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’