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PUNCTUATION

 

PUNCTUATION

MEANING | DEFINITION

PUNCTUATION IS THE NAME OF THE MARKS USED IN WRITING. THEY ARE VERY ESSENTIAL SIGNS TO UNDERSTAND A SENTENCE IN CORRECT WAY. THEY REPRESENT THE EXPRESSION AND FEELING IN A SENTENCE.



NEED FOR PUNCTUATION

PUNCTUATION IS USED TO BRING CLARITY AND MEANING TO WRITING.

USE OF CAPITAL LETTERS

A CAPITAL LETTER IS USED AT THE BEGINNING OF A SENTENCE.

EXAMPLES

  • THE BEAR IN THE ZOO WAS A BIG ONE.
  • CYCLING IS A GOOD FORM OF EXERCISE.
  • HIS FAVORITE PASTIME IS READING MYSTERY STORIES.

A CAPITAL LETTER IS USED WITH PROPER NOUNS.

EXAMPLES

  • ON SATURDAY MORNING WE HAVE INTER SCHOOL SOCCER MATCH.
  • ROGER IS A GOOD TENNIS PLAYER.
  • MOTHER TERESA WAS BORN IN SKOPJE, MACEDONIA ON MONDAY, AUGUST 27, 1910.

A CAPITAL LETTER IS USED WITH ADJECTIVES THAT ARE DERIVED FROM PROPER NOUNS.

EXAMPLES

  • MOST TOMBS OF THE MUGHAL ERA WERE INSPIRED BY PERSIAN ARCHITECTURE.
  • WE HAD DINNER AT A CHINESE RESTAURANT.
  • DAVID COPPERFIELD IS MY FAVOURITE DICKENSIAN CHARACTER.

THE PRONOUN "I" IS ALWAYS WRITTEN IN CAPITAL.

EXAMPLE

MY PARENTS SAY I SPEND TOO MUCH TIME SURFING THE INTERNET. I THINK IT'S A GREAT WAY TO GATHER INFORMATION.

IN TITLES, THE FIRST LETTER OF EACH MAIN WORD IS CAPITALIZED.

EXAMPLES

  • BUCKINGHAM PALACE IS THE HOME TO THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND.
  • HE HAS A DEGREE IN NUCLEAR PHYSICS FROM CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY.

PUNCTUATION MARKS

PUNCTUATION MARKS ARE SYMBOLS THAT HELP US TO ORGANIZE AND STRUCTURE SENTENCES. THE TERM PUNCTUATION IS DERIVED FROM A LATIN TERM PUNCTUM. IT MEANS THE CORRECT USE OF POINTS OR STOPS IN WRITING.

THE CHARACTER BELOW LISTS SOME PUNCTUATION MARK AND A FEW RULES.

[A] CAPITAL LETTER

USES

  • STARTS A SENTENCE
  • INDICATES PROPER NOUN
  • EMPHASIZES CERTAIN WORDS

EXAMPLE SENTENCES

  • ALL I WANT IS A PASTRY.
  • YOU CAN CALL ME RONNIE.
  • I WANT IT TODAY!

. FULL STOP

A FULL STOP MARKS THE END OF A SENTENCE. WHILE READING A SENTENCE WE NEED TO PAUSE AFTER A FULL STOP. FULL STOPS END SENTENCES THAT ARE NOT QUESTIONS OR EXCLAMATIONS. A FULL STOP IS USED AT THE END OF EVERY TELLING SENTENCE.

EXAMPLE SENTENCE

  • THIS IS AN ELEPHANT.
  • ANN IS AN EXCELLENT TEACHER.
  • CANADA IS FASCINATING COUNTRY.

A FULL STOP IS ALSO USED AT THE END OF AN ABBREVIATED WORD OR BETWEEN THE LETTERS OF AN ABBREVIATED WORD. WE DO NOT USE A FULL STOP WITH ABBREVIATIONS FORMED FROM THE FIRST CAPITAL LETTERS. FOR EXAMPLE: BBC, USA AND MA

EXAMPLES

  • CO.
  • ETC.
  • E.G.
  • I.E.
  • NO.

? QUESTION MARK

A QUESTION MARK IS NEEDED AFTER A DIRECT QUESTION. THE QUESTION CAN BE A SHORT WORD OR A WHOLE SENTENCE.

USES

  • QUESTION MARKS END SENTENCES THAT ARE QUESTIONS.

EXAMPLE SENTENCE

  • IS THIS YOUR ASSIGNMENT?

! EXCLAMATION MARK OR SIGN

AN EXCLAMATION MARK IS USED AFTER A STRONG INTERJECTION AND AFTER STRONG IMPERATIVE SENTENCES WHICH MARK CERTAIN DIRECT COMMANDS.

USES

  • EXCLAMATION MARKS END A SENTENCE THAT IS AN EXCLAMATION.

EXAMPLE SENTENCE

  • DON'T PICK THAT!

" " QUOTATION OR SPEECH MARKS

DOUBLE QUOTATION MARKS ENCLOSE QUOTATIONS. IT MARKS A DIRECT SPEECH.

USES

  • QUOTATION MARKS ENCLOSE DIRECT SPEECH – IT CAN BE DOUBLE OR SINGLE.
  • QUOTATION MARKS ARE USED AT THE BEGINNING AND END OF A PHRASE TO SHOW THAT IT IS BEING WRITTEN EXACTLY AS IT WAS ORIGINALLY SAID OR WRITTEN.
  • COMMAS AND PERIODS ARE ALWAYS PLACED IMMEDIATELY BEFORE THE CLOSING QUOTATION MARK.

EXAMPLE SENTENCE

  • "HOW ARE YOU?", SHE ASKED ME.

, COMMA

A COMMA IS USED TO ORGANIZE THOUGHTS INTO LOGICAL GROUPS. IT INDICATES A MUCH SHORTER PAUSE THAN A FULL STOP. IT SEPARATES THE DIFFERENT PARTS OF A SENTENCE OR NAMES IN A LIST.

USES

  • A COMMA PLACES A PAUSE BETWEEN CLAUSES WITHIN A SENTENCE.
  • IT SEPARATES ITEMS IN A LIST.
  • IT SEPARATE ADJECTIVES IN A SERIES.

EXAMPLE SENTENCES

  • WE WERE LATE, ALTHOUGH IT DIDN'T MATTER.
  • YOU WILL NEED EGGS, BUTTER, SALT AND CHEESE.
  • I WORE A RED-COLOURED, LONG AND FRILLY SKIRT.

' ' SINGLE QUOTATION MARKS

USES

  • IT COMPLETELY ENCLOSES CLAUSES INSERTED IN A SENTENCE.
  • MARK SPEECH FROM WORDS DENOTING WHO SAID THAT.

EXAMPLE SENTENCES

  • WE WERE , THOUGH WE HAD RUSHED TO GET THERE, LATE FOR THE FILM.
    'THANK YOU ,' I SAID.

 HYPHEN

USES

  • HYPHEN CONNECTS ELEMENTS OF CERTAIN WORDS.

EXAMPLES

  • NORTH-EAST
  • FAIR-WEATHER FRIEND
  • X-FACTOR

: COLON

USES

  • INTRODUCES LISTS (INCLUDING EXAMPLES)
  • INTRODUCES SUMMARIES
  • INTRODUCES (DIRECT) QUOTATIONS
  • INTRODUCES A SECOND CLAUSE THAT EXPANDS OR ILLUSTRATES THE MEANING OF THE FIRST

EXAMPLE SENTENCES

  • WE LEARNED THE FOLLOWING AT THE CAMP: ROCK-CLIMBING, CANOEING AND RAFTING.
  • DURING THE SALSA CLASS WE WERE TOLD: DANCE SALSA ON ANY BEAT OR ACROSS THE BEAT.
  • MY INSTRUCTOR ALWAYS SAYS: "BEND THOSE KNEES."
  • THE SNOW HARDENED: IT TURNED INTO ICE.

; SEMICOLON

A SEMICOLON REPRESENTS A PAUSE GREATER THAN A COMMA. SEMICOLON IS USED TO SEPARATE THE INDEPENDENT CLAUSES OF A COMPOUND SENTENCE. SUCH CLAUSES ARE NOT JOINED BY A COORDINATING CONJUNCTION (AND, BUT, OR NOR, FOR, SO, YET).

IN SEPARATING THE TWO CLAUSES OF A COMPOUND SENTENCE, THE SEMICOLON IS SLIGHTLY STRONGER THAN A COMMA, BUT WEAKER THAN A PERIOD. REMEMBER THAT THE CLAUSE BEFORE THE SEMICOLON AND THE CLAUSE AFTER THE SEMICOLON SHOULD BE COMPLETE ON THEIR OWN; WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO REPLACE THE SEMICOLON WITH A PERIOD  AND GET TWO GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT AND COMPLETE SENTENCES.

USES

  • SEMICOLON SEPARATES TWO CLOSELY LINKED CLAUSES AND SHOWS THAT THERE IS A LINK BETWEEN THEM.
  • IT SEPARATE ITEMS IN A COMPLEX LIST.

EXAMPLE SENTENCES

  • ON TUESDAY, THE TRAM WAS LATE; THE BUS WAS EARLY.
  • YOU CAN GO BY AND AEROPLANE, TRAIN AND A TAXI; CHANNEL TUNNEL TRAIN, COACH, THEN A SHORT WALK; OR AEROPLANE AND CAR.

' APOSTROPHE OF POSSESSION

USES

  • DENOTES THE OWNERSHIP OF SOMETHING

EXAMPLE SENTENCES

  • THIS IS BETSY'S SCARF.
  • THESE ARE PETER'S BOOKS.

' APOSTROPHE OF CONTRACTION

USES

  • SHOWS THE OMISSION OF A LETTER(S) WHEN TWO (OR OCCASIONALLY MORE) WORDS ARE CONTRACTED

EXAMPLE SENTENCES

  • DON'T WALK ON THE GRASS.
  • SHE'D'VE TOLD US. (DOUBLE CONTRACTION IS USED IN SPOKEN ENGLISH ONLY)

. . . ELLIPSIS

USES

  • ELLIPSIS SHOWS THE OMISSION OF WORDS.
  • IT ALSO INDICATES A PAUSE.

EXAMPLE SENTENCES

  • THE TEACHER MOANED , "LOOK AT THIS FLOOR … A MESS… THIS CLASS."
  • LOUIS SAID: 'I THINK I LOCKED THE DOOR… NO, HANG ON … DID I?'

( ) BRACKETS

USES

  • BRACKETS SET APART A WORD OR PHRASE ADDED TO A SENTENCE TO GIVE SOME ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

EXAMPLE

  • THE NECKLACE (WHICH HAD BEEN IN MY FAMILY FOR YEARS) WAS STOLEN.

--- DASH

USES

  • INDICATES ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, WITH MORE EMPHASIS THAN A COMMA.
  • INDICATES A PAUSE, ESPECIALLY FOR EFFECT AT THE END OF A SENTENCE.
  • CONTAINS EXTRA INFORMATION (USED INSTEAD OF BRACKETS).

EXAMPLE SENTENCES

  • SHE IS AN AUTHOR – AND A VERY GOOD ONE TOO.
  • WE ALL KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT – THE BEST.
  • YOU SOLVED THAT SUM – AND I DON'T KNOW HOW – BEFORE ANYBODY ELSE

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