Use of 14 Punctuation Marks
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What are Punctuation Marks?

Punctuation Marks are 14 in numbers in the English language. They are known as symbols or signs that give your writing a professional look. So, we use these signs to make better sense in writing. Because the reader develops an understanding of the meaning of written language with them. After all, a punctuation mark makes the reader aware of the expression of a sentence. Moreover, these symbols also give strength of emotion put a question, declare a statement, show a warning, etc.

Categorical use of 14 Punctuation Marks

  1. Sentence closing: Period, Question Mark, and Exclamation Mark
  2. Comma, Colon, and Semicolon
  3. Dash and Hyphen
  4. Brackets, Braces, and Parentheses
  5. Apostrophe, Quotation Marks, and Ellipsis
Diagram of Punctuation Marks
Diagram of Punctuation Marks

Details usage of Punctuation Marks with Examples

1. Period (.)

A period is usually known as a full stop. It states that the sentence has ended here with the full stop. Also, it expresses a complete thought and declares something in a single sentence.  

A Period has more usages:

a. We use a period at the end of a declarative or imperative sentence.

  • This hero is a man of action.
  •  Kindly hand over this pen to me.

b. The Period is also used in names or titles and initials or abbreviations e.g.

  • Mr. Ahsan
  • M.A. Education
  • Dept. of English
  • Mrs. Khanam is my favorite teacher.
  • Dr. Mehdi is the heart specialist. 

c. We use a period instead of a question mark after an indirect kind of question.

  • She wants to know if you like to go with her.
  • Tell me if you like to visit the zoo.

2. Question Mark (?)

We use a question mark with sentences like:

a. The writers apply a Question mark at the end of a sentence that puts a direct question. The interrogative statement starts with ‘Wh’ words like What, Why, When, Where, and How, etc.

  • Where is your phone?
  • What’s your good name?

b. It is also used in a sentence having more than a single question, each question uses a question mark. But if a question is incomplete unless the last word of the sentence, we put the question mark only at the end.

  • Are you sure of his name? His age? His address?
  • Will you return on Monday, Saturday, or Sunday?

3. Exclamation Mark (!)

    Exclamation Mark is used:

a. We use an exclamation mark at the end of an exclamatory sentence. The sentence that expresses intense emotions like anger, love, sadness, happiness, etc.

  • This is an absolutely true story!
  • What an awesome play!

   b.  We can use an Exclamation mark after interjections.

  • Ugh! It’s a very difficult time.

    c. We need to use the exclamation mark after commands which specify sudden action.

  •  Write as fast as you can!
  • Drink ten glass of water daily!

    d. The exclamation mark is used after an interrogative sentence is meant to be exclamatory.

  • Why are you doing that!
  • What’s going up!

4. Comma (,)

We use a comma to show the separation of phrases and ideas within the structure of a sentence by inserting a pause. So, it helps us to understand the actual meaning of a sentence. 

a. The comma is practiced in separate clauses of a sentence. For example:

If you go to the market, bring one Kg grain for us.

b. Commas are also used to separate things alike. For example:

My brother went to the local market and bought fine flour, cooking oil, sugar, tea, cookies, etc.

c. We can use Comma address, someone, directly. For example:

Listen to me, “You have taken a good decision to commit to it.

5. Colon (:)

a. We use a Colon to introduce something like: an example, a list of things, a quotation, or an elaboration. For example:

He has given three job interviews: software engineering, management, and civil services.

b. A colon is also used to connect two independent clauses in case the second clause completes the first one. For example: 

I wouldn’t act upon your advice: I’ve already tested you.

c. A colon may emphasize a particular subject within a sentence. For example:

I only love you: my princess.

6. Semicolon (;)

a. We use a Semicolon to connect two independent clauses, especially in a complex sentence. For example:

  • She is much busy now; I would not disturb her.
  • Let’s play cricket today; we will enjoy it.

7. Dashes (- —)

These two dashes vary by size and use, one is shorter, and the other is longer. One uses the shorter dash to signify a particular range of numbers and dates. For example:

  • We lived in Lahore from 2010-2020.
  • I’ll see you on Monday, 20-10-2030.

    While we use the long dashes in place of commas, colons, or other punctuation marks, etc. For example:

I have taken the first step — No doubt!

8. Hyphen (-)

When there are two or three words connected, they make use of the hyphen to make a compound word. For example:

  • WI-fi
  • Father-in-Law
  • ice-cream

9. Brackets ([ ])

We use Brackets to explain technical terminology, to make a subject clear to the reader. And, we use it to give references to another text or thing. For example:

  • They [classmates] are not agreeing with me.
  • She says that [sugarcane juice] “is our national beverage”.

10. Braces ({})

a. We use Braces in mathematical questions, scientific text, operations, etc. For example:

3+{a=b}

11. Parenthesis (())

We put Parenthesis to provide more detail of a particular thing under discussion. For example:

My home (which I bought last year) has uplifted two times in terms of the actual price.

12. Apostrophes (‘)

a. We put apostrophes in the omission of words, to signify possession and contractions. For example:

  • Ahmad’s phone was lost yesterday.
  • It’s our responsibility to provide the team with bat and ball.
  • Don’t sit back, I can’t afford it, I’m going now, You’re my friend, I Wouldn’t attend the meeting.

b. The apostrophe is also used to indicate more than one copy of a word.

  • The report says that there are five work’s in the paragraph.
  • The V.I.P’s have reached.

c. The apostrophe is further used to show plural or some other kind of abbreviation. For example:

The V.I.P’s have reached.

13. Quotation Mark (” “)

Quotation Mark has several uses:

a. One of the active uses of Quotation marks is to quote the direct words of a speaker or writer in a speech or text.

  • “Do you take tea?” I asked.
  • “You have given the best of yourself”, said the boss.

b. We put Quotation marks to enclose the titles of stories, chapters, essays, films, etc.

Shakespeare has written the play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

c. Put a comma before the quotation marks end.

“We do not try to convert others,” the Salome Follower said. “Only to live our way.

14. Ellipsis (…)

Ellipsis is used as a set of dots to omit words, which we don’t want to repeat in a sentence. With Ellipsis, we can also shorten a quote without distorting its original meaning.

For Example:

Before you leave the home, complete your task first, and don’t delay it anymore.

Recap of Punctuation Marks

  1. Period . Full Stop
  2. Question Mark ? Iterrogative Statements
  3. Exclamation Mark ! Exclamatory Sentences
  4. Comma , Pause and Seperation
  5. Colon : To Introduce Something
  6. Semicolon ; Connects two independent statements
  7. Dash With Numbers and Dates
  8. Hyphen Connects Compound Words
  9. Brackets [ ] Used with technical Terms and for Refrences
  10. Braces { } Used with Mathematical and Scientific Text
  11. Parentheses ( ) Provides more Details
  12. Apostrophe ‘ Shows Possession and Omits words
  13. Quotation Marks “” To Quote the Direct Words of the Writer
  14. Ellipsis (…) Used to Omit Words

By ES

English Language Teaching Professional

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