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O25 Punctuation

Lesson Twenty-five


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.

  • 2 + 2 = 4

 * The asterisk drew your attention to the bottom of the page.


Next: Lesson Twenty-six

Sentence Patterns

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