The EASY guide to using Punctuation marks

Everyone including you and me mess up or get confused with punctuation marks. Even though punctuation marks are a tiny part of a sentence, they still make a lot of difference. Improper use of punctuations can sometimes lead to a blunder.

Let’s take an example: There is a difference between “Let’s eat Grandma” and “Let’s eat, Grandma”.

Funny, isn’t it? You would have noticed that the entire meaning has changed. Therefore, punctuations are very important in written English. We all know the basic rules but sometimes, when tricky sentences show up, we tend to forget or misuse the punctuation marks. So here’s your easy guide to using punctuation marks.

Source: Reader’s Digest


Periods are commonly known as full stops and are used at the end of a sentence.

There is no need to put a separate full stop if the sentence ends with an abbreviation like A.D.

Depending upon a phrase, exclamation marks and question marks replace the period. Periods are not used in headings.

Remember, while you are typing, just giving one space after the full stop is enough. The gadget automatically adjusts it. 


A comma, the most common punctuation mark, indicates a pause in a sentence, either between clauses, phrases, or items in a list.

For example: Rahul, Riya and Rania are playing in the park.

If you are starting a sentence with a dependent clause, make sure to use a comma after it. Example: If you are not sure, let me know. 

Use comma after certain words that introduce a sentence such as well, yes, why, hello etc. Use a comma to separate the day, date, time and year.

Use commas in direct speech like: He said, “I don’t care.”

Use a comma to separate contrasting parts of a sentence, like: “That is my money, not yours.”

Source: Literacy Ideas

3) COLON (:)

Use colons to introduce one or more items. When listing items one by one, a colon is necessary.

Think of colons as an arrow that points to the information following it. Whenever a colon appears in a sentence, it gives the silent impression of “as follows,” or “which is/are.”

Example: There are three types of tea in the kitchen: green, black, and organic.

A colon instead of a semicolon may be used between independent clauses when the second sentence explains, illustrates, paraphrases, or expands on the first sentence. Example: He got what he worked for: he really needed it.

Capitalise the first word of a sentence after the colon if what follows forms two or more complete sentences.

Example: I have several plans for my party: First, I’m going to serve the beverages. Second, I’m going to dance. Third, I will sing.


These are used in a direct sentence. Make sure that the first letter within your quotation marks is always capital and periods and other punctuations come before the end of the quotation marks. Example: Mary asked, “Is he a good boy?”

Quotation marks can also be used to state the title of a work.

For example: Her article, “Why Red is the Best Colour,” was published in Ice Cube magazine.


These simply communicate that a sentence is a question.

  • What kind of books do you have?
  • Why didn’t her parcel arrive?
Source: 7 ESL


This is used to express emotions, feelings and reactions. Exclamation mark goes at the end of a sentence.

Example: I got a perfect score today! Get out of my sight!


Slashes have been a very handy tool to give an alternative option. These can be replaced by ‘or’.

Example: Man/Women can be written as Man or Women. These are useful in making draft notes. 


Ellipses are used for omitting some words. Ellipses show that something has been left out. When we’re quoting someone, we can easily use an ellipsis to exhibit that we’ve omitted some of their words.

You can easily identify ellipses. They look like a set of three periods together: . . .

Example: “Today, after hours of careful thought, we vetoed the bill.” This can also be written as “Today…we vetoed the bill.”


This is from our side for today. Make use of this EASY guide to using Punctuation marks to write impeccable English.

Follow Tanya on Instagram to know more from her end. She is one crazy English teacher.

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