What are the Punctuation Rules

Punctuation mark plays a very significant role in a sentence. Using the correct punctuation at the correct place enhances the readability as well as gives clarity to what is being said. Incorrect punctuation or no punctuation may not give any meaning of the sentence. For example:

I am hungry eating pizza it is raining cannot go to playground for practice.

Now let us add the correct punctuation and see if this makes any difference.

Since I am hungry, I am eating pizza.  As it is raining, we cannot go to playground for practice.

Having set the background, let us delve a little further to understand the punctuation rules followed in English Grammar. Below are the 10 punctuation rules which are widely followed:

  Period or Full Stop (.): Most commonly used punctuation in English grammar. This basically plays the role of a knife by cutting a sentence to a desired length and adding meaning to it. In other words periods denote the end of the sentence. Periods are also used in abbreviations when the final letter of the abbreviation is not final letter of the actual word. Sometimes we will find some sentences ending with three dots which indicate that the text is quoted or is left for the reader’s imagination.

  Comma (,): Commas are mostly used to organize the logical blocks of the sentences. In other words, to group the logical sounded words into one. Commas are mostly used when making lists of items to segregate one list from the other. Sentences beginning with a dependent clause should always be followed by a comma. Series of noun, adjectives, and phrases usually requires a comma.

  Exclamatory Mark (!) : Sentences ending with an exclamation mark signifies the surprise or astonishment feeling.

  Question Mark (?) : Mostly interrogative sentences end with a question mark or in other terms, if something has to be asked those sentences end with a question mark.

  Quote Mark (“”) :  Quotations are normally used in direct speech. When we want to report what has been said without making any changes those sentences should be surrounded by quotes.

•   Colon (:) : Colons are used at the end of a complete sentence to introduce or to give an explanation of the previous sentence. Colon also used to separate hours and minutes when writing time in English.

•    Semi Colon (;) : Sentences not having any coordinating conjunction can be joined with a related independent clause which are of equal importance using semicolon. The semicolon can be used also to separate lists in case the items in the list are already separated by comma.

  Apostrophe (‘) : Apostrophe is mostly used in case you wanted to make something possessive or to identify a missing letter or to form strange plurals.

  Hyphen and Dash (-) : Hyphens are used to join two words or parts of words together removing ambiguity or confusions. On the other hand Dash is used to emphasize a specific point in the sentence.

  Parentheses and brackets (()): Parentheses denoted by round brackets () are used mostly for providing an explanation or adding an afterthought to the main subject. Sometimes parentheses can be replaced by a comma.

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English Grammar