English Conversation Topics
Learning a new language has its stages, and writing is not for absolute beginners. Building the vocabulary and knowing your way around grammar, should be followed by punctuation rules. The period, comma or exclamation mark along with other 14 punctuation marks it total have a purpose of organizing the structure of sentences. We use punctuation marks to stress out essential things, clarify the meaning of our words and make overall sense.
In the age of messaging apps and abbreviation heavy style of writing, even these necessary punctuation rules have been often left out or misused. The period, question mark, and exclamation point are three punctuation marks you can use to as a sentence ending.
The period is with comma probably most used punctuation in all languages. It is placed at the end of declarative sentence or statements and after above mentioned abbreviations.
Question mark implies that there is a question asked in the sentence so that the proper use would be after a direct question.
An exclamation point is a tool for adding emphasis or to show emotion, sudden shout, surprise.
While the use of the period, question marks and the exclamation point are pretty straightforward, comma, semicolon, and colon could get tricky. Misuse is possible between comma and semicolon and semicolon and colon while mistaking comma and colon is not usual.
The comma indicates a pause and is not as final as a period. This punctuation mark is used to separate ideas or elements in sentences.
You should use a comma to separate word, or word groups in a series of three or more repetitions. It is also used with numbers, dates, and letter writing after the salutation.
Some writers don't use the final comma before the conjunction in a list. This last comma is called Oxford or serial comma. It is useful in a complex series, but in a simple string, many will find it unnecessary.
The vaguest punctuation is probably semicolon. It connects independent clauses, and semicolon indicates a stronger relationship between the clauses.
There are three primary uses for a colon. The most common is when announcing a quotation, an explanation or a series.
Colon is used for point of emphasis.
The colon is used between independent clauses just like a semicolon, but in this case, the second needs to explain the first.
The dash and hyphen share the same visual appearance, but their use is very different. There are two types of dashes: en dash and em dash. The primary purpose is to separate words into statements.
En dash indicates a connection of differentiation.
Em dash is twice as long as the en dash and can be used instead of a comma or colon to add to the readability or for emphasis.
A hyphen usually connects two or more words into a term, and there are no spaces in between.
Brackets, braces, and parentheses usually contain words or phrases that for further clarification or are considered a group.
Brackets are the squared notations with the purpose to clarify the meaning or hold technical explanation.
Braces are not very common in writing. They are used to contain listed items or text to show they are perceived as a unit.
Parentheses are curved notations that have additional thoughts or qualifying remarks. Commas can replace them without changing the meaning.
The last three punctuation rules are not linked to each other. An apostrophe is used to indicate the omission of a letter or letters from a word, to emphasize possession or for the plurals of lowercase letters.
Use of apostrophe:
Quotation marks function in pairs and as their name says are used to mark the beginning and end of a passage containing someone's quote.
The ellipsis is used to indicate an omission, or in the quotation to jump from one phrase to another, or to avoid copying lengthy text writer think is unnecessary.
Use of ellipsis: