Learn about the different punctuation marks and their uses.
a data set by ms.brown
created June 22, 2017
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|Apostrophe||Generally used to replace the lost letters in a contraction, to form possessives, or (occasionally) to form plurals.||can't, A's, doctor's patient|
|Brackets||Used to clarify unclear nouns or pronouns, to include a translation, to indicate an error by original author or emphasis added by the one who is quoting, and to put a parenthetical within a parenthetical.||(published by Julien Gorbo ), "There where [sic] six people there."|
|Colon||Introduces a list, an explanation (between two independent clauses), and for emphasis at the end of a sentence. Also used to separate hours and minutes (11:32 a.m.), in ratios (2:1), and to separate chapter and verse in biblical reference (Genesis 1:23).||I have to go to California next week: my aunt is having a baby.|
|Comma||Indicates a pause or separates parts of a sentence.||We went to the store, and while we were there we got bananas.|
|Ellipsis||Traditionally used to indicate an omission. In informal usage, it represent the trailing off of a thought.||. . . [quote that begins earlier than transcribed].|
|Em Dash||May replace a comma for a more emphatic effect. May replace parentheses to draw attention. May replace a colon when used to emphasize the final thought or word. May also indicated redacted or unknown information (Mr. N--). Sometimes represented by double hyphens.||Please do not assume--many have done so--that I cannot pull my own weight.|
|En Dash||Shorter than an em dash and longer than a hyphen, it represents a span or range, a connection or conflict, and is used between scores of contests.||8-12 year olds, 28-3 score, liberal-conservative debate|
|Exclamation Point||Ends a sentence of excitement.||My aunt had the baby!|
|Hyphen||Used to form compound nouns, verbs, and adjectives.||check-in, nickel-and-dime, state-of-the-art|
|Period / Full Stop||Ends a sentence.||We went to the store.|
|Question Mark||Ends a direct question.||Will she make it to class on time?|
|Quotation Marks||Contains and indicates spoken words or quoted material.||"I am not feeling well today," she said.|
|Semicolon||Commonly used between to independent clauses. Also used as a sort of super-comma when separating clauses in a sentence with lists (that use commas).||The cat didn't mind being left alone; the dog, however, was not a fan.|
|Single Quotation Marks||Contains and indicates spoken words or quoted material within a quote.||"When I say 'today' I mean today."|
|Slash||Indicates a line break in poetry, to replace the word "per," "and," or "or." Also used within abbreviations. Also used to indicated inches.||w/ (with), his/her, $500/week|