What are the Rules in Using Punctuation Marks?

Punctuation is the system of symbols that guides the readers while reading any content. In brief, it helps the readers to read the texts in a right manner. In addition to this, punctuation assists the readers in comprehending the meaning of a text.
However, sentences are the medium of expressing thoughts or ideas of the writers and these elements are the building blocks that develop each written account. However, punctuation shows the right ways to read those sentences so that the meaning can be understood easily and aptly.
A sentence gets its completeness when it starts with a capital letter and ends with a full stop. Instead of a full stop, it can be a question mark or an exclamation mark at the end based on the situation.

The Basic Signs of Punctuation are as follows:

The comma ( , )
The full stop ( . )
The colon  ( : )
The semi-colon ( ; )
The exclamation mark ( ! )
The question mark ( ? )
Quotation marks ( “   ” )
The apostrophe ( ‘ )
Brackets (  )  or [   ]
The hyphen ( – )
The slash ( / )

The Comma ( , )

The comma (,) is used in a sentence when
•    A phrase is added without having any new subject
•    While making a list
•    Making a pause before proceeding
•    While putting more than one adjective

I need to buy some items such as Horlicks, sugar, salt, vegetables and biscuits.
They Boy, who is good in Math, scored well in this annual exam.
The boy was excited, happy and active at the starting of the academic session.

Full Stop (.)

A full stop is always used at the end of a sentence. It signifies that the sentence is completed and the writer can move to the next line. However, a single full stop is also used to indicate the abbreviation of some words.
September – Sept.
Telephone Number – Tel. No.
I have finished my all home tasks.

Colon (:)

The colon is used in a sentence to point a pause between two phrases. However, it can be used in the heading as well as in the listing.
She kept some items in the bag: fruits, green vegetables, tea, coffee, biscuits and milk packets.
Ego: A negative quality that blocks the human’s mind.

Semi-colon (;)

It is used in a sentence while joining two connected sentences and to write a detailed list. However, it is the most difficult sign of punctuation and it should be placed accurately.

We started our journey in the early morning; the weather looked pleasant.

The different people attended the function from London, UK; Kandy, Sri Lanka; and Mumbai, India.

Exclamation Mark (!)

It is used in the sentences to exhibit a strong feeling such as love, anger, happiness, etc.
Hurray! We won the game.
Ha! Ha! It is a nice joke.

Question Mark (?)

It indicates that the sentence is asking a question.
Examples: How are you now?
How was the food there?

Apostrophe (’)

It is also known as an inverted comma and this type of punctuation is used while signifying the possession. In addition to this, it is placed where a letter is omitted.
Examples: The girl’s red dress is very beautiful.
We’re going to enjoy a vacation in Sri Lanka.

Brackets (   )

It is used in the sentences while adding additional information. In detail, if the information placed between the bracket is omitted, then the meaning of the sentence will remain same. However, Square Brackets [ ] are used for the lengthy quotations.

Example: Thailand is a beautiful place (the world’s 51st largest country) and Bangkok is the capital city as well as the most populous place.

Hyphen (-)

It is used to join the words together.

Examples:  Non – verbal
Sub – part

Slash (/)

It can be used in the sentences in the place of ‘or’.
Example: ‘s/he’

What are the Grammatical Rules for Capitalization of Text?

To write a sentence appropriately, we must know the key rules of capitalization. Here some rules are mentioned precisely.
•    The first word of each sentence should be a capital letter.
Example: Start a day as early as possible.

•    Proper nouns always start with the capital letter.
I have got a nice gift from Uncle George. (Here, uncle starts with a capital letter ‘u’ as the name is also mentioned in the sentence.)
My uncle stays in Mumbai. (Here, ‘U’ is a small letter, as it is used generally.)
More Examples:
She likes the poems of Rabindranath Tagore. (The name should start with a capital letter)
I like John’s efforts towards the literacy campaign.

Key Rules, Along with the Examples:

The names of hills and mountain ranges always start with a capital letter.
            Example: Mt. Vesuvius, Mount Everest

The names of the oceans, rivers, lakes, seas should start with a capital letter.
            Example: the Indian Ocean, the Ganga, etc.

The building’s names should be written by starting with a capital letter.
            Example: the Eiffel Tower, the Writers’ Building

The names of schools, colleges and universities start with a capital letter.
            Example: the Harvard University, the Calcutta University.

Streets names are also written by capitalizing the first letter.
Example: the Park Street.

The titles of movies, magazines, books and songs should start with a capital letter.
            Example: The Washington Post, One Indian Girl, Times of India, etc.

The names of regions, continents, states, countries, cities and towns always start with a capital letter.
            Example: London, South America, Chennai, etc.

The periods and events are always commence with a capital letter.
Example: Age of Enlightenment.

The trademarks start with the capital letter.
            Example: Samsung, Sony, Toyota

The pronoun ‘I’ is always a capital letter.
Example: I love to read different story books as well as articles. (Correct)

I want to go for a long vacation. (Incorrect as here ‘i’ is not written with a capital letter.)

What are Parts of Speech? What are their Individual Functions?

There are eight parts of speech in the English and these are Noun, Pronoun, Adjective, Verb, Adverb, Interjection, Conjunction and Preposition and most importantly, each of them has a distinct function. Knowing parts of speech is essential as it makes us familiar with the function of each word as well as their grammatical significance in the sentences. However, a same word can be used as different parts of speech based on the situation.

Noun: A noun always refers to the name of the place, person, thing, etc. However, proper noun starts with the capital letter and others are not, and a noun can be singular or plural.

However, there are seven types of noun –
Proper (Game of Thrones), Concrete (Sand), Common (Car), Abstract (Bravery), Collective (Class- group of students), Mass (Rice), Count (Ball).
Example:  It is Riya’s birthday. (Here, ‘birthday’ is a noun)

Pronoun: Pronoun is the replacement of a noun.
Example: Jaya is very stylish and she maintains herself properly.
(Here, she is a pronoun and it is used in the place of a noun.)

Adjective: It usually delineates the noun or the pronoun. However, this part of speech provides the details of the subject (noun/ pronoun). It exhibits the size, quality or number of the noun or pronoun in a sentence.
Example: I have two black jeans.
The interior of the room is exclusive.

Verb: This is the imperative part of speech as without a verb the sentence is incomplete. It refers to the state of being or action of the subject in a sentence.

Example: The students prepare for their exams.
They are always ready for the emergencies.

Adverb: This part of speech describes verbs, adjectives as well as another adverb.
Adverb of Manner, Adverb of Place, Adverb of Time and Adverb of Degree are four types of adverbs in English.

Example: Rai dances gracefully.
Roma is a very talented girl.

Interjection: It always refers to such words that are related to expression. However, this part of speech is followed by the exclamation point.

Example: Hurray! We have won the football match.

Conjunction: It joins the words, phrases and even the clauses in a sentence.

Example: This special tea is hot and refreshing.
Lata always wants to be an actor, and she is trying for it for a long time.

Preposition: It refers to a location or a location in time.

Example: The cat is hiding under the table.
Snigdha is practicing old test papers throughout the year.

How to Learn Tenses in English in Easy Way?

Tense refers to the readers that when the action or work is done in the sentences. There are three basic types of tense- Past, Present and Future. Past tense is used when the action is done, whereas the present tense signifies the action, which is in the process and the future tense indicates the action or work that is going to be happened.

  • Past Tense – I prepared chicken curry yesterday.
  • Present Tense – I am preparing chicken curry for lunch.
  • Future Tense – I will prepare chicken curry on this Friday.

    Here are some formulas of tenses, along with the examples.

  • Simple Present – (Finish) – I always finish my tasks within the specified time.
    Subject+ Verb1(s/es) + Object.
  • Present Progressive – (Finishing) – I am finishing my tasks.
    Subject + am/is/are +Verb-ing + Object.
  • Present Perfect (Have /Has Finished) – Radha has finished her tasks.
    Subject +have/has +V3 + Object.
  • Present Perfect Progressive (Have/ Has been Doing) – I have been doing my tasks since morning.
    Subject + have/has +been + Verb-ing+ Object.
  • Simple Past – (Finished) – I finished my work.
    Subject + V2+ Object
  • Past Progressive (Was / Were Finishing) – I was finishing my tasks.
    Subject + Was/ Were + Verb-ing+ Object
  • Past Perfect – (Had Finished) I had finished my lunch.
    Subject +Had + V3 + Object
  • Past Perfect Progressive – (Had been doing) – He had been doing Math sample papers for the whole day before the exam.
    Subject +Had been + Verb-ing+…for.. + before..


  • Simple Future – (Will Finish) – I will finish my homework today.
    Subject + Shall /Will + V1 + Object
  • Future Progressive – (Will be doing) – I will be doing my tasks until it gets completed.
    Subject + Shall/ Will+ Be+ Verb-ing + Object
  • Future Perfect – (will have finished) – John will have finished his tasks by the time his mother reaches home.
    Subject + Shall/Will + Have + V3 (been) + Object
  • Future Perfect Progressive (will have been driving)-They will have been driving the car for hours by the time they reach home.
    Subject + Shall /Will + Have been + Verb-ing + Object.

Difference between Idioms and Phrases with Examples

Idioms are the expressions and these are quite different from the words. However, idioms can be a word or a group of words, which are prominently used in the sentences to convey the message beyond the literal meaning. In brief, Idioms have the established meanings and each of them does not relate to the individual meaning of the words. In another way, we can say, idiom has the meaning which is not understandable by the individual word. Keep in mind that idioms are also phrases.


‘Raining cats and dogs’ – is an idiom and it means heavy rain.
Based on the countries and cultures, different colloquial idioms are also available.

English Idioms:

Read between the lines (Get the hidden meaning)
Give someone the cold shoulder (Ignore someone)
Get the ax (Lose the job)
To pull someone’s leg (Doing tricks by saying something untrue)
Think on your feet (Making fast decisions and adjusting quickly)
Keep in mind that the groups of words are not always used as idioms and based on the context, the meanings of the words get changed. These examples can make it clearer.

  • An arm and a leg: I like that red dress and while taking that it costs me an arm and a leg.
  • An arm and a leg: Due to a major train accident, he has lost his an arm and a leg.
  • Meera had lost and after a long time, finally she saw the light of the houses.
  • At the end of the class, Meera saw the light and realized that how foolishly, she thought the entire concept.

Phrases in English

However, Phrase is a group of words that stands together and it plays an important role in the sentences as a conceptual unit. Generally, people includes phrase in the sentences to signify the expression with an idiomatic meaning. However, a phrase is the component of the pattern of a sentence.

However, there are eight types of phrase –

  • Noun Phrase (Noun +modifiers) – It was a story as old as time.
  • Gerund Phrase (starts with a gerund) – Getting a promotion is always good.
  • Verb Phrase (verb + modifiers) -You might enjoy a dinner.
  • Appositive Phrase (restates the noun) – My sister, an important person of my life, is my best friend.
  • Infinitive Phrase (starts with an infinitive) – People love to watch comedy movies.
  • Participial Phrase (starts with a past or present participle) – I am planning to watch the movie, having seen the trailer this week.
  • Absolute Phrase (with a subject, but not with an acting verb) – Picnic basket in hand, she went out at morning.
  • Prepositional Phrase (starts with a preposition and acts as an adverb, adjective or noun) – I waited for a while.

However, the differences between idioms and phrases at a glance:
•    Idioms carry fixed meaning, whereas phrases do not have the fixed meaning.
•    Idioms are units and the meaning cannot be understood by separating the words. On the other hand, the meaning of the each word contributes to the meaning of the phrase.
•    An idiom can only be understood when one knows the meaning, whereas a phrase can be easily deduced.

What is Parallel Structure in Literary? And it’s Functions

Parallel structure is something, where the same pattern of words of phrases is repeated in a sentence or a passage to exhibit an equal importance. Parallel structure is quite visible in the texts as the writers prefer to use this literary device to organize his ideas or points and most importantly, to make the entire text more comprehensive. However, the use of this literary device allows the writer to include a rhythm in his writing that grabs the reader’s attention. In brief, parallel structure the write up can be more approachable and cogent.

Examples :

“Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.”
Here, William Shakespeare has noticeably used the parallel structure in these two lines taken from ‘The Tragedy of Julius Caesar’, a famous tragedy for all the time. In the first line, three different groups of society are equally referred and in the second line, two different phrases are placed in a parallel manner.
Francis Bacon included the parallel structure in his classic essay, “Of Studies,”
“Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.”
Here, repetition is added to include an emphasis in the writing.
‘Great Expectations’ is a nice novel written by Charles Dickens and here, parallel structure is remarkably used. Another prominent example of parallel structure is ‘We Real Cool’ written by Gwendolyn Brooks.
“We real cool. We
Left school. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We”

More Examples:

I love to do swimming, biking, hiking and many other activities.
The teacher advices to the students that they should get up early, and they should sleep early, and they should complete their homework on time.
The dog ran across the garden, jumped over the door, and finally, reached to the main road.
Easy come, easy go.

Parallel Structure at a Glance:

•    This structure is a stylistic device and it shows an equal significance in different things
•    It comprises two or more words, phrases, or clauses, along with the similar grammatical form.
•    A rhythm is visible in the lines.
•    This literary device is valuable to represent the ideas, concepts or facts clearly to the readers.
•    It captures the reader’s mind and makes their understanding clearer.
•    It is more visible in the prose, poetry, plays and speeches.
•    It adds fluency in writing and hence, readers can easily understand the text as well as the meaning intended to convey.
•    It emphasizes the words as well as the thoughts and a balanced written structure is presented.

Rules of Sentence Fragments Give Examples

A sentence always expresses a complete thought and it comprises a subject and an object, but when these three most important elements are not available, then it is referred as a sentence fragment.

Sentence Fragment at a Glance:

•    Sentence fragment does not give a complete thought.
Example: Meena is (Here, it imparts an incomplete idea or thought. through this sentence, the readers cannot understand a clear meaning.)

•    Sometimes, the subject is not available.
Example: Eating chilly chicken and fried rice. (Here, the subject is missing and hence, it is a sentence fragment.)

•    Sometimes, the action is not available.
Example: A story book without some pages. (Here, the thought is not clear as we do not know who is doing with the book and exactly, what is going to happen.)

•    A dependent clause is an example of sentence fragment.
Example: And I went to my hometown. (Here, it is a dependent clause and it cannot stand alone.)

There are some rules to correct the sentence fragments by adding the subject, or verb, or by adding an independent clause and most importantly, by including a complete thought. The given examples can make it clearer.

•    ‘Meena is’ – shows an incomplete thought.
Meena is a homemaker. – It shows a complete thought.

•    ‘Eating chilly chicken and fried rice’- Andy is eating chilly chicken and fried rice at dinner time. Here, a subject is added and hence, the sentence gets a complete structure.

A story book without some pages.

•    I have got a gift of a story book without some pages. Here, the action is added and as a result, it becomes a complete sentence.

And I went to my hometown.
•    I met with my old friends and I went to my hometown. Here, the dependent clause is joined with an independent clause and get a complete look.

More examples of Sentence Fragments:

Since I like reading – Here, it does not give a complete thought and it is a sentence fragment.
If ‘since’ is removed then, ‘I like reading’ is a complete sentence as it exhibits a complete thought.
That is why I screamed.
It is a sentence fragment as it is started with a subordinating conjunction. ‘I screamed ‘ is a sentence as it comprises a subject and an action.
In brief, the use of subordinating conjunctions (as if, as long as, even if, in that, just as, once, so that), relative pronouns (which, whoever, whose) and relative adverbs (where, when) at the starting make sentence fragments.

Some Fragment Phrases:

From morning to night (Fragment) – I have been working daily from morning to night. (Complete sentence)
Start after the weekend (Fragment) – My classes will start after the weekend. (Complete structure as it consists of subject, verb and object)
Some boys in the group (Fragment) – Some boys in the group participated in the drama competition. (Complete sentence)

What are Modifiers? How to use Modifiers in a Sentence

Modifiers are the words or phrases and these elements add the additional information about the subject. However, clauses are also modifiers and this group of words imparts detailed information and hence, these elements are mostly describing words- adverbs and adjectives. Keep in mind that a modifier can play the role of an adjective or adverb.

Modifier Examples:

When modifiers are used as adjectives:

I have a small balcony.
Here, small is an adjective and it modifies the noun balcony. Additionally, ‘a’ is an article and it acts as a modifier.

When modifiers are used as adverbs:

Rana accidently met with his step mom.
She looked incredibly beautiful on her wedding.
Here, ‘accidently’ is an adverb and it modifies the verb ‘met’.
In the second sentence, ‘incredibly’ modifies the adjective ‘beautiful’.

Some More Examples:

I have a bag smaller than a mobile.
It is an adjective phrase and it modifies the noun, ‘bag’.
I have a bag which is smaller than my mobile.
Here, the adjective clause modifies the noun, ‘bag’.

When alone, I usually read books.
Here, ‘when alone’ is an adverbial phrase and it modifies the verb, ‘read’.
When we left her alone, she was cooking foods to pass the time.
Here, ‘When we left her alone’ is an adverbial clause and it acts as a modifier.
However, misplaced modifiers misguide the readers. A misplaced modifier is a phrase, word, or clause, which is separated from the word, delineated in the sentence.  Sentences with misplaced modifiers sound confusing as well as awkward.

Misplaced single words:  almost, exactly, even, just, hardly, nearly .


The toy maker almost sold his all toys in the fair. (Incorrect)
The toy maker sold almost all of his toys in the fair. (Correct.)
She served burgers to the kids on paper plates. (Incorrect)
She served burgers on paper plates to the kids. (Correct)
The man walked towards the bus carrying a black bag. (Incorrect)
The man carrying a black bag walked toward the bus. (Correct)

English Phrases for Daily Use

A phrase is just a group of words that includes a meaning to the sentences, but it is not at all a sentence as it does not have either a subject, verb or a complete idea. In English grammar, five different types of phrases are available. These phrases are Noun, Prepositional, Adjective, Adverb, Verb and others.


Noun Phrase – all my dear friends.
Prepositional Phrase – after a long walk.
Adjective Phrase – happy with the work.
Adverb Phrase – time goes very quickly.
Verb Phrase – He should wait before going to watch movie.

Some Common Phrases:

I have heard so much about you – It is generally used during the introduction if you have much information about the person, whom you are introduced.
It’s good to have you here – To feel someone comfortable as well as welcomed in an event or a party. It is the right phrase.
I would like to meet someone – To introduce a new person to more people.
I almost didn’t recognize you- After a long time, if you see someone, then this small talk phrase is the right to use.
It is good to see you again- After a long time, if you see a friend or an acquaintance, then it is the right phrase to show your happiness.

Additionally, we use many phrases while talking to another person.


  • It’s a fact that…
  • Everybody knows that..
  • It’s no secret that..
  • It has been proven that…
  • Keep track of…
  • Fit in with
  • Grab a bite
  • A tight schedule
  • I’ll see to it
  • Keep you updated
  • Work wonders
  • Give me a hand
  • Thanks for the honor
  • Yes, by all means
  • Nothing special

Some Useful English Phrases, along with meanings:

As easy as pie (quite easy)
Bend over backward (try very hard)
Bite off more than one can chew (taking much responsibility)
Change one’s mind (decide to do something different)
Figure something out (to understand a problem)
Give someone a hand (to help)
Keep one’s chin up (keep on trying)
In the black (it is profitable)
In the red (it is unprofitable)

What is an Allegory in Literature? Give Examples

An allegory (AL-eh-goh-ree) is referred as a symbolism device and here, the concept or the abstract is conveyed with the help of corporeal idea or objects being taken as an example. In short, an allegory refers to a story where an underlying story is also available. Actually, it signifies something as a surface story, along with a hidden matter or story. However, allegory is fun to read and many authors prefer to use this literary device while communicating something deeper or complex.
Writers apply allegory to incorporate several layers of meanings to their writing. Allegory makes each story as well as character multidimensional and hence, each of them stands for something larger or more significant in meaning than before. Allegory gives the writers scopes to put their moral as well as political views forward. A close study of an allegorical writing makes us familiar with the thoughts of a writer. In brief, through allegory, a writer represents his wishes as well as views about the world that he has always dreamt about.

Examples of Allegory

Animal Farm’ written by George Orwell is a remarkable example of allegory. The story which is stated about the group of a farm animals, but the hidden story is totally different as it is all about the Russian Revolution.

“All animals are equal but a few are more equal than others.”

•    Aesop’s Fables – The Tortoise and the Hare, The Ant and the Grasshopper are allegories.
•    ‘Yertle the Turtle’ written by the American author Dr. Seuss, the expert allegorist. His another praiseworthy piece of writing is ‘The Sneetches and Other Stories’.
•    ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ written by C. S. Lewis is another prominent example of allegory.
•    ‘Faerie Queen’, an incomplete epic poem is a masterpiece of Edmund Spenser. However, it is a religious allegory.
•    Another spiritual allegory is “Pilgrim’s Progress” written by John Bunyan.

•    The Hunger Games is an allegory.

•    ‘The Masque of the Red Death’ written by Edgar Allan Poe is a short story and it is an allegory.

•    Young Goodman Brown written by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a short story and it is an allegory.