What is Punctuation? – Useful Punctuation Rules & Punctuation Marks in English



Full Stop full stop

This is the most popular punctuation mark because you simply cannot write even a single sentence without using it. So, there are two most common uses of a full stop: to indicate the end of a sentence, or to follow an abbreviation.

Comma comma

A comma is often used to separate different ideas in a sentence. However, it has many other uses as well, and it is important to remember them as well. Some of most common comma rules follow.

Question Mark Question Mark

A question mark , as its name suggests, needs to go at the end of every interrogative sentence of a full stop.

Exclamation Mark Exclamation Mark

An exclamation mark added at the end of a sentence shows emphasis. Depending on the meaning of the sentence, it can indicate anger, happiness, excitement, or any other strong emotion.

Quotation Marks Quotation Marks

As their name suggests, quotation marks indicate direct quotations. You can also use them to show that a word or a phrase is being used ironically, or for titles of articles, book chapters, episodes of a TV-show, etc.

Apostrophe Apostrophe

An apostrophe has two very important uses. Firstly, it can be used in contractions in place of omitted letters. Secondly, it can show possession.

Hyphen Hyphen

Even though it looks very similar to a dash, a hyphen has very different uses. It`s most commonly used to create compound words.

Dash Dash

There are two different dashes, the en dash and the em dash, the first being slightly shorter than the second one. The en dash is usually used to show a connection between two things, as well as a range of numbers, years, pages, etc.

Colon Colon

A colon is a punctuation mark you will come across very often in different circumstances. It can introduce an example, a list, an explanation, or a quotation. Or, you can also use it to emphasize a certain point.

Semicolon Semicolon

A semicolon is a punctuation mark that creates a longer pause than a comma but a shorter pause than a full stop. So, It can be used to create a pause between two independent clauses that are still closely related to each other.

Brackets Brackets

Brackets are, in a way, similar to parentheses. However, they are mostly used in academic writing and when presenting quotes. For instance, the writer can add extra information or fix mistakes in brackets, without changing the original quotation.

Ellipsis Ellipsis

An ellipsis creates an intriguing and mysterious atmosphere in the text. In addition, it can be used to show that some letters or even words are omitted.

Slash Slash

You might need to write a fraction, measurement, or to suggest alternatives in your text. These are just three of the instances where you will have to use a slash.