Punctuation

Punctuation is the use of marks for pauses in speech. It is used in writing to make it meaningful and helpful for pronunciation.

Hence the process of using marks of pause is called Punctuation. The main signs of pause are the following.

Punctuation

DIFFERENT PUNCTUATION MARKS


NAME OF THE PUNCTUATION MARKSSYMBOLSWHERE USED
FULL STOP.Assertive, Imperative, Optative
NOTE OF INTERROGATION?Interrogative
NOTE OF EXCLAMATION!Exclamatory
COMMA,For separation within
SEMI-COLON;Shorter pause than a Full stop
COLON:Before listed items & quotation
APOSTROPHE COMMAPossession & omission
INVERTED COMMASName of book etc.
[Or] QUOTATION MARKS” “Quotation (in Direct Speech)
DASH___To mark a break
BRACKETS(), {}, []To enclose information
ASTERISK*To call attention in writing

USE OF PUNCTUATION MARKS #1


FULL STOP ( . )

The Full Stop is a long pause.

USE OF FULL STOP

RulesExamples
It is used to end Assertive sentences, Imperative sentences, and Optative sentences.Assertive sentence: Amal is a good boy.
Imperative sentence: Go home at once.
Optative sentence: May you live long.
It is used after abbreviations and initials.B.A., M.A., B.D.O., S.D.O., D.M., M.N. Roy, Mr. Mitra, Mrs. Sen, Dr. Das, 20 B.C., 1999 A.D., 7 am, 8 p.m., etc.

NOTE: Some common abbreviations have assumed the status of a single word by frequent use and as such full stops are omitted, e.g. Mr, Mrs, PTI, BBC, USA, UNESCO, etc.


USE OF PUNCTUATION MARKS #2


NOTE OF INTERROGATION ( ? )

The Note of Interrogation is also a long pause for a question.

NOTE OF INTERROGATION

RulesExamples
After sentences that ask questions.• Who are you?
• Where will you go?
• Do you play football?
In brackets to express a doubt.• He was born on 5th July (?) in 1985 (?).
• His father died in 1967 (?).

NOTE: A question mark is not used after an indirect question, e.g. He asked me why I was absent.


USE OF PUNCTUATION MARKS #3


NOTE OF EXCLAMATION ( ! )

The Note of Exclamation is used in exclamatory sentences.

NOTE OF EXCLAMATION

RulesExamples
It is used after the words of emotion such as Alas! Hurrah! Bravo! etc.• Alas! He is dead.
• Hurrah! We have won the match.
• Bravo! You have done well.
When an exclamatory sentence begins with ‘what’, ‘how’, etc., the Note of Exclamation is used after the sentence.• What a nice bird it is!
• How beautiful you are!
• What a sight!
• How strange!
It is used after addressing.• Gentlemen and ladies!
(Or) Ladies and gentlemen!

Thus, a Note of Exclamation is used for the expression of an emotion or a sudden feeling.


USE OF PUNCTUATION MARKS #4


COMMA ( , )

The comma is the shortest pause.

USE OF COMMA

RulesExamples
The Comma is used to separate three or more words or phrases of the same class when only the last two are connected by ‘and’.• Apu, Dipu, and Debu are going to school.
The comma is used to separate Vocative Case.• Ramen, come here.
• I am, sir, your obedient pupil.
• Always remember, my son, that this poor body is the temple of the living God.
The comma is used to separate introductory Yes or No etc.• Yes, he will come here.
• No, he will not go there.
The is used before the Quotation mark.• I said to him, “Go to school.”
The comma is used before and after an Apposition.Jadeja, the Indian batsman, scored a remarkable century in the World Cup.
The comma is used before and after a Parenthesis.• He is, after all, an honest man.
The comma is used after an Absolute phrase.• The sun having risen, the lotuses opened their eyes.
The comma is used after an Adverbial clause or phrase if it starts a sentence.• When he arrived, it was too late.
[But] It was too late when he arrived.
• If it rains, I shall not go out.
(But) I shall not go out if it rains.

USE OF PUNCTUATION MARKS #5


SEMI-COLON ( ; )

The Semi-colon makes a shorter pause than the Full Stop and a longer pause than the Comma. So a comma is used below a Full Stop to make a Semi-colon.

USE OF SEMI-COLON

RulesExamples
The semi-colon is used between two clauses of a compound sentence when they are not joined by a coordinate conjunction.• The sun rises today at 5-30 am; sets at 5 pm.
[Nowadays ‘a.m.’ and ‘p.m.’ are written as ‘am’ and ‘pm’.]
• To err is human; to forgive divine.
The Semi-colon is used between coordinate clauses with ‘and’, ‘but’, ‘still’, ‘yet’ etc. when the subjects are different.• The music came to an end; and the musician was greeted heartily.
• There was a moment’s silence, and the girl burst into tears.

USE OF PUNCTUATION MARKS #6


COLON ( : )

The Colon represents a longer pause than the Semi-colon.

USE OF COLON

RulesExamples
The Colon is used before listed items that are introduced by such words as follows, the following, thus, these, etc.• His virtues are as follows: sincerity, punctuality, and truthfulness.
The Colon is used to separate two sentences of which the second explains more fully the meaning of the first.• I know Dr. Paul very well: we lived together for a long time.
The Colon is used to introduce a formal quotation with or without quotation marks.• Mary: “Isn’t the soup boiling yet?” (with quotation marks)
• Mary: Isn’t the soup boiling yet? (without quotation marks)

USE OF PUNCTUATION MARKS #7


APOSTROPHE COMMA ( ‘ )

The Apostrophe Comma is not a pause.

USE OF APOSTROPHE COMA

RulesExamples
‘s is used to form the possessive of any singular Noun if it is animate.• This is Apu’s umbrella.
‘s is used to form the possessive plural Noun, where there is no s/es in the plural form:• They are playing in the children’s park.
Only an Apostrophe comma is used to form the possessive of plural Nouns, where the plural number is formed with s/es.• We read in a Boys’ school.
The Apostrophe comma is used to indicate the omission of a letter or letters in a word :• I’m (= I am), He’s (= He is), You’re (= You are).
• They’re (= They are), Haven’t (= Have not).
• Isn’t (= Is not), Can’t (= Cannot).
• Won’t (= Will not/Would not).
‘s is used to form plurals of letters and figures:• There are five M.A.’s in our school.
• There are 10 ten’s in a hundred.
• Cut your t’s and dot your i’s.

USE OF PUNCTUATION MARKS #8


INVERTED COMMAS ( ‘ ‘ / ” ” )

The Inverted Commas are no pauses.

USE OF INVERTED COMMAS

RulesExamples
The Inverted commas or Quotation marks are used to indicate a direct speech or a quotation in a sentence.

NOTE: The full stop, the comma, the question mark, or the exclamation mark, comes inside the quotation marks. Nowadays the full stop and the question mark are sometimes placed after the quotation marks.
• Amal said, “I know the man.”
• “Where are you going?” he asked.
• “Yes,” he said, “I am going to market.”
• The poet says, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”
Sometimes Inverted commas are used to indicate the titles of books, poems, stories, etc., and to draw attention to a word.

NOTE: The Quotation mark may be single or double. There is no universally accepted distinction between the single form and the double. The more sensible practice is to regard the single as normal. But the double inverted comma should be used when there is a quotation within the quote. e.g. Father said, “Never say, I can’t.”
• The Merchant of Venice’ is written by Shakespeare.
• ‘I’ is a pronoun.
• It is ‘you’, not ‘I’ who stole the book.

USE OF PUNCTUATION MARKS #9


DASH

USE OF DASH

RulesExamples
The Dash is used to mark a break or abrupt turn in a sentence.• If my mother were alive-but why should I lament for the past?
It is used to indicate a significant pause.• The hero of the story is rich, clever, charming, but-a gambler.
It is used to indicate the repetition of an idea.• This is an ideal school-perhaps the best that we have in West Bengal.

USE OF PUNCTUATION MARKS #10


HYPHEN

The Hyphen is shorter than a dash.

USE OF HYPHEN

RulesExamples
The Hyphen is used to join the parts of a compound word.• Brother-in-law, mother-in-law, bathing-place, commander-in-chief, etc.
The Hyphen is used to indicate that a word is not complete at the end of a line.• At the end of the battle, the situation was not at all favourable to Napoleon.

USE OF PUNCTUATION MARKS #11


BRACKETS ( ), { }, [ ]

FIRST BRACKET ( )

RulesExamples
The first bracket is used to enclose words in a sentence to make the meaning clear.• He said that his friend (Sisir) had got the prize.
• Rekha said that their maid (Kali) had left the job.
It is used to enter extra information.• Modern music (after 1980) is not of a high mark.
It is used to enclose serial numbers.• Classify the headlines (i) food, (ii) clothes, (iii) shelter.

SECOND BRACKET { }

RulesExamples
One second bracket is used to denote the pairs in a vertical line.Active…………………………………
Passive……………………………….
Two-second brackets are used to enclose the first brackets between them.• {2 x 5(3-2)}

THIRD BRACKET [ ]

RulesExamples
It is used in lieu of the first bracket in American style.• Sourabh (the captain) hopes for victory.
It is used to enclose serial numbers and in some mathematical figures.• [1], [2], [3] etc.

USE OF PUNCTUATION MARKS #12


ASTERISK *

USE OF ASTERISK *

RulesExamples
An asterisk [*] or a little star is used to call more attention to a point.• * ‘I’ is capitalized in all cases when it is a pronoun of a first-person, singular number.
Two, three, or more asterisks are used to show some omission in a statement, especially in paragraphs or stanzas.• Here and there over the grass *** bore-rich fruit.

NOTE: Sometimes, Leaders or three dots (..) are used instead of asterisks (***) to show some omission in a line.
Example: One day Mr. Ali … got together a few local youths to keep their surroundings clean.


USE OF PUNCTUATION MARKS #13


CAPITAL LETTER

USE OF CAPITAL LETTER

RulesExamples
A capital letter is used at the beginning of a sentence.• The boys are going to school.
A capital letter is used at the beginning of each line of a poem.• Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky.
A capital letter is used at the beginning of the first word of a quotation.• I said to him, “Do this work.”
• “Go ahead,” said the teacher.
A capital letter is used to write the first letter of the word in salutation.• Dear Sir, My dear Father, etc.
• Boys! Come in.
• Guys! Let’s see the cavern.
A capital letter is used for initials, surnames, titles, and designations.• Dr. B. C. Roy, the Secretary, etc.
• Mr. Ghosh, the President, etc.
A capital letter is used to write the names of an academic subject.• English, Bengali, History, Geography, Economics, etc.
A capital letter is used at the beginning of a Proper Noun.• Kolkata is a big city and it is the capital of West Bengal.
A capital letter is used for the abbreviation of countries, official names, academic degrees, etc.• U.K., U.S.A., UNO, UN, etc.
• B.D.O., S.D.O., D.M., etc.
• B.A., M.A., B.Sc., M.Sc., etc.
A capital letter is used for the Pronoun ‘I’ and the Vocative ‘O’s.• It is I who did it.
• O, what a great fall!
A capital letter is used for God and for the pronoun relating to Him.God is good and kind to all, We should pray to Him for His blessings.

TEXTUAL EXAMPLES OF PUNCTUATION


Punctuate the following sentences :

  • how happy we are here they cried to each other (‘The Selfish Giant’) Ans: ‘How happy we are here they cried to each other.
  • the sower scatters the seeds in two rounds once in north-south direction and next in east-west direction to ensure uniformity. [‘The Importance of Jute’] Ans: The sower scatters the seeds in two rounds-once in North-South direction and next in East-West direction to ensure uniformity.
  • no whenever he lost anything he always blamed everybody except himself. [‘A Daily Drama] Ans: No, whenever he lost anything, he always blamed everybody except himself.
  • nothing is lucky if you put it away said grandfather. [‘The Cherry Tree’] Ans: “Nothing is lucky if you put it away,” said grandfather.
  • i cant understand why but people listen to us says Mr. Ali general secretary of the society. [‘Self-help for Cleaner Surroundings’] Ans: “I can’t understand why-but people listen to us,” says Mr. Ali, General Secretary of the Society.

PUNCTUATION EXERCISES


Rewrite the following sentences using capital letters and punctuation marks where necessary :

  • she said sweet my child I live for thee
  • the second cricket match between india and england started at eden gardens on 31st december
  • on the first day india won the toss and decided to bat the opening batsman batted well but england bowled very well also
  • the weather was not good on the second day the game had to be stopped before time the indian batsman were batting very well and they had already scored a good total
  • the soyabean is a plant with great food value but neither the farmers nor the common people knew very much about it
  • we can either drink milk or use it for making tea coffee and other drinks other milk-products are sandesh pudding and dahi
  • the soviet union and the united states have made great progress in exploring outer space the ussr was the first to launch a satellite
  • whos there whos there i say am i to get no sleep tonight
  • how did you get here child whose baby are you the man asked
  • the convict said they have made me a thief god curse them all
  • hello mr crocodile why are you lying in the sun arent you feeling hot
  • dipu is ten years old he has a bad cough he had his last dose of medicine at 9 am when should he take the next dose which medicine is he taking
  • but how can we find out if a person or a society is barbarous or civilised
  • many people in europe think that they are very civilised and the people of asia are quite barbarous
  • the ussr was the first to launch a satellite and yuri gagarin was the first human being to spin round the earth in spaceship
  • the first satellite launched by India was aryabhatta it was launched with the help of a soviet rocket from a soviet cosmodrome on april 19 1975

You Asked, We Listened – List of All Grammar Topics Updated 😍😍


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