Punctuation marks are important for both written and spoken English. In written English, the correct usage of these symbols help express the intended meaning of the sentence. In spoken English, punctuation marks denote the pauses and intonations to be used when reading aloud.
Incorrect punctuation can change the meaning of a sentence. The sentences, ‘Woman, without her man, is nothing’ and ‘Woman: without her, man is nothing’ is an often used example of how the incorrect use of punctuation marks can alter the meaning a sentence.
Symbols of Punctuation
Some of the commonly used punctuation marks are
Full Stop – (.) Usually used at the end of a sentence.
Question Mark – (?) Usually used at the end of an interrogative sentence to form a question.
Comma – (,) – Usually used to denote a pause in a sentence.
Exclamation Mark – (!) – Used to denote shock, surprise, anger or a raised voice.
Apostrophe – (‘) – Used to show possession or for contraction of word.