Hi everyone, this post will help you understand the rules of punctuation.
- Period ( . )
A period marks the end of a sentence.
I had lunch at noon today.
- Question mark ( ? )
A question marks indicates the end of a question.
What is your name?
- Exclamation point ( ! )
The exclamation point is used to end a dramatic sentence or statement.
- Quotation marks ( ” ” )
Quotation marks indicate direct speech.
“I like soccer”, said Jim.
- Comma ( , )
A comma indicates a natural pause in a sentence and separates items in a list.
I have to buy milk, sugar, bread and cheese at the grocery store.
- Colon ( : )
A colon precedes an explanation or an example, a list or a quotation.
There are two choices at this time: run away or fight.
- Semi-colon ( ; )
A semi-colon is used to separate two sentences that are related, lists of items which have several words, or the clauses in a sentence.
Dad is going bald; his hair is getting thinner and thinner.
- Parentheses ( )
Parentheses are used to separate extra information from the main sentence or statement.
He gave me a nice bonus ($500).
- Dash ( – )
Dashes are also used to separate extra information from the main sentence or statement.
Emma adjusted the microscope carefully – the controls were delicate – before focusing once more on the tiny leaf.
- Brackets [ ]
Brackets are interruptions. When we see them, we know they’ve been added by someone else. They are used to explain or comment on the quotation.
“Four score and seven [today we’d say eighty-seven] years ago…”
Here are some exercises to practice more: