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  1. 1. Punctuation Lengua Inglesa I Universidad Nacional de La Pampa Facultad de Ciencias Humanas Dpto. de Lenguas Extranjeras
  2. 2. The Period (.) (known as FULL STOP in British English) <ul><li>It is used to indicate the natural pause in speaking; the end of a balanced, </li></ul><ul><li>well constructed and sentence. </li></ul><ul><li>It is used: </li></ul><ul><li>At the end of declarative sentences. E.g.: She went to Italy in 2004. “Hello.” </li></ul><ul><li>At the end of an indirect question. E.g.: He asked me to help him. </li></ul><ul><li>At the end of imperative sentences. E.g.: “Stop.” </li></ul><ul><li>After abbreviations. E.g.: I have PE lessons from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. </li></ul><ul><li>NOTE : Dr and Mr and Mrs and Ms, and most abbreviations taken from the first capital letters such as MA, PhD, CNN do not take a full stop. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Colon (:) <ul><li>Its main use is to tell the reader to “look for what comes next.” It is followed by </li></ul><ul><li>followed by two blank typed spaces. </li></ul><ul><li>It is used: </li></ul><ul><li>To separate two sentences of which the second explains more fully the </li></ul><ul><li>meaning of the first. It often means the same as “that is to say”. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: Richard’s work is unsatisfactory: his answers are thoughtless, his spelling is careless, and his writing is bad. </li></ul><ul><li>It may also take the place of a conjunction introducing a clause of reason. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: Thompson isn’t going to join our firm: we couldn’t offer him a big enough salary. </li></ul><ul><li>(: = because) </li></ul><ul><li>To introduce a number of items in a list. Eg: The exchange students came </li></ul><ul><li>from many countries: Thailand, Japan, Spain, Italy and Mexico. </li></ul><ul><li>NOTE : Do not use a colon if the list immediately follows a verb or a preposition. </li></ul><ul><li>To introduce a quotation. Eg: Shakespeare said: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.” </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Semi-Colon (;) <ul><li>The uses of the semicolon are more related to the use of the comma than to the </li></ul><ul><li>use of the colon. The semicolon is followed by one blank space. </li></ul><ul><li>It is used: </li></ul><ul><li>To connect two independent clauses not joined by and, but, or, not, for, yet . </li></ul><ul><li>(Independent clauses have subject and verbs). </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: We presented her eight choices; she rejected them all. We presented her eight choices and she rejected them all. </li></ul><ul><li>To connect independent clauses when there are commas within either clause. </li></ul><ul><li>This makes it easier for the reader to know where the clauses begin and end, and, </li></ul><ul><li>therefore, easier to read the material. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: It was a beautiful day; however, I was too tired to go out. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Also with words like therefore, nevertheless, besides, also, furthermore, </li></ul><ul><li>accordingly, moreover, thus, otherwise . </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: He has passed all his examinations; consequently, we must award him a degree. </li></ul><ul><li>To connect items in a series when the items contain commas. Again, it is a </li></ul><ul><li>matter of ease of reading. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: We visited Waterbury, Connecticut; Chattanooga, Tennessee; El Paso, Texas; and Kansas City, Kansas. </li></ul><ul><li>NOTE : Do not use it after salutation in a letter, between independent and </li></ul><ul><li>dependent clause, or before a direct quotation. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Comma (,) <ul><li>The comma is the most frequently used punctuation mark and many uses. </li></ul><ul><li>It is used: </li></ul><ul><li>To record a list of things. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: At the party we had cakes, ices, jellies, and lemonade. </li></ul><ul><li>To separate co-ordinate adjectives modifying the same noun. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: She has mischievous, laughing brown eyes. </li></ul><ul><li>To mark off direct speech. E.g.: “Tell me,” I said, “how you know all that.” </li></ul><ul><li>To mark off sentences or clauses where the pause is needed. This is </li></ul><ul><li>almost always the case when an adverb clause precedes a principal one. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: Although it was foggy, we played the match. </li></ul><ul><li>To set off a question at the end of a statement. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: You’re coming, aren’t you? </li></ul><ul><li>To mark off words used in addressing a person. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: George, I hope you and Mary can come to the party. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>To mark off words or phrases like therefore , however ( not used when it means “it </li></ul><ul><li>doesn’t matter”: However hard he tries, he won’t succeed. ) of course , for instance . </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: You know, of course, the way to Paris. </li></ul><ul><li>To mark off phrases containing a participle when a pause is required in reading. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: George, seeing his brother was hurt, ran to help him. </li></ul><ul><li>To set off non-restrictive phrases or clauses form the rest of the sentence. A non- </li></ul><ul><li>restrictive clause or phrase is one not essential to the meaning of the sentence. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: My gun, which is now on the mantelpiece, has not been used for years. </li></ul><ul><li>In dates, parts of address, geographical expressions. </li></ul><ul><li>After words of direct address. E.g.: Yes, … . No, … . </li></ul><ul><li>NOTE : Do not use comma: </li></ul><ul><li>Between subject and verb, verb and complement, preposition and object, noun and adjective. </li></ul><ul><li>Before the first member in a series. </li></ul><ul><li>After the last member in a series. </li></ul><ul><li>To set off restrictive modifiers. </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Question Mark (?) <ul><li>It is used at the end of a direct question, never at the end of a direct one. Between parenthesis, it indicates the author’s doubt or uncertainty about the material immediately preceding. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: </li></ul><ul><li>We believe there were three editions altogether: 1702, 1705? And 1710. </li></ul><ul><li>In a long interrogation sentence, question marks after each of the </li></ul><ul><li>elements provide greater emphasis. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: </li></ul><ul><li>If this law is accepted, what is the average man to do about his job? His </li></ul><ul><li>family? his home? his retirement? </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Exclamation Mark (!) <ul><li>It is used after an interjection, and exclamatory sentence, or an expression of great feeling. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: Hello! I didn’t expect to you see you. </li></ul><ul><li> There goes our train! What a wonderful day it was! </li></ul><ul><li>Do not use it after a word, phrase or sentence to indicate irony or humour. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g: Let the words speak for themselves. </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Hyphens (-) <ul><li>There are four main areas of difficulty with hyphens: adjective phrases, with certain </li></ul><ul><li>prefixes and suffixes, for clarity, and transitional phrases. </li></ul><ul><li>1. Adjective phrases. When two (or more) words are combined to describe a </li></ul><ul><li>noun, they are hyphenated preceding he noun. However, when the same phrases </li></ul><ul><li>are in other positions in the sentence, then are not hyphenated. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: 19-year-old wine but wine is 19 years old </li></ul><ul><li>BUT if one of the words is an adverb ending –ly, it is not hyphenated: beautifully </li></ul><ul><li>made dress. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Prefixes and suffixes. The prefixes self-, all-, ex (meaning former) and the </li></ul><ul><li>suffix -elect are always hyphenated. All prefixes are hyphenated before proper </li></ul><ul><li>nouns or adjectives. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: self-selected all-star game ex-president </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>3. Clarity. When there can be confusion of meaning, sometimes a hyphen can </li></ul><ul><li>add clarity. This is especially true if the prefix ends with the same letter as the word </li></ul><ul><li>begins with. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: co-operative re-form (form again) </li></ul><ul><li>4. Transitional phrases. When new concepts enter the language as compound </li></ul><ul><li>(two-word) nouns, they continue to be spelled as separate words for many </li></ul><ul><li>years until they become thought of as a single entity. Originally two originally </li></ul><ul><li>popular games were spelled base and basket ball. As the terms become more and </li></ul><ul><li>more familiar, they are first hyphenated (base-ball / basket-ball) and later spelled as </li></ul><ul><li>a single word (baseball / basketball). It is a regular process in English, but not all </li></ul><ul><li>words progress at the same rate: so the only way to be sure about words like this is </li></ul><ul><li>to look them up in a dictionary of current vintage. </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Dash (-) <ul><li>It is used to indicate: </li></ul><ul><li>An afterthought. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: I spoke to Mary – you know, Harry’s wife – and told her what you said. </li></ul><ul><li>An unexpected turn in a sentence. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: It is – how shall I say it? – such a useless book… . </li></ul>
  13. 13. Quotation Marks (“ ”) <ul><li>They are used: </li></ul><ul><li>To enclose direct speech. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: I said, “I have only spoken to him on one occasion.” </li></ul><ul><li>To enclose words spoken of as words, words used in special senses, or </li></ul><ul><li>words emphasised. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: Some people consider that all such words as “good”, “bad”, “beautiful”, “ugly” only indicate one’s emotional reactions towards actions or things. </li></ul><ul><li>To mark the titles of book chapters, poems, songs, and short stories. </li></ul><ul><li>To enclose slang, technical or unusual term, when it is used n a context </li></ul><ul><li>which it is not usually found, or around a word to which the writer wishes to draw </li></ul><ul><li>particular attention. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: Next, the clay pot had to be “fired”. He called himself a “gentleman,” but you would never have thought so from the way he behaved. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>NOTE : Book titles, newspaper names, and the names of ships are underlines or set </li></ul><ul><li>in italics. If there are quotation marks the quoted material, use single marks. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: Whitney Huston said, “I think I’ll sing ‘ The National Anthem. ’ ” </li></ul><ul><li>If a quotation is more than three lines long, it should be single spaced and indented on both the right and left margins. </li></ul>
  15. 15. CATIPAL LETTERS <ul><li>They are used: </li></ul><ul><li>For the beginning of a sentence. </li></ul><ul><li>For the name of God, Christ, Trinity, Bible, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>For titles of people, books, plays, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: Elizabeth the second, Alfred the Great, a Tale of Two Cities </li></ul><ul><li>For salutations and forms of address in letters </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: Dr.; Miss; Dear Sir; Yours faithfully; Sincerely </li></ul><ul><li>For personification, generally in poetry </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: “O wild West Wind…” </li></ul><ul><li>For months, days, etc. </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Apostrophe ( ’ ) <ul><li>To show the possessive case. E.g.: My brother’s house. </li></ul><ul><li>To show the omission of a letter or letters. E.g.: I don’t like it. </li></ul><ul><li>FINAL NOTE: </li></ul><ul><li>Commas and periods are always placed inside closing quotation marks. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: “John,” said Dad, “you can come in now.” </li></ul><ul><li>Semicolons and colons are placed outside closing quotation marks. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: The teacher said these authors are “de rigeur”: Faulkner, </li></ul><ul><li>Fitzgerald, and London.” </li></ul><ul><li>Questions marks, exclamation marks, and parentheses are inside if they are part of the quoted material; otherwise, they are outside. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: “Are you ready?” asked Mom. </li></ul><ul><li>How on earth could he say such a word as “****”?” </li></ul>