You use English punctuation marks to structure and organize your writing.
How to Use English Punctuation Marks | Video
List of English Punctuation Marks
Full Stop (.)
Use a full stop at the end of a declarative sentence and in abbreviations
- My name’s Beth and I was 18 in July.
- Mr. White was talking with Mr. Smith.”
Question Mark (?)
Use a question mark after an interrogative sentence
- Where are you from?
Quotation Marks /Speech Marks (” “)
Use quotation marks for direct quotations
- “I work in Italy” said Jimmy.
Use an apostrophe in contractions and to indicate possession
- Sean’s performance at school has greatly improved.
- They’re going to the movies tonight.
Add a comma when two separate sentences are combined
- We purchased some cheese, and we purchased some fruit.
Use commas between words in a series. Notice that a comma does not follow the last word in the series
- I like reading books, listening to music, watching TV, and studying English.
Use a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence
- As the day came to an end, the fire fighters put out the last spark.
Use the comma to set off the words “yes” and “no”
- No, thank you.
Use a comma to set off a tag question from the rest of the sentence
- She is your sister, isn’t she?
Use a comma to indicate direct address
- Is that you, Mary?
Use a comma after an expression
- Most certainly, you can borrow my pencil.
Add a comma when a participle phrase clause is used
- Walking slowly, I could see the beautiful flowers.
Use a comma to separate parts of the date
- Tuesday, May 2, 2016 was when I graduated.
Use a hyphen to join two or more words together into a compound term and is not separated by spaces
- My eight-year-old boy loves reading.
- I work part-time.
Exclamation Mark (!)
Use an exclamation mark to show strong emotion or give a command
- Sit down!
Use a colon to introduce a list and before a final clause that explains something in the sentence
- You have two choices: finish the work today or lose the contract.
Use a semicolon to join two independent clauses that are not connected with a coordinate conjunction
- My daughter is a teacher; my son is a doctor.
Parentheses/Brackets ( )
Use parentheses for extra non-essential information
- The two brothers (Richard and Sean) were learning how to play guitar.
Use ellipsis to show that parts of sentences are left out
- To be continues…
- You’ll never believe what I saw…
English Punctuation Marks | Picture