What is punctuation?

Punctuation is a process in which marks are used indicating pauses and separation of sentences in such a way to make their meaning of written communication clear. In writing these symbols/marks are called punctuation marks.

List of Punctuation marks:

The principal punctuation marks are –

1. Full stop   ( . )

2. Comma  ( , )

3. Semicolon  ( ; )

4. Colon   ( : )

5. Apostrophe     ( ‘ )

6. Question mark    ( ? )

7. Note of exclamation   ( ! )

8. Dash   ( – )

9. Hyphen  ( – )

10. Quotation mark    (”    ”)/(‘    ‘)

The list of punctuation marks, indications, uses, and examples are given below:

1. Punctuation mark: Full stop

Symbol                : ( . )

Indication: Closure of a complete sentence.

Uses :

👉 Generally at the end of an assertive sentence or statement and imperative sentence.


a. I live in a village. 

b. They play football on the field. 

c. Do not run in the sun.

👉 After initials of the names and abbreviations. 

M.B.B.S.,  U.K.,  U.S.A.,  M.L.A.,  M.P.,  Prof., Dr.,B.C.Pal,  A.P.J.Kalam etc. 

👉 It is used at the end of the address. 

13, Bankim Chandra Road, Mumbai, Maharashtra.

2. Punctuation mark: Comma

    Symbol              :  ( , )

Indication: Short pause


a. Between words of the same part of speech for short pause, but it does not use before the last word. The last two words are connected by the conjunctions ‘and’ ‘or’. 

Examples :  

👉 Read, listen, or speak English. 

👉 Rahul, Ram, Priti, and Shyam are all friends.

b. It is used before and after nouns or noun phrases in appositions.

Examples :

👉 We, the people of the village, feel proud of this work. 

👉 My sister, Mita, has stood 1st in the final examination. 

👉 Rabindranath Tagore, a great poet, won the Nobel prize.

c. Used while writing dates.

👉 August 15, 1947 

👉 Friday, May 17, 2010

d. Used to separate question tag from the sentence.

👉 He is intelligent, isn’t he? 

👉 It is a sweet fruit, isn’t it? 

👉 Ram is an honest boy, isn’t he? 

e. Used after yes and no.

👉 Yes, they can do it. 

👉 No, you will not come here. 

f. Used after Salutation and Subscription while writing Letter.

👉 My dear parents,

👉 Yours faithfully,

3. Punctuation mark: Semicolon

   Symbol   : ( ; )

Indication: longer pause than a comma

Uses :

a. Between coordinating clauses when they are not connected by the conjunctions and/but.

Examples :

👉 To err is human; to forgive divine. 

👉 We had a house; we have sold it.

b. When the coordinating clauses are connected by the conjunctions such as – so, therefore, however, also, otherwise, yet, etc.

Examples :

👉 The man is honest; so everyone loves him. 

👉 I am ill; therefore I do not go there. 

👉 Go immediately; otherwise, we may miss the bus.  

4. Punctuation mark: Colon

           Symbol   : ( : )

Indication: longer pause than a semicolon.


a. It is used before giving any list, an item that is separated by a comma.

👉 Please give the following fruits: mango, banana, apple

b. Sometimes to introduce before a quotation.

👉 Keats says: ”A thing of beauty is a joy forever. 

👉 Wordsworth wrote: Child is the father of man.

5. Punctuation mark: Apostrophe

     Symbol   : (  ‘  )

Indication: Omission of letter/letters


a. If one or more letters are omitted in a word it is placed above the body of a letter.

👉 You don’t go there.   ( do not = don’t )

👉 Isn’t  = Is not,  Can’t  = Can not

👉 Won’t  =  Will not,   We’ve  =  We have

b. It is not used in case of non-living things.

👉 The houses’ price          ( is not correct ) 

👉 The price of the house        ( is correct ) 

c. To form the possessive cases of nouns.

👉 Ram’s house is very nice. 

👉 My brother’s school is located at Howrah. 

d. Apostrophe with ‘s’ is used to make the plural of letters, figures, and abbreviations. 

👉 There are eight ‘m’s’ in the third line.

👉 Cross your b’s and tick your f’s.

👉 That is a boys’ hostel.

👉 There is a girls’ college in my city.

6. Punctuation mark: Question mark

Alternative name: Note of interrogation

    Symbol   :  ( ? )

Indication: Direct question

Uses:  Used after an interrogative question.

Examples :

👉 Can I go there? 

👉 What is your name? 

👉 Where does he live? 

👉 How old are you?

7. Punctuation mark: Note of exclamation

      Symbol   : (  !  )

Indication: Expression of sudden feelings or emotions.

Uses :

Used after interjections, the words and sentences to express emotions or sudden feelings such as joy, surprise, prayer, wish, sorrow, pity, etc.

Examples :

👉 Hurrah! we have won the match. 

👉 Alas! I am undone.

8. Punctuation mark: Dash

   Symbol   : ( – )

Uses :

a. It is used when a sentence is incomplete.

👉 I told you because –

b. It is used to write the words in apposition.

👉 His brothers – Swapan, Dipu, Puspal – went to the market together.

c. Indicating a missing word.

👉 Go to pages 88-96

9. Punctuation mark: Hyphen

   Symbol  :    ( – )

Indication: words/parts of words that belong together.


a. When a word is formed with two or more words then the different words are connected by a hyphen.

 👉 Ex-wife, Vice-chancellor, Brother-in-law, Father-in-law, etc.

b. It is used to make compound numbers. 

👉 eighty-two, ninety-three, fifty-six, etc.

c. It is used to make a compound adjective that qualifies a noun.

👉 25 year-old-girl  

👉 well-known professor

10. Punctuation mark: Quotation Mark or Inverted Commas

       Symbol   :   (  ”     ” ) / (  ‘    ‘  )

Indication:    Quotation


a. The beginning and end of a quotation in a sentence.

👉 He said to me, ”His father will go to market”.

b. Single inverted comma is used to indicate the name of a book, song, poem, etc.

Examples :

👉 Recently we have read ‘Hamlet’.

👉 The poem ‘Gitanjali’ is written by Rabindranath Tagore.

👉 The song ‘Vande Mataram’ is our national song.


Related Topics:

Nominal Compound

Uses of Capital Letters

Interchange of Parts of Speech

Antonyms or words with Opposite Meanings

Young ones of Birds/Animals and Similies/denoting comparisons

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