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Commonly Used Punctuation Marks

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11 Punctuation Marks Everyone Needs to Master


Punctuation are special marks that you add to your writing to separate phrases and sentences , to show that something is a question , etc.

There are many punctuation marks , and here , I am going  to focus on some of  them -the most used ones.
In this article we will cover the commonly used punctuation marks in English. No more confusion!

1- Capital Letters




  • For the first letter of a sentence.
    Fishing is popular in Britain
  • For countries , nationalities , languages , religions , names of people , places , events , organizations , trademarks , days , months , titles.
    Africa , Moslem , John , Jaguar , Sunday , Mr.
  • For titles of books , films , etc.
                  Silence of the lambs
  • For abbreviations / acronyms ike organisations names, Companies and brands…. OPEC , WWF

2- Full stop / period:



  • – At the end of a sentence.

I’m going for a walk.

  • – Sometimes after an abbreviation.

Dr. Jane B.S.

  • – As the decimal point in figures and amounts of money . This is usually read out as ‘point’.

$5.8 million

  • – to separate parts of email and web addresses . This is read out as ‘dot’ .

3- Question mark: ?



  • – After a direct question.
What is your name?
  • – To show doubt.
He was born in 1980? well , I’m not sure.

4- Exclamation mark: !


– At the end of a sentence in order to show surprise/shock , etc.
I can’t believe it !
– To indicate a loud sound .

5- Comma: ,



    1. Between items in a list.
      I need new shirt , pants , and a cap.
    1. to show a pause in a long sentence .
      They didn’t want to eat before I’d arrived , but I was an hour late.
      **P.S : using comma is necessary when you write a time clauses , but clauses , although clauses …. etc . We might talk about this later In sha’a Allah-
    1. When you want to add extra information.
      Ahmed , who I told you about before , will visit us tonight.
  1. Before tag question.
    You do love me , don’t you?

6- Apostrophe : ‘


  1. For missing letters: for example: I’ll *I will* , don’t *Do not
  2. For possessives: for example:  students’ books, Ahmed’s car
*P.S : it’s can only be an abbreviation for it is or it has . There is no apostrophe in the possessive form its.

7- Colon::


    1. To introduce a list or a quotation in a sentence .
      You need the following: paint , brushes and water
  1. In the greeting in a letter.
Dear Clients:

8- Semi-colon:;


– To separate two parts of a sentence.
I spoke to him on Monday ; he can’t come to the meeting .

9- Hyphen: –


    1. To join two words together .
  1. To show that a word has been divided and continues on the next line.
    Kate is Threeyears old.

10- Dash: _


  • – To separate parts of sentences.
  •  The man _ the one with black hair _ staring at me.
  • – To mean to.
  • The Manchester-Liverpool train is too fast.

11- Inverted commas.” ” or ‘ ‘



  • To show that words are spoken.

                                               ‘ Let’s go’ he said.

  • Proper punctuation Saves Lives , Grandma!” 🙂

???? “Let’s eat Grandma!”

???? Correction:Let’s eat, Grandma! ^^

Punctuation marks are signals to your readers. In speaking, we can pause, stop or change our tone of voice. In writing, we use marks of punctuation to emphasis and clarify what we mean and to get our message through. Improving your punctuation is essential to write better pieces of writing.


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Ezzeddine Yahyaoui

A Senior teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers. Teaching you how to navigate your way through balanced literacy brings me joy. My desire is to give you the tools needed to move your students forward! I have been creating high quality educational resources, tech tutorials, entertainment and training sessions and serving education & learning since 2009.

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