Grammar: Punctuation Marks

Punctuation is as important in writing as accent is in speech. The followings are the punctuation marks commonly used in English writing.

1
Period (.)
9
Asterisk (*)
2
Question 
Mark (?)
10
Hyphen (-)
3
Comma (,)
11
Virgule/Slash
4
Colon (:)
12
Dash (─)
5
Semi Colon (;)
13
Ellipsis (…..)
6
Apostrophe (’)
14
Italic (B) and Underline
7
Quotation 
Marks  ”   “
15
Parentheses ( )
or Brackets [   ]
8
Exclamation (!)

A: Definitions with examples

1. A full stop
is used to end a sentence. 
I love my new car.
2. Question Mark
is used at the end of a sentence:  
What do you think of my new car?
3. Comma 
 is not used to list items: For example:  
I went to buy a bread, milk, sugar, yugart and some cakes.
4. Colon 
is used between independent clauses when the second sentence explains, illustrates, paraphrases, or expands on the first sentence. Example:
He got what he worked for: he really earned that promotion. 
A Colon also introduces items. For example:
You know what to do: Practice. 
I need the following items: Books, Pens and Markers. 
5. Semicolon 
is used to join to clauses without a Conjunction especially when the writer wants to narrow the gap between closely linked sentences. For example:  
Call me tomorrow; you can give me an answer then.
We have paid our dues; we expect all the benefits now.
Use a semicolon before such words and terms as namely, however, therefore, that is, i.e., for example, e.g., for instance, etc., when they introduce a complete sentence. It is also preferable to use a comma after these words and terms. Example:  

Bring any two items; however, sleeping bags and tents are in short supply.

6. Apostrophe
is used to show possession or property:  
Aslam’s book, Naeem’s method, Ali’s duty.
7. Quotation Marks
are used to report speech of other people:  
He said, “I don’t want to go abroad.”
Use double quotation marks to set off a direct quotation. For example:  
“I hope you will be here,” he said. He said, “Will you come to my party?”
Use single quotation marks for quotations within quotations. For example:

Umar said:
“In a town outside Lahore, I saw ‘Tourists go home’ on a wall.
But then someone told me, ‘Worry it not, man.’ “

8. Exclamation Mark
is used to show feelings and emotions:  
Yahoo! Alas!  
Oh, dear me! Oh, God! 
I am truly shocked by your behaviour!
9. Asterisk
is used to mark some errors or mistakes: Your brother are a doctor*
10. Hyphen 
is used to glue words together. For example:  
A state-of-the-art design. A five year-old boy.
11. Slash is used to separate two items:
The right word to use is integrity/honesty.
Despite its popularity, the slash (/), known as a virgule, is disliked by purists. Other than to indicate dates (9/11/2001) or to separate lines of poetry (“Celery, raw / Develops the jaw”).
12. Dash
is used to indicate additinal emphasis, an interruption, or an abrupt
change of thought. Note how dashes subtly change the tone of the following
sentences: 
You are the friend—the only friend—who offered to help me.
13. Ellipsis 
are used to show missing details: The story goes as
An ellipsis (plural: ellipses) is consisting of three dots. Use an ellipsis when omitting a word, phrase, line, paragraph, or more from a quoted passage.
14. Bold, Italics and Underline 
are used to emphasize a word or phrase:
What she wants is love, fame and money.
15. Parenthesis or Brackets contain ungrammatical items that don’t fit in the sentence grammatically or for added emphasize.
The right thing to do in this situation [I mean the right thing that people like] is to help others.
“He shook hands with [his son] Ali.”
You (accompanied by your old friends) are always welcome. 

Rules for Capital Letters
We use capital letters:

  • Full words capitalized in Headings: THE PRIME MINISTER, BLAST, WINTER SETS IN.
  • To emphasize something: I need a pen, not PAIN.
  • For Proper Nouns always capitalized.NeoEnglish, Lahore, Pakitan, The Qur’an. Ali, Township, January, Eid, Friday, The Thames, The Ravi, The Nation Newspaper, Imran Khan.
  • To start a sentence: You need some change.
  • For Personal Pronoun, ‘I‘ :
  • For Poetry, each line starts with Capital Letters and even Common Nouns can be capitalised.

Let’s have a look at Punctuation and Capitalization in use.
This was like any other day. I went to the market and bought apples, oranges, some clothes and on my way back home, I dropped by Hassan’s home to ask after him. Hassan was ill. I said, “How are you?”. He said, “I am OK now.” We spent three hours together. We talked about movies; however; I felt he was not very well because he [Oh, remember!] was also jobless. His father had gone abroad; but he never (as it is said) came back for his children. Hassan was kind of a deserted child who didn’t enjoy three things in his life: parental love, good upbringing and education. He was really a ….

Excercise: 

1. Punctuate the following lines.
How many days are there in a leap year?
Can Honors voice provoke the silent dust
Boys have you ever read jazz by morrison
Now abideth faith hope charity
The houses were low narrow and dingy
julius cæsar wrote I came I saw I conquered

2. Punctuate the following lines.
Experience keeps a dear school but fools will learn in no other
Which pleases the teacher more No sir I cant or yes maam Ill try
Little lord fauntleroy was originally published in st. nicholas

By May I will try to print my books passion, youth or jazz to celebrate two days eid and independence because all work and no play make Jack a dull boy

1 thought on “Grammar: Punctuation Marks”

  1. 1. ANSWER

    How many days are there in a leap year?
    Can Honor’s voice provoke the silent dust?
    Boys, have you ever read Jazz by Morrison?
    Now abideth faith, hope, charity.
    The houses were low, narrow, and dingy.
    Julius Cæsar wrote, “I came, I saw, I conquered.”

    2. ANSWER

    “Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other.”
    Which pleases the teacher more, “No, sir, I can’t”; or, “Yes, ma’am, I’ll try”?
    “Little Lord Fauntleroy” was originally published in St. Nicholas.

    By May, I will try to print my books: Passion, Youth or Jazz to celebrate two days: Eid and Independence because “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy”

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