The use of punctuation marks and capital letters give more clarity and sense to the writing of the speech. Punctuation marks are visible signs that indicate the exact idea of the writer without any doubt. Punctuation marks give a sense and meaning to our writings. The punctuation marks can change the meaning of a sentence if they are punctuated wrongly and carelessly.
The following are punctuation marks:
Full Stop (.)
Full stop represents the greatest pause or a longer pause, meaning completion of the sense of the sentence. It is given at the end of any full sentence.
It is used at an assertive or imperative or optative sentence.
- Go Away.
- I went to the market to buy some vegetables.
- Please bring me a glass of water.
It is used in abbreviations and initials of any person, a place, or a thing.
M.A., B.A., M.L.A., B.Eed, C.K. Dutta, etc.
The comma is used to indicate a shorter pause between different parts of words, phrases, clauses, a sentence, and also to mark a direct quotation.
- England, France, and Italy formed an alliance.
- Dear, kind, gentle, noble, Robert is dead.
- We must die, high or low, rich or poor, wise or foolish.
- Paul, the Apostle, was beheaded.
- Getting heavy, I began to sleep.
- How are you, Kevina?
- The students, being clever, answered the questions very quickly.
- He said, “I am the King of Jews”.
- The captain ordered, ” Go and get ready for war”.
It is used to explain and illustrate statements. It marks a complete pause.
- Francis Bacon said: “Reading makes a full person, writing makes an exact person, speaking makes a ready person.”
- The three tenses in English are: The present, the past, and the future.
It is used to represent a pause of greater importance than the comma. It is used to separate the clauses of a compound sentence when they contain a comma.
- He is brave, a large-hearted man; and we all respect him.
- His court was pure; his life serene.
Question Mark (?)
It is used instead of a full stop after a direct question or interrogation.
- What is your name?
- Do you have any sense?
Exclamation Mark (!)
It is used after interjections and after phrases and sentences expressing a sudden feeling or emotion.
- What a beautiful flower it is!
- Alas! He is no more.
It is used in a possessive case or to show the omission of a letter or at the plural nouns ending with ‘s’.
- It is my uncle‘s house.
- He is my brother‘s friend.
- I don‘t know.
- They haven‘t answered the questions.
- It is a boy‘s hostel.
- They are those girl‘s belongings.
It is used to connect the parts of compound words. It is a shorter line than a dash.
Co–operative, passers–by, three–legged race, bad–tempered, mother–in–law, cock–tail, man–of–war, friend–in–need, etc.
It is used to indicate a sudden or abrupt stop of a speaker or a writer or to indicate a change of thought. It is longer than the hyphen.
- If my father was alive — But why lament the past.
- She decided to help — But why depend on others.
Oblique or Slash (/)
It is used between two synonymous words to indicate that meaning of the either word could be applied. Or to indicate that the other word also means the same.
- My idea/thought will guide you.
- He/She/It is the third singular person.
- His/Her lesson will be very powerful.
Parenthesis or Double Dash (–)
It is used to separate a phrase or a clause from the main part which has no grammatical connection with it.
- He had a great idea (it was all his wish) to befriend his enemy.
- The well-known event of this kind of honesty — call it, if you want, a remarkable will — is presented in the reputed — schools.
It is used to quote the exact words of the speaker. They indicate the direct speech of a person.
Single Inverted Commas (‘_’)
If the quotation occurs within the quotation, it is marked by single inverted commas.
The march hare added, “You might as well say, that ‘I like what I get‘ is the same as I get what I like”.
Double Inverted Commas (“__”)
It is used to indicate the exact words of the speaker or quotation.
Amit said, “ I am a great person who can help you always“.