The punctuation marks we will learn about today are… The full stop (.) The comma (,) The colon (:) The semi-colon (;) The apostrophe (‘)
The full stop The full stop (.) is For example: used at the end of a John kicked the ball. The sentence. A sentence ball smashed a window. is a group of words These are sentences. They which makes complete make complete sense. sense. After a full John kicked stop, we need a capital The ball letter. These are not sentences. They do not make complete sense.
The comma (Part 1) The comma (,) is used to For example, look at the sentence separate the main clause While the children were working quietly, Miss Jeffery was surfing of a sentence from the the Internet. subordinate clauses. The Miss Jeffery was surfing the main clause is the section Internet is the main clause. It makes complete sense by itself. of the sentence which While the children were working makes complete sense by quietly is the subordinate clause. itself. The subordinate It does not make sense by itself. clauses do not make sense The main clause and the by themselves. They need subordinate clause are separated by a comma. a main clause to add to While the children were working their meaning. quietly, Miss Jeffery was surfing the Internet.
The comma (Part 2) The comma (,) is also For example: For lunch today I had: a cheese used to separate items sandwich, a packet of in a list. The rules are crisps, a Fruit Shoot and as follows: an apple. There is no need to do In a list of objects, this: For lunch today I there is no need for a had: a cheese sandwich, a comma before the packet of crisps, a Fruit final object, because Shoot, and an apple. The comma before ‘and’ is ‘and’ takes its place. unnecessary.
The comma (Part 3) Rule Number 2: In a list Using the comma in a list of adjectives or adverbs, of adjectives: there is no need for a The old tramp was a comma between the final smelly, dirty, unpleasant- adjective or adverb and looking man. the word it describes. Using the comma in a list NB: an adjective describes of adverbs: a noun (person, place or The motorbike sped thing). For example: The powerfully, dangerously, beautiful girl. An adverb exhilaratingly along the describes a verb (a doing road. word). For example: The car moved quickly.
The colon (Part 1) The colon (:) is used to introduce a list. Remember the list of things I had for lunch? For lunch today I had: a cheese sandwich, a packet of crisps, a Fruit Shoot and an apple. Another example: There were a lot of things on Anna’s floor: clothes, books, plastic bags, shoes, papers and a dirty coffee mug she had forgotten to take downstairs.
The colon (Part 2) The colon is also used to add further explanation to a point previously made. For example: Schools nowadays are much improved from previously: corporal punishment no longer exists, and teachers generally make an effort to involve and engage students in lessons.
The semi-colon Many people get confused about the use of the semi-colon… But it’s not hard! It is used in two main ways.
Using the semi-colon (Part 1) One way to use the semi-colon is to separate items in a list in which each item is fairly long and complicated. Let me explain…
The semi-colon explained (Part 1) In the sentence ‘For lunch However, in the sentence today I had: a cheese ‘I did lots of things at the sandwich, a packet of weekend: I went to the crisps, a Fruit Shoot and theatre with my friends; I visited my gran for an apple.’ semi-colons are Sunday lunch; I did a not needed between the huge pile of marking; I items. They are short and created a PowerPoint uncomplicated, and only presentation.’ semi-colons require separating with are used to separate the commas. items because they are each quite lengthy. This makes the sentence clearer.
Using the semi-colon (Part 2) Another way to use the semi-colon is to separate clauses in a sentence which have equal weight. Let me explain:
The semi-colon explained (Part 2) Remember the Sometimes, a sentence explanation of main does not have a main clauses and subordinate clause and a subordinate clauses? clause. The main clause in a Instead, it has two or more sentence makes complete clauses which each have sense by itself. equal weight (as though The subordinate clauses the sentence had two or do not make complete more main clauses). sense. They need the main For example: Mavis was a clause to add to their student at the local meaning. school; she was a hard- working and pleasant girl.
The semi-colon explained (Part 3) Here’s that sentence again: Mavis was a Sixth Form student at the local school; she was a hard-working and pleasant girl. Notice that each of the clauses makes complete sense by itself. Each one could be expressed as a sentence: Mavis was a Sixth Form student at the local school. She was a hard-working and pleasant girl. To put it simply…
The semi-colon explained (Part 4) A semi-colon is an alternative to a full stop when you want to make two or more short sentences into one long one. Another example: ‘There had been no possibility of taking a walk that day. It had been raining steadily since dawn.’ becomes There had been no possibility of taking a walk that day; it had been raining steadily since dawn. You should always use a semi-colon and not a comma in this situation.
The apostrophe The apostrophe is another one that causes a lot of unnecessary problems… It has two main functions: To show possession and To show omission. Let me explain…
The apostrophe ofpossession: singular ‘owner’. The first use of the The book of the boy apostrophe is to show becomes possession (when something belongs to The boy’s book someone). The apostrophe The nappy of the baby always goes after the last becomes letter of the word describing the person to The baby’s nappy whom something belongs The toys of the child (the ‘owner’). If the becomes ‘owner’ is singular, the apostrophe is followed by The child’s toys an ‘s’.
The apostrophe of possession: plural ‘owner’ When the ‘owner’ in a sentence However, when the ‘owner’ in (the person or thing to whom the sentence is plural but does something belongs) is plural not end in an s (children, AND ends in an s (boys, sheep) there is an ‘s’ after the babies) there is NO ‘s’ after the apostrophe. apostrophe. For example: For example: The toys of the children The books of the boys becomes becomes The children’s toys The boys’ books The fleeces of the sheep The nappies of the babies becomes becomes The sheep’s fleeces The babies’ nappies
The apostrophe of omission The apostrophe is also used when letters are omitted (left out) from a word or words. The apostrophe always goes in the place where letters are missing. For example: have not becomes haven’t because the ‘o’ is omitted. Some more examples on the next slide…
Apostrophes of omissionhave not haven’tshall not shan’twill not won’tdo not don’tmust not mustn’tcannot can’tis not isn’tyou are you’rehe is he’sthey are they’re
Almost over… The function of punctuation is to make your writing clearer and easier to understand. A good way of checking whether you need a punctuation mark is to read your work out loud. If you pause for breath, it’s a good bet that you need to add a punctuation mark of some kind.
Hurrah! It’s the end! Yup… You now know all there is to know about punctuation!