Punctuation Rules

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Hi everyone, this post will help you understand the rules of punctuation.

Group of Punctuation Marks

  1. Period ( . )

A period marks the end of a sentence.

I had lunch at noon today.


  1. Question mark ( ? )

A question marks indicates the end of a question.

What is your name?


  1. Exclamation point ( ! )

The exclamation point is used to end a dramatic sentence or statement.

Be careful!


  1. Quotation marks ( ”   ” )

 Quotation marks indicate direct speech.

“I like soccer”, said Jim.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. Parentheses ( )

 Parentheses are used to separate extra information from the main sentence or statement.

He gave me a nice bonus ($500).


  1. 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.


  1. 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:

 English Grammar

 Butte College

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