*Punctuation* (derived from the Latin punctum, a point) meas the right use of putting in points or stops in writing.
The following are the principal stops :
1) Full Stop or period ( . )
2) Comma ( , )
3) Colon ( : )
4) Question Mark ( ? )
5) Exclamation Mark ( ! )
Other marks in common use are the
★ Dash ( _ )
★ Parentheses ( )
★ Inverted Commas and Quotation Mark
1.Full_Stop ( . )
The full stop represents the greatest pause and separation. It is used to mark the end of a declarative or an Iimperative sentence; as,
▶ For Example :
★ Dear, patient, gentle, Nell was dead.
The full stop can be used in abbreviations, but they are often omitted in modern style.
★ M.A or MA
★ M.P or MP
★ U.N.O or UNO
2- Comma ( , )
The comma represents the shortest pause, and is used:
1) To separate a series of words in the same construction ; as,
▶ For Example:
★ England, France and Italy formed an alliance.
★ He lost lands, money, reputation and friends.
★ It was a long, dull and wearisome journey.
A Comma is generally not placed before the word preceded by and ; as,
2) To separate each pairs of words connected by and ; as,
▶ For Example:
★ We should be devout and humble, cheerful and serene.
★ High and low, rich and poor, wise and foolish, must all die.
3) After a Nominative absolute ; as,
★ This done, she returned to the old man with a lovely smile on her face.
★ The wind being favourable, the squadron sailed.
4) To mark off a Noun or phrase in Apposition ; as,
★ Paul, the apostle, was beheaded in the reign of Nero
★ Milton, the great English poet, was blind.
) To mark off words used in addressing people
★ Come into the garden, Maud
★ How are you, Mohan?
But when the words are emphatic, we ought to use the note of Exclamation; as,
★ Monster ! By thee my child’s devoured !
6) To mark off two or more adverbs or adverbial phrases coming together ; as,
★ Then, at length , tardy justice was done to the memory of Oliver.
7) Before and after a participial phrase, provided that the phrase might be expanded into a
sentence, and is not used in a merely qualifying sense; as,
★ Caeser, having conquered his enemies, returned to. Rome.
8) Before and after words phrases or clauses, let into the body of a sentence; as,
★ it is mind, after all, which does the work of the world.
★ His behavior, to say the least, was very rude.
★ He didn’t , however, gain his
9) To indicate the omission of a word, especially a verb ; as,
★ He will succeed ; you, never.
★He was a Brahmin ; She, a Rajput.) To separate short co-ordinate clauses of a compound
sentence ; as,
★ I came, I saw, I conquered.
★ The way was long, the wind was cold.
★ Men may come and men may go, but I go on forever.
Where there is a conjunction the comma is sometimes omitted ; as,
★ He Came and saw me.
11) To mark off a direct quotation form the rest of the sentence; as,
★ “Exactly so, ” said Alice.
★ He said to his disciples, ” Watch and pray”.
★ “Go then, ” said the ant, “and dance winter away.”
12) Before certain co-ordinate conjunctions ; as,
★ The act thus is t wisdom, but folly.
13) To separate from the verb a long subject opening a sentence ; as,
★ The injustice of the sentence pronounced upon that great scientist and discoverer, is now evident to us all.
14) To separate a Noun clause- whether subject or object-preceding the verb ; as,
★ Whatever is, is right.
★How we are ever to get there, is the question.
15) To separate a clause that is not restrictive in meaning, but is co-ordinate with the principal
★ Sailors, who are generally superstitious, say it is unlucky to embark on a Friday.
16) To separate an adverbial clause from its principal clause ; as,
★ When I was a bachelor, I lived by myself.
★ If thou would not be happy, seek to please.
3. Semicolon ( ; )
The semicolon represents a pause of greater importance than that shown by the comma. It is used :
1) To separate the clauses of compound sentence, when they contain a comma; as,
★ He was a brave, large-hearted man, and we all honoured him.
2) To separate a series of loosely related causes; as,
★ Her court was pure ; her life serene;
★ God gave her peace ; her land reposed.
4.Colon ( : )
The colon marks a still more complete pause than that expressed by the semi-colon. It is used
( Something with a dash after it)
1) To introduce a quotation ; as,
★ Bacon says : “Reading makes a full man, writing an exact man, speaking a ready man.”
2) Before enumeration, example, etc ; as,
★ The principal parts of a verb in English are : the present tense, the past tense, and the past participle.
3) Between sentences grammatically independent but closely connected in sense;
★ Study to acquire a habit of thinking : no study is more important.
5.Question_Mark ( ? )
The Question mark is used, instead of the full stop, after a direct question ; as,
★ Have you written your exercise?
★ If you prick us, do we not bleed?
★ And if you wrong us, shall we not have revenge?
★ If you trickle us, do we not laugh?
But Question Mark is not used after an indirect question ; as,
★ He asked me whether I had
written my exercise.
6.Exclamation_Mark ( ! )
The Exclamation mark is used after interjection and after phrases and sentences expressing sudden emotion or wish ; as,
★ Alas! Oh dear !
★ What a terrible fire this is!
★ O, what a fall was there, my countryman ! Long live the king !
When the interjection O is placed before the Nominative of Address, the Exclamation Mark, if
employed at all, comes after the noun ; or it may be placed at the end of the sentence; as,
★ O father ! I hear the sound of guns.
★ O Hamlet, speak no more!
7.Inverted_Commas ( ” ” )
Inverted commas are used to enclose the exact words of a speaker, or a quotation; as,
★ ” I would rather die, ” he exclaimed, ” than join the oppressors of my country. “
★ Babar is said by Elphinstone to have been ” the most admirable prince that ever reigned in
If a quotation occurs within a quotation, it is marked by single inverted Commas; as,
★ ” You might as well say,” added the March Hare, “that ‘I like what I get is the same thing as I get what I like.”
8.Dash ( _ )
The Dash is used:
1) To indicate an abrupt stop or change of thought ; as,
★ If my husband were alive_but why lament the past?
2) To resume a scattered subject; as,
★ Friends, Companions, relatives_All deserved him.
9.Hyphen ( – )
The Hyphen – a shorter line than the Dash – is used to connect the parts of a compound words ; as,
It is also used to connect parts of a word divided at the end of a line.
10.Parentheses* ( )
Parentheses or Double Dashes are used to separate from the main parts of the sentence a phrase or clause which doesn’t grammatically belong to it; as,
11.Apostrophe ( ‘ )
The Apostrophe is used:
1) To show the omission of a letter or letters; as,
★Don’t, e’er , I’ve.
2) In the Genitive Case of Nouns.
3) To form the plural of letters and figures.
★ Dot your i’s and cross your t’s.
★ Add two 5’s and four 2’s. Copied.