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Introduction to Punctuation

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Punctuation - definition

Punctuation refers to marks such as full stops, commas and brackets that are used to separate sentences and their parts.
For example, the comma in this sentence is a punctuation mark.

Full Stop - definition

A full stop is a dot used at the end of a sentence. It represents a long pause and separation between sentences.
For example: Joseph is going to the party. Mary will be there too.

Comma - definition

A comma is in the shape of an apostrophe but is placed on the baseline of the text. It usually represents a short pause and is used to separate words, clauses, or ideas in a sentence.
For example: I wanted to meet her at the park, but she was busy.

Semicolon - definition

A semicolon represents a pause of greater importance than that which is indicated by a comma. It is used to connect independent clauses of equal importance in a sentence.
For example: Some students went directly to the campsite; others went to the waterfall. 

Colon - definition

A colon represents a pause even longer than that of a semicolon. It is used to separate two main clauses when the second clause follows or explains the first. It is also used to introduce a list or a quotation.
For example: The bakery had many delicious dishes: pies, cakes, muffins, and tarts.

Question Mark - definition

A question mark is used at the end of a sentence that is a question or is in interrogative form.
For example: Where is the library?

Exclamation Mark - definition

An exclamation mark is used after a sentence that is an interjection or exclamation.
For example: How hot is is today!

Inverted Commas - definition

Inverted Commas are used at the beginning and end of a quotation.
For example: He said, "I will see you tomorrow."

Dash - definition

A dash is used to indicate a stop or change of subject within a sentence.
For example: The three brothers—Joe, Sam, and Tom—still live in the same house.

Hyphen - definition

The hyphen is a shorter horizontal line than the dash. It is used to connect the parts of a compound word.
For example: He was a well-known cardiologist.

Parentheses - definition

Parentheses are brackets used to provide extra information. They separate a clause from the main part of the sentence.
For example: The manager (and his secretary) traveled by a private jet.

Apostrophe - definition

An apostrophe shows the omission of a letter. It is also used in the possessive or genitive case.
For example: Give Amy's book back to her. 

Capital Letters - definition

Capital letters are upper case letters used at the beginning of sentences. It is also used in other instances like at the start of proper nouns.
For example: They have been planning their trip to France since September.

Ellipsis - definition

An ellipsis refers to a set of three dots at the baseline of the text that indicates the omission of words in the sentence. It is also used to indicate a brief pause or an unfinished thought.
For example: I'm not sure...I might be busy tomorrow.