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Punctuation and Capital Letters


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We use stops or marks of punctuation to separate one sentence from another or one part of a sentence from another part.

The main marks of Punctuation are:

1. Full stop (.)
2. Semicolon (;)
3. Comma (,)
4. Colon (:)
5. Mark of Interrogation (?)
6. Quotation marks or inverted commas (" ")
7. Mark of exclamation (!)

The full stop (.)

The full stop indicates the longest pause. It is used at the end of all assertive and imperative sentences:

For example:
I go to school by bus.

It is also used for initials or abbreviations:

For example:
Mr. J.L. Nehru – Mister Jawahar Lal Nehru
M.P. – Member of Parliament

The comma (,)

The comma indicates the shortest pause. It is used to separate a series of word of the same parts of speech:

For example:
We bought apples, oranges, bananas and grapes.

It is also used to set off a noun of address:

For example:
Ashok, listen to me

It is used to set off the phrases in apposition:

For example:
Mr. Bose, the Principle of the school, addresses the students.

It is also used wherever a brief pause is needed:

For example:
If you need my help, write to me.

The Semicolon (;)

The semicolon marks a greater pause than that indicated by a comma. It is used to separate a series of short clauses:

For example:
I laughed; we lived together; we played together.

The colon (:)

The colon marks a greater pause than that indicated by a semicolon. Either a colon or a comma is used to mark off a direct quotation.

For example:
Gandhiji said: “One should never tell a lie. “

It is also used to introduce a list.

For example:
The three most popular newspapers are: The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Indian express.

The mark of Interrogation (?)

It is placed at the end of interrogative sentences.

For example;
Have you taken your dinner?

The mark of exclamation (?)

The mark of exclamation is used after an exclamatory sentence.

For example:
How beautiful this flower is!

The quotation marks or inverted commas (“ “)

The quotation marks are used to set off the actual words used by a speaker.

For example:
The teacher said, “Hard work is the key to success.”

Capital Letters

We use capital letters with every new sentence

For example:
Our holidays will begin next week.

With Proper nouns and adjectives formed from them.

For example:
We live in Delhi, the capital of India

In every new line of the poem

For example:
On a stone chair in the market-place
Sits a stone gentleman with a stone face.

The first word of direct quotation is always begins with capital letter.

For example:
Ramesh said, “Tea is grown in Assam.”


Sample Usage

Unpunctuated Passage

the teacher said students before going home you should put your books notebooks pens pencils in your bags

Punctuated Passage

The teacher said , " Students, before going to home, you should put your books, notebooks, pens and pencils in your bags."


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