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Punctuation Marks Punctuation marks are important in both written and spoken English.

In written English, the correct usage of these symbols helps to express the intended meaning of the sentence. a. Full Stop/Period The full stop or the period (.) is the strongest punctuation in the English language. It indicates, when used at the end of a sentence, a strong pause. Look at the following examples. 1. Lets go there. 2. I like this laptop. 3. Read this book. 4. I will go home. This is the most common and obvious use of the full stop but it is also used in some other situations. 1. After abbreviations like etc., a.m., p.m. 2. After words like Goodbye. All right. Hi. o Goodbye. I will see you soon. o Hi Amit. How are you? o All right. Lets finish this by Thursday. 3. After titles like Mr., Mrs., Dr. etc. 4. After decimal points like: o The sales fell by 6.3% this week. o The share market index rose by 5.1% this quarter. An ellipsis (...) is often used to indicate a pause, an unfinished sentence or when trailing off into silence. It is also a handy tool when youre quoting and want to omit certain words. 1. He drank and drank...and then drank some more. 2. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, ... b. Question Mark The question mark (?) is an important part of the English language and was developed sometime around the 18th Century. Like the full stop (.), this punctuation mark is used mainly at the end of an interrogative sentence. The most obvious and common use of the question mark is to end a direct question. Look at the following sentences. 1. Where are you going? 2. What is this? A. To indicate uncertainty.

1. He lived till 1990(?) and was buried near his house. 2. Gandhiji, 2nd October 1869(?) 1948, was a great Indian leader. B. In a series of questions. 1. What? He isnt coming? When did you speak to him? C. To end a tag question (a statement followed by a question). 1. His phone was stolen, wasnt it? NOTE: Many times, people use questions marks even when theyre not required. One such situation would be indirect questions; these do not require a question mark. 1. Rohit asked Nidhi to marry him. 2. The Principal asked him his name. c. Exclamation Mark The exclamation mark is a punctuation used to express strong feelings or emotions. It is commonly used after interjections or exclamations. The exclamation mark should be mainly used to demonstrate shock, surprise, anger or a raised voice. Hurray! Help! Go away! I dont want to talk to you! Shut Up! d. Comma A comma is a punctuation used to denote a pause in the sentence. A comma is used to structure a sentence and helps the reader understand the meaning of the sentence. 1. To separate a series of words (nouns, adjectives, verbs or adverbs) in a sentence. Ramesh, Shravan, Dilip and Radha went for the meeting. Sheetal is an intelligent, loyal and hardworking employee. 2. To separate a series of phrases in a sentence. Amit completed his homework, packed his bags, polished his shoes and went to sleep. 3. To separate the parenthetical elements (a part of a sentence that can be removed without changing the meaning of the sentence). M.S. Dhoni, Indias cricket captain, hit a six to win the match. Vishnu, the headboy of the school, has been absent for the last three days. 4. To separate the quoted parts from the rest of the sentence. The great leader told the crowd, I will fast till death until our demands are met. Please go back to your houses, said the policeman to the crowd.

e. Colon and Semi Colon The colon ( : ) is a punctuation mark consisting of two dots one over the other whereas the semi colon ( ; ) consists of a dot above a comma. In the majority of the cases, the colon is used to introduce a list of things while a semi colon is used to separate sentences where the conjunction has been left out. COLON I have packed my cricket kit with the equipment I need: bats, gloves and pads. A man needs three things to survive: air, water and food. SEMI COLON Sumit likes to play cricket; Amit likes to play soccer. I drank lemonade; Manish drank tea.

to designate actual places, not when they point in a direction. Example: When we visited the Southwest, we actually had to drive north. 7) Capitalize the first letter of the names of months and the days of the week. Example: My birthday will be on a Friday next June. 8) Capitalize the official title of a person (including abbreviations), but only when you use it with the person's name. Example: Did Clarissa recommend Dr. Montoya to you? 9) Capitalize words used as names or parts of names. Example: Did Uncle George call my mom to tell her our grandmother is with Dad? 10) Capitalize the first letter of important words in a title of a book, magazine, story, essay, etc. Example: I enjoyed Mark's essay, "The Truth About Being a Good Student." 11) Capitalize historical events and documents. Example: The Emancipation Proclamation was issued during the Civil War. 12) Capitalize the name of languages, races, nationalities, and religions. Example: I learned in Spanish class that several Hispanics are Catholic. 13) Capitalize acronyms. (An acronym is a word formed by the first, or first few, letters of words in a long name of an organization.) Example: CARE is the Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere. 14) Capitalize initialisms. (An initialism is similar to acronym, but a word is not formed from the letters.) Example: The Central Intelligence Agency is simply known as the CIA.

The following sentence will illustrate the use of both these punctuation marks I talked to four men: Amit, who is from Delhi; Manoj, who is from Lucknow; Vinod, who is from Mumbai; and Mohan, who is from Patna. f. Apostrophe

The apostrophe has two distinct uses in English 1. Used to show possession: o Bat owned by Ravi Ravis bat o Doll owned by Sita Sitas doll 2. Used to show contractions of words: o It is so hot today Its so hot today o I have not done my homework I havent done my homework CAPITALIZATION: 1) Capitalize the pronoun I. Example: Jennifer and I went to the movies yesterday. 2) Capitalize the first letter of the first word of each sentence. Example: Learning to capitalize correctly will improve your writing. 3) Capitalize the first letter of names of people, organizations, and places. Example: Juan went on a trip to Tokyo, Japan for his company, General Motors Corporation. 4) Capitalize the first letter of adjectives that are made from the names of people and places. Example: I like Mexican food. 5) Capitalize initials Example: My brother's favorite author is H.G. Wells. 6) Capitalize the first letter of directions only when they are used