Punctuation is the use of spacing, conventional signs, and certain typographical devices as aids to the understanding and correct reading of written text, whether read silently or aloud. Another description is, “It is the practice action or system of inserting points or other small marks into texts in order to aid interpretation; division of text into sentences, clauses, etc., by means of such marks. In written English, punctuation is vital to disambiguate the meaning of sentences. For example: “woman, without her man, is nothing” (emphasizing the importance of men to women), and “woman: without her, man is nothing” (emphasizing the importance of women to men) have very different meanings; as do “eats shoots and leaves” (which means the subject consumes plant growths) and “eats, shoots, and leaves” (which means the subject eats first, then fires a weapon, and then leaves the scene). The sharp differences in meaning are produced by the simple differences in punctuation within the example pairs, especially the latter.
The following are principal stops, and other marks in common use:
- Full Stops or Period (.)
- Comma (,)
- Semicolon (;)
- Colon (:)
- Sign of Interrogation (?)
- Sign of Exclamation (!)
- Dash (—)
- Parenthesis ( )
- inverted Commas or Quotation Marks”………….”
Full Stop or Period (.):
- It is used at the end of a sentence or at the end of the short form of a word.
Example: I am fond of singing.
- A full stop is placed after an abbreviation, including initials and titles.
Example: B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science)
- It is used to separate to independent clauses.
- We use comma after the introductory phrase or clause.
- To separate the list of different items we use it.
Example: Uzair, Usama and Muhammad all went together.
I like Badminton, Hockey, action movies, Ludo and playing cards
- Among two clauses we use colon when the second clause is explaining the first one.
- When we are writing a play script we use colon. Such as
Example: She has a little money to spend: her salary is very low.
- It is also used to separate the hours from minutes. Such as 12:22 Am
- While writing things in the form of a list. Such as
Example: This book contains: Knowledge, Experience, inspiration etc.
- The semicolon is used to separate those two independent clauses that are closely related in thoughts.
- In lists it is also used with comma.
Example: Ali drives a Ferrari; Ahmed drives a Peugeot.
Sign of Interrogation (?):
- It is used at the end of a phrase or sentence to showing that it is a question.
Example: Where are you right now?
Sign of Exclamation (!):
- It is used immediately after an exclamation
Example: Hurrah! We won the match.
Alas! I failed.
Inverted Commas or Quotation Marks”………….” :
- It is used to indicate a word or phrase to show that someone else has written or said it.
Example: He said, “I will go to school”
- It is used to show when a letter or a number has been left out, as in I’ll (= I will), or that is used before or after s to show possession, as in Ahmed’s school.
Example: This is Uzair’s house.
He’ll accompany us
- It is used in writing to separate letters, numbers, or words
Example: and/or, 06/06/2020 (June 6)
- It is used to join words together to indicate that they have a combined meaning or to show that a word has been divided into parts.
Example: well–to–do, rock–forming minerals, pick–me–up