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Using Punctuation in English Language

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Published: Thu, 28 Sep 2017

E:2The word ‘Punctuation’ has come from Latin word ‘punctum’ which means ‘a point’. It is the right use of symbols for pauses or stops in writing. We understand and communicate better with use of punctuations.

The list below gives the punctuation symbols used in English language.

1

capitalization

The bird sang.

 

7

exclamation mark

[!]

2

full stop

[.]

 

8

apostrophe

[‘]

3

comma

[,]

 

9

hyphen

[-]

4

semicolon

[;]

 

10

inverted commas- single

[‘ ‘]

5

colon

[:]

 

11

inverted commas- double

[” “]

6

question mark

[?]

 

12

brackets

( )

               
  • Capital letter
  • A sentence begins with a capital letter. Example; They want some water.
  • Proper nouns also begin with capital letters. Example; Sunil Chhetri, Anamika, Kanpur
  • The pronoun ‘I’ is always capital.
  • Certain words are always capitalized. For example; God, The Bible, The Bhagwat Gita
  • Period or full stop
  • It is used at the end of an assertive or imperative sentence.
  1. This is Anandi Joshi. (assertive)
  2. Do a project report about her. (imperative)
  • After abbreviations and initials.

M.A.N.C.CP.M (Prime Minister)

Dec. (December) 2011 A.D. 8 p.m.

  • The Comma(,)It indicates the shortest pause. It is used to ;
  • separate three or more words of the same part of speech
  1. Madhu stuck the beads, shells and sand on the project paper. (nouns)
  2. H:STDSunita sorted, washed, dried and pickled the mangoes. (verbs)
  • mark off phrases in apposition (two words or phrases, referring to the same thing, placed in a sentence without any connecting word, is known as an ‘apposition’.)
  1. The Emblem of India, the adaptation of Asoka’s Lion Capital has the motto ‘Satyameva Jayate’.
  2. Kerala, the land of coconut trees, is a state in South India.
  • separate each pair of words connected by conjunctions and to separate words or group of words in a sentence.

Are mother and aunt, visiting her friend or will they join us for the movie?

  • address a person or when sentence starts with ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Vishaka, please come here.Yes, I shall come in a minute.

  • Semicolon (;)

It indicates a longer pause than the comma. It is usually followed by conjunctions like ‘and’, ‘but’, ‘or’. It is used to:

  • to separate many groups of words of a sentence, when they contain a comma
  1. Girish, come and lift this; and then you can go and sit with uncle.
  2. Renu promised to make some ladoos; but she had to leave suddenly.
  • to separate units of a series when the series contain commas

Vittal is from Paithan, Maharastra; Vani from Kadappa, Andhra Pradesh; whereas Bondi is from Dispur, Assam.

  • To reduce or narrow the gap between two thoughts or closely linked sentences
  1. I paid the bill on time; I expect all services to resume with immediate effect.
  2. The unit was ready; with shining swords; waiting for a signal from their commander.
  • Colon (:)

The colon indicates a longer pause than the semicolon. It is used to;

  • To introduce an explanation, or statement

The main idea was this: to first make them fill the forms, then pay the fees and collect the materials.

  • C:UsersAdminAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsTemporaryC:UsersAdminAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsTemporaryTo introduce a quotation

The leader said: ‘We must stand united and negotiate.’

  • To introduce a list

Children, bring the following things for tomorrow’s assignment: A4 size paper, pictures of wild animals, glue, craft paper, crayons.

  • H:STDThe Interrogation mark or the Question mark (?)

It is used after a question

  1. Little bird, do you want some grains to eat?
  2. Where is your nest?

The question mark is not used after an indirect question, or polite request or submission.

  1. We requested the manager for another room.
  2. The clerk asked if I wanted to meet the manager.
  • The Exclamation mark (!)

It is used after exclamatory words, phrases or sentences expressing sudden emotions or wish.

  1. Hurrah! We won.b. It’s a shame! He Cheated!c. Marvelous! I got an A+.
  • Apostrophe (’)

The apostrophe comma is used

  • sometimes with s as ‘s to make possessive nouns (something belongs to someone)

Jane’s coat Mansi’s house the cat’s dish the milkmaid’s pail

  • to show that a letter(s) is/are missing, when the word is made shorter.Only ( ‘) is used.

We’re travelling in Jahan’s car. It’s a ‘ 90 (1990) Maruti 800.

  • H:STDHyphen (-)
  • It is used in compound words

apple-piebullock-cart sweet-toothsugar-free

  • To indicate break-up of words, prefix and suffix

inter-citypre-planex-ministerdis-couragemis-spelt

  • Inverted commas- single (‘ ’)

Single quotes or single inverted commas are used to;

  • indicate the title of books, poems, stories etc. and to draw attention to a word.
  1. ‘The Alchemist’ is written by Paulo Coelho.
  2. ‘a’ is an indefinite article.
  • indicate a quotation within a quotation.
  1. The man said, “I would like to know, ‘where is Mr.Diwan now’?”
  2. “She always tells me, ‘do this, do that’ and continues to knit!” exclaimed Bunny
  • indicate direct thoughts in a story, thought, dreams.

The lady thought, ‘Let me bargain and get a better deal,’ and spoke to the salesman.

  • Inverted commas- double (“ ”)

Double quotes or double inverted commas are used to indicate quotationin a sentence. It shows the exact words of the speaker. It is used in direct speech.

  1. “We are closed from 1 pm to 2 pm for lunch”, said the woman.
  2. American civil rights activistMartin Luther King, Jr.gave the famous speech “I Have a Dream”.
  • Parentheses / Brackets [ { ( ) } ]

These are widely used to give additional details, to refer to previous sentences, objects, names, abbreviations, to link other parts of a chapter or book. If only few words, phrases are used inside brackets, then we need not punctuate inside the brackets.

For example; Anita (my eldest sister) and my aunt (from Goa) where selecting our dresses.

Exercise 1; Punctuate where necessary

  1. he wants to give up the habit of biting his nails however he is facing some difficulties

______________________________________________________________________

  1. oh god please make me handsome rich and happy said mannu god replied I can make you handsome and rich but happiness is a state of mind

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. i please get us three sandwiches four plates of pav bhaji and six banana milkshakes said gaurav to the waitress yes sir will you pay cash or through credit card said the lady

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. my brother the younger one and our neighbour the doctor are going to be partners for the chess competition they are representing our society club

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. daddy said I am going to drop mr seth at the railway station mukesh informed his mother

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. isnt that vera standing by the telephone booth why didnt she come for the debate

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. idli chutney masala dosa or medu vada from the simply south stall dhokla surti undhio kachchori from the gujarat green stall missal pav vada pav thalipeet from the me marathi stall delicious so yummy oh what shall i eat im so confused sighed mukesh

H:STD

“Idli-chutney, masala-dosa or medu-vada from the Simply South stall; dhokla, surti-undhio, kachchori from the Gujarat Green Stall; missal-pav, vada-pav, thalipeet from the Me Marathi Stall! Delicious! So yummy! Oh what shall I eat? I’m so confused!” sighed Mukesh._____________________________


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