Home GRAMMAR Punctuation Marks: Meaning, Uses & Examples

Punctuation Marks: Meaning, Uses & Examples

English Grammar Punctuation Marks
‘Punctuation’ are marks or symbols, used to separate sentences, phrases and clauses. They not only help to decorate the sentence but also make the sentence grammatically correct.

Punctuation marks help to indicate pauses in certain situations.  They focus on specific ideas and views in sentences, by conveying the exact meaning of the text. They help to create a sense of language.



grammar-punctuation quiz

English Grammar: Punctuation Quiz

Solve 'English Grammar Punctuation Quiz' & Get an attractive Certificate.


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1. Choose the sentence with correct punctuation marks:

grammar_punctuation quiz

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2. Choose the sentence with correct punctuation marks:

grammar_punctuation quiz

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3. Choose the sentence with correct punctuation marks:

grammar_punctuation quiz

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4. Choose the sentence with correct punctuation marks:

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5. The little dot which we find at the end of a sentence is called 'full stop' in British English and ___________ in American English.

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6. ____________ is the punctuation mark which indicates a pause, typically between two main clauses.

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7. Choose the sentence with correct punctuation marks:

grammar_punctuation quiz

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8. 'Apostrophe' is the punctuation mark which is used to:

grammar_punctuation quiz

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9. Choose the sentence with correct punctuation marks:

grammar_punctuation quiz

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10. Choose the sentence with correct punctuation marks:

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Your score is


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The little dot which we find at the end of a sentence is called FULL STOP in British English and PERIOD in American English.

  • Used at the end of Statement or Declarative Sentence
         Julie studied English for two years.
    . …You’re wasting your time.
  • Used to mark Abbreviations
         B.B.C., Prof. Mr. Mrs. Mt. Adv. St. Dr.
          e.g. A.M. P.M. approx. hr. PT.O.
  • Used after person’s initials
         W.B. Yeats, G.B. Shaw, A.G. Gardiner,
         T.S. Eliot. P.B. Shelley, C.V. Raman
  • Used at the end of commands
          Sit down. Go away. Stop. Run fast.
          Give it. Study now. Close it.
  • Used in numbers
          1.3%, 2.7 ft., 11.30 am,
          5.5 km/h, 10.1 ltr., 20.5 inch
  • Used in Web addresses



A symbol placed at the end of sentence or phrase. It indicates an interrogative clause or phrase. It is also known as an INTERROGATIVE POINT.

  • Used in direct questions
          Where do you live?
          Are they playing on the ground?
  • Used in Question Tags/Short Questions
          Smith is driving a car, isn’t he?
          Let’s enjoy today, shall we?     
  • Used in Rhetorical Question, where the answer is not expected
          Who worries? Let them come.
          Why not?



A symbol placed at the end of sentence or phrase. It
indicates an exclamatory clause or phrase. It also indicates strong feelings, showing emphatic expressions. It is known as an EXCLAMATION POINT.

  • Used in Exclamatory sentence
          What a beautiful sight it is!
           How difficult the question is!
  • Used in Optative Sentences
           May God bless you!
            Wish you Happy Christmas!
  • Used after an Interjection
           Ah! My kite is high up in the sky.
            My God! You have injured your head.



A COMMA is a symbol, used especially as a mark of separation within the sentence. It is the symbol, used to separate parts of a sentence showing a slight pause, or to separate items in a list.

  • Used between items in dates and addresses 
         John visited the Gateway of India, Mumbai, on February 20, 2015.
  • Used between words in a list
         My mother wanted to buy vegetables, fruits, chocolates, and groceries. 
  • Used between equally important adjectives
          Robert is so humane, generous, good-natured, and kind man.
  • Used after a tag, that precedes a direct quote
         Joseph said, “I’m famished, bring me something to eat.”
  • Used in a quote that precedes a tag and is not a question or exclamation
         “I’m so tired,” said Jenny with a sigh.
  • Used after introductory words, phrases, and clauses
          Despite being ill, he went to office.
  • Used before conjunctions
          I like playing carom, but I don’t get time for it.
  • Used around non-essential clauses, parenthetical phrases, and appositives
          John’s wife, Jenny (appositive), who was very dominating lady, (non-essential clause), fell severely ill.
  • Used to separate a question tag
          He is so lazy, isn’t he?



A INVERTED COMMA is a mark, used to attribute the enclosed text to someone else. It is skillfully used to show where Speech or a Quotation begins and ends. In American English, Inverted Commas are called Quotation Marks.

  • Used in directly quoting dialogue, not in paraphrasing 
         Hamlet’s famous soliloquy says, “To be, or not to be. That is the question.”
  • Used for titles of chapters, articles, poems, songs, short-stories, or periodicals etc.
          My favourite poem is “Where the Mind is Without Fear” by Rabindranath Tagore.



is the punctuation mark which is used either to omit letters or to show possession.

  • Used in contractions
        won’t , can’t, it’s , that’s
  • Used to show possession
        That is her uncle’s house.

        “Ode to Autumn” is John Keats’ famous poem.



is the punctuation mark which is used before a list, quotation or explanation in a sentence.

  • Used between two complete ideas when the second explains the first
         John pushed her dinner away: He was very angry.
  • Used before a list
         I bought favourite sweets for her: chocolates, cakes, and candies
  • Used between titles and subtitles
         Justice: A Tragedy in Four Acts
  • Used between volumes and page numbers
         Marvel Comics 21:24
  • Used between hours and minutes
         It’s 2:00am
  • Used before a dialogue
         Hamlet said: “To be or not to be.”



is the punctuation mark which indicates a pause, typically between two main clauses.

  • Used between two independent clauses  
         John joined the Cricket team; remarkably, the young man played excellently.
  • Used between elements in a series that uses commas
         The possible dates for the Annual Days are Thursday, June 5; Saturday, June7; or Monday, June 9.



The DASH is a long horizontal line. It is like hyphen, but is longer and sometimes higher from the baseline. The most common versions are the en dash –, longer than the hyphen, but shorter than the minus sign; the em dash —, longer than either the en dash or the minus sign.

  • Used to add parenthetical statements or comments as done in brackets. In a formal writing brackets are preferred to dashes.
              London—based artist
              She might be upset— you never know.



is a slanting bar used to represent exclusive or inclusive or, division and fractions, and as a date separator.

  • Used to indicate “or”
            Dear Sir/Madam (Sir or Madam)

            I will have lunch and/or fruit.
  • Used for fractions
            1/2 (one half)

            2/3 (two thirds)
            1/10 (one tenths)
  • Used to indicate “per” in measurements of speed, distance, prices etc.
            The speed limit is 80 km/h. (kilometers per hour)

            John can type at 50 w/m. (words per minute)
            The eggs cost $5/dozen. ($5 per dozen)
  • Used for abbreviations
            a/c  (account)

            c/o (care of)
            n/a (not applicable)
            w/o (without)
  • Used to separate day, month and year
            28/04/2022. (28th April, 2022 – BrE)

            04/28/2007. (April 28th, 2022 – AmE)



Informally, ELLIPSIS is known as dot-dot-dot. This series of dots indicates an intentional omission of a word, sentence, or whole section from a text.

  • Used to omit a word, phrase, line, paragraph, or more from a quoted passage.
    Sentence: “yesterday, after a heated argument on the topic, we finally reached some logical conclusion”

    Ellipsis: “Yesterday … we finally reached some logical conclusion.”



means writing a word with its first letter as a capital letter/uppercase and the remaining letters in lower case/small letter.

  • The first word of every sentence
        Yes, I will do it.
  • The first word of a quoted sentence(not just a quoted sentence)
        And so vehemently he said, “Oh God, it’s unutterable. I can’t live without my love!”
  • Proper Nouns
        India, Ram, John, Lucy, London, Tames, etc.
  • Abbreviations
        M.Com., Ph.D., CJI, LLB, IPR, BHIM, WTO, UNO, etc.
  • Adjectives derived from proper nouns
        the American system (American is an adjective derived from the noun America)
  • The pronoun  “I”
  • The most important words in a title
        Last March, I read a novel “The Wuthering Heights”



is a star-shaped punctuation mark, derived from the Greek word asteriskos which means ‘little star’.  It is used to denote a footnote, to indicate an omission of letters in an abusive/taboo words, and to point to disclaimers.

*There are literally hundreds of companies.
For only $72.22*
**It should come as no surprise.
Only for today!*



Generally, BRACKETS refer to square brackets. We usually use square brackets – [ ] – for special purposes such as in technical manuals, books, articles etc. Brackets are used for ‘extra information’, or information that is not part of the main content.
Brackets are used to alter another person’s words. By using brackets, we make it clear that it’s we who changed the words, not the original author.
  • Used to make clarification
        John said: “He [the thief] ran away snatching my purse.”
  • Used to add information
        The two teams in the Moot Court Trial Competition are from Maharashtra [Mumbai & Nagpur].
  • Used to add missing words
        He is [a] good human being.
  • Used to modify a direct quotation
        “John love[s] sky-diving.”



Generally, PARENTHESES refers to round brackets ( ). The use of round brackets – ( ) – is similar to commas. We add further explanation, an afterthought, or comment that is to do with our main line of thought, but different from it.

  • Used for further explaination
        Sachin Tendulkar (the former cricketer) is known as “the God of Cricket”.
  • Used to indicate plural or singular
        Keep your bag(s) outside, please.
  • Used to add a personal comment
        People love gossiping (I don’t).
  • Used to write the Full Forms of abbreviations
        The fourth wave of Corona is predicted by WHO (World Health Organization).

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