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The Basic Punctuation Mark Rules That You Need To Know

The Basic Punctuation Mark Rules That You Need To Know

Punctuation marks are used to clarify what you mean in a sentence. They show which words should be emphasized, and they help the reader understand what you’re saying. Punctuation marks are also used to make things like quotation marks and apostrophes work, which is why it’s important to know how they work in general!

Punctuation Marks

Punctuation marks are one of the most important aspects of writing, yet they are often overlooked or used incorrectly. There are a few basic rules that you need to know in order to use punctuation marks correctly.

First and foremost, always use a space after a punctuation mark. This includes commas, periods, exclamation points, and question marks. For example: We went to the store, and then we came home. Notice how there is a space after each comma and period.

Second, when using quotation marks, make sure that the punctuation mark is inside the quotation marks if it is part of the quoted material. For example: “I can’t believe you said that!” she exclaimed. In this sentence, the exclamation point is inside the quotation marks because it is part of what was said. However, if the quoted material does not include the punctuation mark, then the punctuation mark should be outside the quotation marks. For example: Did she really say “I don’t know”? In this sentence, the question mark is outside the quotation marks because it is not part of what was said.

Finally, remember to use apostrophes correctly. Apostrophes are used to indicate possession or contraction. For example: The cat’s toys were strewn about the room. In this sentence, the apostrophe shows that the toys belong to the cat. Another example: They’re going to be late for their appointment. In this sentence,

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Quotation Marks

Quotation marks are used to set off direct speech, or a quotation, from the rest of a sentence. They can also be used to set off a word or phrase that is being discussed, or to set off an unusual or ironic use of a word.

There are two types of quotation marks: double (“) and single (‘). Double quotation marks are used for quotations within a piece of writing, while single quotation marks are generally used for quotations within quoted speech.

Here are some basic rules for using quotation marks:

1. When quoting someone, always use double quotation marks.
2. When quoting something that is already in quotes, use single quotation marks. For example: He said, “I don’t think ‘fair’ is the right word.”
3. If you need to use both double and single quotation marks in the same sentence, make sure the double quotation marks come first. For example: He said, “I don’t think ‘fair’ is the right word.” Then she replied, “I’m not sure ‘right’ is either.”

Comma and Semicolon

There are two main ways to punctuate separating items in a list: with a comma, or with a semicolon.

A comma is the most common way to separate items in a list. For example:

I have a dog, a cat, and two rabbits.

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We went to the store, bought some food, and then came home.

A semicolon can be used instead of a comma when the items in the list are longer phrases or when the list is already pretty long:

I have a dog; a cat; and two rabbits.

We went to the store; bought some food; and then came home.

Colon and Parentheses

Punctuation marks are often overlooked in the English language, but they are actually very important. There are four main punctuation marks that you need to know: the period, the comma, the question mark, and the exclamation point.

The colon and parentheses are two other punctuation marks that are often used. The colon is used to introduce a list or a quotation, while parentheses can be used for information that is not essential to the sentence. Here are some examples:

The items on the grocery list are: milk, bread, eggs, and cheese.

“I have a dream,” he said, “that one day all people will be treated equally.”

Are you going to the store?

He was so angry that he yelled!

Apostrophe and Slash

If you’re confused about how to use an apostrophe or slash, you’re not alone. These punctuation marks can be tricky, but there are some basic rules that will help you use them correctly.

Here are the most important rules for using apostrophes and slashes:

-An apostrophe is used to indicate possession (e.g., John’s book) or to form contractions (e.g., I’m, we’ll).

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-A slash is used to indicate alternatives (e.g., he/she), ratios (e.g., 3/4), or dates (e.g., 12/31).

Remember these basic rules and you’ll be able to use apostrophes and slashes correctly in your writing!

Thank you for reading!

This was written by me. Bryce Purnell, founder of Learn Laugh Speak.

Check out more on my Medium or send me an email if you’re ever curious about anything at all 


1 thoughts on “The Basic Punctuation Mark Rules That You Need To Know

  1. Pingback: Reasons Why You Should Care About Punctuation |

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