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• Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “any of
various standardized marks or signs
used in punctuation”
• Symbols that indicate:
– structure and organization of written
– intonation and pauses to be observed
when reading aloud.
• Capital letters are also used to help us
organize meaning and to structure the
sense of our writing.
• Used to mark the end (as of a declarative sentence or
• There is no space between the last letter and the
• Use one space between the period and the first letter
of the next sentence.
• 1. to mark the end of a sentence which is not a
question or an exclamation (including imperative
Quito is the capital of Ecuador.
The boy plays with his balloon.
Close the window, please.
• 2. to indicate an abbreviation
I will be in between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.
• 3. special case - three dots
Only part of the sentence or text has been
quoted or that it is being left up to the reader to
complete the rest of the sentence.
The Lord's Prayer begins, 'Our Father who are in
• 4. full-stop after a single word
Sometimes a single word can form the
• To add to the meaning of a sentence or to
emphasize an item, point or meaning.
• To help us add 'breathing spaces' to
sentences they are.
• To organize blocks of thought or logical
• 1. To separate phrases, words, or clauses
– On my birthday I went to the cinema, ate dinner in
a restaurant, and went dancing.
– The meal consisted of soup, fish, chicken,
dessert and coffee.
• 2. To enclose insertions or comments. The
comma is placed on either side of the
– China, one of the most powerful nations on Earth,
has a huge population.
• 3. To mark off a participial phrase
– Hearing that her father was in hospital, Jane left
• 4. Use the comma in 'tag questions'
– She lives in Paris, doesn't she?
– We haven't met, have we?
• 5. To mark off interjections like 'please',
'thank you', 'yes', and 'no'
– Yes, I will stay a little longer, thank you.
• Be careful of the incorrect usage of
• Don’t use a comma to separate
the subject from its predicate.
• Do not use a comma to separate
a verb from its object or its subject
complement, or a preposition from its
• Do not misuse a comma after a
• Do not use a comma before the first item
or after the last item of a series.
• The semicolon is somewhere between a
weak full stop and a strong comma.
• Join phrases and sentences without
having to use a conjunction (and, but etc.)
– phrases or sentences are thematically linked
– Join only those independent clauses that are
closely related in meaning.
• Abdominal exercises help prevent back pain;
proper posture is also important.
• The auditors made six recommendations;
however, only one has been adopted so far.