You can find three axioms which can cause you to success on paper — style, meaning, and grammar. Clarity and precision are items that always impress those who read and evaluate your texts, and demonstrate your educational and personal qualities. Grammar and punctuation are vital not only for the academic success, but also once you text a date you intend to impress, correspond for employment interview, speak to your colleagues, and so on.

You can find 14 punctuation marks found in English grammar. You almost certainly know many of them, but it will not hurt to repeat them. They are the time, question mark, exclamation point, comma, semicolon, colon, dash, hyphen, parentheses, brackets, braces, apostrophe, quotation marks, and ellipsis. If you are using them precisely, your writing will be easier and attractive to read.

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Needless to say, there are certain differences between punctuation in British and American English. They're not major, but they remain important. Like in American English, such popular abbreviations like Mr., Ms., and Mrs. have periods. In British but no periods are used. When writing enough time, British English employs periods—where noon will be 12. 00. In exactly the same case, the American system uses colons (12: 00). The names of the punctuation marks can also be different. Look at the dining table before we move on to learn how to utilize them.

British English

American English

The " . " symbol is called

a full stop

a period

The " ! " symbol is called

an exclamation mark

an exclamation point

The " ( ) " symbols are called



The " [ ] " symbols are called

square brackets


The position of quotation marks

Joy means "happiness".

Joy means "happiness."

The punctuation for abbreviations

Dr, Mr, Mrs, St, Rd, Ct

Dr., Mr., Mrs., St., Rd., Ct.

Sentence Endings: The time scale, Question Mark and Exclamation Point

Let us begin with sentence endings. Sentences are a fundamental piece of any text or message. You can end a sentence with the time scale, question mark, or exclamation point. The period (.) is generally used to finish simple declarative sentences. Typically, they complete statements that not carry any special emotional meaning and do not infer a question.

Examples: Mary and Tom got married in 2020.
He loves playing baseball.

A question mark (?) frequently indicates a primary question and is particularly placed by the end of a sentence.

Examples: When did Mary and Tom marry?
Does he love playing baseball?

The exclamation point (!) can be used to showcase an emotion or to add special emphasis.

Examples: Wow, Mary and Tom are getting married!
He loves playing baseball so much!

Comma, Semicolon, and Colon

In a very sentence, additionally, there are plenty of punctuation marks to be used. The most typical ones would be the comma, semicolon, and colon. They all indicate a pause in the sentence, so they really are often misused among one another. Here is how to understand when to make use of each of the symbols:

The comma can be used to separate logical parts of a sentence. It offers ideas or elements which are inside the structure of a sentence. A comma could also be used to separate repetitive parts of a sentence, such as for example numbers, dates, or objects that are much like each other. A comma can be used following a greeting and the end of a letter, before and after mentioning someone's name.

Examples: To separate logical parts of a sentence: When he came home, the sun was shining.
To separate repetitive parts: I really like movies such as for example “Pretty Woman”, “When Harry met Sally”, and “You've got mail”.
To indicate a salutation: Thanks for all your help, Mark.

The semicolon (;) is generally used when connecting independent clauses. How will you know when to make use of commas or semicolons? A semicolon connects extra independent parts of a sentence. In the event that you put a period of time between them, the sentence will still work. This may not function as the case with a comma, where clauses depend on one another.

Examples: Sylvia was happy; she knew that he would fall in love with her pretty soon.
As you can plainly see, these two sentences can be easily separated.

A colon (:) can be used in three cases.

  1. Once you introduce a quotation, a conclusion, an example, or perhaps a series.
Example: It had been up to her to just take the following actions: graduate, look for a job, and be a partner at her lawyer.
  1. You are able to put a colon between independent clauses. It's such as the case with a semicolon, but here the second the main sentence explains the first.
Example: I didn't wish to go to Brazil: I already had plans to go to Italy with my better half.
  1. The colon may also be used for emphasis when you want to single out a particular part of your sentence:
Example: She was sure of one thing: her friends.

Time, ratio, business correspondence and references — these are other cases where a colon can be used.

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Dash and Hyphen

The dash and hyphen will also be quite common punctuation marks. Although they look similar, they are different.

A dash can be used to separate words into statements, and also to indicate range or connections.

Example: She said explicitly — Yes!

A hyphen can be used to join several words together into a single concept. In this manner we get yourself a compound term.

Examples: She is a well-known doctor working part-time.
I went on a Rome-Paris flight.

Brackets, Braces, and Parentheses

Symbols like brackets, braces, and parentheses are accustomed to include words that are an additional explanation of the following section of a sentence or are believed a group. Brackets ([ ]) are notations which are mostly used for technical explanations, or even to clarify meaning. The crucial part about brackets is that if you eliminate the information in the brackets, the sentence will still make sense.

Example: That he [John] was the first someone to graduate in the family.

Braces ({ }) look similar nevertheless they are mostly used in Math and computer-programming to show units.

Example: 2{1+[23-3]}=x.

Parentheses ( ( ) ) are curved notations which are accustomed to showcase thoughts or qualifying remarks. A significant point about parentheses is that they can be replaced by commas without changing the meaning—in most cases.

Example: Mary Stuart (whose maiden name was Lockhart) went to purchase a bottle of milk.

Apostrophe and Ellipsis

The ultimate and less used three punctuation forms are the apostrophe, quotation marks, and ellipsis. An apostrophe (') is certainly caused by used when: there is an omission of a letter or letters from a word, in the possessive case, or for plurals of lowercase letters.

Examples: Omission of letters: I've wanted to do it for a long time.
Possessive case: Kate's dog is a Golden retriever.
Plural for lowercase letters:There are 3 p’s in the word “hippopotamus”.

The ellipsis includes three periods (... ) and can be used in writing or printing to point an omission or pause in the thoughts of the writer. Ellipses may also be useful for omitting unnecessary words that do maybe not interfere with this is of the entire sentence.

Examples: I do not know about that…
She was counting — one, two, three…

Quotation Marks

Quotation marks (" ") are primarily used to quote the words of another person.

Example: “Everything happens for a reason,” she said.

There are many instances where you can use quotation marks. You should use them with direct quotes to quote someone’s message, with titles of certain works, showing other meanings from that which was said literally, and to write words as words.

Quotation marks are often used for a primary quote. Once you change the sentence in to the indirect quote, the quotation marks become unnecessary.

Examples: Direct quote: “I like the snow,” said Alice.
Indirect quote: Alice said that she liked the snow.

Therefore the important rule to remember is: “Quotation marks are used only with direct quotes”. It is possible to quote not just a person, but additionally a written source.

You will find two kinds of direct quotations: run-in and block quotations. What are they and what exactly is their big difference? Run-in quotations are usually shorter. Their format is the same as the nearby text. Block quotes are longer quotes that are separated from the nearby text. Block quotations may even appear as a separate paragraph (or a number of paragraphs). They could also have an alternative font, a change in the line spacing, or have a wider margin.

Examples: The daddy said, "Prospects for growth are really good. "
In "American History," the writer supposes,
From the revolutionary war... (3)

Therefore the main rules about quotation marks are that if you open them, you'll need to close them aswell. Where the quote starts and where it ends must be clear. Sometimes, the text inside quotation marks is capitalized, in other cases, it is not. So if you’re quoting a complete sentence, you ought to start the quote with a capital letter. Here is the case even although you start the sentence, perhaps not the quote itself.

Example: She used the next phrase: “My life is really a miracle. ”

But, if you’re quoting a phrase or part of a sentence, you don't need to start with a capital letter:

Example: She considered them “rich and successful, like Hollywood stars. ”

Additionally, there are single quotation marks. They look like this – ‘good day’ – and can be properly used instead of parentheses for translations.

Examples: Her ‘good day’ was Bonjourno in reality.
That he considers the phrase “Stars” lucky for his company.

Additionally, there are differences in formatting quotations in America and British style. Please, begin to see the main differences for yourself.

Style issue

American Style

British Style

To enclose a quotation, use…

Double quotation marks

Single quotation marks

To enclose a quotation within a quotation, use…

Single quotation marks

Double quotation marks

Place periods and commas…

Inside quotation marks

Outside quotation marks

Place other punctuation (colons, semi-colons, question marks, etc . )…

Outside quotation marks*

Outside quotation marks*

*Place other punctuation inside quotation marks when that punctuation is section of what is being quoted, like a quoted question.

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