What is Punctuation?
Punctuation is generally used to segregate different phrases of the sentences in order to make sense to make others understand any fact. Moreover, the use of spacing in the sentences or in any phrases can also be termed as punctuation in the language of the literature or sentence structure. The use of punctuation is very essential to convey the actual messages of the sentence or the inner meaning of the phrase as well. During, writing anything punctuation is a must to disambiguate the sense of the phrase or the sentence. The rules of using punctuation in the sentences are different for different languages as well. Therefore, it is very important to mention that during speaking loudly it is important to punctuate properly to circulate the meaning properly along with the body language of the speaker as well. As a consequence of this the listeners can easily differentiate the question marks, commas, dashes, quotation marks, and exclamation points by detecting the presence of the pause, a wave of the arms, shout, the crinkle of the eyebrow, whisper, rolling of eyes.
There are a few common punctuations that are generally used in English language writing which helps the reader or the writers to express their views properly during writing any piece of writing. The most commonly used punctuations in the English language are period, exclamation point, question mark, colon, dash, comma, semicolon, brackets, braces, apostrophe, ellipsis, hyphen, parentheses, and quotation marks. In the early days of the discovery of writing techniques, people generally do not use any punctuations and the writing was based o the imagery created by the humans. However, the punctuation advanced intensely when huge numbers of replicas of the Bible were made. These were planned to be read loudly so the copy makers initiated to use a great range of symbols to help the reader, comprising indentation, numerous punctuation symbols. Moreover, considering specifically the English language, it can be stated that there are mainly two different types of punctuation in the English language and they are mainly British punctuation style and American punctuation style.
The main differences in these two types of punctuations are mainly associated with the idea of handling the quotation marks, mainly in conjunction along with additional punctuation marks. Moreover, it is also very important that use of the punctuation marks in a piece of writing generally differs in one country to another as well.
Punctuation in the Sentence
Sentences are not at all complete until there are proper punctuations placed in the right places. Sentences are generally an accumulation of multiple words and the use of punctuation in the sentences helps the sentences to be complete and sentence along with punctuation also helps to grab the attention of the readers or the listeners as it helps in the understanding process of the readers as well. Sentences having proper communication also help to differentiate the different types of sentence and their structures. There are a few punctuation marks that can define the type of sentences. A sentence having a full stop (.) at the end of it can be defined as a complete sentence.
For example– “Ram is a good boy.” As the sentence ends with a full stop (.) it is a complete sentence. Another common punctuation mark is a question mark and helps to identify the interrogative sentence.
For example- “is ram a good boy?” As the sentence ends with a question mark, henceforth, it can be easily marked as an interrogative sentence. The exclamation mark is another common form of punctuation mark that is used widely in the sentence structure to express the views or feeling of an individual. Therefore, it can be stated that the exclamation mark is essential to understand the feeling of an individual as well.
For example– “Alas! The great leader died”. The presence of the exclamation mark (!) helps the reader to understand the feeling of grievances in this sentence due to the presence of the punctuation mark as well. Another most commonly used punctuation mark is the comma (,) and it is mainly used to express any pause during the writing or delivery of any type of speech as well. Therefore, it can be stated that the use of the comma is essential to express any view point. For example-”It was a hectic day, so he slept after boarding the train”. In this particular sentence, the type of day and the further incident is differentiated by using the comma.
Errors of Using Punctuation
There are a few common mistakes of using punctuation and they are mainly wrong use of apostrophes that is people generally use it in a wrong place. For example- “Five dollar’s discount!”. The apostrophes is not necessary in this sentence as the dollars itself is a word. Another common error is using the quotation mark where it is not required or nothing is quoted by anyone.
For example– “We provide the ‘cheapest price in the market!!!”. Another common problem is not using comma properly and in most cases, individuals generally use more or fewer commas in the sentences which can alter the meaning of the sentences. The overuse of the exclamation is another common error and an excess exclamation in the sentences can also hamper the meaning of the sentence.
Furthermore, it is quite common to join the sentences by using the semi-colon. However, as a part of the mistake, it is reported that the individual uses a colon instead of a semi-colon to join the sentences. Putting commas after a fragment of a sentence is another error found during structuring a proper sentence. Moreover, people generally use a dash to joint two different words in order to express a single point of view.
For example- “Self-reliant” The two words are different and they are added by using dash to express the meaning. Hence, it is completely wrong to use this technique. During using the quotation it is the correct method to use punctuation inside the quotation and in most cases, the punctuation is used outside the quotation mark.
Also Read: What Is A Variable?
When to use Punctuation
The use of punctuation in the subject of language is mainly associated with the creation of making sense through using the language and therefore, it can be stated that punctuation helps to structure and organize the writing. The period known as a full stop in British English is generally used to indicate the ending of a sentence and it helps to differentiate between complete and incomplete sentences. Moreover, it helps to recognize the interrogative or exclamatory sentence. The comma is another important punctuation that is used frequently as a punctuation mark in different languages. It is mainly used to separate phrases, words, or list of words present in a sentence.
For example- “I met John, we have gone for a bike ride together, and then John went home.” In this sentence, the punctuation comma is used twice to segregate the phrases present in the sentence and as a consequence of this, the correct meaning of the sentence is conveyed to the readers. Another important use of the comma is to segregate the different nouns in a sentence.
For example- “I have ordered soup, dessert, fish, chicken, and coffee.” In this sentence, there are a number of common nouns and in order to differentiate them, multiple commas are used in this sentence. Exclamation mark punctuation is used express astonishment, exasperation, or surprise, or to stress on a specific comment or small, sharp expression. The exclamation mark can be used even afterwords as well.
For example- “Horrible!”, “Get out!”. The exclamation mark can also be used to spot an expression as ironic, humorous or sarcastic. For example- “What a lovely day!”. Question mark is used to interrogate someone or something. For example- “What is your name?”. The colon punctuation is mainly used to expand the sentence. For example- “He stored a lot of items: stamps, bird’s eggs, string, bottle tops and buttons.”
When to not use punctuation
Another common problem is not using comma properly and in most of cases, individuals generally use more or less commas in the sentences which can alter the meaning of the sentences. The overuse of the exclamation is another common error and excess exclamation in the sentences can also hamper the meaning of the sentence. Furthermore, it is quite common to join the sentences by using the semi-colon. However, as a part of the mistake, it is reported that the individual uses a colon instead of a semi-colon to join the sentences. Putting commas after a fragment of a sentence is another error found during structuring a proper sentence.
Moreover, people generally use a dash to joint two different words in order to express a single point of view. For example- “Self-reliant” The two words are different and they are added by using dash to express the meaning. Hence, it is completely wrong to use this technique. During using the quotation it is the correct method to use punctuation inside the quotation and in most of cases, the punctuation is used outside the quotation mark. In the above cases, punctuation cannot be used.