roles, beyond its use as a sentence-punctuating dash (see immediately above). It is often analogous to the hyphen (see § Hyphens, above), which joins components more strongly than the en dash; or to the slash (see the section below), which separates alternatives more definitely. Consider the exact meaning when choosing which to use. In ranges that might otherwise be expressed with to or through Here the ranges are ranges of numbers, dates, or times. For other ranges, such as ranges of physical locations, see § In compounds when the connection might otherwise be expressed with to, versus, and, or between. A change from a general preference for two digits, to a general preference for four digits, on the right side of year–year ranges was implemented in July 2016 per this RFC. For more information see MOS:DATERANGE. pp. 7–19;   64–75%;   Henry VIII reigned 1509–1547 Do not change hyphens to dashes in filenames, URLs or templates like {{Bibleverse}}, which formats verse ranges into URLs. Do not mix en dashes with between or from. 450–500 people between 450 and 500 people, not between 450–500 people from 450 to 500 people, not from 450–500 people from 1961 to 1962, not from 1961–62 between the 1961–62 and 1967–68 seasons, ticket sales dropped substantially If negative values are involved, an en dash might be confusing. Use words instead. −10 to 10, not −10–10 The en dash in a range is always unspaced, except when either or both elements of the range include at least one space. July 23, 1790 – December 1, 1791 (not July 23, 1790–December 1, 1791) 14 May – 2 August 2011 (not 14 May–2 August 2011) 1–17 September;   February–October 2009;   1492 – 7 April 1556 Christmas Day – New Year's Eve;   Christmas 2001 – Easter 2002;   10:30 pm Tuesday – 1:25 am Wednesday;   6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. (but 6:00–9:30 p.m.) wavelengths in the range 28 mm – 17 m. In compounds when the connection might otherwise be expressed with to, versus, and, or between Here, the relationship is thought of as parallel, symmetric, equal, oppositional, or at least involving separate or independent elements. The components may be nouns, adjectives, verbs, or any other independent part of speech. Often if the components are reversed there would be little change of meaning. boyfriend–girlfriend problems;   the Paris–Montpellier route;   a New York–Los Angeles flight iron–cobalt interactions; the components are parallel and reversible; iron and cobalt retain their identity Wrong: an iron–roof shed; iron modifies roof, so use a hyphen: an iron-roof shed Wrong: a singer–songwriter; not separate persons, so use a hyphen: a singer-songwriter red–green colorblind; red and green are separate independent colors, not mixed Wrong: blue–green algae; a blended, intermediate color, so use a hyphen: blue-green algae a 51–30 win;   a 22–17 majority vote;   but prefer spelling out when using words instead of numerals: a six-to-two majority decision, not the awkward a six–two majority decision;  avoid confusingly reversed order: a 17–22 majority vote[p] a 50–50 joint venture;   a 60–40 split;   avoid using a slash here, which indicates division the Uganda–Tanzania War;   the Roman–Syrian War;   the east–west runway;   the Lincoln–Douglas debates;   a carbon–carbon bond diode–transistor logic;   the analog–digital distinction;   push–pull output;   on–off switch a pro-establishment–anti-intellectual alliance;   Singapore–Sumatra–Java shipping lanes the ballerina's rapid walk–dance transitions;   a male–female height ratio of 1.14 An en dash between nations; for people and things identifying with multiple nationalities, use a hyphen when applied as an adjective or a space as a noun. Japanese–American trade;   but a family of Japanese-American traders or a family of Japanese Americans an Italian–Swiss border crossing;   but an Italian-Swiss newspaper for Italian-speaking Swiss France–Britain rivalry;   French–British rivalry Wrong: Franco–British rivalry; "Franco" is a combining form, not independent, so use a hyphen: Franco-British rivalry A slash or some other alternative may occasionally be better to express a ratio, especially in technical contexts (see § Slashes, below). the protein–fat ratio;   the protein/fat ratio;   the protein-to-fat ratio Colons are often used for strictly numeric ratios, to avoid confusion with subtraction and division: a 3:1 ratio;  a three-to-one ratio (see WP:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Ratios). Use an en dash for the names of two or more entities in an attributive compound. the Seifert–van Kampen theorem;   the Alpher–Bethe–Gamow theory the Seeliger–Donker-Voet scheme (developed by Seeliger and Donker-Voet) Comet Hale–Bopp or just Hale–Bopp (discovered by Hale and Bopp) Generally, use a hyphen in compounded proper names of single entities. Guinea-Bissau; Bissau is the capital, and this distinguishes the country from neighboring Guinea Wilkes-Barre, a single city named after two people, but Minneapolis–Saint Paul, a union of two cities John Lennard-Jones, an individual named after two families Do not use an en dash for hyphenated personal names, even when they are used as adjectives: Lennard-Jones potential with a hyphen: named after John Lennard-Jones Do not use spaces around en dash in any of the compounds above. Instead of a hyphen, when applying a prefix to a compound that includes a space ex–Prime Minister Thatcher;   pre–World War II aircraft Use this punctuation when there are compelling grounds for retaining the construction. For example, from a speech that is simply transcribed and cannot be re-worded; or in a heading where it has been judged most natural as a common name. Otherwise recasting is better. Keep: Post–September 11 anti-war movement; Trans–New Guinea languages (existing Wikipedia articles) Best to recast the examples shown above: former Prime Minister Thatcher; aircraft [from] before World War II The en dash in all of the compounds above is unspaced. To separate parts of an item in a list Spaced en dashes are sometimes used between parts of list items. Below are two examples. Pairing performers with instruments: James Galway – flute; Anne-Sophie Mutter – violin; Maurizio Pollini – piano. Showing track durations on an album: "The Future" – 7:21 "Ain't No Cure for Love" – 6:17 "Bird on the Wire" – 6:14. Other dashes Do not use substitutes for em or en dashes, such as the combination of two hyphens (--). These were typewriter approximations. For a negative sign or subtraction operator, use a minus sign: −, U+2212 − MINUS SIGN (HTML &#8722; · &minus;). Input by clicking on it in the insert box beneath the edit window or by typing &minus;. Slashes Shortcuts MOS:SLASH MOS:/ Generally, avoid joining two words with a slash, also called a forward slash or solidus ( / ), because it suggests that the words are related without specifying how. Replace with clearer wording. An example: The parent/instructor must be present at all times. Must both be present? (Then write the parent and the instructor.) Must at least one be present? (Then write the parent or the instructor.) Are they the same person? (Use a hyphen: the parent-instructor.) In circumstances involving a distinction or disjunction, the en dash (see above) is usually preferable to the slash: the digital–analog distinction. An unspaced slash may be used: to indicate phonemic pronunciations (rivet is pronounced /ˈrɪvət/) in a fraction (7/8), though the "fraction slash" (7&frasl;8, producing 7⁄8) or {{frac}} template ({{frac|7|8}}, producing ​7⁄8) are preferred to indicate regular defined yearly periods that do not coincide with calendar years (e.g., the 2009/2010 fiscal year), if that is the convention used in reliable sources; see WP:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Longer periods for further explanation to express a ratio, in a form in which a slash is conventionally used (e.g., the price-to-earnings ratio, or P/E ratio for short) where a slash occurs in a phrase widely used outside Wikipedia, and a different construction would be inaccurate, unfamiliar, or ambiguous (e.g., www.defense.gov/news/news.aspx) A spaced slash may be used: to separate run-in lines in quoted poetry or song (To be or not to be: that is the question: / Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer / The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune), or rarely in quoted prose, where careful marking of a paragraph break is textually important to separate items that include at least one internal space (the NY 31 east / NY 370 exit), where for some reason use of a slash is unavoidable To avoid awkward linebreaks, code spaced slashes (and fraction slashes) with a non-breaking space on the left and a normal space on the right, as in: My mama told me&nbsp;/ You better shop around. For short constructions, both spaces should be non-breaking: x&nbsp;/&nbsp;y. Do not use the backslash character ( \ ) in place of a slash. Prefer the division operator ( ÷ ) to slash or fraction slash when representing elementary arithmetic in general text: 10 ÷ 2 = 5. In more advanced mathematical formulas, a vinculum or slash is preferred: x n n ! {\displaystyle \textstyle {\frac {x^{n}}{n!}}} or xn/n!. (See WP:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Common mathematical symbols and Help:Displaying a formula.) And/or Shortcut MOS:ANDOR Avoid writing and/or unless ambiguity would result, or unless other constructions would be too lengthy or awkward. Instead of Most suffered trauma and/or smoke inhalation, write simply trauma or smoke inhalation (which would normally be interpreted to imply or both); or, for emphasis or precision, write trauma or smoke inhalation or both. Where more than two possibilities are present, instead of x, y, and/or z write one or more of x, y, and z or some or all of x, y, and z. Number sign Shortcuts MOS:NUMBERSIGN MOS:NUMERO MOS:HASH MOS:POUND Avoid using the # symbol (known as the number sign, hash sign, or pound sign) when referring to numbers or rankings. Instead write "number", "No." or "Nos."; do not use the symbol №. For example: Incorrect: Her album reached #1 in the UK album charts. Correct: Her album reached number one in the UK album charts. Correct: Her album reached No. 1 in the UK album charts. Correct: Her albums Foo and Bar reached Nos. 1 and 3 respectively. An exception is issue numbers of comic books, which unlike for other periodicals are given in general text in the form #1, unless a volume is also given, in which case write volume two, number seven or Vol. 2, No. 7. When using the abbreviations, write {{abbr|Vol.|Volume}}, {{abbr|No.|Number}}, or {{abbr|Nos.|Numbers}}. Terminal punctuation Shortcuts MOS:FULLSTOP MOS:EXCLAMATION MOS:PERIOD Periods (full stops), question marks, and exclamation marks are terminal punctuation‍—‌the only punctuation marks used to end English sentences. In some contexts, no terminal punctuation is necessary. In such cases, the sentence often does not start with a capital letter. See § Quotations, § Quotation marks, and § Sentences and brackets, above. Sentence fragments in captions or lists should in most cases not end with a period. See § Formatting of captions and § Bulleted and numbered lists, below. For the use of three periods in succession, see § Ellipses, above. Clusters of question marks, exclamation marks, or a combination of them (such as the interrobang), are highly informal and inappropriate in Wikipedia articles. Use the exclamation mark with restraint. It is an expression of surprise or emotion that is unsuited to a scholarly or encyclopedic register. Question and exclamation marks may sometimes be used mid-sentence: Why me? she wondered. The Homeric question is not Did Homer write the Iliad? but How did the Iliad come into being?, as we have now come to realize. The door flew open with a bang! that made them jump. Spacing Shortcut MOS:PUNCTSPACE In normal text, never put a space before a comma, a semicolon, a colon, or a terminal punctuation mark (even in quoted material; see allowable typographical changes in § Typographic conformity, above). Spaces following terminal punctuation Software condenses two or more spaces to just one when rendering a page, so editors may use any spacing style they prefer (e.g., a single space or two spaces after a period/full stop – see Sentence spacing). Adding or removing an "extra" space is sometimes used as a dummy edit. Consecutive punctuation marks Shortcut MOS:CONSECUTIVE Where a word or phrase that includes terminal punctuation ends a sentence, do not add a second terminal punctuation mark. If a quoted phrase or title ends in a question mark or exclamation mark, it may confuse readers as to the nature of the article sentence containing it, and so is usually better reworded to be mid-sentence. Where such a word or phrase occurs mid-sentence, new terminal punctuation (usually a period) must be added at the end. Incorrect: Slovak returned to the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1985 after growing tired of What Is This?. Acceptable: Slovak returned to the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1985 after growing tired of What Is This? Better: Slovak, having grown tired of What Is This?, returned to the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1985. Punctuation and footnotes Shortcuts MOS:PUNCTFOOT WP:PAIC MOS:REFPUNCT MOS:PUNCTREF MOS:REFSPACE See also: Wikipedia:Citing sources Ref tags (<ref>...</ref>) are used to create footnotes (sometimes called endnotes or notes). The ref tags should immediately follow the text to which the footnote applies, with no intervening space (except possibly a hair space, generated by {{hsp}}). Any punctuation (see exceptions below) must precede the ref tags. Adjacent ref tags should have no space between them. This applies to all ref tags, including both explanatory notes and citation footnotes. When ref tags are used, a footnote list must be added, and is usually placed in the Notes and References section near the end of the article in the standard appendices and footers. Note: Dummy note links in the examples below are not clickable. Example: Flightless birds have a reduced keel,[10] and smaller wing bones than flying birds of similar size.[11][12] Exceptions: Ref tags are placed before dashes, not after. Where a footnote applies only to material within parentheses, the ref tags belong just before the closing parenthesis. Example: Paris is not the capital city of England—the capital of which is London [10]—but that of France,[11] and is widely known as a beautiful city.[12] Example: Kim Jong-un (Korean: 김정은;[10] Hanja: 金正恩[11]) is the third and youngest son of Kim Jong-il with his late consort Ko Young-hee. Punctuation after formulae A sentence that ends with a formula should have terminal punctuation (period, exclamation mark, or question mark) after the formula. Within a sentence, place other punctuation (such as commas or colons) after the formula just as if the text were not a formula. See WP:Manual of Style/Mathematics § Punctuation after formulae.

Dates and time Main page: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Chronological items For ranges of dates and times, see § En dashes: other uses, above. Dates should only be linked when they are germane and topical to the subject, as discussed at WP:Manual of Style/Linking § Chronological items. Time of day Main article: MOS:TIME Time of day is normally expressed in figures rather than being spelled out. Use context to determine whether to use the 12- or 24-hour. Twelve-hour clock times are written in one of two forms: 11:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., or 11:15 am and 2:30 pm. Include a non-breaking space. Use noon and midnight rather than 12 pm and 12 am; it may need to be specified whether midnight refers to the start or end of a date. Twenty-four-hour clock times are written in the form 08:15 and 22:55, with no suffix. Midnight written as 00:00 begins the day; 24:00 ends it. Days Main article: MOS:DATEFORMAT For full dates, use the format 10 June 1921 or the format June 10, 1921. Similarly, where the year is omitted, use 10 June or June 10. For choice of format, see below. Do not use numerical date formats such as "03/04/2005", as this could refer to 3 April or to March 4. If a numerical format is required (e.g., for conciseness in long lists and tables), use the YYYY-MM-DD format: 2005-04-03. Choice of format All the dates in a given article should have the same format (day–month or month–day). However, for citations, see WP:Citing sources § Citation style. These requirements do not apply to dates in quotations or titles. Articles on topics with strong ties to a particular English-speaking country should generally use the more common date format for that country (month–day for the US, except in military usage; day–month for most others; articles related to Canada may use either consistently). Otherwise, do not change an article from one form to another without good reason. More details can be found at WP:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Dates. Months Main article: MOS:MONTH For month and year, write June 1921, with no comma. Abbreviations for months, such as Feb, are used only where space is extremely limited. Such abbreviations should use three letters only, and should not be followed by a period (full point) except at the end of a sentence. Seasons Main article: MOS:SEASON Avoid ambiguous references to seasons, which are different in the southern and northern hemispheres. Names of seasons may be used when there is a logical connection to the event they are describing (the autumn harvest) or when referring to a phase of a natural yearly cycle (migration typically starts in mid-spring). Otherwise, neutral wording is usually preferable (He was elected in November 1992, not He was elected in the fall of 1992). Journals and other publications that are issued seasonally (e.g. "Summer 2005") should be dated as such in citations (for more information, see WP:Citing sources § Seasonal publication dates and differing calendar systems). Years and longer periods Main page: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Other periods Do not use the year before the digits (1995, not the year 1995), unless the meaning would otherwise be unclear. Decades are written in the format the 1980s, with no apostrophe. Use the two-digit form ('80s) only with an established social or cultural meaning. Avoid forms such as the 1700s that could refer to 10 or 100 years. Years are denoted by AD and BC or, equivalently, CE and BCE. Use only one system within an article, and do not change from one system to the other without good reason. The abbreviations are written without periods, and with a non-breaking space, as in 5 BC. Omit AD or CE unless this would cause ambiguity. More information on all of the above topics can be found at WP:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Dates, including the handling of dates expressed in different calendars, and times corresponding to different time zones. Current See also: Wikipedia:As of and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Words to watch § Relative time references The term "current" should be avoided. What is current today may not be tomorrow; situations change over time. Instead, use date- and time-specific text. To help keep information updated use the {{as of}} template. Incorrect: He is the current ambassador to ... Correct: As of March 2011, he is the ambassador to ...

Numbers Main page: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Numbers WP:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Numbers (MOS:NUMS) clarifies a number of situations, including the following: In general, write whole cardinal numbers from one to nine as words, write other numbers that, when spoken, take two or fewer words as either figures or words (with consistency within each article), and write all other numbers as figures: 1/5 or one-fifth, 84 or eighty-four, 200 or two hundred, but 3.75, 544, 21 million. See MOS:NUM § Numbers as figures or words et seq. for exceptions and fine points. In general, use a comma to delimit numbers with five or more digits to the left of the decimal point. Numbers with four digits are at the editor's discretion: 12,345, but either 1,000 or 1000. See MOS:NUM § Grouping of digits et seq. for exceptions. In general, use decimals rather than fractions for measurements, but the latter are permitted with measuring systems such as imperial units and U.S. customary units. Keep articles internally consistent. Scientific notation (e.g., 7007580000000000000♠5.8×107 kg) is preferred in scientific contexts; editors can use the {{val}} template, which generates such expressions with the syntax {{val|5.8|e=7|u=kg}}. Write out "million" and "billion" on the first use. After that, unspaced "M" can be used for millions and "bn" for billions: 70M and 25bn. See MOS:NUM § Numbers as figures or words for similar words. Write 3%, three percent, or three per cent, but not 3 % (with a space) or three %. "Percent" is American usage, and "per cent" is British usage (see § National varieties of English, above). In ranges of percentages written with an en dash, write only a single percent sign: 3–14%. Indicate uncertainties as "(value ± uncertainty) × 10<sup>n</sup>&nbsp;units", e.g., 7023153400000000000♠(1.534±0.35)×1023 m. See MOS:NUM § Uncertainty and rounding for other acceptable formats.

Currencies Main page: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Currencies and monetary values Use the full abbreviation on first use (US$for the US dollar and A$ for the Australian dollar), unless the currency is already clear from context. For example, the government of the United States always spends money in American dollars, and never in Canadian or Australian dollars. Use only one symbol with ranges, as in $250–300. In articles that are not specific to a country, express amounts of money in United States dollars, euros, or pounds sterling. Do not link the names or symbols of currencies that are commonly known to English-speakers ($, £, €), unless there is a particular reason to do so; do not use potentially ambiguous currency symbols, unless the meaning is clear in the context. In country-specific articles, use the currency of the country. On first occurrence, consider including conversion to US dollars, euros, or pounds sterling, at a rate appropriate to the context. For example, Since 2001 the grant has been 10,000,000 Swedish kronor (€1.0M as of August 2009). Wording such as "approx." is not appropriate for simple rounding-off of the converted amount. Generally, use the full name of a currency, and link it on its first appearance if English-speakers are likely to be unfamiliar with it (52 Nepalese rupees); subsequent occurrences can use the currency sign (just 88 Rs). Most currency symbols are placed before the number; they are unspaced ($123). Units of measurement Main page: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Units of measurement The main unit in which a quantity is expressed should generally be an SI unit or non-SI unit officially accepted for use with the SI. However, Scientific articles may also use specialist units appropriate for the branch of science in question. In non-scientific articles relating to the United States, the main unit is generally a U.S. customary unit (22 pounds (10 kg)). In non-scientific articles relating to the United Kingdom, although the main unit is generally a metric unit (10 kilograms (22 lb)), imperial units are still used as the main units in some contexts (7 miles (11 km) by road). Where English-speaking countries use different units for the same measurement, provide a conversion in parentheses. Examples: the Mississippi River is 2,320 miles (3,734 km) long; the Murray River is 2,375 kilometres (1,476 mi) long. The {{convert}} template is useful for producing such expressions. In a direct quotation, always retain the source's units. Any conversion should follow in square brackets (or, an obscure use of units can be explained in a footnote). Where space is limited (such as tables, infoboxes, parenthetical notes, and mathematical formulas) unit symbols are preferred. In prose, unit names should be given in full if used only a few times but symbols may be used when a unit (especially one with a long name) is used repeatedly after spelling out the first use (e.g. Up to 15 kilograms of filler is used for a batch of 250 kg), except for unit names that are hardly ever spelled out (°C rather than degrees Celsius). Most unit names are not capitalized. (For spelling differences, follow § National varieties of English, above.) Use "per" when writing out a unit, rather than a slash: metre per second, not metre/second. Units unfamiliar to general readers should be presented as a name–symbol pair on first use, linking the unit name (Energies were originally 2.3 megaelectronvolts (MeV), but were eventually 6 MeV). For ranges, see § En dashes: other uses, above, and MOS:NUM, at §§ Date ranges, Percentages, Unit names and symbols, and Formatting of monetary values. Unit symbols are preceded by figures, not by spelled-out numbers. Values and unit symbols are separated by a non-breaking space. For example, 5 min. The percent sign and units of degrees, minutes, and seconds for angles and coordinates are unspaced. Common mathematical symbols Shortcut MOS:COMMONMATH See also: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Mathematics For a negative sign or subtraction operator, use a minus sign (−, Unicode character U+2212 MINUS SIGN). Input by clicking on it in the insert box beneath the edit window or by typing &minus;. For a multiplication sign between numbers, use × (Unicode character U+00D7 MULTIPLICATION SIGN), which is input by clicking on it in the edit toolbox under the edit window or by typing &times;. The letter x should not be used to indicate multiplication, but it is used (unspaced) as the substitute for "by" in terms such as 4x4. Exponentiation is indicated by a superscript, an (typed as ''a''<sup>''n''</sup> or {{var|a}}<sup>{{var|n}}</sup>). Exponential notation can be spaced or unspaced, depending on circumstances. Do not use programming language notation outside computer program listings. In most programming languages, subtraction, multiplication, and exponentiation are respectively represented by the hyphen-minus -, the asterisk *, and either the caret ^ or the double asterisk **, and scientific notation is replaced by E notation. Symbols for binary operators and relations are spaced on both sides: plus, minus, and plus-or-minus (as binary operators): +, −, ± (as in 5 − 3); multiplication and division: ×, ÷; equals, does not equal, equals approximately: =, ≠, ≈; is less than, is less than or equal to, is greater than, is greater than or equal to: <, ≤, >, ≥. Symbols for unary operators are closed-up to their operand: positive, negative, and positive-or-negative signs: +, −, ± (as in −3); other unary operators, such as the exclamation mark as a factorial sign (as in 5!). Variables are italicized, but digits and punctuation are not; only x and y are italicized in 2(5x + y)2. <var>...</var> or {{var}} can be used to distinguish variables from other uses of italics, as illustrated above. Grammar and usage Possessives Shortcut MOS:POSS For the apostrophe character, see § Apostrophes, above. For thorough treatment of the English possessive, see Apostrophe. Singular nouns For the possessive of singular nouns, including proper names and words ending with an s, add 's (my daughter's achievement, my niece's wedding, Cortez's men, the boss's office, Glass's books, Illinois's largest employer, Descartes's philosophy, Verreaux's eagle). Exception: abstract nouns ending with an /s/ sound, when followed by sake (for goodness' sake, for his conscience' sake). If a name already ends in s or z and would be difficult to pronounce if 's were added to the end, consider rearranging the phrase to avoid the difficulty: Jesus's teachings or the teachings of Jesus. Plural nouns Shortcut MOS:PLURALNOUN For a normal plural noun, ending with a pronounced s, form the possessive by adding just an apostrophe (my sons' wives, my nieces' weddings). For a plural noun not ending with a pronounced s, add 's (women's careers, people's habits, mice's whiskers; The two Dumas's careers were controversial, but where rewording is an option, this may be better: The career of each Dumas was controversial). Official names Official names (of companies, organizations, or places) should not be altered. (St Thomas' Hospital should therefore not be rendered as St Thomas's Hospital or St. Thomas Hospital, even for consistency.) First-person pronouns Shortcuts MOS:PERSON MOS:WE To maintain an objective and impersonal encyclopedic voice, an article should never refer to its editors or readers using I, my, we, us, or similar forms: We should note that some critics have argued against our proposal. But some such forms are acceptable in certain figurative uses. For example: In historical articles to mean the modern world as a whole: The text of De re publica has come down to us with substantial sections missing. The author's we found in scientific writing: We are thus led also to a definition of "time" in physics (Albert Einstein); Throughout this proof we assume that the function f is uniformly continuous. Often rephrasing using the passive voice is preferable:[q] Throughout this proof it is assumed that the function f is uniformly continuous. Second-person pronouns Shortcuts MOS:YOU MOS:BAIT MOS:PEDAGOGY MOS:SOCRATIC "WP:YOU" redirects here. For "Wikipedia is not about you", see WP:NOTYOU. Avoid addressing the reader using you or your, which sets an inappropriate tone (see also § Instructional and presumptuous language, below). Use a noun or a third-person pronoun: instead of When you move past "Go", you collect$200, use When players pass "Go", they collect $200, or A player passing "Go" collects$200. If a person cannot be specified, or when implying "anyone" as a subject, the pronoun one may be used: a sense that one is being watched. Other constructions may be preferable if one seems stilted: a person's sense of being watched. The passive voice may sometimes be used instead:[q] Impurities are removed before bottling. Do not bait links, e.g. "Click here for more information"; let the browser's normal highlighting invite a click. (And "Click here" makes no sense to someone reading on paper.) Likewise, "See: (reference)" or "Consider ..." are milder second-person baits, common in academic writing (pedagogy). This interactive personality is inconsistent with an encyclopedia's passive presentation of objective matter. "See" and the like can be used to internally cross-reference other Wikipedia material. Do not italicize words like "see". Such a cross reference should be parenthetical, so the article text stands alone if the parenthetical is removed. The {{Cross reference}} template can be used for this: {{Cross reference|(see [[Chicken]])}}, {{Cross reference|(See [[Dacian language]] for details.)}} It is usually better to rewrite the material to integrate these links contextually rather than use explicit Wikipedia self-references. Do not address the reader with the Socratic method by asking and answering questions. Did Bacon write Shakespeare? Then who wrote Bacon? Plurals Shortcut MOS:PLURALS See also: English plurals and Collective noun For the page title guideline, see WP:SINGULAR. Use the appropriate plural; allow for cases (such as excursus or hanif) in which a word is now listed in major English dictionaries, and normally takes an s or es plural, not its original plural: two excursuses, not two excursus as in Latin; two hanifs, not two hanufa as in Arabic. Some collective nouns—such as team (and proper names of them), army, company, crowd, fleet, government, majority, mess, number, pack, and party—may refer either to a single entity or to the members that compose it. In British English, such words are sometimes treated as singular, but more often treated as plural, according to context. Exceptionally, names of towns and countries usually take singular verbs (unless they are being used to refer to a team or company by that name, or when discussing actions of that entity's government). For example, in England are playing Germany tonight, England refers to a football team; but in England is the most populous country of the United Kingdom, it refers to the country. In North American English, these words (and the United States, for historical reasons) are almost invariably treated as singular; the major exception is when sports teams are referred to by nicknames that are plural nouns, when plural verbs are commonly used to match. See also § National varieties of English, above. Verb tense Shortcuts MOS:TENSE MOS:VERB "MOS:PRESENT" redirects here. For the guideline on words such as "currently", "soon", and "recently", see Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Statements likely to become outdated. See also: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Words to watch § Relative time references, and Wikipedia:Writing better articles § Tense in fiction By default, write articles in the present tense, including for those covering products or works that have been discontinued. Articles discussing works of fiction are also written in the present tense (see WP:Writing better articles § Tense in fiction). Generally, do not use past tense except for dead subjects, past events, and subjects that no longer meaningfully exist as such. The PDP-10 is a mainframe computer family manufactured by Digital Equipment Corporation from 1966 into the 1980s. Earth: Final Conflict is a Canadian science fiction television series that ran for five seasons between October 6, 1997 and May 20, 2002. The Gordon Riots of 1780 were ... The Beatles were an English rock band that formed in Liverpool in 1960. George W. Bush is a former president of the United States (not George W. Bush was a president of the United States). Tense can be used to distinguish between current and former status of a subject: Dún Aonghasa is the ruin of a prehistoric Irish cliff fort. Its original shape was presumably oval or D-shaped, but parts of the cliff and fort have since collapsed into the sea. (Emphasis added for clarity.)

Bulleted and numbered lists Shortcuts MOS:LISTBULLET MOS:LISTNUMBERED Main pages: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lists and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Embedded lists Further information: Help:List Do not use lists if a passage is read easily as plain paragraphs. Use proper wikimarkup- or template-based list code (see WP:Manual of Style/Lists and Help:List). Do not leave blank lines between items in a bulleted or numbered list unless there is a reason to do so, since this causes the Wiki software to interpret each item as beginning a new list. Indents (such as this) are permitted if the elements are "child" items Use numbers rather than bullets only if: A need to refer to the elements by number may arise; The sequence of the items is critical; or The numbering has some independent meaning, for example in a listing of musical tracks. Use the same grammatical form for all elements in a list, and do not mix sentences and sentence fragments as elements, for example when the elements are: Complete sentences – each one is formatted with sentence case (its first letter is capitalized) and a final period (full stop); Sentence fragments – the list is typically introduced by an introductory fragment ending with a colon; Titles of works – they retain the original capitalization of the titles; Other elements – they are formatted consistently in either sentence case or lower case.

See also Book: Wikipedia Manual of Style Beginners' guide to the Manual of Style – a user essay of a trimmed-down version of the Manual of Style Editing policy – explains Wikipedia's general philosophy of editing Wikipedia is not a manual, guidebook, textbook, or scientific journal – policy that we write for a general, not technical, readership as much as we can Manual of Style tutorial – a quick introduction to the style guide for articles Styletips – a list of advice for editors on writing style and formatting Topic- and culture-related Manuals of Style for film, novels, biographies, military history, etc. Guidance Annotated article – is a well-constructed sample article, with annotations Article development – lists the ways in which you can help an article grow Basic copyediting – gives helpful advice on copy-editing Better articles – guidance on how to make articles better Perfect article – point-by-point guidance on what makes a great article Avoiding common mistakes – gives a list of common mistakes and how to avoid them Be bold – suggests a bold attitude toward page updates Citing sources – explains process and standards for citing references Editing – is a short primer on editing pages Style guide – contains links to the style guides of some magazines and newspapers Wiki markup – explains the codes and resources available for editing a page Tools User:GregU's dashes script – a script that will fix dashes in articles in accordance with MOS:DASH User:Ohconfucius MOSDATE script – a script that will unify dates in articles in accordance with MOS:DATEFORMAT Other community standards List of policies – a comprehensive, descriptive directory of policies List of guidelines – a comprehensive descriptive directory of guidelines Community standards and advice – a quick directory of community norms and related guidance essays Advice pages – about advice pages written by WikiProjects Guidelines within the Manual of Style For the major parts of the Manual of Style, see the sidebar at top right of this page (visible only in desktop view, not in mobile view) (Links to policy and guidelines on specific questions) Names Shortcut MOS:ORGNAME Proper names Generally (dedicated MOS page): Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Proper names (MOS:PN) Place names: MOS:PN, at § Place names Diacritical marks in names: MOS:PN, at § Diacritics Same name for peoples and languages: MOS:PN, at § Peoples and their languages Naming and identifying individuals and peoples: Generally: current page, at MOS:IDENTITY Specifically (for individuals): MOS:BIO, at WP:FULLNAME Opening paragraph of biographies: MOS:BIO, at WP:OPENPARA Names of organizations: Generally (has application beyond the topic guideline in which it is currently located): MOS:CUE, at § Respect for official organization names Names that are also trademarks (dedicated MOS page): MOS:TM Names of animal species, etc. (in article titles): WP:FAUNA

References ^ See: Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Jguk § Principles Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/jguk 2 § Principles Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Sortan § Principles ^ Ishida, Richard (2015). "Using b and i tags". W3C Internationalization. World Wide Web Consortium. Retrieved 1 September 2016.