Introduction to Punctuation: Communication is a mixture of words and sometimes more factors other than words that together express an idea across. When we speak, our body language forms an important part of this communication. In fact, it is said that it’s, even more, an empowering tool for communication than words.
But when it comes to written communication, although the play of words can be marvelous for expression, punctuation helps in showing the tone, pauses, interrogation, a thought continuation, etc.
In this chapter especially, we deal with the seven types of punctuation marks used in English grammar universally. They are all used for different purposes: pause, questioning, exclaiming, remarking, showing joy, showing a clause break, showing a pause but not a clause break, showing an information to be processed by the reader, and so on.
In this section, we will take a quick overview of these punctuation marks. In our further chapters, we will break each one down in depth and in an easy to understand manner. So let’s dive right ahead in the introduction to Punctuation:
Introduction to Punctuation: Types
Well, before we dive into this one, we’d like you to experience for yourself what the usage or non-usage of the comma can do to the meaning of a sentence-
- Let’s eat, Johan.
- Let’s eat Johan.
So you see how pausing at the right time, breaking the clause makes the world of a difference to the meaning of a sentence.
This mark is used to express emotions very strongly. A strong expression of joy, appreciation, amusement, disappointment, surprise, order, and so on.
- Go to your room!
- What a beautiful sunset!
- Alas! I could not trek the Mount Everest summit.
A full stop is used when a thought ends. It usually comes at the end of a sentence. Sometimes these sentences are just one word. Let’s see a few examples:
- You have a beautiful garden in your home-town.
- I do not like the smell of milk.
- I and Ramesh are going to the market to fetch some fresh vegetables.
An apostrophe is used to show possession of something or someone. So if you wanted to say the sister of Meena, you could just say Meena’s sister. That’s a way how you showed possession using an apostrophe.
Everything you start writing starts with a capital letter. The beginning of a sentence, names, and titles of people, months of the year or week, and so on.
- We are going to celebrate Easter today.
- I hail from Delhi.
- She goes to town in May.
Whenever we are interrogating, we use a question mark at the end of the sentence. A question mark is used whenever something is asked to seek – yes/no or an elaborate answer or just rhetorically.
- Are you coming to Venice with me to watch the match live?
- Is she going home tomorrow?
The major function of quotation marks is to set off and represent exact language (either spoken or written) that has come from somebody else. Additionally, this is the punctuation mark that is used to quote someone else’s line in direct speech. Let’s see a few examples:
- “This too shall pass”, said the old Japanese man when he saw me crying at the riverside.
Try to re-read what you write after writing it to identify missing/wrongly used punctuation marks. You will be surprised how often we goof up in this area. Have fun with grammar!