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Punctuation Marks in English

Rules and Examples
Punctuation marks are an important part of English grammar and writing.

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What are punctuation marks?

A punctuation mark is a mark (sign) used in writing to divide texts
into phrases and sentences.
Some common punctuation marks are:

period (full stop) ( . )

)  question mark ( ? )  exclamation mark ( ! )  colon ( : )  semicolon ( . brackets [ ] and braces { }  hyphen ( ‐ )  en dash (–)  em dash ( — )  ellipsis (. comma ( . )  single quotation marks ( ' ' )  double quotation marks ( " " )  parentheses ( ). . )  apostrophe ( ' )  slash ( / ) Some additional punctuation marks are:  ampersand ( & )  asterisk ( * )  at sign ( @ )  bullet ( • )  degree symbol ( ° )  number sign ( # )  percent sign ( % )  underscore symbol ( _ )  copyright symbol ( © )  registered trademark symbol ( ® ) . .

) To begin a list  colon ( : ) To quote or indicate a title  single quotation marks ( ' ' )  double quotation marks ( " " ) To indicate extra information  parentheses ( ). To end a sentence  period (full stop) ( . trademark symbol ( ™ )  dollar sign ( $ ) English punctuation rules Click on the individual punctuation marks for more information and examples. )  semicolon ( . )  question mark ( ? )  exclamation mark ( ! )  ellipsis (.) To separate phrases or items  comma ( . . . brackets [ ] and braces { }  em dash ( — ) To show alternatives  slash ( / ) Read also Colon vs Semicolon Comma Splices .

In our writing. we will look at some common punctuation marks and mistakes.Why is punctuation important? When we speak. an exclamation mark ( ! ) tells the reader that I am excited or yelling. Here is a paragraph without end punctuation: . ) The elephant is big. For example. The three most common ways to end a sentence are  period ( .  question mark ( ? ) Where is the man?  exclamation mark ( ! ) The huge elephant sat on the man! End punctuation tells the reader where each sentence ends. A punctuation mark is a mark. we use punctuation to show pauses and emphasis. Punctuation marks help the reader understand what we mean. You must use end punctuation at the end of every sentence to avoid confusion. In this lesson. we can pause or emphasize certain words and phrases to help people understand what we are saying. used in writing to divide texts into phrases and sentences and make the meaning clear. End Punctuation End Punctuation is the most common punctuation in the English language. It also helps the reader understand the writer's emotions about the subject. You will see examples of what happens if you omit or misuse some common punctuation marks. or sign.

Consider these three sentences: 1. You can see that the writer is excited about singing and enjoyed singing for the residents of the nursing home. Richard wants to marry Rose. but the end punctuation greatly changes the meaning: 1. Richard wants to marry Rose? The words of each sentence are the same. The writer does not show any feelings about the situation. Last week. By using a period. you can see questions. The residents of the nursing home enjoyed our visit! It was fun! Would you like to join us next Tuesday? Now. 2. Here is the same paragraph with end punctuation: Do you like to sing? My mom and I sing in a choir that meets every Tuesday. Richard wants to marry Rose. . The writer also asks if you like singing and would like to join their choir. we sang Christmas carols at a nursing home. Every sentence runs straight into the next sentence. Incorrect uses of end punctuation Using the wrong end punctuation can cause confusion for the reader. the writer is simply stating a fact.Do you like to sing My mom and I sing in a choir that meets every Tuesday Last week we sang Christmas carols at a nursing home The residents of the nursing home enjoyed our visit It was fun Would you like to join us next Tuesday You can see that it is very difficult to read and make sense of the paragraph. Richard wants to marry Rose! 3. and exclamations in the paragraph. statements.

Commas help avoid confusion. Richard wants to marry Rose! With an exclamation mark. Commas Commas are another very important type of punctuation. it sounds like Sally likes to eat hot dogs and broccolicovered in chocolate! Yuck! . Without commas. A) Using commas in lists: Here is a list without commas: Sally likes to eat chocolate hot dogs and broccoli. Richard wants to marry Rose? By using a question mark. Commas also separate phrases. Commas tell the reader where to pause. the writer has turned the sentence into a question. 3. ideas. The writer seems surprised and is asking for clarification. the writer shows emotion about the situation.2. The writer is probablyexcited. and items in a list.

broccoli B) Commas for phrasing Here is another funny example: 1. we see that Sally actually likes three foods: 1." Without quotation marks and commas.Here is the same list with commas: Sally likes to eat chocolate. In the first sentence. Example: "Punctuation is important. and broccoli. hot dogs. The comma in the second sentence shows the writer that we are actually informing David that it is time to eat. It is time to eat. David! 1. it sounds like we are going to eat David for lunch! 2." my teacher said. hot dogs 3. It is time to eat David! 2. Quotation marks Quotation marks are another common punctuation mark in the English language. it would be difficult to understand what the . Now. chocolate 2. your writing would be very confusing. Quotation marks are used with commas to inform the reader that someone is talking or being quoted. "Without punctuation marks.

Punctuation is important my teacher said without punctuation marks your writing would be very confusing Quotation marks are also very important when you are quoting words someone has already said. Misplaced apostrophes can cause confusion for readers. I am giving her credit for her words.  Incorrect: The dog sleeps in it's house." Maya Angelo is a famous author and poet. "If you don't like something. This does not make sense because we would not say. I show her exact words by enclosing them in quotation marks. If you can't change it." . change your attitude. The house belongs to the dog. "The dog sleeps in it is house. When I am quoting her. Apostrophes are used to show ownership and missing letters in contractions. Apostrophes Apostrophes are another commonly misused form of punctuation. Example: Maya Angelo said.character is saying. change it. By using quotation marks. Example: it's = it is its = ownership  Correct: The dog sleeps in its house.

The blue room belongs to the boy.  Incorrect: The boy's are sleeping in the tent. There is more than one boy sleeping in the tent.  Incorrect: The boys room is painted blue. In this example. .  Correct: The boys are sleeping in the tent. The apostrophe is not needed in this sentence because we are not showing ownership. we do not know if the room belongs to one boy(boy's) or more than one boy (boys').Example: boy's = ownership boys = more than one boy  Correct: The boy's room is painted blue.