The type of punctuation you choose is dependent on the type of sentence of question you create. There are some rules for punctuation that you can learn and remember; however, to use punctuation properly requires a good knowledge of English grammar and sentence structure.
A period ends a sentence.
A question mark goes at the end of a question.
- What are you doing today?
A comma separates parts of a sentence.
- After the class ended, we went to work.
|An exclamation mark shows emphasis. Something is really important! |
An apostrophe is used for making contractions and forming possessive nouns.
- We’re = We are
- Let’s go over to John’s house. (Let’s = Let us / John’s = singular possessive)
- Those are the girls’ instruments. (girls’ = plural possessive)
- Who’s at the door? (Who’s = Who is)
Quotation marks indicate the exact words that a person says.
- "It’s time to find a new car," my wife said.
A semicolon separates clauses within a sentence.
- Most of the students were happy about the results on their test; the others were disappointed.
A colon is used to list things.
- There are three things you must remember: never give up on yourself, always do your best work, and respect those who have come before you.
A hyphen is placed between two words when they function as an adjective.
- They live in a four-bedroom apartment.
|A long dash separates elements in a sentence. |
|A slash is used to separate things in a sentence. It’s also used in web addresses. |
|Parentheses enclose words or sentences that are added to a sentence. |
An "at" sign is used with email addresses.
An ampersand is used for the conjunction "and."
- She works for Johnson & Johnson.
|An asterisk draws the attention of the reader to something else on a page. * |
A pound sign is used to represent the word "number."
- You’ll need a #2 pencil for the test.
A dollar sign represents money.
- The repair will cost $452.78
A plus sign is used when doing addition.
* The asterisk drew your attention to the bottom of the page.
Next: Lesson Twenty-six