PUNCTUATION MARKS AND BEYOND: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO ENGLISH PUNCTUATION
Punctuation marks are one of the most important parts of English grammar and communication. In fact, one misplaced punctuation mark can change the entire meaning of what you’re trying to say.
Learning to perfect your grammar is a skill that sometimes even the most fluent speakers can mix up. There are so many rules, and so many symbols that are used for a variety of different things. But it’s important to know them and use them properly – there’s a reason that your professors include an entire section on grammar in your marking rubric, and it’s not just to find excuses to deduct marks.
If you’re struggling with grammar, and specifically with punctuation, you’re definitely not alone. Whether you’re an ESL student or just brushing up on your grammar, this guide to punctuation marks in the English language will help you make sure you always convey the right message.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PUNCTUATION MARKS
So, why exactly are punctuation marks so important? Well, it’s all about communication. The right punctuation can make a major difference in the tone, message, and information you need to convey.
Here’s a classic example most people use when talking about the importance of punctuation. Look at these two sentences:
Let’s eat grandpa.
Let’s eat, grandpa.
Clearly, these two sentences can mean completely different things with the absence of one little piece of punctuation. The first sentence sounds like you’re going to eat your grandfather, while the second indicates you’re clearly inviting him to dine with you (not as the main course).
If no one ever used punctuation we would get sentences like this that make no sense because they go on forever and don’t really tell you where you need to separate information normally when we use punctuation we want to make sure people get the right idea about what we’re saying if you don’t use the right indicators you could easily send someone the wrong message or they could misinterpret what you’re trying to say that’s the best way to mislead someone.
Did you have a hard time reading that paragraph above, or run out of breath in your head? That’s because there was no punctuation in it. The correct paragraph should look like this:
If no one ever used punctuation, we would get sentences like this that make no sense because they go on forever and don’t really tell you where you need to separate information. Normally, when we use punctuation we want to make sure people get the right idea about what we’re saying. If you don’t use the right indicators, you could easily send someone the wrong message or they could misinterpret what you’re trying to say. That’s the best way to mislead someone!
In fact, there are entire articles dedicated to showcasing how funny it is when people don’t use the right punctuation. Don’t end up on a Buzzfeed list – learn the right punctuation.
Before you study the different punctuation indicators we’re going to teach you about in this article, it might be a good idea to brush up on the different types of sentences in the English language. We’re going to be name-dropping some of these sentence types and clauses below, and you’ll understand better if you give yourself a bit of a fresh perspective.
HOW MANY PUNCTUATION MARKS ARE THERE IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE?
There are approximately 14 punctuation marks commonly used in the English language. We’ll go over them in detail below, but here is the list:
● Quotation mark
● Question Mark
● Exclamation Point