Punctuation | English Grammar


Punctuations are marks that are used in writing to help denote pauses or questions. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, punctuation is “the use of spacing, conventional signs, and certain typographical devices as aids to the understanding and correct reading, both silently and aloud, of handwritten and printed texts.”

Punctuation is the practice of making small marks into writing, which help the reading and interpretation of the text. It also helps divide the text into sentences, phrases or clauses. The most common types of sentences are period (full stop), comma, question mark, exclamation mark, apostrophe, colon, semi-colon, hyphen, etc.

The Basic Signs of Punctuation:

,                                   the comma

.                                   the full stop

!                                   the exclamation mark

?                                  the question mark

;                                   the semi-colon

:                                   the colon

‘                                   the apostrophe

“   ”                              the quotation marks

–                                   the hyphen

…                                 the ellipsis.

(  )  or [   ]                    the brackets

/                                   the slash

Nearly everything uses punctuation. You will never see a text that is completely devoid of punctuation. Even if nothing else is used, there will at least be periods (full stop) and commas in the text. Just take this paragraph into example. It incorporates the period, comma, and brackets.

Punctuation is commonly used only in writing. They are not used in speaking, because they are marks, which can only be seen. However, we do punctuate our sentences with tone and body language. Think for example saying, “My name is John.” While speaking, note how at the end of the sentence we break of suddenly. This denotes to the hearer that that is the end of the sentence. Now imagine saying, “Is your name Mary?” See how at the end the sentence end with the raising of the tone before cutting of, that denotes a question.

Examples of Punctuation:

I have to go.
Have you done your homework?
I won!
This is John’s.
Hallie, come here!
She said, “Hi”.
Fruits: apple, oranges, and bananas.
She said she has to go; I don’t know why.

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