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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. Let’s 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. Let’s 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 you’re 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 isn’t coming? When did you speak to him? C. To end a tag question (a statement followed by a question). 1. His phone was stolen, wasn’t it? NOTE: Many times, people use questions marks even when they’re 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 don’t 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, India’s 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.

Apostrophe The apostrophe has two distinct uses in English 1. ) consists of a dot above a comma. 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. (An initialism is similar to acronym. but only when you use it with the person's name. water and food. General Motors Corporation. essay. Example: I enjoyed Mark's essay. Example: Did Clarissa recommend Dr. 13) Capitalize acronyms. Example: When we visited the Southwest.e. or first few. Example: My birthday will be on a Friday next June. Vinod. Japan for his company. In the majority of the cases. and places. Used to show possession: o Bat owned by Ravi – Ravi’s bat o Doll owned by Sita – Sita’s doll 2. Example: The Emancipation Proclamation was issued during the Civil War. SEMI COLON Sumit likes to play cricket. nationalities. A man needs three things to survive: air. but a word is not formed from the letters. f. Example: Juan went on a trip to Tokyo. letters of words in a long name of an organization. organizations. who is from Lucknow. 7) Capitalize the first letter of the names of months and the days of the week." 11) Capitalize historical events and documents. 6) Capitalize the first letter of directions only when they are used .G. and Mohan. who is from Mumbai. Used to show contractions of words: o It is so hot today – It’s so hot today o I have not done my homework – I haven’t done my homework CAPITALIZATION: 1) Capitalize the pronoun I.) Example: CARE is the Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere. 3) Capitalize the first letter of names of people. to designate actual places. races. not when they point in a direction. Example: I learned in Spanish class that several Hispanics are Catholic. magazine. and religions. who is from Delhi. Wells. 12) Capitalize the name of languages. 14) Capitalize initialisms. 8) Capitalize the official title of a person (including abbreviations). Manish drank tea. Manoj. 5) Capitalize initials Example: My brother's favorite author is H. I drank lemonade.) Example: The Central Intelligence Agency is simply known as the CIA. etc. The following sentence will illustrate the use of both these punctuation marks I talked to four men: Amit. 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. we actually had to drive north. Example: Jennifer and I went to the movies yesterday. Example: I like Mexican food. 4) Capitalize the first letter of adjectives that are made from the names of people and places. Amit likes to play soccer. Colon and Semi Colon The colon ( : ) is a punctuation mark consisting of two dots one over the other whereas the semi colon ( . Example: Learning to capitalize correctly will improve your writing. story. 2) Capitalize the first letter of the first word of each sentence. who is from Patna. "The Truth About Being a Good Student. COLON I have packed my cricket kit with the equipment I need: bats. gloves and pads. (An acronym is a word formed by the first.