How to Use Punctuation Marks

While many people don’t pay much attention to punctuation, it is in fact the essence of good writing. The most common punctuation marks include the period, the comma, the colon, the exclamation mark and the question mark. Despite the fact that these punctuation marks are commonly used, a lot of people do not know all the rules related to them. The incorrect use of punctuation marks can actually change the whole context of a sentence, which is why it is imperative that they are used properly.


  • 1

    Use of periods

    One of the most commonly used punctuation marks is the period. Generally, majority of the people are aware of the fact that a period is used to end a sentence but they do not know that it is used with initials as well. For example, if a person’s name is ‘John Kennedy Rowdy’, with the help of periods, you can write it as ‘J.K. Rowdy’. Similarly, it is also used when using an abbreviated form of the word. For instance, you can write ‘Dr.’ Instead of ‘Doctor’. Similarly, if you are going to put multiple items in a sentence you must separate each of them with a comma. For example, ‘John is a cricketer, swimmer, boxer and footballer’.

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    Use of colon

    A colon is used when you are about to explain something in a more specific way. Unlike periods, which are placed inside the quotation marks, a colon is placed outside the quotation marks and is usually used when you are about to list down a couple of things or define something. These are mostly used in the dialogue script to highlight what a person is actually saying.

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    Use of exclamation mark

    An exclamation mark is used to put more focus on a particular thing. It usually belongs to sentences where a person is warning another. For example, “Watch Out! The roof is falling”or “Danger! Walk at your own risk”. An exclamation mark is used for expressing your emotions or excitement at a particular point.

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    Use of question mark

    A question mark is used whenever you are going to ask a particular question. In general, sentences starting with Ws and Hs are supposed to end with a question mark. For example, “How are you feeling today?”, “What are you doing tonight?”

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