Punctuation

Punctuation

1. What is Punctuation? Punctuation is the collection of marks that we use to make sentences flow smoothly and express meaning clearly. It tells us when to pause or add a certain feeling to our words; it separates ideas so that sentences are clear, it points out titles, quotes, and other key parts of language—punctuation is important! Originally, punctuation was only a tool for speech, not for wri... »

Commas

1. What is a Comma? A comma (,) is a punctuation mark that is frequently used in sentences. Commas separate ideas, add pauses, and help you to list things clearly. They also let us connect words, phrases, and clauses together to make longer sentences. In fact, the comma is one of the most important and commonly used types of punctuation. Without them, sentences would just be messy!   2. Examp... »

Semicolon

1. What is a Semicolon? In writing, a semicolon (;) is a type of punctuation used to combine full sentences and share complicated lists. Semicolons let us clearly share two or more related ideas in one sentence, which keeps us from writing a bunch of short, awkward sentences about the same topic or thing. A good way to think about a semicolon’s job is that it creates a stronger pause than a comma,... »

Quotation Marks

1. What are Quotation Marks? Quotations marks (“”) are parts of punctuation that we use to identify quotations, direct speech, and to highlight special words and phrases. We also use them for titles of certain things, and to point out dialogue in works of fiction. Sometimes, they are called “quotations” or “speech marks.” Either way, they are a very important type of punctuation! This article will... »

Colon

1. What is a Colon? A colon (:) is a type of punctuation that comes before an explanation, description, definition, or list. In modern English writing, a colon follows an independent clause, and is then followed by something that answers or explains that clause. Basically, a good way to think about colons is that they lead to more information or tell the reader that more details are coming in the ... »

Capitalization

1. What is Capitalization? In writing, capitalization is the use of capital letters as a type of punctuation. When we say that something is “capitalized,” it means that the first letter of the word or words is a capital (i.e. capital A versus lowercase a). Capitalization’s real goal is to point out and separate specific, individual things from general things, which helps us identify them in a sent... »

Apostrophe

1. What is an Apostrophe? An apostrophe (’) is a type of punctuation used for two purposes: to create contractions, and to create the possessive form of a noun. Truth be told, apostrophes cause a lot of problems for writers—they are often misused, misplaced, and misunderstood! This article will teach you how to use them properly, and how to avoid some really common mistakes.   2. Examples As ... »