I often why we use punctuation in writing English language?
Can these small signs change the meaning of sentences?
Punctuation is essential, and is used to convey clarify the meaning of written language. It such simple marks as the full stop or the comma, and the more complex ones of semicolons and hyphens. Getting punctuation wrong can change the entire meaning of a sentence.
There are 14 punctuation marks that are commonly used in English grammar. They are the period, question marks, exclamation point, comma, semicolon, colon, dash, hyphen, parentheses, brackets, braces, apostrophe, quotation, marks, and ellipsis.
Commas indicate a separation of ideas or elements within the structure of a sentence. For more information on comma usage.
They serve cheap delicious meat. (Incorrect)
They serve cheap, delicious meat. (Correct)
Quotation marks show the beginning and end of a quotation or title of a short work. When citing, the quotation and punctuation rules change.
“Four score and seven years ago,” Sara famously began, “our fathers brought forth on this house
Parentheses set off elements within a sentence that are related to the sentence but nonessential.
Grades will be based on (1) participation, (2) in-class writing, and (3) exams.
Apostrophes show possession and also indicate where a letter has been omitted to form a contraction.
my parents’ car
the musicians’ instruments
hyphens are used to form compound words or join word units. They are also used to join prefixes, suffixes.
A hot-water bottle (a bottle for holding hot water)
A hot water bottle (a bottle of water that is hot)
Colons follow independent clauses and call attention to the information that comes after.
The things on my mind are papers, grades, and finals. (Incorrect)
The things on my mind are the following: papers, grades and finals. (Correct)
Dashes-often confused with hyphens-connect groups of words to other groups of words to emphasize a point. Usually, the dash separates words in the middle or the end of a sentence.
Our ideas for the weekend, going to a movie, having a picnic, doing homework, and hiking Garcia Trail-seemed like a lot to a squeeze in. (Incorrect)
Our ideas for the weekend-going to a movie, having a picnic, doing homework, hiking Garcia Trail-seemed like a lot a squeeze in.
Semicolons separate clauses or phrases that are relate and that receive equal emphasis. You can go your whole life without using them, or you can impress your readers by using them correctly.
We were planning to go get coffee; however, he had to cancel.