The Sentence Writing Rules
Punctuation marks are symbols that are used to aid the clarity and comprehension of written language. Some common punctuation marks are the period, comma, question mark, exclamation point, apostrophe, quotation mark and hyphen.
Punctuation Mark Symbol Definition Examples.
An apostrophe is used as a substitute for a missing letter or letters in a word (as in the contraction cannot = can’t), to show the possessive case (Jane’s room), and in the plural of letters, some numbers and abbreviations. Note: groups of years no longer require an apostrophe (for example, the 1950s or the 90s). I can’t see the cat’s tail.
Dot your i’s and cross your t’s.
100’s of years.
A colon is used before a list or quote.
A colon is used to separate hours and minutes.
A colon is used to separate elements of a mathematical ratio.
There are many punctuation marks: period, comma, colon, and others.
The time is 2:15.
The ratio of girls to boys is 3:2.
A comma is used to separate phrases or items in a list. She bought milk, eggs, and bread.
A dash is used to separate parts of a sentence. The dash is also known as an “em dash” because it is the length of a printed letter m — it is longer than a hyphen.
An ellipsis (three dots) indicates that part of the text has been intentionally been left out. 0, 2, 4, … , 100
exclamation point ! An exclamation point is used to show excitement or emphasis. It is cold!
A hyphen is used between parts of a compound word or name. It is also used to split a word by syllables to fit on a line of text. The sixteen-year-old girl is a full-time student.
Parentheses ( )
Parentheses are curved lines used to separate explanations or qualifying statements within a sentence (each one of the curved lines is called a parenthesis). The part in the parentheses is called a parenthetical remark. This sentence (like others on this page) contains a parenthetical remark.
A period is used to note the end of a declarative sentence. I see the house.
question mark ? A question mark is used at the end of a question. When are we going?
Quotation mark “
Quotation marks are used at the beginning and end of a phrase to show that it is being written exactly as it was originally said or written. She said, “Let’s eat.”
A semicolon separates two independent clauses in a compound sentence.
A semicolon is also used to separate items in a series (where commas are already in use).
Class was canceled today; Mr. Smith was home sick.
Relatives at the reunion included my older brother, Bob; my cousin, Art; and my great-aunt, Mattie.
Related Reference Pages, Activities and Worksheets to Print:
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Punctuation marks are symbols that are used in sentences and phrases to make the meaning clearer. Some punctuation marks are the period (.), comma (,), question mark (?), exclamation point (!), colon (:) and semicolon(;). . , ? ! ‘ ; :