Punctuation

Punctuation is crucial to aid the smooth reading of texts and is a powerful tool in shaping meaning more clearly. The absence and/or misuse of punctuation can lead to ambiguity and a misunderstanding of key ideas. Simple punctuation include:

Capital lettersfirst letter of a sentence, a proper noun, or a proper adjective.
Full stopspunctuation marker used to indicate the end of a sentence that is a statement or command.
Exclamation markspunctuation marker used at the end of a sentence to emphasise the emotion, humour, or feeling that is contained in the sentence. Exclamation marks are always used at the end of sentences containing a command – Go!
Question markspunctuation marker used at the end of a sentence to indicate that a question is asked. Used to end sentences.
Commas

simple punctuation marker used to indicate the grammatical organisation of sentences. Commas are used in sentences:

  • to indicate separation between parts of a sentence such as clauses or phrases where such separation is important to the meaning. For example: ‘Children, who cannot lift such heavy weights, will not be allowed to participate’ compared to ‘Children who cannot lift such heavy weights will not be allowed to participate’.
  • to separate words, phrases or numbers in a series. For example: ‘Children like to eat apples, bananas, oranges and watermelons’.
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