Punctuation is thesystem of symbols thatwe use to separatesentences and parts ofsentences, and to maketheir meaning clear. Eachsymbol is called a“punctuation mark”.
1. Use a full stop at the end of a sentence. The man arrived. He sat down.2. Use a full stop at the end of an indirectquestion. The teacher asked why Maria had left out theeasy exercises. My father used to wonder why Egberts earswere so big.
2. Use full stops with abbreviations (in anabbreviation the last letter of the word and ofthe abbreviation are not the same). Co. (Company) M.P. (Member of Parliament)3. Do not use full stops with contractions (in acontraction the last letter of the word and of thecontraction are the same). Ltd (Limited) Dr (Doctor)
1. Use a comma between items in a series or list.In a sentence, the last two items usually do notneed a comma between them as they areseparated by "and". However, if one or both ofthe last two items are long, a comma may beuseful. coffee, tea, sugar, milk, eggs, butter, salt My favorite sports are football, rugby,swimming, boxing and golf. Hunsa was wearing blue jeans, black shoes, hisbrand new white shirt, and a brown and green cap.
2. Use a comma between three or more adjectives oradverbs. I like the old, brown, wooden table. He bought an old, red, open-top Volkswagen. He ran quickly, quietly and effortlessly.3. For two adjectives, use a comma where you could use"and". It was a short, simple film. (It was a short and simplefilm.) I have a big black dog. (I have a big and black dog.)
4. Use a comma for numbers over 999. (InEnglish, commas separate thousands and periodsseparate decimals.) $73,050.75 2,000,000 10.5 (ten point five or ten and a half)5. Use a comma for addresses, some dates, andtitles following a name. 911 Avenue Mansion, Petchburi Road,Bangkok, 10400, Thailand November 4, 1948
6. Use a comma before or after direct speech. Donot use a comma for reported speech. "The question is," said Alice, "whether you canmake words mean so many things."7. Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction(for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so) to join twoindependent clauses. If the independent clausesare short and well-balanced, a comma is optional. He didnt want to go, but he went anyway. I want to work as an interpreter, so I amstudying Russian at university.
8. Use commas for parenthetical elements. A"parenthetical element" is any part of a sentence that canbe removed without changing the real meaning of thesentence. John Geton, who is chairman of the company, is quiteold. Andrew, my wifes brother, cannot come.9. Use a comma after an introductory element. A commais optional for short, simple introductory elements. Rushing to catch the flight, he forgot to take hisphone. After a hefty meal cooked by his hosts wife, he wentto sleep.
10. Sentence adverbs (words like however, unfortunately,surprisingly that modify a whole sentence) often require oneor two commas, depending on their position in the sentence. However, Anthony did arrive. We were, unfortunately, too late. He had, not surprisingly, lost his temper.11. An adverbial clause often needs a comma when it comes atthe beginning of a sentence (but not at the end of a sentence). If I win the lottery, I will buy a castle. I will buy a castle if I win the lottery.12. Do not use a comma to separate two complete sentences. Inthis case, use a full stop (period) or semi-colon. Ram wants to go out. Anthony wants to stay home. Ram wants to go out, Anthony wants to stay home.
1. Use a colon to introduce a list: We can see many things in the sky atnight: the moon, stars, planets, comets, planesand even satellites.2. Actually, you can use a colon to introducea single item, especially when you want toemphasize that item. There is one thing that he will not accept:stupidity. The job of the colon is simple: tointroduce.
3. Use a colon to introduce direct speech or aquotation: John whispered in my ear: "Have you seenAndrea?" As Confucius once wrote: "When wordslose their meaning, people lose their freedom."4. Use a colon to introduce an explanation: We had to cancel the party: too many peoplewere sick. There is no need to rush: the meeting willbe starting one hour late.
1. We sometimes use a semi-colon instead of a full stop orperiod. This is to separate sentences that are grammaticallyindependent but that have closely connected meaning. Josef likes coffee; Mary likes tea. Tara is a good speaker; she speaks very clearly.2. Use a semi-colon as a kind of "super comma". When we havea list of items, we usually separate the items with commas. Ifthe list is complicated, we may prefer to use semi-colons insome cases. Rental cars must be returned on time; with a full tank ofpetrol; in undamaged condition; and at the same location as theywere collected from.
1. Use a hyphen to join words to show that their meaning islinked in some way: book-case (or bookcase) race-horse (or racehorse)2. Use a hyphen to make compound modifiers before nouns: a blue-eyed boy (but The boy was blue eyed.) the well-known actor (but The actor is well known.)3. Use a hyphen with certain prefixes. The prefixes all-, ex-,and self- usually need a hyphen: all-inclusive self-control
4. Use a hyphen when writing numbers 21 to 99, and fractions: twenty-one one hundred and sixty-five5. Use a hyphen to show that a word has been broken at theend of a line (hyphenation): The directors requested that a more conven-ient time be arranged.6. Use a hyphen with "suspended compounds". When we useseveral very similar compounds together, it may not benecessary to repeat the last part of the compound: They need to employ more full- and part-time staff. (notThey need to employ more full-time and part-time staff.)
Do not confuse a dash (—) with a hypen (-), which is shorter.1. Use a dash to show a pause or break in meaning in themiddle of a sentence: My brothers—Richard and John—are visiting Hanoi.(Could use commas.)2. Use a dash to show an afterthought: I attached the photo to my email—at least I hope I did!3. Use a dash like a colon to introduce a list: Dont forget to buy some food—eggs, bread, tuna andcheese.4. Use a dash to show that letters or words are missing: I will look ––––– the children. (Typically used in "missingword" questions.)
1. Use a question mark at the end of all directquestions: What is your name? Did you send euro or dollars?2. Use a question mark after a tag question: Youre French, arent you? Snow isnt green, is it?3. Dont forget to use a question mark at the end of asentence that really is a direct question: How else would I get there, after all? "Who knows when Ill die?", he asked rhetorically.
4. In very informal writing (personal letter or email), peoplesometimes use a question mark to turn a statement into aquestion: See you at 9pm?5. Do not use a question mark after an indirect or reportedquestion: The teacher asked them what their names were. (Whatare your names?)6. Many polite requests or instructions are made in the formof a question. But because they are not really questions, theydo not take a question mark: Could you please send me your catalogue. Would all first-class and business-class passengers nowstart boarding.
1. Use an exclamation mark to indicate strong feelings ora raised voice in speech: She shouted at him, "Go away! I hate you!" "Good heavens!" he said, "Is that true?"2. Many interjections need an exclamation mark: ―Oh! When are you going?‖3. A non-question sentence beginning with "what" or"how" is often an exclamation and requires anexclamation mark: What idiots we are! (We are such idiots.)4. In very informal writing (personal letter or email),people sometimes use two or more exclamation markstogether: Ill never understand this language!!!!
1. A slash is often used to indicate "or": Please press your browsers Refresh/Reload button. (Refreshor Reload)2. Use a slash for fractions: 2/3 (two thirds)3. Use a slash to indicate "per" in measurements of speed,prices etc: The speed limit is 100 km/h. (kilometers per hour)4. A slash is often used in dates to separate day, month and year: On credit card: Expires end 10/15 (October 2015)5. The slash is used to separate parts of a website address on theInternet, and to separate folders on some computer systems: http://visualarts.britishcouncil.org/whats-on/exhibition/
•The backslash is not really an Englishpunctuation mark. It is a typographicalmark used mainly in computing. It is calleda "backslash" because it is the reverse ofthe slash (/) or forward slash.•The backslash is used in several computersystems, and in many programminglanguages. C:UsersWinFilesjse.docAlthough it is not really an Englishpunctuation mark, the backslash is includedfor completeness.
1. Use quotation marks around the title or name of a book, film, shipetc: Titanic is a 1997 movie directed by James Cameron about thesinking of the ship Titanic.2. We use quotation marks around a piece of text that we are quoting orciting, usually from another source: In The Cambridge Encyclopedia of The English Language, DavidCrystal argues that punctuation "plays a critical role in the modern writingsystem".3. Use quotation marks around dialogue or direct speech: It was a moonlit night. James opened the door and stepped onto thebalcony, followed by Mary. They stood in silence for a few moments,looking at the moon. Then Mary turned to him and said: "Do you love me,James?―4. Use quotation marks around a word or phrase that we see as slang orjargon: The police were called to a "disturbance" - which in reality was apretty big fight.
1. Use an apostrophe in possessive forms: the ball of the boy > the boys ball my friends mother2. Use an apostrophe in contracted forms (the apostropheshows that letters have been left out): cannot > cant they have > theyve3. Use an apostrophe to show the plural of letters andnumbers: You should dot your is and cross your ts. Do you like music from the 1950s?4. Use an apostrophe to show a plural form for words thatare not normally plural: Your plan is good, even if there are lots of buts in it.
•In typewriting, we can use underlining to show emphasis,and also things like titles of books and films, and names ofships. Have you read War and Peace?•In handwriting, we traditionally use underlining toindicate emphasis.•In addition, with the development of the Internet andworld wide web, web pages traditionally use underliningto indicate a link.
•Underscore is a line below text-level, and istypically used in email addresses, filenamesand urls, for example: firstname.lastname@example.org image_123.jpg•In American English, underscore can alsomean underline.
•Round brackets are basically used to add extrainformation to a sentence. •explain or clarify Tony Blair (the former British prime minister) resigned from office in 2007. •indicate "plural or singular" Please leave your mobile telephone(s) at the door. •add a personal comment Many people love parties (I dont). •define abbreviations The matter will be decided by the IOC (International Olympic Committee).
• Use square brackets when we want to modify anotherpersons words. We want to make it clear that themodification has been made by us, not by the original writer. •to add clarification: The witness said: "He [the policeman] hit me." •to add missing words: It is [a] good question. •to add editorial or authorial comment: They will not be present [my emphasis]. •to modify a direct quotation: He "love[s] driving." (The original words were "I love driving.―)
• The ellipsis mark consists of three dots (periods). Weuse the ellipsis mark in place of missing words. If weintentionally omit one or more words from an originaltext, we replace them with an ellipsis mark. "The film focussed on three English learners...studyingat university."• Use an ellipsis mark to indicate a pause whensomeone is speaking, or an unfinished sentence. She turned to James and said, "Darling, there issomething...I need to tell you. I have never felt like...likethis before." "Its not easy to explain. Its not..." Her voicetrailed away as emotion welled up within her.