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Punctuation marks A comprehensive guide on their Uses

Punctuation marks A comprehensive guide on their Uses

Style, meaning and grammar are the three main principles that will help you succeed in writing. Clarity and precision will impress anyone who reviews your writing and help you to demonstrate your personal and educational qualities. You achieve These literary aspects through punctuation marks hence you need to have at your fingertips a comprehensive guide on their uses. Grammar and punctuation are essential for academic success. They also play a vital role in texting a date, corresponding for a job interview, and chatting with colleagues but one realizes this only if you fully understand a comprehensive guide on all the punctuation marks and their uses.

English grammar has 14 punctuation marks and therefore a comprehensive guide on their uses that we cannot ignore. It is not difficult to remember the majority of these. These are the question mark, exclamation, colon, dash and hyphen. Your writing will be easier and more appealing if you use them correctly.

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You probably have no serious issues with some of the punctuation marks like the full stop and question mark but only a comprehensive guide on some of their uses like the colon and semi-colon can assist you to distinguish when and where to use them in a sentence. A comprehensive guide to all the punctuation marks and their uses comes in handy for people who encounter exposure to both British as well as American English.

The significance of the guide emanates from the fact that there are differences in punctuation between American English and British English. These differences aren’t major but they are still significant. In American English, for example, abbreviations such as Mr., Mrs. and Ms. are punctuated. However, in British English, there are no periods. British English uses periods to write the time. For example, noon would be 12.00. The American system uses colons (12:00). You can have different names for punctuation marks. Before we go on, let’s take a look at the table to see how they are used. Let’s dive deeper into our essay writing and editing services.

British English American English
The symbol “. The symbol “. ” is called A complete stop A period
The symbol “!!” is also known as the “?!” The symbol “! ” is called an exclamation mark an exclamation point
The symbols “( )” are also known as Brackets Parentheses
The symbols “[ ]” are also known as Square brackets Brackets
The location of quotation marks Joy means “happiness”. Joy means “happiness.”
Abbreviations can be abbreviated by using punctuation Dr. Mr. Mrs. St. Rd, Ct Dr., Mr., Mrs., St., Rd., Ct.

Endings of Sentence Punctuation Marks: A Complete Guide on The Period, Question Mark, and Exclamation Point and Their Uses.

Let’s start with sentence endings. Sentences are an integral component of any text or message. A sentence can end with a period, question mark or exclamation point.

The Period

We use the period to complete sentences that don’t have any emotional meaning or infer a question.

Examples: Mary got married to Tom in 2020.
He enjoys playing baseball.

A question mark (? A question mark (????) is used to indicate a direct question. You can also place it at the end or beginning of sentences.

Examples: When did Mary and Tom get married?
Is he passionate about playing baseball?

The exclamation mark (! The exclamation point (!

Examples: Wow! Mary and Tom have just got married!
He is a huge baseball fan!

Punctuation Marks Comma, Semicolon; and Colon: A Comprehensive Guide on Their Uses

There are many punctuation marks that one can use within a sentence. The most commonly used punctuation marks are the colon, semicolon and comma. All three indicate a pause in a sentence and for this reason, people frequently misunderstand. This is how you can recognize the use of each symbol.


You use a comma to separate the logical parts of a sentence. It can also indicate ideas or elements within a sentence’s structure. Next, you can use a comma to separate repeating parts of a sentence such as dates, numbers, or objects that are related. Additionally, one can use a comma after greetings and at the end of letters to separate similar parts.

Examples Of separating logical parts in a sentence: The sun shone when he returned home.
To separate repetitive parts: I love movies like “Pretty Woman”, “When Harry met Sally”, and “You’ve got mail”.
To indicate a salutation, Mark, thanks for all your help.


When connecting independent clauses,you use the semicolon (.). How do you know when to use semicolons or commas? A semicolon links additional parts of a sentence. The sentence will still function if you place a period between them. A comma primarily separates clauses.

Examples: Sylvia felt happy and knew that he would soon fall for her.
You can separate these sentences, as you can see.


A colon (.) is possible in three situations.

  1. You can use a quote, explanation, example or series to introduce the topic.

Example She had to decide what she wanted to do: Graduate, Find a Job, and Become a Partner at Her Law Firm.

  1. You can place a colon between independent clauses. This is similar to the semicolon case, except that the second sentence explains what the first part means.

For example, I didn’t want to go to Brazil. My husband had already made plans to take me to Italy.

  1. You can also use the colon to emphasize a particular part of your sentence.

Example She was certain of one thing: Her friends.

As you can see, the use of some of these punctuation marks can only apply appropriately if one is familiar with their uses courtesy of exposure and appreciation of the comprehensive guide Take note that these are just a few examples of situations where to use a colon.

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Punctuation Marks Use the Hyphen and Dash- A Comprehensive Guide on Their Uses

Common punctuation marks include the hyphen and dash. They look very similar but they are quite different. At face value, the symbol of a hyphen (-) is a short line while that of a dash (_) is a comparatively elongated line. Needless to say, you the positioning of these punctuation marks also differs meaning that only a comprehensive guide on their uses can adequately draw your attention to their appearance, position in a line and when to use them in a sentence. Position-wise, the hyphen’s position is in the middle of a line while the dash occupies the bottom of a line position.

You can also use the dash to separate words into sentences or to indicate ranges or connections.

Example: She explicitly said — Yes!

You can use The hyphen to combine two or more words into one concept. This creates a compound term.

Examples: She’s a well-known part-time doctor.
I flew from Rome to Paris.

Brackets and Braces 

One can use braces, brackets, and parentheses to indicate words that provide additional explanations of the next part of a sentence or are considered a group.

Brackets: You use These notations mainly for technical explanations or to clarify meaning. The important part about brackets: If you remove information from the brackets, the sentence will still make sense.

For example, John was the first to graduate from the family.

Braces (?) are similar, but they are mainly used in Math and computer programing to show units.

Example:21+ [23-3] =x.

Parentheses are ( ) curved notations that are used to display thoughts or qualifiers. It is important to note that parentheses can be replaced with commas, without altering the meaning in most cases.

Example: Mary Stuart, whose maiden name is Lockhart, went to buy milk.

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  Apostrophe and Ellipsis

The apostrophe (‘), quotation marks and ellipsis are the last three most commonly used punctuation forms.

An apostrophe

is used when there is an omission or plural of letters from a word in the possessive or lowercase cases.

Examples Omissions of letters It’s something I have wanted for a while.
Kate has a Golden retriever as her dog.
Plural for lowercase letter There are 3 p’s within the word “hippopotamus”.

The ellipsis contains three periods (…). We use ellipses in writing and printing to indicate an omission in the thoughts of a writer. You can also use ellipses to omit unnecessary words that don’t interfere with the overall sentence.

Examples: I don’t know anything about that…
She was counting — one…, two…, three…

Punctuation Marks Direct and Indirect Quotation Marks A Comprehensive Guide on Their Uses

Quotation marks (” “)

One uses quotation marks primarily to quote words from another person.

Example: “Everything happens for reason,” she stated.

Quotation marks can be used in many situations. We use them with direct quotations to quote someone’s message or with titles of certain works to show different meanings than what was actually said.

For a direct quote, we normally use quotation.  A sentence no longer needs quotation marks if it changes into an indirect quote.

Examples Direct quotation: Alice said, “I like the snow.”
Indirect quotation: Alice stated that she likes the snow.

Remember the following important rule: You should use Quote marks only with direct quotations. Always remember that one can make Quotes not only personal but also from a written source.

There are two types of direct quotations: block and run-in. What is the difference between them? Usually, run-in quotations tend to be shorter. They are in the same format as the surrounding text. Block quotes are longer quotations we separate from the surrounding text. Block quotations may appear in a separate paragraph or a set of paragraphs. You can change the font or alter the line spacing.

Examples The Father said that “Prospects of growth are really great.”
The writer of “American History” supposes that
From the revolution war... (3)

Main Rule

The main rule about quotation marks is that you must close them once you have opened them. It should be obvious where the quote begins and ends. Sometimes the text within quotation marks must begin with a capital letter. In other cases, it may not. If you are quoting a whole sentence, it is best to start the quote using capital letters. This applies to the entire sentence and not just the quote.

Example: She used this phrase: “My life’s a miracle.”

However, if you are quoting a phrase or part of a sentence you don’t need to begin with a capital letter.

Example: She compared them to Hollywood stars and called them rich and successful.

You can also use single quotation marks. These look something like this: “Good day” – they can be used in place of parentheses to translate.

Examples Her ‘good day’ was Bonjourno in real life.
He considers “Stars” a lucky word for his company.

In any written account, punctuation marks show how one should read sentences and their appropriate use requires a comprehensive guide. Besides the use of punctuation marks in grammar that is correct, you have to realize that their uses may depend on the English Style the text is using. For example, there are differences between American and British formatting of quotations. You can see the main differences yourself.

Style issue American Style British Style
To enclose a quotation, use… Double quotation marks Single quotation marks
Use the following format to attach a quote within a quotation: Single quotation marks Double quotation marks
Use commas and periods to place them… Inside quotation marks Outside quotation marks
Other punctuation (colons and semi-colons), can be used. )… Outside quotation marks* Outside quotation marks*

*Place any punctuation within quotation marks if it is part of the quoted text, such as a quote question.

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