Punctuation Marks

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Punctuation Marks:
Understanding Usage
What are punctuations?
• Punctuation is an important aspect of writing.
• Helps you make your writing more
understandable.
• Using punctuation marks can enhance clarity in
your writing.
Full Stop (.)
• A full stop should always be used to end a
sentence.
▫ indicates that a point has been made and that you
are about to move on to further explanations
• Example:
▫ Dinner was delicious.
• Used to indicate abbreviations
 Telephone Number = Tel. No.
 September = Sept.
 Pages = pp.
Comma (,)
• A comma is useful
 pause before proceeding
 add a phrase that does not contain any new subject
 The boy, who knew that his mother was about to arrive,
ran quickly towards the opening door.
 separate items on a list
 The shopping trolley was loaded high with bottles of
juice, fruit, vegetables, cereals and cartons of milk.
 use more than one adjective (a describing word, like
beautiful)
 The boy was happy, eager and full of anticipation at the
start of his summer holiday.
Exclamation Mark (!)
• Indicates strong feeling within a sentence.
▫ Help! The house is on fire.
• It can also be used to indicate a sharp
instruction.
▫ Stop! Police!
• To indicate humor
▫ Ha! Ha! Ha!
Question Mark (?)
• Question mark simply indicates that a sentence
is asking a question.
• It always comes at the end of a sentence.
▫ Have you completed your quiz?
▫ Do you have any more classes today?
Semi-colon (;)
• When joining two connected sentences.
 We set out at dawn; the weather looked promising.
• The semi-colon can also be used to assemble
detailed lists.
 The conference was attended by delegates from
Paris, France; Texas, USA; London, UK; Stockholm,
Sweden; Colombo, Sri Lanka; and Mumbai, India.
Colon (:)
• The colon within a sentence makes a very
pointed pause between two phrases.
• It is most commonly used when listing.
 She placed the following items into the trolley:
juice, fruit, vegetables, cereals and cartons of milk.
• Used within a heading, or descriptive title.
 Human Resource Management: Guidelines for
Telephone Advisers
Apostrophe (’)
• The apostrophe, sometimes called an inverted
comma has two main uses.
• The apostrophe indicates possession or
ownership.
 The girl's hat was green.
• Another use of the apostrophe is to indicate
where a letter is omitted.
 We're going to do this course.
Quotation or Speech Marks (“….”)
• Quotation or speech marks are used to:
▫ to mark out speech
▫ when quoting someone else's speech.
 My grandpa said, "Share your chocolates with your
friends”.
 “Ali, don't do that!"
Hyphen (-)
• The hyphen is used to link words together.
• For example:




sub-part
eighteenth-century people
week-end
second-class post
References:
• Punctuation at Work: Simple Principles for Achieving
Clarity and Good Style by Richard Lucman
• The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation by Jane
Straus
• Punctuation and Spelling By Rebecca Vickers
• Punctuation Signs and Symbols. Retrieved from:
http://www.skillsyouneed.com/write/punctuation1.html
• What are fourteen punctuation marks in English?
Retrieved from:
http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/punctuation/what/
fourteen-punctuation-marks.html
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