Guide to Grammar and Usage Use a comma after the greeting of an informal letter and the close of any letter. 297 Examples:Dear Sammi, Dear Mudface, Yours truly, Sincerely, Use a comma between the day of the month and the year. Examples:December 7, 1941, July 20, 1969 Use a comma to separate the parts of an address. Do not use a comma before the ZIP Code. Example:She lives at 763 Main Street, Farmingdale, New York 11735. · Semicolons Use a semicolon to separate items in a series when the items contain commas. Examples:We elected Courtney Kassinger, president; Shelby Kravitz, vice president; Elisabeth Fink, secretary; and Joe Schulman, treasurer. Use a semicolon between main clauses when the conjunction (and, but, yet, so, for, or) has been left out. Example:We have made many suggestions for your landscaping; you haven't accepted a single one. · Colons Use a colon before a list. Example:The grader will be looking for the following elements: a topic sentence, specific details, and a strong conclusion. · Parenthesis Use parentheses to enclose additional information. Example:The decline in literacy has been astonishing (see the following chart). Use parentheses to enclose numbers or letters. Example:A book owned by a public library is usually catalogued by (1) title card, (2) author card, (3) subject card. · Hyphen Use a hyphen to show a word break at the end of a line. Example:By the time he finishes this book, your grandfather will be an octo-grammarian. Use a hyphen in certain compound nouns. Examples:pint-size, great-grandmother Use hyphens in fractions and in compound numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine. Examples:one-half, sixty-six · Quotation marks Use quotation marks to set off a speaker's exact words. Example:"Is that poem a sonnet?" we asked. Use quotation marks to set off the titles of short works such as poems, essays, songs, short stories, and magazine articles. Examples: "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" "The Poet" "We've Only Just Begun" · Apostrophes Use an apostrophe to show ownership.