Punctuation – Meaning or Madness?

The full stop: –

  • The full stop is used to mark the end of a sentence.
  • A common mistake is to join two sentences with a comma instead of separating them with a full stop.

The question mark: –

  • The question mark is used for a direct question.
    • Would you wait for me?

The exclamation mark: –

  • The exclamation mark comes at the end of a sentence to replace the full stop when there is a need to indicate surprise or any strong emotion.
    • I have won it!
    • I did it!
    • Good grief!
    • Get out!
    • Shut up!

The comma: –

  • To separate items in a list.
  • To clarify the meaning of a sentence.
  • To separate the clauses in a sentence.
  • To separate the non-defining clause from the main clause
    • Bryan, who has a pleasant smile, is my neighbour.
  • To start off replies to questions, for question tags, and direct speech.
    • Yes, please.
    • No, thank you.
  • To separate the phrase in a sentence
    • The postman, a really friendly person, was attacked by a savage dog.
    • The boy, running desperately away from the bully, fell into a drain.
  • Before but, nor and or
    • (This is optional depending on the length of the sentence.)
      • It was not a difficult decision for him to make, but he had no choice.
      • It was not my decision to dismiss the worker, nor was it the Manager’s.
      • Hew knew he had to confront the bully, or face the embarrassment of being frequently insulted.

The semicolon: –

The colon: –

The dash and dashes: –

Dot: –

Inverted commas: –

The hyphen: –

The apostrophe: –

Brackets: –